Brain injuries can be some of the most complicated injuries a person can suffer. The brain is incredibly complex, and even today, the brain holds a number of medical and scientific mysteries. A small injury to the brain can have detrimental effects on an individual for the rest of their life. If a loved one suffers a brain injury as the result of another person's negligence, you may have a personal injury claim to be compensated for suffering, medical bills, and other damages.
Types of Brain Injury
The brain can be very sensitive to different types of injuries. Some injuries are minor, with no serious long-term effects, while other brain injuries can lead to permanent disability or death. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, brain injuries can be traumatic or acquired, and include:
- Diffuse Axonal Injury
- Coup-contrecoup injury
- Second Impact Syndrome
- Open and Closed Head Injuries
- Penetrating Injury
- Shaken Baby Syndrome
- Locked in Syndrome
- Anoxic brain injury
- Hypoxic brain injury
Brain injuries can also be categorized as closed head injury or open head injury. Open head injuries can fracture the skull, damaging the brain or pressing broken skull pieces into the brain tissue. Closed head injuries involve damage to the head that does not fracture or displace the skull. In some cases, the brain may swell, with no place to expand, resulting in intracranial pressure, causing injury to the brain tissue.
The effects of a brain injury can last for a few days, or result in permanent disability. Signs and symptoms of brain injury can include impaired memory and thinking, impaired movement or sensation, and impaired emotional functioning, such as personality changes or depression.
One of the most common types of brain injury is a concussion. Some symptoms appear immediately after the injury, while others may take days or months to appear. Symptoms include difficulty thinking clearly, difficulty concentrating, feeling tired or anxious, blurry vision, headaches, irritability, balance problems, and sensitivity to light. Many individuals try and waive off a concussion injury, feeling that they are fine, or the injury was not too serious. However, brain injuries are extremely complex. Any traumatic head or brain injury should be evaluated by a doctor.
Causes of Brain Injury
There are many causes of brain injury. According to the Center for Disease Control Injury Prevention, the most common cause of traumatic brain injury involves falls. Falls account for over 40% of traumatic brain injuries, followed by being struck by an object (15.5%) and motor vehicle accidents (14.3%). Assaults and other causes also account for brain injuries. Falls are a more serious hazard for children and older adults. Over half of brain injuries in children 14 and under were the result of falls. While more than 80% of traumatic brain injuries for adults aged 65 and older are caused by falls.
Brain Injury Treatment
In 2010, about 2.5 million individuals visited the emergency department for a traumatic brain injury. Of those, 2.2 million were treated and released. About 280,000 were hospitalized for their injuries, and more than 50 thousand people died as a result of traumatic brain injury.
When a doctor evaluates a brain injury, they may test the patient on learning, concentration, and memory. They may do a brain scan or other neurocognitive tests. In some cases, the doctor will want to keep a patient overnight to evaluate the extent of the brain injury. Some patients may be in a hurry to get over their brain injury; however, patience and rest can be very important in recovery.
Brain Injury Lawsuits
A brain injury can result in expensive medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It is not fair that the patient has to bear the full burden of their injury if someone else was responsible for causing the accident. A personal injury lawsuit may allow an injured patient to seek compensation for their injuries.
If a family loses a loved one due to a brain injury, they may be able to hold the responsible party accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit. The family members can receive compensation for the loss of their loved one, and help to make sure other families do not have to go through a similar loss.
Brain Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury, you should talk to an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Whether the injury was minor, or life-threatening, your attorney will be able to advise you of your options, and help you through the claims process. You should not have to suffer due to someone else's negligence. Do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.