Brain injury is any injury to the brain resulting in damage to the tissues of the brain and/or impairment of normal brain function. Traumatic Brain Injury can be caused either directly, such as by a blow or other insult to the head, or indirectly as a result of other injuries, like whiplash, for example. Brain injury is most often caused by car or motorcycle accidents but can also result from pedestrian/vehicle accidents, cycling accidents, falls, sports injuries and other trauma. A person who sustains a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful act may be entitled to significant compensation.
Trauma to the brain can cause bruising, bleeding, twisting or tearing of the brain tissue. In the case of a brain injury caused by whiplash, the brain is subjected to the same acceleration/deceleration forces as the rest of your body, and can sustain injury when it is shaken inside your skull. Brain injury can occur at the time of the accident or develop later as a result of swelling, bleeding or further complications. A brain injury may show up on diagnostic imaging tests, such as CT scans, but often, milder brain injuries will not be detected by these tests, and in many instances, these tests are not administered right away. However, experts can diagnose a brain injury depending on various other factors, including whether or not there was loss of consciousness at the time of injury, the duration of any loss of consciousness, whether there is amnesia for a period of time before or after the accident or injury, a person’s level of alertness and orientation around the time of injury, and particular constellations of symptoms at the time of the injury and following it.
Brain injuries range in severity from very mild (sometimes described as “concussion”), to severe or catastrophic, and can involve a variety of symptoms and loss of normal function. Symptoms can be physical, cognitive, and emotional, and even when subtle can result in significant disruption of a person’s ability to function in his or her work, relationships and day-to-day activities.
Symptoms of more severe traumatic brain injury typically include any of the above, as well as problems with higher brain functioning, such thought organization, ability to express oneself, difficulty selecting and recalling words or names, personality change, and loss or impairment of other bodily functions.