Traumatic brain injury is a major problem in the United States. The consequences of traumatic brain injury can be devastating. But, some of the most serious consequences are preventable with rapid treatment and medical care. The leading causes of traumatic brain injuries include motor vehicle accidents, falls and external force impact injuries. These traumatic brain injuries range from mild concussions to severe blows to the head, or even penetration of the skull. Timely care and treatment is vital, and the earlier medical attention is received, the better the chance for substantial improvement.
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, 1.7 million Americans sustain a brain injury annually. Mild brain injuries, such as concussions, which are sustained sometimes in sporting events, may leave no permanent damage, yet still cause headaches, personality changes, cognitive impairment, sleep problems, memory loss, or even depression. Between the ages of 15 and 35, sporting events are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury, followed closely by motor vehicle accidents. To prevent brain injury, it is imperative that helmets are always worn when cycling, skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding and other similar activities.
More severe brain injuries are caused by blows, jolts or penetrating head injuries that disturb normal brain functions. Rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head in a collision, forcing the brain to move within the skull, tears nerve fibers and causes damage. These injuries actually may not be painful at the time of impact, and often occur without loss of consciousness, yet may have profound effect on the victim. Loss of memory, cognitive impairment, and trouble with speech and balance are common symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury. Anyone suffering these effects should seek medical treatment swiftly.
Intracranial bleeds- the formation of subdural hematomas- can be especially fatal. Subdural hematomas took the spotlight after the recent death of actress Natasha Richardson. Richardson was injured when she fell while skiing. She declined medical attention and originally appeared fine, but only hours later died due to her injury. Intracranial bleeds can progress slowly. Often patients appear fine initially, but deteriorate shortly afterwards. It is always advisable to be evaluated by a medical team after a head injury. This is especially true if the victim has a reduced ability to form blood clots (low coagulability, also called a clotting disorder, or a person who is on blood thinners).
Victims have the right to seek compensation that is both needed and deserved when traumatic brain injury is the result of the carelessness or negligence of another party. Damages may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Attorneys with experience in handling brain injury cases can provide justice for victims of negligence with the goal of attaining appropriate compensation. Take care to fully research an attorney that can best meet your needs. When you are injured, you want a law firm on your side that will successfully handle your case.