March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and as advocates for people with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by the negligence of others, we’re proud to do our part to raise awareness about brain injury prevention and treatment.
Knowing whether you might have a traumatic brain injury is critical to protect both your health and your legal rights. It’s important to recognize the warning signs and take immediate action at the first sign of a possible concussion or brain injury.
Causes of traumatic brain injury
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, particularly in children and elderly people. This includes falls from heights as well as slips, trips, and falls. The greater the distance, the greater the damage, but even a fall from a short distance can cause a concussion.
Motor vehicle accidents are the second-leading cause of TBIs requiring hospitalization. A victim may develop a brain injury after hitting their head on the steering wheel, dashboard, window, windshield, or another surface in the car, but it’s important to remember that you can get a brain injury without actually hitting your head on anything. If your head moves violently forward and back, even without hitting anything, you can develop what’s called a “coup-contrecoup” injury as the brain hits the inside of the skull.
Most other brain injuries are caused by being “struck by or against something” – for example, a falling object or machinery – or by physical assault. Other notable causes of TBI include sports injuries, combat injuries, and explosions.
Warning signs of traumatic brain injury
While you may associate brain injuries with loss of consciousness or being “knocked out,” many brain injury victims never lose consciousness. The signs of a concussion can be much more subtle, including:
- Persistent headache
- Vomiting or nausea
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Loss of smell or taste
- Loss of memory
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating or reading
It’s important to remember that these symptoms may not be immediately apparent. They may appear hours or even days after the injury. In addition, some of the symptoms, such as mood and behavioral changes, might be more noticeable for people around the injured person.
So, if you’re involved in an accident, even if you feel fine, you need to be careful. Pay attention to your body and listen to the people around you if they notice something seems off. See a doctor at the first sign of trouble. You need to protect your health – and your legal rights.
We are proud advocates for brain injury victims
Depending on which part of the brain is injured and the extent of the injury, the long-term cost of a brain injury can easily be in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. You may have a permanent disability that will affect your income or require long-term medical care.
That’s why, in addition to seeing a doctor, you need to talk to an attorney after a brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence. If you sustained a concussion or other brain injury in an accident in Alabama, contact Dean Waite & Associates, LLC right away for a free consultation.