March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Menges Law Firm is familiar with the severe consequences of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Raising TBI awareness and understanding these injuries can be beneficial. It may be possible to receive compensation in cases where someone else’s negligence caused a TBI. Contact a personal injury lawyer from Menges Law Firm for help getting the compensation you deserve.
What is a Brain Injury?
A brain injury is an acquired damage to the brain caused by physical trauma, such as a blow to the head or chemicals entering the brain. It can result in changes in:
- mental abilities
- motor abilities
- and sensory abilities.
What Causes Brain Injuries?
Several different factors cause brain injuries. Still, some of the most common causes include:
Car accidents can cause brain injuries due to the force of impact that occurs when a person’s head collides with another object or an interior vehicle surface. This can result in traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is a type of physical injury to the brain caused by a sudden, violent impact on your head.
Assault can cause brain injury through physical head trauma or shaken baby syndrome. This trauma can disrupt the brain’s normal functions, leading to short-term:
- memory loss
- difficulty with coordination and balance
- changes in mood and behavior
- personality changes
- speech impairment
- hearing impairment
- and more.
Sports can cause brain injury when the head experiences a sudden, forceful blow as a result of contact with another player, object, or surface. These injuries can damage the brain’s neurons and cause chemical changes that interfere with brain functioning.
Military Service can cause brain injury due to the explosions and shockwaves associated with battle. These blasts can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which can have long-term repercussions, including memory loss and reduced cognitive functioning.
Construction Site Accidents
Construction site accidents can cause brain injuries from physical trauma, such as a concussion, blows to the head, or exposure to hazardous materials like chemicals or radionuclides. Additionally, long-term exposure to loud noises, such as those found near construction sites, can cause brain injuries due to auditory damage.
Different Types of TBIs
There are three main types of traumatic brain injury(TBI):
A mild traumatic brain injury is when the brain receives damage through a specific incident, such as being hit in the head by another person or falling, but no other body parts are injured. This type of injury damages some areas of the brain and affects how one thinks, feels, learns, or even sleeps.
A moderate TBI is when the brain receives damage from a penetrating injury. Damage to the brain from this type of TBI may result in temporary or permanent disabilities.
A severe TBI is when the brain is injured due to being hit by something, such as a bullet or a car accident. Severe TBI can change how an individual functions. Someone with a severe TBI may be unable to:
- and/or see
- and it can lead to death.
It may not seem like it, but traumatic brain injury is a significant cause of death and disability in the United States. The Brain Injury Association of America estimates more than 5 million people live with a permanent brain injury-related disability in the U.S., and about 2.8 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries annually.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control estimated over 64,000 traumatic brain injury-related deaths in the U.S. in 2020. Whether people consciously know about TBI or not, studies indicate a correlation between high TBI awareness and their reduction. Although many cognitive limitations and even death can result from brain injuries, these can all be overcome with TBI awareness, early detection, and treatment of traumatic brain injuries.
5 Facts About Traumatic Brain Injuries To Raise Awareness
On this Brain Injury Awareness Month, we aim to turn the limelight on traumatic brain injury, highlight TBI victims’ legal options, and show how a lawyer can help fast-track the treatment and justice they deserve. Let’s raise TBI awareness with the following 5 fast facts.
1. When the Brain Is Injured, It Is Not Always Noticeable
Another reason TBI awareness is so important is that the signs of a TBI are not always obvious. Since TBI changes how the brain acts and processes information, it may initially seem like something is amiss, but often there will be no outward signs of injury. You may have an accident at work or while playing and not even realize it as you continue to function normally until you begin to experience neurological symptoms later on.
Symptoms related to a TBI may include:
- Changes in behavior, thinking, and/or memory
- Temporary or permanent vision and/or hearing loss
- Headaches and/or other body pain, including aching bones, muscles, or joints
- Not being able to function normally at work or school, inability to concentrate, pay attention, and more
- Confusion and memory loss – You may not remember events before or after being injured or what occurred during the incident that caused it
- Blurred vision and/or ear ringing
- Changes in mood or personality, irritability, sadness, and being easily angered
- sensitivity to light and/or noise.
- A change in your sleep pattern can occur too.
2. Concussions are More Common Than You Might Think
A concussion may result from a blow to the head, such as hitting your head against a wall, getting hit in the head, or even shaking your head violently after losing consciousness. Concussions can also occur due to repetitive motion, such as handling something heavy repeatedly or frequent head banging.
Several factors determine the severity of a brain injury. Hard evidence research shows even mild concussions may result in changes in behavior and thinking, such as memory lapses or personality shifts. The severity of the injury depends on where it is located in the brain and other parts of the body connected to it.
3. Older People Have a Greater Risk of Head Injuries
Research indicates that people over 75 have the highest traumatic brain injury-related hospitalizations and death rates. Unsurprisingly, the elderly have a higher-than-average risk of TBI since the elderly population has a higher risk of falls, lack of mobility, and arthritis.
On this Brain Injury Awareness month, let’s try to mitigate this by taking extra care of our elderly loved ones. Taking them to the doctor more frequently and getting more physical exercise so they can maintain their balance and agility. Also, try removing obstacles to make their paths as safe as possible.
