Nearly a million and a half people in the United States sustain some level of traumatic brain injury each year, from a simple concussion to a life-threatening, life-altering brain trauma. Of those, nearly fifty thousand will die. The age groups with the highest risk for brain injury are fifteen to nineteen-year olds and infant to four-year olds. Brain injuries occur when an accident causes a violent shaking of the brain inside the hard skull. Some brain injuries can be difficult to detect, while others are responsible for obvious physical and mental changes to the injured person. The most common causes of brain injury include automobile accidents, slip and falls, contact sports, acts of violence, and workplace accidents.
Open, Closed and Acquired Brain Injuries
A closed head injury occurs when there is little damage to the outside of the head, but the damage to the brain can range from mild to significant. In contrast, an open head injury occurs when an object penetrates the skull, causing obvious injury with blood loss. An acquired brain injury is any type of damage to the brain which is not caused by external physical trauma. When the brain cells are deprived of oxygen, such as in a near-drowning, misuse of medication, or exposure to toxic substances, acquired brain injury can occur. Loss of consciousness may or may not occur following a brain injury, and symptoms can manifest over time. Many brain injured people appear fine right after the accident, but days or weeks later serious symptoms may begin to appear.
Special Concerns with Brain Injury in Children
Children’s heads are much heavier than the rest of their bodies, proportionately, making them more susceptible to concussion and brain trauma. A child’s skull is also thinner, meaning it is not able to protect the brain in the same way an adult’s skull can. Finally, the child’s brain is still in the process of developing and making necessary nerve connections. A disruption in this development could lead to lifelong problems for the child. If you suspect your child or a friend or loved one has experienced a brain injury, don’t wait. Take the person to the emergency room or a doctor immediately, even if you are seeing few symptoms of brain trauma.
Symptoms of Brain Injury
Depending on the severity of the brain injury, there can be a wide range of physical, emotional and mental changes in the victim. The most common symptoms of brain injury which is caused by external trauma include the following:
- Short or long-term memory loss
- Listlessness or extreme fatigue
- Problems concentrating
- Chronic, possibly severe headaches
- Erratic behavior or mood swings
- Trouble speaking, thinking or reading
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
As the brain begins to recover and the neurotransmitters mend, those with less severe brain injuries will slowly return to their normal selves. This process can take as long as three months in those with mild to moderate concussions. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury can cause the same symptoms as milder brain injury, as well as the following:
- Loss of consciousness from minutes to hours
- Repeated bouts of nausea and vomiting
- Seizures or convulsions
- Dilation of the pupils
- Loss of coordination
- The inability to wake from being asleep
- Clear drainage from the nose or ears
- Slurred speech
- Profound confusion
- Combative behavior
Depending on the severity of the brain injury, an increase in incidence of epilepsy can occur, and the risk for such conditions as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders increases as well. It can be in your best interests to speak to a knowledgeable Denver brain injury attorney following the accident. If another person is responsible for the accident, then you should not be responsible for the medical bills associated with the brain injury of your loved one.
Contact Denver Brain Injury Lawyers Today
If someone you love has sustained a brain injury in an accident in Denver, contact Colorado personal injury attorney Robert Paysinger today. Robert can answer all of your questions and let you know what kind of compensation you may be entitled to under Colorado law. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303. 279.0221.
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