According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.4 million people in the U.S. suffer some type of brain injury annually. Brain injuries can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. If your brain injury was caused by another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Most Common Causes of Brain Injuries
Any type of trauma to the head, or sudden, violent “jostling” of the body, can result in injury to the brain. However, the causes below account for the majority of reported brain injuries annually.
- Slip and fall accidents: Falling accounts for about 40 percent of all brain injuries in the US. The very young and the very old are most at risk. In children between the ages of 0 and 14, more than half of brain injuries are a result of falls. More than 80 percent of these types of injuries in the elderly are fall-related. A skilled Boston slip and fall attorney can help you determine whether to file a lawsuit for your injuries.
- Blunt trauma: About 15 percent of all brain injuries in the US are caused by unintentional blunt trauma to the head. Blunt trauma usually occurs when the victim is hit by an object. For example, if a child “sneaks up” on mom or dad while they are golfing and gets hit in the head with a golf club, the child could suffer blunt trauma, and thus a brain injury. Nearly one-quarter of all brain injuries in children are caused by blunt trauma.
- Motor vehicle accidents: Car crashes are the third leading cause of brain injuries, accounting for about 14 percent annually. However, they are the second leading cause of brain injury-related fatalities, at about 26 percent. Brain injuries can occur even without blunt trauma to the head. For example, if a car accident causes the body to jostle back and forth violently, the brain could move within the skull, resulting in brain damage.
Types of Brain Injuries
An individual’s prognosis following a brain injury is largely dependent on the type and severity of the injury. A mild concussion, for example, will likely heal well on its own without long-term side effects. But the most serious types of brain injuries can result in cognitive and physical impairments, and even death.
- Concussion: When sudden movement or impact results in injury to the brain, the victim may experience a concussion. This is the most common type of brain injury and can be caused by direct trauma to the head or through violent shaking or force. Car crash-related whiplash is a common cause of concussions, as are sports injuries. A brief loss of consciousness may or may not occur, and concussions can range from mild to severe.
- Contusion: This type of brain injury is characterized by bleeding on the brain, and is generally caused by blunt trauma to the head. Some contusions may need to be removed through a surgical procedure.
- Coup-Contrecoup: These injuries occur when the brain suffers damage at the site of impact as well as on the opposite side. If blunt force to the head causes an injury at the site of the impact, but is forceful enough to slam the brain into the opposite side of the skull as well, the victim may suffer a coup-contrecoup injury.
All of the brain injuries above can be mild or serious, even fatal. If you are concerned that you may have experienced a brain injury, seek immediate medical attention. If your injury was the result of another’s negligence, you may wish to consult with a Boston brain injury attorney to determine whether you have a successful lawsuit on your hands. Although it’s always best to file a lawsuit as close to the injury incident as possible, even an older injury may be worth looking into.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Brain Injury Lawyers Serving Boston and the Surrounding Areas
If you have been involved in any type of accident, the skilled injury team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of MA accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can get on with your life. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.