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After a Blow to the Head: Recognizing Brain Injuries

After a Blow to the Head: Recognizing Brain Injuries

After actress Kristin Chenoweth was hit by a falling light fixture on the set of The Good Wife this past summer, she lost the ability to multitask, a common complaint of those suffering from brain trauma.  Every year, approximately 1.5 million people in the United States sustain some type of brain injury.  50,000 of them die from their injuries, and another 50,000 – 100,000 will have long-lasting or permanent problems that will affect their daily lives.

Since Natasha Richardson’s fatal skiing accident, there has been an increase in the number of people seeking medical advice after seemingly minor head injuries (as well as an increase in the use of helmets on the slopes).  Richardson’s death demonstrates that even minor head injuries can have devastating consequences.   It is essential to recognize the signs of brain injury and to seek prompt medical advice.

Mild brain injuries also result in headaches, confusion, memory problems and nausea, among other things.  While most people find that their symptoms disappear after a short period, research shows that around 15% will still have problems after one year.  With moderate brain injury, symptoms are stronger and more persistent.  People who suffer severe brain injuries often experience debilitating problems that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

For many, brain damage results in:

  • Cognitive problems, such as difficulties in expression and understanding others, a shortened attention span, impaired decision-making abilities and memory loss
  • Perceptual difficulties, including disorientation, problems with balance, heightened sensitivity to pain, and problems with vision, hearing, sense of touch, smell and taste
  • Physical symptoms, including persistent headaches, fatigue, paralysis, tremors, seizures, light sensitivity, sleep disorder, and loss of consciousness
  • Behavioral and emotional symptoms, such as irritability, flattened or heightened emotional responses, and increased aggressiveness

If you have suffered a head injury – major or minor – in a collision or any other accident, be sure to receive medical attention.  You may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and for rehabilitative treatment. To learn about the options available to you, call our office today.

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