Most people know that a blow to the head can cause a brain injury. Even when someone’s head isn’t struck directly, when a traumatic event causes the head to be hit with a shock wave or to whip around on the neck, the brain can “slosh” back and forth in a way that can cause bleeding, concussions, or other trauma. Many people are also aware of the “micro damage” that can degrade the brains of athletes after repeated concussions.
But not all brain damage begins with a dramatic or even obvious accident. Researchers believe that hundreds of thousands of people in the United States may suffer from undiagnosed brain injuries because they assumed that the accident that damaged their brain was too minor to cause major problems.
Young and old brains are especially prone to damage
The brain is protected by the dura mater, a membrane full of veins and arteries that supply blood to the brain. The dura takes time to fuse, and children can be vulnerable to extradural hemorrhages when their still-developing brains sustain trauma. As the brain ages, the dura mater begins to pull away from the surface of the brain, leaving the arteries veins that run through it exposed and vulnerable to tearing. For people whose brains are aging, even a very minor head injury may cause a life-threatening condition called subdural hematoma, in which blood leaks into the area around the brain and compresses the brain’s delicate tissue.
What are the symptoms of a brain injury?
Subdural hematoma can present with a variety of symptoms, including confused or slurred speech, headache, difficulty with balance and strength, cognitive decline, nausea, and visual disturbance. This condition can be diagnosed with a CT scan or MRI scan.
The life-threatening nature of a subdural hematoma makes its treatment an emergency situation. Some medicines may be able to reduce swelling or seizures, but a severe hematoma may require drilling a hole in the skull to relieve pressure or performing a craniotomy to remove a larger mass of blood or a solid clot.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from a brain injury, it is extremely important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. Diagnosing and getting the necessary treatment for a brain injury will ensure that you limit the long-term damage from the injury. Some brain injuries can be difficult to diagnose initially, and the victim may only become aware of the extent of the damage after several days or weeks.
How Doctors and Lawyers Can Help
If you believe that the brain injury was the result of a car accident or other type of accident, it is important to document the injury as soon as possible so that a personal injury claim can be made to cover your medical bills and additional treatment. Accident victims who wait too long to get a brain injury checked out by a qualified medical professional may hurt their chances of a successful personal injury claim.
Consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer can benefit brain injury victims who are overwhelmed by the legal process or are having a difficult time working with insurance companies. Davis Law Group has more than 20 years experience representing victims of serious injuries and our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.