There are a wide variety of accidents that a careless party can be liable for. A broken leg or arm is certainly no fun, and can have a significantly negative impact on your life if, for instance, it hinders you from working or engaging in recreational activities that you enjoy. But some of the worst injuries involve damage to the brain. The following is a brief overview of types of traumatic brain injuries.
Brain injuries tend to fall into two broad categories: penetration of the skull or instances when the brain forcefully bangs against the inside of the skull due to a severe fall or blow. Either type can cause the brain to bleed or swell, and can damage nerve cells. Depending on the extent of the injury, the effects can range from relatively minor, such as temporary memory loss, to much more serious afflictions that can adversely affect sensation and the ability to speak and move, as well as balance, fine motor skills, strength and coordination.
More specifically, types of common traumatic brain injuries include:
Concussion. This is often caused by a sudden blow to the head. If the force of the blow is hard enough, it can cause the brain to actually move around inside your skull. This can lead to bruising, nerve damage and damage to blood vessels. All of this interferes with normal brain function. You may find your sense of balance disrupted, your visions may be blurry and you may experience a certain amount of confusion. The symptoms might not emerge for days or even weeks after the injury, and may last for anywhere from a few seconds to a number of days or longer.
Contusions. These are areas of bleeding on the brain’s surface and usually occur in the frontal and temporal lobes. They tend to happen when, due to a blow, the brain strikes a ridge inside the skull or a fold in the brain’s tough outer covering called the dura mater. Cerebral edema, or swelling, often develops around contusions within two to three days following the injury. Prognosis varies widely, depending on location of the bleeding and other factors.
Intracranial hematoma. This is bleeding in any area within the skull that pools and clots, either within the brain, or, more commonly, between the brain and the skull. It may not be apparent until symptoms similar to concussion begin to appear. It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible if that happens.
Skull fracture. This is when the skull cracks. In a worst case scenario, pieces of bone can penetrate the brain, potentially leading to devastating injuries, if not death.
If you’ve been the victim of a serious injury, after taking care of your first priority of getting medical attention, you should seek legal guidance if there is the chance that someone else’s negligence is to blame.