Head and Brain Injuries
What You Need To Know
Traumatic injury to the head can damage the delicate tissues of the brain. Even if the full damage is not visible, brain injuries are often serious and life altering. The symptoms of brain damage vary widely, depending upon the type and extent of the injury. The most common causes of traumatic head injuries are motor vehicle accidents, falls, and firearms. Even relatively modest blows to the head can cause a brain injury.
Two Categories of Brain Injury
Often, traumatic brain injuries are classified into two categories: penetrating head injury and closed head injury.
1. A penetrating head injury, or open wound, is visible and involves an actual penetration of the skull and brain tissue.
2. A closed head injury is the more common type of traumatic brain injury. These vary widely in severity. For example, a minor concussion is a form of closed head injury. On the other end of the spectrum, a closed head injury can result in complete disability, loss of physical function and cognitive ability, or even death.
Symptoms of Brain Injury
Sometimes the symptoms of a profound head injury are not immediately apparent. However, there are recognized symptoms of brain damage. Signs of closed head injury include unconsciousness at the accident site, a coma, or seizure(s). If an individual sustains an injury to the head, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
Sometimes, a brain injury initially goes unnoticed. An injured person in a car accident may not remebver stirkign their head during the accidnet. And the adrenaline during the accident dulls the pain.
But a severe headache which comes on later that day or over the next several days can definitely be related to a traumatic brain injury.
A person can suffer a ‘coup-countercoup’ traumatic brain injury simply from a rapid moving of the head back and forth, such as a result of a ‘whiplash from a car accident or from a fall, or some sort of blow to the head. Even if a CT scan does not show a subdural hematoma (bleeding on the brain), a person can still have sustained a brain injury.
Doctors and other brain injury specialist do not rely only on objective testing such as CT scans or brain MRI’s to diagnose concussion or brain injury. Signs of such injuries include sleep disruption, headache, personality change, sudden weight gain or loss, among many others.
If you suspect a brain injury to yourself or a loved one, then you should definitely let your doctor know so he or she can refer you to the appropriate medical professional for screening. A brain injury is very serious, and you should not wait to address it if you suspect you might have that problem.
When a person’s head is struck or jarred in an accident, be on the lookout for headaches, nausea, confusion, or other problems with concentration or memory. Personality changes also may signal a traumatic brain injury. The injured person might become unusually irritable, angry, or depressed. Family, friends, and co-workers may notice these changes, while the injured person does not. Once again, prompt medical attention is very important for a suspected injury.
The Glasgow Coma Scale
The outcome of a traumatic brain injury varies greatly, depending on its severity. A treating physician often uses the Glasgow Coma Scale to assess the extent of the damage.
The Glasgow Coma Scale measures a closed head injury victim’s ability to open his or her eyes, provide verbal responses, and provide motor responses. The scale ranges from a score of three to fifteen. The higher the score, the better the overall prognosis.
Brain Injury Statistics
Traumatic head injuries are all too common. According to the Brain Injury Association, over 1.9 million Americans suffer a brain injury each year, and approximately 80,000 of those injuries result in long-term disability. The estimated cost of caring for traumatic brain injury victims is enormous — over $48 billion dollars per year.
Many times, brain injuries are difficult to diagnose, and can exist even with negative results on a CT scan or MRI of the brain. Clients with these kinds of injuries, and they are harder to prove than an obvious injury, like a broken bone, but can disrupt your life and cause pain many time worse than a broken bone. Getting an experienced lawyer involved right away is key.
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to ignore the problem. You MUST get appropriate medical care, and you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in these kinds of injuries right away.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or have questions about an injury case, I offer injured people a copy of my FREE Injury DVD and Book. Just call me at my 24/7/365 toll free number 888-HURT-318 (888-487-8318) and ask for the free injury book, and give us you name and mailing address and I will mail it to you free of charge and no obligtion. Or if you are ready to talk, call that same number and ask to speak with me!
If you have been hurt and have questions, call me for a free consultation.