Brain injuries in the United States are unfortunately quite common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in a one-year period, 2.2 million people will visit an emergency room because of a brain injury. These visits result in 280,000 hospitalizations and 50,000 deaths.
The seriousness of a brain injury cannot be underestimated, even as physicians and researchers acknowledge there is still much to learn about the physiologic process and treatment efficacy of these injuries. What is known is that a brain injury can cause lasting physical, emotional, and behavioral consequences, and these injuries should be addressed quickly and thoroughly.
What Is a Brain Injury?
The CDC defines a brain injury as a disruption in normal brain activity as a result of a jolt, bump, or blow to head. It can also be caused by a penetrating injury. There are a number of different types of brain injuries, including:
- Concussion– A concussion occurs when the jolt or bump causes the brain to hit against the skull. This collision can damage brain cells and cause chemical changes within the brain.
- Contusion – A contusion is caused by a similar motion to a concussion, but the brain hitting the skull causes a bruise or bleeding on the brain.
- Coup-Contrecoup – When a contusion occurs, sometimes the force of the impact also causes the brain to slide back across and hit the skull again. This causes a second contusion on the opposite side of the head.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury – A diffuse axonal injury is the result of shaking or strong rotation of the head, as can happen in a car accident. With this injury, the brain does not keep up with the movement of the skull and nerve tissues in the brain tear. This tearing causes chemicals to be released that can cause further injury and disrupt the normal communication channels in the brain.
- Penetrating Injury – In a penetrating injury, the brain is impacted by the impact and intrusion from an outside object, either from an attack or flying debris in an accident. These injuries can be especially devastating, as they tear, stretch, and rupture brain tissue.
If you or someone you love has suffered one of these injuries, or experienced a different brain injury as the result of another person's negligence, you may be eligible to file a claim. Call the experienced serious injury attorneys at the Morris James Personal Injury Group to learn more about your rights and possible legal options.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries in Delaware
While many people associate brain injuries with sports injuries, there are many different reasons these serious injuries may happen. Some of the most common causes include:
Be Aware of the Important Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Injury
Regardless of the cause, many brain injuries share common warning signs and symptoms. Shortly after the accident or incident, many people exhibit some similar behaviors, including:
- Loss of consciousness
- Sensitivity to noise or light
- Balance problems
- Memory problems
- Decreased concentration and attention span
It's important to note that not every injury victim has all these symptoms, and some victims may have reactions that aren't on this list. Only a qualified medical professional can assess a patient to determine the nature of his injuries.
Additionally, brain injuries are especially difficult to address because other symptoms emerge in the days, weeks, and even months after the initial injury. It's not uncommon for brain injury victims to exhibit ongoing cognitive impairments, trouble with motor skills and communication, behavioral changes, and other signs of concern. Sometimes, victims find it difficult to not only work but also simply interact with family, friends, and the world as they did before the accident.
Recovery from a Brain Injury Can Be a Long, Difficult Process
People who experience brain injuries need to take time to recover as fully as possible. Though it may be frustrating, victims should not return to school or work, drive, drink caffeine or alcohol, or engage in physical activity until cleared by their doctor.
In many cases, any number of the injury symptoms, or even a combination of symptoms, can make it difficult for a victim to perform necessary work duties. This can put additional stress on an already trying situation. If you or someone you love has suffered a serious brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Take a moment to fill out our online contact form, and you’ll hear back from an experienced member of the legal team at the Morris James Personal Injury Group. We can answer your questions and help you learn more about your legal options.