Head Injury & Brain Injury


Head and brain injuries can occur when the head strikes the steering wheel or windshield, or when the brain is thrown forwards and backwards inside the skull from the force of the collision.  These injuries can be open or closed head injuries, and can range from mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury.  Although uncommon, air bag deployment can also lead to head injuries.

After a head trauma, a person can suffer primary or secondary injuries.  Primary injuries result immediately from the trauma, and secondary injuries, being an indirect result of the trauma, will manifest symptoms and complications over a period of time.

Physical symptoms of brain injuries may include:

  • loss or change in consciousness;
  • headaches;
  • nausea;
  • vomiting;
  • tinnitus;
  • seizures;
  • swelling in the scalp;
  • fatigue;
  • poor balance.

Cognitive symptoms of brain injuries may include:

  • confusion;
  • trouble with concentration;
  • memory loss;
  • slower thinking;
  • trouble solving problems.

Behavioural impairments may include:

  • mood swings;
  • mania;
  • inflexibility;
  • depression;
  • anxiety;
  • obsessive-compulsive symptoms;
  • lack of empathy;
  • lack of motivation.

Since each person’s brain injury is unique and each person that is brain injured presents differently, it is imperative to seek proper medical attention.  Physical, cognitive, and behavioural impairments resulting from a head injury can significantly affect an injured person’s social interaction, rehabilitation, and return to work.  A lawyer can direct you to the necessary specialists such as a neurologist (a physician who specializes in disorders of the nervous system, including the brain), who can conduct neurological testing and order specialized imaging scans like CT scans or MRIs to determine the location and extent of the brain injury.  Other specialists that may become involved in your care include a neuropsychologist who will conduct neuropsychological testing, and behavioural therapists.

It is important that these symptoms be identified early so that treatment can begin as soon as possible, to give you the best chance of recovering from your injuries.  Often family members or loved ones will notice something is different about the injured person, and it is important that this collateral information is relayed to the doctors.  The injured person may not be aware of the changes.

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