It can be unsettling to think about the ways in which our lives can change for the worse in a split second. While some of us negotiate our lives without ever suffering a serious physical injury, many others are not so lucky.
Sometimes, these injuries result from unfortunate accidents, such as a fall within one’s own home or an injury received while playing sports. In other instances, horrible injuries result from the negligent acts of other people. Examples include medical malpractice; semi-truck and automobile crashes; slip and falls in commercial establishments; and nursing home abuse and neglect.
Sometimes, people are blessed to fully recover from their injuries. However, some people have lingering problems for life. In this article, we will discuss the potential lasting consequences of head injuries.
Types of Head Injuries
Most people have banged their heads against something at one time or another without serious injury. That’s because we have hard, bony skulls designed to protect our brains. Thus, one can suffer a head injury without suffering a brain injury. In other instances, the blow is severe enough to affect the brain and cause traumatic brain injury (TBI). All brain injuries constitute head injuries.
According to the Merck Manual for the Consumer, about 50 out of 10,000 people in the United States suffer a head injury every year. In 2014, traumatic brain injuries played a role in 2.5 million visits to an emergency department. Approximately 288,000 were hospitalized and approximately 56,800 died. The Manual further reports that TBIs contribute to approximately 30 percent of all deaths. Below, we will discuss a number of different types of head injuries.
- Scalp injuries – These injuries are often mild and superficial but can result in profuse bleeding. Sometimes scalp injuries are associated with much more severe injuries to the head.
- Skull fractures – These injuries occur when the bone surrounding the brain is fractured. The brain may or may not be injured. Medical professionals divide skull fractures into various types, such as linear, depressed, diastatic, and basilar.
- Intracranial hematoma – These are blood clots around or in the brain. They range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, occurs when trauma causes injury to the brain. Severity can range from mild to severe. For example, concussions occur when your brain is jostled back and forth inside your skull. Concussions are usually considered to be mild injuries. However, it is imperative to let concussions heal properly.
Some traumatic brain injuries are severe. They can result in long-term adverse health consequences, comas, and even death.
For many people, there is no injury that strikes more fear than a brain injury. That makes perfect sense. After all, most people rely upon their intellect to earn a living, care for their families, and meet the daily challenges of life. The idea of not having full and normal brain capacity to accomplish these responsibilities is naturally a scary proposition.
Potential Lasting Consequences of a Head Injury
When a person suffers a head injury, the hope is always that it will completely resolve in time. Fortunately, that happens for many milder head injuries. However, severe head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, can have lasting consequences, such as the following:
- Memory problems
- Loss of balance
- Mood changes
- Cognitive issues, such as an inability to think and solve problems
- Emotional problems
- Loss of muscle strength
- Personality changes
- Loss of fine motor skills
- Loss of senses (hearing, taste, vision, or speech)
Unfortunately, some people will need medical and other therapies for life.
Call with Questions
If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury due to the negligence of another, please call the experienced Oregon personal injury attorneys at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield. We will answer all of your questions in a free consultation.
Our law firm believes that the law demands that wrongdoers be held accountable for their actions and that injured victims be made whole to the full extent possible under the law. It’s the best way to help ensure that people will act responsibly in all of society to protect one another from harm.