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What Causes a Brain Injury?

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Learn the Main Causes of Brain Damage From a Louisiana Head Injury Lawyer

Brain damage is a surprisingly common injury that can have many different causes. If you or someone you love has suffered from a brain injury in the Lafayette, Louisiana, area, it’s important to understand how it happened. That way, a head injury lawyer from a personal injury law firm can help you determine if you have a case against the person or company responsible. In this post, we’ll go over a few types of brain injuries as well as some of the most common situations that lead to brain damage.

Common Brain Injuries and Their Causes

Brain injuries can be caused by any incident that causes an impact to the head, from car accidents to falls. Any time the brain is injured, there is potential for long-term damage. The severity of the injury will depend on the extent and location of the damage, as well as how quickly emergency treatment is received. 

While some brain injuries may heal on their own over time, others may require extensive rehabilitation or even surgery. Below, we will take a look at some of the most common types of brain injuries.

Common brain injuries

Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an outside force disrupts the normal function of the brain. For example, when the head suddenly and forcefully hits an object, or when an object penetrates the skull and enters brain tissue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TBI is a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. TBIs can range from mild, which may only cause temporary disruptions in brain function, to severe, which can result in long-term neurological problems or death. Severe TBIs may require hospitalization and extensive, ongoing care.

Treatment for TBIs depends on the severity of the injury and may include surgical intervention, medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Depending on the cause of your injury, a head injury lawyer may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve after experiencing a TBI.

Coup-Contrecoup

A coup-contrecoup injury is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully knocked from one side to the other. This causes the brain to slam into the side of the skull opposite from the impact point, causing bruising and damage to delicate tissue.

Coup-contrecoup injuries occur when someone is moving fast and strikes a stationary object, causing an impact to their head. This happens in high-speed situations like car accidents. A coup injury, on the other hand, occurs when a speeding object makes an impact against someone who’s stationary, such as a catcher missing a baseball that then hits their head.

Coup-contrecoup injuries are often seen in car accidents, falls, and sports-related head trauma. The most severe cases can lead to comas and even death. Symptoms of a coup-contrecoup injury may include headaches, dizziness, vomiting, seizures, and paralysis. 

Concussions

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs when the head is hit or jolted. They also typically occur during car accidents, falls, or sports-related activities. When a person gets a concussion, their brain is actually shaken inside their skull. This can cause it to swell or bleed, and can lead to serious symptoms like headaches, nausea, and memory loss. In some cases, concussions can even cause a coma. 

With proper treatment, many people are able to recover from a concussion without any long-term effects. However, if a concussion is not properly treated, it can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

Stroke

A stroke is not considered a traumatic brain injury because it is not the result of an outside object hitting the head. Instead, a stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. This can happen if a blood vessel that supplies the brain becomes blocked (an ischaemic stroke) or bursts (a hemorrhagic stroke).

When this happens, brain cells die and abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. Most people who have a stroke are over the age of 65, but anyone at any age can experience one. There are some factors that can increase your risk of having a stroke, such as high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation.

A stroke is a medical emergency. The sooner you get treatment, the better your chance of survival and recovery. Common signs include sudden: 

  • Weakness or numbness on one side of your body
  • Confusion or problems with speaking or understanding
  • Problems with vision in one or both eyes
  • Dizziness, loss of balance, or problems with coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause

Depending on your situation, a head injury lawyer may be able to help you get compensation due to medical malpractice or other possible causes of your stroke.

Situations Where Brain Injuries Are More Likely to Occur

While most people think of car accidents as the main cause of brain injuries, there are actually many other scenarios that can lead to a catastrophic accident resulting in a brain injury. Below, we’ll take a look at several of the most common situations where brain injuries can occur.

Situations where brain injuries are likely to occur

Sports

Traumatic brain injuries are a risk for athletes who participate in contact sports. Sports-related brain damage can lead to a variety of harmful effects, ranging from mild concussion-like symptoms to paralysis or death.

While you can experience a head injury in any type of sport, athletes who participate in high-impact sports such as football and hockey are at particularly high risk. In fact, after car accidents, sports-related incidents are the most common cause of TBIs in the U.S.

As awareness of the severity of TBIs has grown in recent years, efforts have been made to improve safety in contact sports. However, given the nature of these activities, it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk. For this reason, athletes who participate in contact sports need to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves as much as possible.

Falls

A fall can happen nearly anywhere, and the resulting brain injury can have a profound and long-lasting effect on the victim and their loved ones. Even a fall from a relatively short height can cause serious damage to the brain. It can be enough to cause it to collide with the skull, which can lead to bleeding, swelling, and other life-threatening complications.

In some cases, the force of the impact can also cause the brain to rotate inside the skull, which can stretch or tear delicate nerve fibers. This type of injury is known as a diffuse axonal injury, and it is often fatal. Even if the victim survives, they may be left with permanent disabilities.

Car accidents

A TBI from a car accident in Lafayette, Louisiana, or anywhere else, can result in bruising, bleeding, or even tearing of the brain tissue. While any type of head injury caused by a crash should be taken seriously, a TBI can be particularly dangerous because it can cause lasting damage to the brain that may not be immediately apparent. 

So if you or someone you know has been in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention right away, even if there are no visible signs of injury. A trained medical professional will be able to look for signs of TBIs and provide the necessary treatment.

Physically-Demanding Jobs

Besides car accidents and falls, brain injuries can also occur in less obvious ways. Brain damage can occur anytime a person experiences a blow to the head or a sudden jolt. 

For example, research has shown that people who work with large animals, industrial equipment, or regularly carry heavy loads up steps are at an increased risk for TBIs. This is because these activities can put strain on the neck and spine, which can lead to the brain being jarred against the skull.

Fill Out Our Form to Schedule a Free Consultation With a Louisiana Head Injury Lawyer

Anyone can sustain a brain injury – regardless of their age, job, or fitness level. It’s important to seek legal help from a head injury lawyer as soon as possible if you or someone you know has suffered a head injury in a catastrophic accident and believe you may be entitled to compensation. 

The Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux is a personal injury law firm in Lafayette, Louisiana. We have extensive experience in handling TBI cases and can fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Fill out our form for a free consultation with a head injury lawyer at our firm today.

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