June is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Learn how to prevent brain injuries, and what to do if you’ve experienced one because of an accident.
Did you know? Over 20,000 Canadians are hospitalized each year because of an acquired traumatic brain injury (ABI), and 452 Canadians suffer a serious brain injury every day — that’s one person every three minutes!
Brain injuries can have a huge impact on someone’s life, making it important to raise awareness around the prevention and the impact of these kinds of injuries.
This blog post will explain:
- What happens after a brain injury
- Symptoms of a concussion, a commonly undiagnosed traumatic brain injury
- Common myths and misconceptions about brain injuries
- How to prevent a brain injury
- How to support someone who has suffered from a brain injury
- How our team of personal injury lawyers can help after a brain injury
If you have experienced a brain injury because of an accident or fall, there are steps you can take to make sure you recover properly and get the compensation you deserve after your accident. Contact our team of accident and injury lawyers to see how we can help, and keep reading for more information:
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by forces outside the body (like a car/motorcycle/bicycle accident or a fall) and can result in a temporary injury or a more serious, long-term injury that can affect every aspect of your life.
Each person will respond differently to a brain injury, but common impacts include physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural changes:
Physically, a brain injury may make you tired and give you mobility challenges, headaches, and pain.
Cognitively, your brain may process information and memories in a different way than before. This could impact your communication, concentration, writing, reading, decision-making, and memory.
Emotionally, you may face new or heightened emotions like depression, anxiety, and/or anger.
Behaviourally, you may act or make decisions differently than before your injury. You may also have trouble with your social and work relationships.
All of these impacts from a brain injury can be stressful, and many cause safety concerns for the individual. Medical teams will be able to give you practical tips to cope and recover after a brain injury. It’s important to have a strong support system in place following your injury, including family, friends, a medical team, and a legal team like Fidelis Law that can take care of the details throughout your personal injury or insurance claim.
A commonly undiagnosed traumatic brain injury: Concussion
One of the most common brain injuries we see when clients have suffered a car accident is a concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that happens when the brain is shaken within the skull. This can happen after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or from a fall or blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth.
While a concussion is considered a mild traumatic brain injury, this does not diminish the impact that it can have on your health. Concussions have a profound impact on your daily life and activities, and if you’ve suffered one, you will need ongoing treatment and management throughout your recovery period.
Concussion symptoms vary from person to person, as does the recovery period. Some people may recover within a few weeks, but symptoms can resolve more slowly. It’s important to seek medical help as quickly as possible – research suggests that a prompt assessment with a medical professional who has training in the management of concussion is one of the best ways to improve recovery times.
Concussions often go undiagnosed after an accident, so it’s important to know your symptoms and advocate for yourself if you think you may have experienced one. Our team of accident and injury lawyers will also be there to advocate for you and guide you through the steps toward diagnosis. Below are symptoms that can occur after a concussion. Most people will not experience all of these symptoms, but if you are experiencing one or some of these after an injury or accident, visit your doctor right away:
- Dizziness and balance problems
- Sleep disturbance
- Vision changes
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Ringing in the ears
- Problems with smell/taste
- Difficulty remembering and focusing
- Slower information processing
- Trouble thinking clearly or finding your words
- Difficulty making decisions or plans
- Behavioural changes like depression, anxiety, irritability, aggression, or impulsivity
Common myths and misconceptions about traumatic brain injuries
Since traumatic brain injuries result in mostly invisible symptoms, there are many myths and misconceptions around the diagnosis and the injury itself. Here are some common myths debunked:
What can you do to prevent a brain injury?
- Wear a seatbelt and make sure children are safely secured in proper car seats for their age and size.
- Wear the proper helmet for sports like cycling, hockey, baseball and skiing.
- Take precautions to prevent falls in children and the elderly. Install hand rails, remove tripping hazards, and install safety gates for children around stairs.
- If you’ve had a head injury before, take extra care to protect yourself from further injury. A previous brain injury can make you more susceptible to future brain injury.
How do you support someone suffering from a brain injury?
- Be patient with them. Your loved one will probably find the uncertainties of recovery unsettling or frustrating.
- Don’t expect them to be the same person they were before the injury. Recovery will take time, and they will need your support throughout.
- Rehabilitation is key for recovery, and should be done under the advice and guidance of qualified medical professionals with support and encouragement from a support system of family and friends.
- Don’t take it personally if your loved one is rude or abrupt with you. These are common symptoms of someone suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
- Support them in getting the help they need to recover. This could also mean helping them find a lawyer that will fight to get them the compensation they deserve after an accident or a fall.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to an accident or a fall, our team of personal injury lawyers are in your corner. We will take care of the details of your personal injury claim so that you can focus on what matters most: recovering from your injury.
The information within this blog post was sourced from Brain Injury Canada. You can visit their website for more information and resources about brain injuries.