A sudden blow to the head can be a terrifying experience. Even a minor head injury can cause damage to the brain, resulting in confusion, memory lapses, or loss of consciousness. Victims who appear fine immediately after the incident may start to decline in the hours or days that follow, leading to severe permanent brain damage or even death.
Common Forms of Traumatic Brain Injury
Car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and falls from height are the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). In severe cases, the force of impact may cause the skull to fracture, requiring surgery to remove bone fragments and prevent infection. Even if the skull remains intact, the brain may suffer trauma from crashing back and forth against the skull, resulting in:
- Concussion. A concussion is a mild form of head injury, usually accompanied by a brief loss of consciousness. While victims may suffer painful headaches, dizziness or disorientation, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light or sound, these effects are typically not permanent.
- Contusion. A sudden impact can cause a bruise on the brain, known as a contusion. A patient may suffer a contusion at the location of impact (coup) or on the side opposite the impact (contrecoup).
- Diffuse axonal injury (DAI). If the brain is shaken violently inside the skull, the back and forth motion can stretch or tear the nerve cells (axons). Widespread axonal injury can disrupt the brain's ability to transmit information throughout the body.
- Hemorrhage. The initial blow to the head can cause small arteries to tear, causing uncontrolled bleeding into the space that surrounds the brain. If not treated quickly, blood may spread over the surface of the brain and contaminate the patient’s cerebrospinal fluid.
- Hematoma. If a hemorrhage is allowed to progress, a blood clot (hematoma) may begin to form within the brain or between the brain and the dura lining. Doctors may prescribe blood thinners to break up the clot, or perform surgery to remove large clots that are placing pressure on the brain.
- Inflammation. Brain swelling is a secondary injury that can be even more dangerous than the initial impact. After the brain is injured, the body sends extra fluid and nutrients to the site in an attempt to heal the injury. Unfortunately, the swollen brain then begins to push against the hard sides of the skull, reducing the flow of oxygen-rich blood and compressing parts of the brain that were not initially injured.
Damages Available to Brain Injury Victims
A brain injury recovery is painful enough without the added financial pressure caused by being constantly in the hospital and unable to earn a living. Our permanent injury lawyers have seen far too many victims left to cope with the aftermath of an accident that they did not cause. We can determine who is responsible for your suffering and pursue damages on your behalf, alleviating some of the anxiety and frustration you are feeling at this difficult time.
Brain injury survivors can collect compensation for long-lasting effects such as:
- Inability to work. Patients may have difficulty processing their thoughts or suffer convulsions or seizures that make it impossible for them to return to their previous occupations.
- Persistent coma. Victims may be unconscious for several weeks as their brains are healing, while some will enter a permanent vegetative state.
- Constant care. Some patients will suffer repercussions so severe that they result in a need for long-term support. Serious head injuries may require an ongoing programme of physical or mental rehabilitation therapies, while others may require constant nursing care.
- Lost quality of life. Patients may be unable to produce or care for children, suffer irreversible personality changes, or suffer from anxiety or depression that prevents them from doing the things they once enjoyed.
There is only a short period of time to bring an injury claim in Scotland, so brain injury victims should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Call us today or fill out our enquiry form to set up your no-obligation chat with a member of our legal team.