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March Is Brain Injury Awareness Month


For more than three decades, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has been observing Brain Injury Awareness Month. By conducting an engaging public awareness campaign in March of each year, the goals are:

  • De-stigmatizing brain injury through outreach within the brain injury community
  • Empowering those who have survived brain injury and their caregivers
  • Promoting the many types of support that are available to people living with brain injury

There are two types of acquired brain injury: traumatic and non-traumatic. It is important to know the difference between an acquired brain injury and a traumatic brain injury:

According to the BIAA, an acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain that is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. Essentially, this type of brain injury is one that has occurred after birth. The injury results in a change to the brain’s neuronal activity, which affects the physical integrity, metabolic activity, or functional ability of nerve cells in the brain. An acquired brain injury is the umbrella term for all brain injuries. This kind of non-traumatic brain injury causes damage to the brain by internal factors, such as a lack of oxygen, exposure to toxins, pressure from a tumor, etc. Examples of an ABI include:

  • stroke
  • near-drowning
  • aneurysm
  • tumor
  • infectious disease that affects the brain (i.e., meningitis)
  • lack of oxygen supply to the brain (i.e., heart attack)

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force. Traumatic impact injuries can be defined as closed (or non-penetrating) or open (penetrating). Examples of a TBI include:

  • falls
  • assaults
  • motor vehicle accidents
  • sports injuries
  • Non-Traumatic Brain Injury

If you have been in a car accident, you may not realize you have a brain injury right away. Therefore, it is important to look out for the symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic:

Traumatic brain injury can have wide-ranging physical and psychological effects. Some signs or symptoms may appear immediately after the traumatic event, while others may appear days or weeks later.

Mild traumatic brain injury

The signs and symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury may include:

Physical symptoms

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Problems with speech
  • Dizziness or loss of balance

Sensory symptoms

  • Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell
  • Sensitivity to light or sound

Cognitive, behavioral or mental symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
  • No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Mood changes or mood swings
  • Feeling depressed or anxious
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping more than usual 

Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries

Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can include any of the signs and symptoms of mild injury, as well as these symptoms that may appear within the first hours to days after a head injury:

Physical symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
  • Persistent headache or headache that worsens
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
  • Loss of coordination 

Cognitive or mental symptoms

  • Profound confusion
  • Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Coma and other disorders of consciousness

Because the severity of a head injury may be unclear immediately after a car accident, all such injuries should be treated seriously. That is why it is imperative that you seek medical help right away, and don’t leave anyone who may have suffered a blow to their head unmonitored.

Brain Injuries & Personal Injury Lawsuits

Car accidents, workplace accidents, and serious falls are common examples of situations where you may be able to sue for a brain injury if someone else was partially at fault for your injury. In the cases of a car or workplace accident or a slip-and-fall, the lawsuit would be a personal injury claim against another person or persons. You may be entitled to compensation for damages including medical bills, lost wages, and pain & suffering. This is why you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Auto accident attorneys know exactly what to do, giving you time for yourself to recover from your ordeal.

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