Jason Stephens | October 10, 2020 | Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can vary from mild to traumatic. A variety of circumstances and accidents can result in brain injuries. Unfortunately, a brain injury can have lifelong consequences for a person.
A brain injury can result in cognitive, emotional, and physical impairments. A person who suffers a brain injury might be unable to work or care for themselves. In some cases, a brain injury can result in a permanent vegetative state. When a child or adolescent suffers a brain injury, they can struggle with the consequences for the rest of their life.
It can be helpful to understand the types of brain injuries and the levels of severity when pursuing a personal injury claim.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries
Accidents are one of the most common causes of brain injuries. However, many other incidents can result in brain injury. Common causes of brain injury include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Toxic exposure
- Truck accidents
- Childhood injuries
- Birth injuries
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Dog attacks
- Slips and falls
- Construction accidents
- Defective products
The above list is far from complete. Any accident could cause a brain injury. When another party is responsible for the cause of the accident or injury, that party can be held liable for damages and losses.
Damages and losses from a brain injury can be extensive. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, a person may not be able to work for the rest of their life. The person may require 24/7 medical and personal care.
Financial damages include medical care, personal care, and loss of income. Pain and suffering damages include physical, emotional, and mental suffering and trauma. It also includes the loss of enjoyment of life and the decreased quality of life experienced by a brain injury victim.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit can provide the compensation a brain injury victim needs to pay for living expenses, care, and comfort.
Four Types of Brain Injuries
The term brain injury covers a wide variety of injuries to the brain. Four of the most common types of brain injuries include:
A concussion is the mildest form of a traumatic brain injury or TBI. A sudden blow to the head can cause a concussion. Whiplash can also cause a concussion if it causes the brain to move within the skull violently.
Even though most concussions are considered “mild” brain injuries, some concussions can result in permanent brain damage. A second concussion within a short period or repeated concussions increase the chance of long-term disabilities, including Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Penetrating Brain Injuries
A penetrating brain injury is caused when an object goes through the skull into the brain. The contact with the brain can cause severe injury. A penetrating brain injury increases the chance of death, coma, and permanent disabilities.
Anoxic Brain Injuries
Our brain requires an ample supply of oxygen. When oxygen to the brain is cut off, severe brain injury can occur. Brain cells begin to die within four minutes of losing oxygen.
Anoxic brain damage or ABD is the harm caused to the brain because of a lack of oxygen. There are many causes, including health risks and accidents.
Individuals may require months or years of therapy and treatment to recover from an anoxic brain injury. Some individuals never fully recover from ABD.
Coup, Contrecoup, & Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries
These types of brain injuries are used to describe the location of the injury to the brain. The most common cause of these types of brain injury is a blow to the head.
Coup injuries occur directly below the blow to the head. Swelling, bruising, and hemorrhaging can occur.
Contrecoup injuries are located on the opposite side of the brain from the initial blow. The brain “slams” into the skull because of the force of the blow, creating an injury to the opposite side of the brain.
Coup-Contrecoup injuries are the most severe. They involve an injury to the brain directly under the blow to the head and injury to the brain on the side opposite from the blow to the head.
Injuries to the opposite side of the brain can be overlooked. Physicians focus on the damage directly beneath the blow to the head. Permanent brain damage and disabilities can result from contrecoup and coup-contrecoup brain injuries.
What are the Levels of Severity for Brain Injuries?
There are three levels of severity of a brain injury. Mild brain injuries are the least severe. Concussions generally fall into the category of mild traumatic brain injury.
Most concussions or mild brain injuries heal within a few days or weeks of the initial injury. However, if brain injury symptoms continue or become worse, a person should seek immediate medical treatment.
Moderate brain injuries can result in symptoms or complications that last for several months. In some cases, a person could develop permanent impairments from a moderate brain injury. Complications from a moderate brain injury may include cognitive, physical, or behavioral impairments.
Severe brain injuries are life-threatening. This level of brain injury has the highest chance of death and permanent disability. In some cases, the person may remain in a vegetative state or coma.
Filing Personal Injury Claims for Brain Injuries
Brain injury cases can be extremely complicated personal injury cases. The damages for a brain injury claim can be substantial. A brain injury lawyer can help you hold the party responsible for your injury liable for your damages.
Because there are time limits on filing personal injury claims and the case may require extensive investigation and the use of medical experts to prove the case, it is generally best to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.