4. Protective Gear Can Help Prevent Brain Injury
Just over a decade ago, TBI awareness gained popularity, and the use of protective gear increased dramatically. Now it’s known that the first line of defense before any impact or fall occurs is to wear a helmet to help keep your head safe.
5. TBI Lawsuits Can Be Successful
Most people with a mild TBI can return to everyday life within weeks or months. However, more severe injuries may qualify for a lawsuit. Those suffering from them can seek compensation to cover their:
- medical expenses
- lost wages
- and other losses sustained due to the injury
In the case of a wrongful death or severe injury, acting quickly and contacting a traumatic brain injury lawyer as soon as possible is imperative. You have a limited time to file a lawsuit so talking to an experienced TBI lawyer who can get you the compensation you deserve is critical.
Symptoms of a Severe Brain Injury
the most common symptoms of a severe brain injury are:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Headaches and dizziness
- Vision or hearing impairment
What To Do If You Think You Have a Brain Injury
If you suspect you might have a brain injury from a car accident, sporting event, or something else there are some things you can do.
Seek Medical Attention
If you think that you have a brain injury, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. Visit your doctor or an urgent care facility and explain the event or incident that caused the potential injury and any symptoms you are experiencing (e.g., headaches, nausea, dizziness).
Get Referrals To Specialists
If necessary, get a referral to a neurology specialist who can assess the full extent of your injury through tests such as MRI scans or CT scans. Depending on the results of the diagnostic tests, your neurologist may refer you to additional specialists for further treatment and rehabilitation, such as:
- physical therapists
- speech-language pathologists
- occupational therapist
- and mental health clinicians who can help you address cognitive problems
Do Exactly What Your Medical Team Instructs
Follow all instructions from your healthcare providers closely and keep track of any medications they prescribe to promote healing and manage symptoms.
Keep a Healthy Routine
Stick with a regular sleep schedule and avoid activities that require cognitive effort (e.g., using electronic devices) too close to bedtime.
Eat healthy food that includes plenty of nutrients along with taking recommended supplements (vitamins and minerals). Also, drink lots of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Don’t Underestimate Rest
Rest when needed and follow an exercise regimen approved by your healthcare provider.
Engage in Mindful Activities with Little Impact on the Body
Additionally, try mindfulness techniques such as yoga or meditation, which can help reduce stress levels associated with living with a brain injury .
Maintain social connections with friends and family so that you’re better able to cope emotionally with these difficulties over time.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Brain Injuries?
Brain injuries can lead to long-term effects, such as the following:
- Changes in personality and behavior, as well as cognitive impairments such as memory loss and difficulty concentrating.
- Difficulties with language, communication, and decision-making
- Physical impairments such as the loss of mobility or paralysis in some regions of the body
- Vision problems include double or blurred vision or sensitivity to light or movement.
- Emotional issues ranging from depression to anxiety
- Seizure and epilepsy disorders
As we raise TBI awareness, make sure you keep in mind the long-lasting effects TBis have on people. Be patient, and offer help where needed.
Brain Injuries and Mental Health
One of the most critical TBI awareness points is the connection between brain injuries and mental health struggles. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have significant and long-lasting effects on a person’s mental health, including:
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- personality changes
- Issues with impulse control
- and difficulty managing emotions.
Brain injuries also increase the risk of developing other mental illnesses like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Such disorders can contribute to suicidal thoughts or actions if left untreated. People who suffer from TBIs often experience frustration and distress due to a lack of understanding of their condition by those around them, which can complicate recovery efforts.
Are Brain Injury Lawyers Necessary?
While you don’t have to get a brain injury lawyer, they are beneficial when someone else’s negligence caused the injury. A brain injury lawyer will gather evidence, build your case, advocate for you, and work to reach a fair settlement that will cover all your needs.
Get The Compensation You Need After a Severe Brain Injury
If someone else’s negligence caused your TBI, it is essential to seek the counsel of a lawyer. An experienced TBI attorney can advise you whether or not you have a strong case. A qualified lawyer can help you determine the proper damages for your injuries and damages, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court.
What Kinds of Damages Will a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Help Recover?
There are many types of damages you can pursue after a car accident. Some of those are:
Economic damages are losses that arise from an injury or harm to another’s property, business, or finances. Economic damages include:
- Past medical expenses (related to the accident)
- Future medical care
- lost wages
- repair costs for damaged property
Non-economic damages are damages in personal injury cases that cannot be quantified or measured. These include:
- pain and suffering
- emotional distress
- destruction of one’s quality of life
- scarring or disfigurement
Punitive damages are legal damages that a court will award to punish the wrongdoer for egregious misconduct or to set an example for other potential violators. They are generally in addition to any other compensatory damages that were awarded.
Special damages, also known as consequential damages, do not occur directly from a breach but are considered a consequence of that breach. They include economic losses such as lost profits or the cost of repair or replacement. They may also have other losses, such as emotional distress due to the breach.
This Brain Injury Awareness Month, we should promote TBI awareness and seek to reduce their occurrence. Wearing helmets when playing sports, being proactive in preventing slips and trips, keeping balanced, and exercising regularly can support healthy brain functioning. Remember that any sudden impact or fall may lead to injury. Consult your doctor about appropriate actions for a concussion.