All brain and head injuries are serious but while some only cause temporary damage, others can cause permanent problems.
The different types of brain injury
To help demonstrate the different types of brain injuries, we have created an infographic which briefly explains the different types and severity of brain injuries:
What are brain injuries caused by?
Common causes of Traumatic Brain Injury include:
- Car accidents
- Cycling accidents
- Being assaulted
- Falls or trips
- Sports injuries e.g. rugby, skiing
Common causes of Acquired Brain Injury include:
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Heart attack
- Choking depriving the brain of oxygen
- Drug abuse
Symptoms of brain damage
Brain injuries can present themselves in different ways including:
Consciousness can be severely affected and, in some cases the effect is permanent. A person may go into a coma or a vegetative state if there is severe damage to the brain. Paralysis may occur in serious cases. Loss of vision and a sense of smell are common depending upon which part of the brain is damaged. In other cases, seizures, headaches and vertigo can also occur which may resolve after a period of time.
Cognitive symptoms are based around the loss of the brain’s ability to function as well as it would usually. This may result in difficulties reasoning or understanding what was second nature before the brain injury. Finding the right words, concentration problems, memory loss and recall are all signs of cognitive damage after a brain injury.
Behavioural and emotional symptoms
A person’s behaviour can alter drastically following a brain injury. A previously outgoing person may no longer enjoy social situations or similarly a relatively placid personality can develop the tendency to shout or become angry very quickly. Anger, irritability, lack of inhibition, inappropriate behaviour can all result from brain injury.
Why choose a solicitor specialising in brain injuries?
As you can see, brain and head injuries are very complex. Just as you wouldn’t expect a GP to perform surgery, you shouldn’t entrust a personal injury claim for a brain injury to a solicitor who doesn’t have experience in such claims.
Another benefit of using a specialist brain injury solicitor, is that they will be able to arrange the best level of rehabilitation for you as well as interim payments from the person or organisation you are claiming from (whether these are agreed voluntarily or obtained via a Court Order). This will enable you to start on your road to recovery as soon as you possibly can.
Our brain injury specialist is Ian Johnson who heads Bray & Bray’s Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Department. If you or a family member have suffered a brain injury following an accident or as a result of medical treatment, Ian will be able to talk you through your options and whether you may have a claim for compensation.
Specialist help for brain injury claims
To contact Ian for help with claiming for a brain injury, you can email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 0116 2045 366. Ian will be happy to come and see you, or to meet you at any of Bray & Bray’s offices in Leicester, Hinckley and Market Harborough.
Different types of brain injury
If injury results from an outside force applied to the head, such as striking your head in a fall or in an assault or road accident, then this is known as a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Other forms of injury to the brain such as those caused by a stroke, infection or lack of oxygen, are known as an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). Both types of brain injuries are categorised by doctors and the law, based on how the injured person is affected, as minor, moderate or severe.
Minor brain injury
Minor head injuries are often referred to as concussion. You may have a very short period of unconsciousness and feel dizzy and sick and may not even seek medical attention. If you do, you are unlikely to be admitted to hospital but after assessment will be sent home with a head injury information sheet of warning signs that mean you should return to hospital immediately.
Moderate brain injury
A brain injury will be categorised as moderate if there is a period of loss of consciousness of more than around 15 minutes or there is a period of around 24 hours of Post Traumatic Amnesia (PTA), i.e. no clear and unbroken memory after the accident. If you suffer a moderate brain injury then it is most likely that you will be kept in hospital at least overnight under observation.
Severe brain injury
If a period of unconsciousness runs into hours or the period of Post Traumatic Amnesia is more than 24 hours, this will be categorised as a severe brain injury. Typically, such patients will be in hospital for a long period of time and may well then be moved to a rehabilitation unit before returning home if a return to home is possible at all.