Brain injuries are a common cause of mortality and long-term disability. Injuries to the brain occur when there is a sudden jolt, blow, or movement of the head. The violent and sudden movement can also cause the head to hit an object or hard surface. A sharp or blunt object can also penetrate into the skull and touch the brain.
As this happens, brain fibres might tear, the brain bruised, internal bleeding might occur, or skull fractures may injure soft tissues. This causes a traumatic brain injury that can heal after medical care or last for a lifetime. The magnitude of a brain injury often depends on the force impact.
Life-long effects of a brain injury alter the victim’s awareness, consciousness, and brain responsiveness. This may necessitate prolonged assistance and care even in their adulthood.
Let’s look at some of the common types of accidents that may leave you with a brain injury.
Slips and falls
Falls and slips are dangerous because they happen unexpectedly and involve a huge force of impact. When you slip, you are not certain which body part will land on the ground and unfortunately, it can be the head.
A fall can cause internal bleeding, head fractures, or spinal-related injuries that cause disability. Older adults and young children have an increased risk of falling because of their low sense of balance.
When a vehicle collides with another car or object, it comes to a sudden stop. Its occupants are thrown in all sorts of directions, hitting different objects in the car or even the road surface.
A safety belt can reduce the impact of a car crash, but do not guarantee zero injuries.
Heavily-charged tackles, playing equipment, colliding into a stationary object, or falls during sports can cause traumatic brain injuries. Most sporting accidents do not leave a life-long brain problem but recurring incidents can cause a gradual buildup of related issues.
In some sports such as American football and baseball, players wear protective helmets to help prevent head injuries.
Motorcycle and bicycle accidents
Motorcycle and bicycle crashes pose an even greater risk than cars because their occupants’ bodies are all exposed. In addition, they have limited safety features like airbags and increased stability control.
When an accident occurs, a cyclist or rider may hit their head on the road or onto oncoming cars. Since most motorcycles are usually at a high speed, a crash results in severe injuries and possible fatalities.
Gunshots and explosive blasts
A gunshot may fracture the skull and penetrate to sensitive brain tissues. Pieces of the broken skull can also find their way to the brain and cause injuries or internal bleeding.
Explosive blasts, on the other hand, produce a powerful impact. This force can either jolt the head violently or throw a body to hit hard surfaces and objects.
Most people mistakenly believe that a boating accident cannot cause severe physical injuries besides drowning.
A sudden stop or violent motion caused by large waves will throw objects and people in the boat against each other. Brain injuries can then result from abrupt movements or as the head hits another person or object.
Can I file a personal injury claim after a brain injury?
If your brain injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, a brain injury lawyer can help you prove fault and get compensated for incurred damages.
Negligence can result from a speeding driver who caused a road accident, a building owner who was aware of a fall hazard but did not correct it, a company that manufactured defective motorcycles, among others.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.