While some people make a full recovery from a mild brain injury, more serious brain injuries can result in lifelong physical, psychological, and cognitive problems and require a lifetime of medical care and expense. A family can be deprived of a breadwinner, and a brain-injured child may never reach his or her full potential.
There are many causes of brain injuries, but according to the Brain Injury Association (BIA), falls are the most frequent cause (40.5 %) followed by car accidents (14.3%), being struck by or striking against something (15.5%), and assault (10.7%) as the next most frequent causes. Strokes, tumors, blood clots, inhaling or ingesting toxins, electric shock, workplace accidents, gunshot wounds, lightning strikes, explosions, shrapnel, drowning, and medical malpractice can also cause brain injuries. Athletes, particularly those in contact sports, skateboarders, and bicyclists sustain brain injuries from collisions and falls. Infants and young children are at risk for brain injuries in falls from high chairs, in cribs that do not meet safety standards, or when a wheeled baby walker falls down a flight of stairs. Brain injuries can occur when the brain is deprived of oxygen, which sometimes happens during surgery.
The effects of a brain injury are wide ranging and can include
- Sleep disturbance
- Sensitivity to noise or light
- Balance problems
- Decreased concentration and attention span
- Decreased speed of thinking
- Memory problems
- Depression and anxiety
- Mood swings
Severe brain injuries can result in temporary or persistent vegetative state.
Billions of dollars are spent annually in the direct treatment of brain injuries and for rehabilitation and long-term care. After a brain injury, the person may need to relearn life skills such as walking, talking, feeding, and personal care. This can be a lengthy and expensive process. Florida law firm Parker Waichman LLP is nationally recognized for its work to help brain-injury victims receive adequate compensation.
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