Brain injuries are events that happen very often. You can injure your brain in all kinds of different ways, and such an injury can impact your life quite a bit, depending on the area you hurt and the damage extent. You might recover fully, or you may never be the same again if it happens to you.
We’ll talk about brain injuries a little bit in this article. We’ll cover the most common ways they occur, how your life can change afterward, and what you can do if someone else caused the damage.
How Common Are These Injuries?
Brain injuries are more common than you might realize. Gomez Attorneys in San Diego notes that in children 19 and younger playing sports or similar recreational activities, “over 248,000 suffered head injuries in 2010.” Looking to the past decade, that was a 57% increase.
This brings up the question of whether there are more head injuries now than there used to be. That doesn’t seem likely, at least not that large of an increase.
What’s more likely is that there was underreporting in the past. Now, since doctors know more about concussions and their dangers, a coach isn’t as likely to tell a child to walk it off if they take a nasty hit on the football or soccer field.
How Do These Injuries Occur?
There are several different ways you can suffer a brain injury, but some stick out more than others because of their frequency.
We need to mention sports injuries first because these are activities where it’s quite easy to hit your head. If you play football, soccer, baseball, hockey, basketball, etc., you can easily suffer a head injury if you fall or someone smashes into you.
You might work in a dangerous job, like construction. That’s a profession where head injuries occur frequently. You also might get in a serious car accident where you strike your head on the windshield or something similar.
You can slip in a store and fall, striking your head on something. You also might hit your head while doing a DIY project, like roof repair.
How Your Life Can Change After a Brain Injury
If you sustain a brain injury, it’s not likely you can just get on with your life like nothing happened. You’ll need a doctor to check you out thoroughly before you can figure out how to proceed.
If you do have a TBI (traumatic brain injury), the doctor might tell you to rest up for weeks or even months afterward. They will likely do an MRI or a CT scan to determine the damage extent.
While you slowly recover, you may not be able to work. That’s problematic unless you can get on disability. If you hurt yourself while on the job, you probably can. If you hurt yourself while playing in an amateur sports league, it’s not as likely.
While you recover, you might have to deal with paralyzing headaches. You may need to lie down in a dark room with an ice pack on your head until the pain subsides.
You might have short-term memory loss. If so, you’ll need to write things down if you need to remember an appointment.
Your smartphone will probably have a notes feature. If you have Siri or another voice assistant, you can ask it to remind you when you need to go to a doctor’s appointment or pick up your kids.
You might suffer from mood swings. You could be happy one moment, then angry or sad the next. It’s probably going to be tough on both you and your family.
If you have a more severe head injury, you might have long-term memory problems too. You may need to look at pictures or hear stories from your past to jog your memory.
If the head injury is severe, you also might not be able to drive, walk without assistance, or you may have other ambulatory issues. You might regain some of those abilities in time, or they might never come back.
What Can You Do About It?
In some instances, you can pursue a lawsuit if you’re sure someone else harmed you. If you fall off your roof while trying to replace some shingles and hit your head, there’s probably not much you can do about that other than pay your bills and try to get on with your life. However, if someone threw something at you and hit you in the head, and you’re dealing with medical problems after that, you can certainly sue them for that.
You’ll want to locate a personal injury lawyer who has an excellent track record. Some lawyers do specialize in personal injury cases, and if you can agree to a reasonable fee, there’s no reason not to try and get compensation. If you win, you can get money for your medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy, pain, and suffering, etc.
You’ll need to offer as much evidence as possible that the other person caused the damage. That can be challenging if there are no witnesses to what happened. You’ll need to use medical evidence and hope the jury believes your story and finds you credible.
If you win your lawsuit, you’ll have money to cover all of your bills, but you still might not ever be the person you once were. You can recover from some brain injuries in time, but others will change your personality and prospects forever.
You might have to retire if you can’t do your work anymore. You also might be able to find another job in your field, just not the same one you once had. You also could pursue a completely different career path if you don’t have the cognitive abilities you previously did.
Brain injuries are scary, but many people do learn to live with them. If you give yourself recovery time and try to be patient, you can often return to your life, albeit with some differences or adjustments.