Of all the injuries which can be sustained in everyday life through an accident at work or on the road, brain trauma is often the most worrying and the most serious.
Aside from the initial trauma of the personal accident, people with brain injuries could require long-term care, meaning they may want to consider making a compensation claim with the help of an injury lawyer.
Types of brain injury
Brain injuries are generally placed in two categories; acquired brain injury and traumatic brain injury.
People with acquired brain injuries will have had the condition since birth, while those with traumatic brain injury are likely to have received the injury following a head trauma.
There are many circumstances in which head trauma could lead to brain injuries of varying severity. These include slips, trips and falls, road traffic accidents, and other incidences within both the home and at work.
Identifying a brain injury
Brain injuries are a major concern because they are not always immediately visible after the personal accident or trauma.
The brain injury association Headway identifies a chain of events which can lead to a brain trauma all of which begin with an initial force or impact.
A first injury, such as an open or closed head wound, occurs at the same time as the accident. The second injury occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen, for example through significant loss of blood or respiratory failure, leading to an exasperation of the first injury.
Finally, the third injury can take weeks to develop and is caused by the gradual effects of bleeding or bruising on the brain or blood clots.
In any case where any of these occur, the victims may consider seeking an accident compensation claim from a personal injury lawyer to make up for loss of earnings or medical care.
Effects of a brain injury
The effects of a brain injury depend on the type of trauma sustained, which could include serious problems such as skull fractures and haematomas, or potentially mild conditions like concussion. Symptoms of minor brain injuries, which will usually resolve themselves in a couple of weeks, include headaches, nausea, dizziness, memory problems and fatigue.
Those experiencing these should not try to rush back to everyday activities but take things easy. Other side effects could be issues with concentration, problem solving and sensitivity to light or noise, meaning working is generally not an option.
Moderate brain injuries are likely to produce a number of similar symptoms. However, these will be accompanied with memory loss of up to 24 hours and will happen when a personal accident victim loses consciousness for between 15 minutes and six hours, Headway explains
Understandably, moderate injuries take longer to recover from – between six and nine months – and many people find themselves unable to work during this time. If this is the case they may consider making a personal injury compensation claim.
Severe brain injury occurs when a person is unconscious for a longer length of time, which may lead to other physical problems.
Following the initial treatment, a period of rehabilitation may be required that could last for a number of years. Those facing this course of action may wish to contact a no win, no fee solicitor to see if they can make a personal injury compensation claim to help pay for the treatment.
In extreme cases brain injury can lead to victims being left in a coma or persistent vegetative state.
Dealing with a brain injury
In the case of a moderate or severe brain injury, spouses, close relatives and friends can also feel the effects as well as the person actually suffering.
Day to day, family members can experience high levels of anxiety and stress, which in the long term may lead to depression. Marriages also suffer as one spouse can end up becoming a carer for the other.
Headway says that families dealing with brain injury must learn to adapt and communicate honestly and openly.