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Head and brain injuries: common causes and consequences

Head and brain injuries can leave the victim with catastrophic injuries resulting in short-term and lifelong consequences.

In the most severe cases, a head or brain injury can be life-changing. In many instances, those who sustain a brain injury will potentially require extensive medical treatment as well as ongoing permanent care and support.

Organisation and charities such as Headway and BASIC can offer invaluable help and support, however, they cannot be there for the victim all the time.

Before we can discuss the consequences of a head or brain injury, let’s looks at some of the common causes of such injuries.

Common causes of head injuries

Sports injuries

Head and brain injuries are increasingly common in sportspeople who participate in fast-paced or high impact sports such as rugby, boxing, football, hockey amongst others.

Whilst on-field medical facilities have improved dramatically in recent years, a blow to the head can still cause irreversible damage and distress to the victim of a high-impact head injury.

More recently it has also been highlighted that footballers could potentially be at an increased risk of suffering from dementia in later life as a result of heading a ball regularly.

Falls

Construction workers or those working at great heights are at an increased risk of brain or injuries. However, they are not the only type of people to experience brain or head injuries as a result of a fall.

Falling down steps, slipping on slippery surfaces and other everyday occurrences can all lead to serious head injuries.

The younger a person is the more they are at risk from a fall, as their bones are still developing.

Road accidents and collisions

Road accidents involving any type of vehicle are one of the most common causes of head and brain injuries. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorbike riders are at an increased risk compared, given that they have a lot less protection against a vehicle collision than those in cars or lorries.

Symptoms of brain injuries

Whilst some brain injuries have visible symptoms, failing to see any physical damage to the head should never mean that you rule out the potential for a brain injury.

There are a variety of physical, cognitive and sensory symptoms that could indicate that the victim of an accident may be suffering from a brain injury.

Some of these symptoms include but are not restricted to:

  • Feeling disorientated or confused
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Feeling nauseous or vomiting
  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Persistent headaches
  • Slurred speech
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Numbness in your extremities
  • Forgetfulness
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears

If you or a loved one has or continues to experience these symptoms following a head injury, it’s vital that they seek medical attention as soon as possible.

The sooner you can get medical treatment following a head injury, the more likely it is that the treatment for your injuries will be successful.

Diagnosing brain injuries

When you seek medical advice from a doctor for your head injury they will assess the severity of the injury and test for any brain injuries.

They will first need to establish how the injury occurred, when it happened as well as any symptoms immediately following the accident.

Depending on whether you the victim of the accident lost consciousness, how severe the impact on the head was, as well as what type of accident occurred, the doctor will then assign a level of severity to the injuries sustained and possibly prescribe a CT or MRI scan in order to identify whether there has been any significant damage to the brain itself.

Treating brain injuries

Whilst mild brain injuries may not need extensive treatment, the doctor will continue to monitor the victim of the brain injury closely to see if any other symptoms develop.

However, more severe brain injuries will require immediate and extensive treatment followed by ongoing rehabilitative treatment once they have been discharged from hospital.

The exact treatment prescribed will depend on the symptoms that are displayed by the patient. Ultimately the goal of the rehabilitative treatment is to ensure that the victim of the brain injury becomes as independent as possible once they have recovered from their injuries.

For some who have suffered a brain injury, this could mean that they need to relearn basic motor skills such as walking, eating or talking, whilst other may need help regaining their coordination or help to develop their balance.

It may take several medical professionals in order to properly rehabilitate a victim of a brain injury, depending on the areas that need to be addressed.

Where can you find help if you suffer a brain injury?

Whilst hospitals and medical centres should be your first port of call after an injury, organisations such as Headway and BASIC can help support you and your family with your rehabilitation.

If a brain injury comes as a result of someone else’s negligence then our experienced large loss team here at Thorneycroft Solicitors are here to help you get the compensation that you deserve.

Our specialist head injury solicitors have particular expertise in identifying the long-term effects of brain and head injuries. By working with the medical teams and ancillary experts at the earliest opportunity we are able to ensure that your rehabilitation – both physical and social – is implemented and that both the injured party and their family receive the support they need.

We advise clients on the levels of brain injury and head injury compensation appropriate to their circumstances, both in terms of a lump sum and any ongoing financial support that the injured party may require.

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team to discuss your potential case, please call us for free today on 0800 1979 345 or submit your enquiry by clicking here and a member of our team will call you back at a more suitable time for you.