A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when any external, physical force damages the brain. A football concussion, hitting your head after a bad fall, and a rotational injury without direct impact to the head—typically seen in severe whiplash cases—all constitute TBIs.
What is a TBI and how do I recognize traumatic brain injury?
As our understanding of the brain improves, we have come to understand that you can have a severe TBI even without losing consciousness. Common causes of TBIs include:
- Slip and fall injuries in which you hit your head
- Motor vehicle accidents, including accidents in which you do not hit your head but experience whiplash
- Anything falling on your head from almost any height
- Falls from bicycles, motorcycles, and horses, particularly if you do not wear a helmet
After any motor vehicle accident or blow to the head, remain on the alert for early signs of a possible head injury. These include:
- Unusual disorientation
- Confusion about the passage of time—it either passes much too slowly or much too quickly
- Lost periods of time
- Any other short-term memory difficulties
- Unexplained vomiting
- Olfactory hallucinations and other disturbances to your sense of smell, e.g. food simply not tasting right, or smelling like some other food
- Any disturbance in your visual field, including flashes of light that no one else sees and unusual motion or blurriness in your peripheral vision
- Persistent fatigue, both immediately after the injury and a few days later
- Sleep disturbances
If you have any of these symptoms and recently hit your head—even if you never lost consciousness—or suffered whiplash of any sort, consult with a physician immediately. Some head injuries result in coma or concussion and are immediately apparent, while others take a bit longer for symptoms to appear.
What should I do if I think I might have a head injury?
See a doctor immediately! Reach out to the Brain Injury Association of Indiana (or the Brain Injury Association in your state) for referrals, advice, and support. And if your head injury resulted from someone else’s negligence—common examples include motor vehicle accidents, hazardous property conditions, and intentional misconduct like physical violence—contact an Indianapolis head injury lawyer right away.
Getting legal help
Unlike simply breaking a leg or bruising an arm, most TBIs unfortunately become permanent conditions with life-long effects. You need an Indianapolis head injury attorney who knows and understands TBI injuries and patients, and knows how to get you as much compensation for your injury, long-term medical needs, and pain and suffering as possible.
If you or a loved one recently suffered a head injury, the personal injury attorneys at Ward & Ward can help ensure that you receive fair and full compensation for your injuries. Attorneys at Ward & Ward invite you to contact them as soon as possible to arrange a free initial consultation about your case, by phone at 888-316-3449, through their website, or simply by visiting their conveniently-located Indianapolis office.