Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Brain Injury Overview

Every year in America, there are thousands of traumatic brain injury-related deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits. You don't have to be traveling at a high rate of speed or strike a hard object to suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Falls, car accidents, sports activities, and work-related accidents are all common causes of brain injuries. Any trauma to the head or neck region can, in theory, cause brain bruising, bleeding, tearing, and swelling. A brain injury can have a significant impact on your daily life.

This article discusses types of brain injuries. It also addresses warning signs of a brain injury and the importance of getting a medical evaluation.

Types of Brain Injuries: Open and Closed

There are two general types of head injuries: open and closed. An open injury means the skull has been fractured. This kind of brain injury often results from falls or other accidents in which the head comes in direct contact with a hard surface or object.

A closed head injury doesn't involve a fracture. However, it can be more serious than an open injury due to the possibility of brain swelling and the formation of dangerous blood clots inside the brain. Regardless of whether a brain injury is open or closed, the most serious of either type of injury can cause:

  • Paralysis
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Memory loss
  • Death

More information about TBI can be found at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

Severe Brain Injury: Warning Signs

It may be challenging to know whether you, a family member, or another loved one has suffered a brain injury right after a fall or accident. This is even more true when no visual indications of serious injury exist. Below are some symptoms to look out for when considering the possibility of a brain injury:

  • Confusion and difficulty remembering recent events
  • Unusual tiredness or sluggishness
  • Vomiting, nausea, or dizziness
  • Severe headache
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the body

If any of the above symptoms are present soon after an accident or injury, seek immediate medical attention. It's possible to suffer from a brain injury and still feel fine for some time after the accident that caused the injury.

Some victims suffer severe brain injuries in car crashes yet can get out of their cars and direct traffic away from the scene. If there's any question as to whether a brain injury has been sustained in an accident, go to the nearest hospital for a thorough medical evaluation. Afterward, speak to a brain injury attorney about a potential personal injury case. This is a potential avenue for compensation for:

  • Medical treatment
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

At a time like this, seeking professional legal representation is often the best decision you can make.

Common Brain Injuries

Bruising of the brain is a common injury that results from automobile accidents, falls, and sports-related accidents. The force involved in such events can cause severe TBIs. The impact can force the brain forward and then backward, or vice versa. The force can cause bruising in some brain areas and bleeding in others.

Another common effect of trauma to the brain is called tearing, which can be caused by the force of a collision. Tearing is similar to what would happen to a large block of ice when struck with a hammer: small cracks might form, but the block remains intact. With tearing in the brain, the brain's nerve system is often damaged and, depending on the areas in which this occurs, can cause severe impairment of bodily functions.

When the brain suffers the trauma described above, swelling can occur. The body's natural healing processes cause swelling. The problem with brain swelling is that there is little room for the brain to expand. What results is called intracranial pressure. This can cause severe impairment of body functions or even death.

Serious Brain Injuries: Medical Evaluation

TBI victims may need financial assistance in treating their injuries and in continuing with their lives after a serious accident. Medical bills and medical expenses will continue to be an issue. A medical evaluation of the degree of a person's impairment can impact the level of compensation the individual will receive. A medical evaluation will also have an impact on findings such as:

  • The injured person's ability to work
  • The right to receive different kinds of economic compensation
  • Eligibility for protection against discrimination
  • Whether independent living is possible
  • What type of physical therapy might improve the individual's health

A medical evaluation should include the significant changes an individual will undergo as they progress through acute hospitalization and then return to the home and community. An individual often experiences the best possible outcome with rehabilitation that offers an interdisciplinary approach and coordinated care.

Pursuing a Brain Injury Case

Suppose you or a loved one has suffered brain damage as a result of an accident. In that case, you may be entitled to financial compensation for a traumatic brain injury claim or personal injury lawsuit. Getting legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to protect your legal rights. 

A personal injury lawyer can examine your medical records to help you determine whether you have a valid personal injury claim after a fall or motor vehicle accident. A traumatic brain injury lawyer can also help you navigate any insurance companies that may be involved with a brain injury lawsuit.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps

Contact a qualified auto accident attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Help Me Find a Do-It-Yourself Solution

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options