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Brain Injuries: Types, Causes and Consequences

Your brain is undoubtedly the control center of the body. It controls your ability to walk, talk and breathe. Your brain also controls your emotion, ability to think clearly, behavior and cognitive abilities. For example, the brain is in charge of how you perceive and understand your physical environment. It allows you to retain information and continually learn throughout your life.

When a particular part of your brain becomes injured, it can cause severe impairment to the specific function that area of the brain controls. If the brain damage is minimal, meaning limited to a small area, only be a few functions may be adversely affected. If, on the other hand, the damage is more severe and widespread, a complex number of physical and mental problems can occur. Naturally, the level of impairment depends on the type of brain injury, its location and the severity.

Brain injuries are extremely dangerous, as they are extremely difficult to diagnose. They also pose a great sense of urgency, as any injury to the brain can permanently affect victims in physical, mental and emotional ways. While the brain is a vital organ that is necessary for your daily functions, it is also an extremely fragile organ. It is possible for the brain to reconstruct its neural connections, replacing ones that have been damaged beyond repair. However, many San Francisco brain injury victims will unfortunately never regain the full function of their brain after an accident.

Types of Brain Injuries

There are many different types of brain injuries. The most common, known as a traumatic brain injury or TBI, is caused by some form of external force and causes alterations in brain function. The severity of a TBI can differ. Some are mild, producing only temporary signs and symptoms like headaches, vertigo (problems with balance) or nausea. On the other hand, some TBI’s are severe and can leave San Francisco brain injury victims in either a coma or vegetative condition.

Causes of Brain Injuries

A TBI is rarely caused by one single event. More often, these brain injuries are caused by a series of events, which are called “primary” and “secondary” events.

The primary event of a TBI is the moment of impact, when direct damage is done to the brain. For example, someone is driving along the highway and gets struck by a drunk driver; during the crash, their head gets slammed against the window. This is the primary event.

The secondary event simply refers to the complications that result from a TBI. Secondary events may occur at any time after the initial brain injury, complications may arise minutes, hours or even days after the impact. Secondary events are caused by a lack of vital oxygen to the brain, along with the brain’s reaction to the initial injury.

Common Causes of TBI’s

According to statistics released by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common causes of TBI are:

  • 35 percent are caused by falls
  • 21 percent are due to unknown causes
  • 17 percent resulted from automobile accidents
  • 16 percent are due to being hit or thrown against either a moving or stationary object
  • 10 percent are caused by assaults

While not on the CDC’s list, sports injuries and types of bicycle accidents are among some of the other causes of TBI.

What Should a Victim do After Receiving Head Trauma?

The most immediate concern after any head injury is emergency medical treatment. Physicians will evaluate and determine the severity of a brain injury, then develop a plan of care. A brain injury can result in a number of outcomes. While some San Francisco brain injury victims may be treated and released from the hospital, others may require hospitalization, lengthy medical treatment and intense rehabilitation. Those with severe TBI may be hospitalized permanently due to an almost total loss of brain/body function. In extremely severe cases, victims may die.

A brain injury can be an extremely traumatic event for both the victim and their loved ones. This is especially true when a life-altering brain injury is caused by the negligent or reckless acts of another person. The negligent party or parties may be held responsible for the pain and suffering caused, including the expensive medical bills associated with a traumatic brain injury.

If a family member or loved one is no longer able to function as a result of a traumatic brain injury, it is time to schedule a consult with experienced San Francisco brain injury lawyer Nelson C. Barry III. We can provide you with the compassion, advice and legal action your family deserves.



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