March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common and potentially life-changing condition. This month is designated Brain Injury Awareness Month to make people more aware of the problem and encourage them to take steps to prevent TBIs. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious TBI because of another party, contact an Indianapolis brain injury lawyer to learn about your rights to possible compensation for your injuries.

A TBI can occur when a blow, jolt or other trauma — like a fall or vehicle accident — causes damage to the brain. This can occur when the head violently shakes back and forth and the brain strikes the interior of the skull or an object strikes and penetrates the skull, directly injuring the brain.

Who suffers from brain injuries?

Each year, millions of people in the U.S. sustain a TBI, according to the US National Library of Medicine. More than half are severe enough to merit getting help at a hospital. The worst TBIs cause permanent brain damage or death.

Falls were the leading cause of TBIs in 2013, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Falls accounted for 47% of all TBI-related hospital emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths in the country that year. They disproportionately affect the youngest and oldest age groups.

What are brain injury symptoms?

It may take hours, days or weeks for symptoms of a TBI to appear. A concussion is the mildest type, though severity varies in each case. It can cause headache, neck pain, nausea, ringing in the ears, dizziness and fatigue. Those with moderate or severe TBI may also suffer …

  • A headache that worsens or doesn’t end
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Difficulty waking up
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs
  • Dilated pupils.

Neurological and cognitive exams, as well as CT scans and MRI imaging, can be used to diagnose TBIs and rate their severity. TBIs can change thinking, sensation, language skills, personality and body control. They can lead to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. If the TBI is serious enough, the victim may need rehabilitation to regain as much function as possible.

What can be done to prevent brain injuries?

The CDC has several suggestions on how to prevent TBIs:

  • Children should always be properly restrained in the appropriate car or booster seat when riding in a vehicle.
  • Adults should always use seat belts.
  • Helmets should be worn if you use a bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, ATV or play a contact sport, ski, skateboard or snowboard.
  • Remove tripping and slipping hazards around your house and be aware of them when walking in public areas.

Brain injuries can be difficult to effectively treat, and for many they result in changed lives and impaired functions. If you or a loved one suffered a serious TBI because of the fault of another party, such as a negligent driver who caused a vehicle accident or a property owner who left a public area unsafe to walk on, you may have legal rights to compensation for your injuries.

Contact an Indianapolis brain injury lawyer for a free consultation so we can talk about your situation, how the law may apply in your case and what you can do to protect your rights.