How to spot a brain injury

Brain injuries have been the subject of a great deal of research and media attention in recent years, and it is becoming increasingly clear that even a seemingly minor head injury can have significant consequences that may linger for years. In order to make sure that any possible brain injury is diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible, it is important to be aware of the warning signs.

Just as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have many causes - car accidents, sports injuries and assault, to name a few - they also have a wide range of symptoms. Those symptoms can range from mild to severe and may be physical, cognitive, sensory or emotional in nature. They may appear any time, from immediately after an injury to days, weeks or even months later.

Physical

In some but not all cases, a person who suffers a brain injury may lose consciousness or appear dazed after the injury occurs. He or she may also experience other physical symptoms, such as headache, nausea, dizziness and loss of balance. Sometimes a TBI can also result in a loss of coordination, causing the injured person to become clumsier or more accident prone. Sudden changes in sleeping habits can also be an indicator of a possible brain injury. An person suffering from a TBI may develop insomnia or begin sleeping much more than usual, and he or she may become more fatigued or drowsy while awake.

Cognitive and sensory

A person who has suffered a brain injury may also experience cognitive and sensory symptoms. These may include confusion, disorientation, inability to concentrate, and difficulty making decisions. The injured person may also experience vision changes, such as blurriness, difficulty focusing or increased sensitivity to light. Other sensory symptoms can also occur, such as ringing in the airs or loss of taste and smell.

Emotional

Sometimes friends and family members are the first ones to realize that something is wrong when a loved one has suffered a brain injury. When this happens when, there may be no other obvious symptoms, but those closest to the injured person notice that he or she seems "off." Sometimes this comes in the form of increased irritability, sadness, boredom or mood swings. Other times the person's whole personality may seem to have changed. Especially when there are no physical symptoms present, it can be easy to dismiss those warning signs or attribute them to other causes. However, they could indicate that the person has suffered a brain injury.

If you believe that you or someone in your family is suffering from a traumatic brain injury that may have been caused by someone else's negligence - whether due to a car accident, sports injury or any other circumstance - it is important to get advice from an attorney to help protect your right to seek compensation through the civil legal system. For help and legal advice regarding TBIs in Minnesota, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Harper & Peterson, P.L.L.C.