Brain injuries are some of the most serious and long-lasting injuries victims can experience. Brain injuries can cause a number of functional impairments, from headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, to lasting issues like executive dysfunction, coma, or even death.
However, people with brain injuries refuse to be defined by what’s happened to them, which is why May 11–17, 2022 is Brain Injury Awareness Week. During this week, people with brain injuries and their advocates, including Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, aim to raise awareness about the issues that brain injury victims face every day.
History of Brain Injury Awareness Week
Brain Injury Awareness Week was first established by the British accident survivor advocacy organization Headway, but later made its way over to the United States in order to spread awareness of brain injuries. These injuries affect an American every nine seconds on average, making them extremely common. Even though brain injuries are so common, one out of every three Americans doesn’t know what brain injury means, which makes this advocacy work extremely important.
What Is a Brain Injury?
Also called neurotrauma or brain damage, a brain injury is any destruction or degeneration of brain cells. Brain injuries can be caused by a wide variety of factors, both internal and external. The two main categories of brain injuries are traumatic brain injury (TBI), which are caused by physical trauma or other external factors, and acquired brain injury (ABI), which are usually caused by genetic or congenital disorders. If you’re a victim of either of these injuries, talk to an experienced brain injury attorney in Louisiana!
Causes of Brain Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 3 million Americans sustain a TBI every year, and an average of 155 people died every day from TBI in 2014. Even when victims survive, they might need lifelong assistance to live their lives—in the U.S., there are 5.3 million of those patients.
The leading cause of TBI is slip and fall accidents, accounting for 40.5% of all brain injuries. Other major causes of TBI include car accidents, truck accidents, and assaults. There are even certain types of car accidents that are more likely to cause brain injuries. Recurring TBIs can lead to more serious complications, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), especially in athletes.
There are four main types of TBI:
- Concussions are minor brain injuries caused by a blow to the head, shaking, or sudden changes in inertia like whiplash. Concussions aren’t always visible through imaging, but are still quite serious brain injuries, especially if multiple occur closely together.
- Brain contusions are bruises on the brain, caused by the breakage of small blood vessels in the brain. Contusions can cause issues by causing pressure build-up on the brain, which can cause swelling or lose oxygen.
- Penetrating brain injuries are caused when an object pierces the skull and penetrates brain tissue. These injuries can be extremely serious and even life-threatening.
- Anoxic brain injuries occur when the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen to survive. Brain cells begin to die after only four or five minutes without oxygen, leading to permanent brain injury. Anoxic brain injuries are often caused by blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and other trauma, but they can also be caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, drowning, and other events.
Brain injuries can be caused by just about any blow to the head or neck, as well as exposure to toxic chemicals. Symptoms can take some time to fully present in patients. If you’ve suffered one of the accidents above, or if you’ve been hit in the head, seek medical attention as soon as possible to make sure you haven’t suffered a brain injury. If you have, you’ll be able to start treatment and get better sooner.
Brain Injury Effects
Even minor brain injuries such as concussions can cause symptoms that take weeks, months, or even years to heal. More severe brain injuries usually cause more serious and longer-lasting effects, and survivors can experience complex long-term effects to their personality, relationships, and even their ability to lead an independent life.
Some of the more common symptoms of brain damage include the following:
- Depression and other emotional effects
- Irritability and other mood changes
- Memory problems
- Issues with understanding or using language
- Coma and other reduced awareness states
- Executive dysfunction
As far as a prognosis, there’s not much doctors can do. Patients face long roads to recovery, including intense bouts of rehabilitative therapy, and they often struggle with the effects of their injury for the rest of their lives. However, there are ways to manage symptoms and achieve some sense of normalcy—so there is still hope!
Costs of Brain Injury
Brain injuries have a number of associated costs, from the initial hospital visit and follow-up appointments, to surgery costs, ongoing costs of therapy and rehabilitation, and assistive devices and professionals.
Many brain injury patients require assistive help with basic tasks for the rest of their lives, which completely changes their daily routines. Patients may find themselves unable to work after their injury, leading to a loss of future wages they would’ve earned otherwise.
Recovering Compensation After a Head Injury
The thing to remember is that no two brain injuries are the same. Many people with brain injuries find that their lives tend to be defined by their injury. That’s why the Brain Injury Association of America has begun the #MoreThanMyBrainInjury campaign to allow victims to tell their own stories. They suggest engaging creatively, sharing perspectives on brain injury, speaking out, and mobilizing for legislative action to increase the rights of patients across the country.
If you’ve suffered a brain damage injury due to another party’s negligence, your case matters. The team of experienced head injury lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys is here to help you collect the compensation you’re owed to heal from your injuries and live your life again.
We’ve represented the interests of hundreds of brain injury victims over our of experience, and we’re confident we can help you too. In fact, we offer the : you won’t owe us a dime until we win your case!
A TBI may change your life forever, but it doesn’t have to be the end of hope. Call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys at for a free consultation from a qualified personal injury lawyer, and start on your journey to wellness. A brain injury lawyer will get started on your case right away.