When a loved one suffers an injury as severe as a traumatic brain injury, the future may be uncertain. While it is possible to recover from some brain injuries, the process is slow, and many victims never regain their full cognitive function.
If your loved one has recently been in an accident that resulted in a brain injury, you likely have many questions for the medical team responsible for your loved one’s care. Understanding how the brain can become injured in a life-changing way is the first step to determining the best path for the future of you and your loved one.
How does a brain injury occur?
A motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall accident, or any number of events can cause a blow to the head that results in a traumatic brain injury. A brain injury does not necessarily mean a penetrating wound that fractures the skull. Your loved one may have suffered a brain injury in one of several other ways:
- When the head or body receives a jarring blow, the brain may rebound off the jagged inner surface of the skull.
- Slow swelling or bleeding in the brain may result from a blow that may have happened sometime in the past
- Even a minor head injury, such as a concussion, may leave long-term damage that accumulates over time.
- A significant trauma that twists the brain on its brainstem may disrupt the pathways of the nerves and cause unconsciousness, coma and death.
While a penetrating wound, such as a gunshot, may seem more catastrophic, in many cases, a closed-head injury can leave the victim with much more extensive and long-term damage.
What can I expect?
If your loved one suffered a brain injury, the symptoms will depend on the area of the brain affected and the extent of the injury. In general, your loved one may be dealing with: behavioral changes, learning difficulties, or physical symptoms such as pain, dizziness and fatigue.
They may be unable to control their emotions or have mood swings. Many victims of head injuries display aggression and agitation, and some have complete alterations in their personalities.
If your loved ones’ injury was the result of negligence, you may want to seek compensation so that you can pursue the treatment your loved one needs for the most positive quality of life following a brain injury.