How Can The Brain Be Injured

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Brain injuries are typically classified as mild, moderate, or severe, and the effects can be short-term, lifelong, or fatal. Some of the most common symptoms of brain injury include speech impairments such as slow or slurred speech, impaired motor function and coordination, memory loss, inability to concentrate for long periods of time, muscle spasticity, seizures, loss of smell or taste, changes to personality, depression, mood swings, anxiety, agitation and confusion.

In the United States, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death for persons under age 45. TBI occurs every 15 seconds. Approximately 5 million Americans currently suffer some form of TBI disability. The leading causes of TBI are motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports injuries. While the brain is by far the most complex object on earth, it is soft and vulnerable with a consistency of firm pudding.

The brain is a delicate organ that is enclosed within a protective case, your skull. Although the skull provides protection against casual bumps and knocks on the head, it is not a foolproof measure against all types of injury. A hard enough impact to your body or head can cause the brain to crash into the inner wall of the skull, resulting in a concussion.

A concussion, or closed-head injury, is the most common type of brain injury and can be incurred from a car accident, sport accident, fall, or any significant blow to the head. This is also the type of injury sustained from Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Another way that your brain can be injured is through penetration. Falling debris or severe impact can result in a skull fracture. If your skull is penetrated and your brain is exposed or impaled, the resulting injuries can be more catastrophic or even deadly. If the skull is penetrated, the risk of infection and debilitating brain damage grows exponentially. Helmet laws for bicycles and motorcycles, and hard-hat regulations on construction sites have greatly reduced the frequency of such accidents.

Both concussions and penetrating brain injuries are considered 'traumatic brain injuries.' Another type of brain injury is an acquired brain injury. Acquired brain injuries are sustained when oxygen or blood flow is cut off from the brain, resulting in cellular brain damage. Suffocation through strangulation, drowning or 'huffing' (inhaling toxic chemicals with the intention of becoming intoxicated) will often result in this type of brain injury. When the body goes without oxygen for an extended period of time, parts of the brain die. Brain death is irreversible and cannot heal.

Heart attack and stroke are also frequent causes of acquired brain injury, and these can result in a loss of motor control or slurred speech. Although this type of moderate injury can be treated, acquired brain injury often results in longer-lasting effects which may be permanent.

Acquired brain injury can also be sustained through infectious disease, an extended period of high fever or hypothermia. Cerebral palsy is a type of acquired brain injury affecting infants who have sustained a loss of blood or oxygen flow to the brain during pregnancy or birth.

In some cases, brain injury is the result of negligence. Whether you were struck by a drunk driver or fell down stairs that should have been equipped with a rail, there may be options for you to pursue. Attorneys specializing in brain injury cases can help you decide whether you have a case.

It is imperative to seek a brain injury lawyer attorney as soon as possible because, depending on the state where your injury occurred, there are statute limits. Check your local better business bureau or the American Bar Association website to find an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases. They may be able to get you the compensation and peace of mind you deserve.


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