Brain Injury FAQ

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What is a brain injury?

Brain injury can be defined as a type of head injury that is caused by rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head during which the brain bounces off the inside of the skull. Brain injury can also be caused by a car accident, gunshot wound, or other external factor.

What are the different types of brain injuries?

There are many different types of brain injuries with varying levels of severity. The different types of brain injuries are: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Acquired Brain Injury, Open Brain Injury, and Closed Brain Injury. An Anoxic brain injury occurs when the oxygen supply is somehow cut off, and can cause serious and irreversible damage if it's interrupted for even just a few minutes.

What are the most common causes of brain injury?

Some of the most common causes of brain injury include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, gunshots, stabbings, and pedestrian accidents. This also varies according to an age group, as young children and older adults sustain TBI's more often from falling than young to middle aged adults, who are more likely to be injured in a motor vehicle crash. The most common brain injury for the youngest children are falls and abuse, such as 'Shaken Baby Syndrome'.

Are there different levels of brain injury?

Yes. Brain injuries can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.

What are the symptoms of brain injury?

The symptoms of brain injury are vast and varied. Symptoms include difficulty speaking, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing; spinal fluid (thin watery-looking liquid) coming out of the ears or nose; loss of consciousness; dilated or unequal size of pupils; changes in vision (blurred vision, double vision, sensitivity to bright light, loss of eye movement, blindness); dizziness, balance problems; respiratory failure (not breathing); comatose (not alert and unable to respond to others) or semi-comatose state; paralysis, difficulty moving body parts; weakness; poor coordination; slow pulse; slow breathing with an increase in blood pressure; vomiting; lethargy (sluggishness, sleepiness or becoming tired easily); headache; confusion; ringing in the ears, changes in hearing ability, inability to hear; difficulty with thinking skills (difficulty thinking straight, memory problems, poor judgment, poor attention span, slowed thought processing speed); inappropriate emotional responses (irritability, frustration, inappropriate crying or laughing); body numbness or tingling; and loss of bowel control or bladder control.

What are some of the long-term effects of brain injury?

Some of the long-term effects of brain injury include anxiety; balance problems (equilibrium); depression; difficulty speaking; difficulty listening; headache; fatigue; sleep disturbance; nausea; impaired cognitive function; sensory problems such as vision problems, loss of smell and taste, and hearing problems; memory problems; irritability; and mood swings.

What is the rate of recovery for traumatic brain injuries?

The type of rehabilitation that one undergoes for a brain injury depends on the type of brain injury that they incurred. A primary brain injury has two types of damage, focal and diffuse. It's more likely neurological improvements will improve on an ongoing basis over several years the more diffuse the injury was. It also depends on how active an individual is in their rehabilitation. Injuries that are more focal act more like strokes, where the patients show a plateau in neurological recover within the first year after the injury.

What kind of compensation am I entitled to for brain injury?

The amount of compensation you receive depends on the state in which your injury was sustained, the type of brain injury, and the level of severity. You may be awarded damages for medical costs, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of earnings, and mental anguish.


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