Do you have a headache? Are you suffering from dizzy spells, or have you been in a car accident? In the United States, approximately 13.5 million people have a disability caused by a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In the past decade, the number of brain injuries treated in emergency departments increased by 53%. Many people die each day from injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Those with a TBI can have short term effects lasting only a few days, whereas those suffering from a severe brain injury can be affected for the rest of their lives. Entire families and communities can be affected due to the issues resulting from a traumatic brain injury, such as thinking/memory impairments and vision or hearing problems. Dramatic changes in personality and emotions can also have a lasting effect, causing depression and other psychological issues.
What Are the Symptoms of a Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused due to a jolt, bump, or blow to the head, interfering with the brain’s normal function. When an object or an object suddenly hits the head, pierces the skull, and enters the brain, it alters its functions. Loss of memory or amnesia before or after the injury can occur. Muscle weakness, vision loss, and altered speech are potential neurological symptoms. Loss of consciousness or any change in the mental condition, such as difficulty concentrating and disorientation, along with slow thinking, can also occur. A traumatic brain injury can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the brain’s damage. A mild injury can result in an altered mental state of consciousness for a brief period. In contrast, a more extreme injury can result in long periods of unconsciousness, coma, or even death.
What Are Potential Causes and Risk Factors for a Brain Injury?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that falls are the most common cause of brain injuries, with motor vehicle accidents a close second. Sports injuries and recreational activities account for 10% of all brain injuries that occur annually. Physical assaults can also result in traumatic brain injuries, along with intentional self-harm.
In the past decade, persons 75 years of age and older had the highest death incidence related to TBI-related injuries, with falls being the leading cause of death for persons 65 years old and older. Intentional self-harm for persons 45-64 years of age was the leading cause of death due to falls from dangerous heights, which resulted in traumatic brain injuries. On the other hand, brain injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents were the leading cause of fatalities for teenagers and young adults between 15-34. Adults over the age of 75 also suffered from brain injuries in motor vehicle accidents, resulting in death. For children between the ages of 0-4 years old, brain injuries and death resulted from homicidal violence, including but not limited to violent shaking, being hit with an object, or forcibly thrown against a hard surface.
How Can Brain Injuries Be Prevented?
While most prevention methods are common sense, here are several ways to protect yourself and those you love from a potential brain injury.
- Always provide adequate lighting on stairways for those with low vision or walking difficulties.
- Always install handrails on stairways.
- When in a motor vehicle, be sure to use the seat belt.
- Make sure that children are protected in a child safety seat.
- Never use alcohol or drugs before or during driving.
- When on a bicycle, motorcycle, snowmobile, and all other open, unrestrained vehicles, make sure to wear a helmet.
- When participating in contact sports, such as football or hockey, be sure to wear a helmet.
- When horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding, skating, and skateboarding, a helmet should be worn.
- Install bars on windows in the home to prevent children from falling out.
- Make sure that walking paths are free from obstacles or debris.
- When sitting on a stool or chair, make sure it is stable.
Methods for Brain Injury Treatments
As each brain injury is different, so is its treatment. An in-depth examination will evaluate the neurological, structural, and metabolic functioning of the brain. A rotating chair can be used to determine balance, cognitive, and sensory integration and is used in concussion therapy and recovery.
While virtual reality typically correlates with entertainment, it is used for diagnostic and therapeutic assessments and equilibrium treatment in rehabilitation therapy. The tool, an interactive light-up display, can assess hand-eye coordination, eye movement, peripheral vision, concentration, reaction time, and endurance. This tool is often included in a neuro-recovery treatment program for brain injuries. The recovery plan may consist of balance tracking. This tool addresses balance and gait impairments resulting from disorders in the sensory, motor, or central nervous system. The equipment for testing balance control is often used in therapy, as are exercises aimed to improve functioning in specific areas of the brain. Balance balls and balance boards can improve movement, strength, and flexibility. Resistance and strength training is also implemented in balance training regimens.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help If You Have Suffered a Brain Injury?
Attorneys understand the hardship and loss that results from a brain injury caused by accidents, misfortunes, or physical assault.
It is important to remember that brain injury victims should not rely on insurance companies before speaking to an attorney. Insurance companies have settlement policies setup to encourage insurance adjusters to make offers to those involved in an accident quickly. The insurance companies will often have an adjuster contact the injured party or their family, attempting to gain confidence. The insurance company’s goal is to finalize the case with favorable terms to the insurance company.
A personal injury law firm can help you receive full compensation for pain and suffering—reimbursement for lost earnings, past and future, and compensation for all medical claims. You will have peace of mind knowing that you are protected financially by a law firm that puts you first.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to someone’s negligence, please contact TorkLaw at 888.845.9696 for a free consultation.