The brain is perhaps the most important organ in our bodies. It controls our ability to move, breathe, think, plan, pump blood, and regulates our emotions. That is why brain damage can be so devastating.
Considering how complex the brain is, there are countless ways it can be hurt, and several kinds of injuries it can sustain. At NordstrandBlack PC, we have seen first-hand how devastating these injuries can be. In one instance, our client lost the ability to taste and smell due to a traumatic brain injury. It is important to us that accident victims understand how dangerous these injuries can be and importance of contacting an attorney after an accident.
How Your Brain Can Be Injured
The brain is an incredibly complex organ. It makes rapid decisions based on information gathered in a fraction of a second. That complexity has allowed humans to make advancements in technology. However, it also means it can be very easy to cause serious damage to the brain. In the U.S., the most common causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) are completely preventable, but that doesn’t stop some people from neglecting safety precautions and allowing others to get hurt.
Falls are an incredibly common cause of TBI. The brain itself is cased in a thick bone called the skull. The skull and inside cushioning lessen the force of any impact, sparing the brain the worst of the damage. However, the skull can’t provide complete protection, especially from high-impact falls.
Slip-and-falls in particular are a major cause of traumatic brain injuries. When you slip, you usually fall backward, leaving you unable to slow or break your fall with your hands, or catch yourself on a nearby object. This means the back of your head takes the brunt of the fall, causing skull fractures or brain bruising.
Auto accidents, whether involving a car, truck, or motorcycle, are common causes of brain injuries. When two vehicles collide, an extreme amount of force is exerted. While the human body is meant to be strong enough to withstand certain levels of force, no body can stand up to the high impact of an auto accident. The force from the collision can cause the brain to be bruised, torn, or bleed. In accidents with a great deal of debris, the brain may even be punctured by glass or a piece of metal.
Most people don’t consider falling objects a concern, unless they are on a construction site. However, falling objects are a common cause of brain injuries. For example, a potted plant might fall from a third-story building and strike someone walking on the sidewalk below. Or a piece of machinery being loaded into a building via cables could snap and hit someone. In either case, the brain would be severely damaged from the force of the impact, and the skull could be fractured.
Lack of Oxygen
The brain relies on oxygen to survive. Oxygen comes into the lungs and is transported throughout the body and brain via blood vessels. If this supply of oxygen is cut off, even for a few minutes, parts of the brain begin to shut down and die. This can lead to irreversible damage. Near-drownings, especially at swimming pools, are a common way that people suffer brain damage. In this case, no force needs to be exerted on the brain. The lack of oxygen (“anoxia”) is more than enough to cause serious trauma.
The Common Symptoms of Brain Damage
Traumatic brain injury is the most common form of brain damage. It can be caused by a medical issue, such as a tumor or stroke, but more often than not it is caused by blunt force trauma to the head. Someone who has suffered a concussion has a mild form of TBI. While the effects of a concussions often go away with time, more extreme TBIs can lead to lasting disabilities, such as:
- Vision loss
- Loss of hearing, smell, and taste
- Chronic pain
- Memory issues
- Difficulties balancing
- Personality changes
- Mood swings
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the side effects of brain damage. Living with a brain injury can be costly, as it may require lengthy periods away from work, or even a complete change of career. If you have suffered a TBI due to someone else’s negligence, then you need full compensation for the losses you will likely suffer. To find out what your legal options are, call NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 today to schedule a free consultation with a Santa Barbara personal injury lawyer.