In my over 30 years of practice as a Worcester personal injury lawyer, I have seen many clients who have suffered disabling injuries. One type of injury that is particularly upsetting to see is the traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs have the ability to affect every aspect of a person’s life, as well as the lives of their families and loved ones.
As an advocate for TBI victims, I am especially drawn to the message and mission of Brain Awareness Week, a global campaign founded by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. Observed during the third week of March, Brain Awareness Week celebrates the human brain and draws attention to the life-changing neuroscience research that is currently underway. It is my hope that the research of Brain Awareness Week will someday help the medical community develop new treatments for neurogenerative disorders, mental illness, and TBI.
Traumatic Brain Injuries: The Devastating Facts
Brain injuries are not only disabling, but they also occur most frequently to people with long lives ahead of them. Most of the victims who suffer TBIs are under 35 years of age, and the Brain Injury Association of America reports that more children and adolescents die from TBI than from any other cause. The rate of TBI declines during middle age, but then rises again among senior citizens—most likely due to an increased incidence of falls.
Each year, millions of Americans visit the emergency room, are hospitalized, or are killed by TBIs. That number continues to rise.
Traumatic Brain Injury Causes
TBIs can result from a variety of accidents and traumas, but are most frequently seen in conjunction with:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Workplace accidents
- Industrial accidents
Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
When you are injured, your body responds by bringing increased blood flow to the injury site. This inflammation helps the area to heal.
However, in a confined space like your skull, swelling can be problematic. Inflammation of the brain following a head injury may result in an interruption of blood flow to your brain cells, which could become starved for oxygen and die.
This is why TBI symptoms can take some time to develop. If you have suffered a head injury, it is critical that you be evaluated by a qualified neurologist, even if you feel fine. In the weeks and months following the accident, you should also be monitored for these symptoms:
- Changes in sleep patterns, including sleeping much more or much less than usual
- Emotional disturbances, such as mood swings, anxiety, depression, mania, and obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Cognitive problems, such as confusion, “brain fog,” or difficulty with memory and concentration
- Physical problems, such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, sensitivity to sound and light, dilated pupils, loss of coordination, and slurred speech
- Personality changes, such as antisocial behavior, lack of appetite, and difficulty relating to or communicating with others
Preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries
Many TBIs are preventable. Since falls account for the majority of TBI cases, preventing falls in the first place is an excellent first line of defense. To protect children from falls, do not allow them to play near open windows or on balconies or stairs. Use baby gates and barriers to keep children out of unsafe areas, if necessary. Seniors should always use railings and non-slip mats in bathrooms and on the stairs.
Helmets are essential safety equipment for preventing TBI. Always wear a helmet when cycling, snowboarding, skateboarding, or participating in any high-speed sport.
Finally, you can help prevent TBI in the car by always wearing your seat belt and by ensuring children are restrained in an appropriate car seat or booster seat.
Contact a Worcester Brain Injury Lawyer
Brain Awareness Week stands for an important cause and I am proud to highlight it on our blog. If you have suffered a brain injury, any delay in treatment could be disabling or life-threatening. We work hard to protect the rights of TBI victims and can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injury.
No amount of money can compensate for a brain injury, but we can make sure you are compensated for your medical treatments, rehabilitation, in-home care, lost wages, and more. Contact the law offices of Worcester TBI lawyer Peter Ventura today for a free and confidential initial consultation.