Brain injuries are all too common in the United States. Up to two million people sustain traumatic brain injuries each year, though not all injuries are the same. While some injuries happen instantly or shortly after an accident, many traumatic brain injuries can take days, weeks, and even months to develop. Being aware of the symptoms and preventative measures can, ultimately, save your life or help avoid becoming disabled.
There are two types of brain injuries. There are traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which are usually caused by vehicle accidents, sports-related injuries, assaults, falls, and other external forces. The brain develops bruises, which are also called contusions, in a severe case. Like any other bruise on the body, these contusions may cause swelling but will eventually heal. Non-traumatic brain injuries are usually caused by something going on within the body—like a brain tumor, stroke, or aneurysm. A non-traumatic brain injury can also range from mild to severe, just like traumatic brain injuries.
Twenty-four percent of traumatic brain injuries are caused by vehicle accidents. To make sure you’re not part of that twenty-four percent, you should always wear your seatbelt and never consume drugs or alcohol while or before you plan on driving. Also, practice defensive driving and refrain from using your phone while you are driving in order to prevent getting into an accident with another vehicle or striking a pedestrian.
Helmets and protective gear are a must for both adults and kids when playing sports or riding a bike, skateboard, or scooter—applying the “safety first” rule can prevent all kinds of injuries. Supervision of kids playing near hazards, such as heavy machinery or equipment and around playgrounds and stairs, is also very important.
A good way to tell whether a brain injury is severe or mild is by measuring the length of time the person is unconscious. Being unconscious for less than 30 minutes, or not at all, is typically characterized as mild, while being unconscious between 30 minutes and six hours can be characterized as severe.
If you’ve been in an accident, are experiencing symptoms of traumatic brain injury or you’re unsure, don’t wait too long to get checked. Getting checked as soon as possible can be the difference between getting the care you need to get back to normal and having a potentially fatal or disabling injury.
Symptoms of non-traumatic brain injuries can be both related to muscle movement or cognitive functions like communicating or change in personality. Some uncommon but possible symptoms of non-traumatic brain injury include epilepsy, slowed speech, vision and hearing problems, a shorter attention span, apathy, and memory loss.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has experienced a brain injury seek help immediately as it could be a matter of life and death.
Lovett Law Firm is here to provide expert representation, advice and will fight to make sure your rights are protected.