When it comes right down to it, the human body is an incredibly fragile machine. Take a step incorrectly and fall down and you could end up suffering from sprained or broken bones. Get in the way of a knife while cutting and you’re almost guaranteed a cut – some chefs have even chopped off fingers from being a bit too zealous. We can even damage our bodies by eating too much and putting ourselves at greater risk for things like heart attacks… or eating too little and suffering from malnutrition and other problems related to a lack of proper nutrients. But perhaps the worst injury that someone can experience is when damage is done to their brain.
Not only are our brains the centers of our consciousness and intellect, they also control all of our bodily functions. Hurting your brain can seriously impact just about every area of your life, from thinking and speaking to walking around and even being able to breathe without assistance. Worse, many brain injuries don’t have any cures, so if you are hurt, you could be suffering for the rest of your life. Many people spend years getting treatment and rehab for injuries to their brain, as well as expending a huge portion of their financial resources.
How Do People in Florida Injure Their Brains?
Generally speaking, brain damage occurs after a strong blow to the head or spinal cord, but saying that doesn’t really tell you much. Here are some of the most common ways that people experience injuries to their brain.
Physical violence. This is actually a fairly broad category that covers a number of repugnant acts. For the very young, shaking them can cause damage to the brain because it essentially causes their brain to rattle around in their head. Hitting or kicking someone in the head can also cause injury to the brain, as can gunshots and blows to the head from other objects, such as a hammer.
Head injuries from combat. Many soldiers experience damage to their brains that are related to explosions. There are a number of reasons for this. Depending on the type of explosive device, there may be shrapnel or other flying debris that penetrates a soldier’s head. It’s also possible that other people or objects may collide with a soldier’s head due to the force of the blast. And then there is the blast itself, which researchers believe causes a pressure wave to pass through the brain and cause damage and disruption.
Falling down. The chances of simply falling down to the ground and causing an injury to your brain are fairly small, but unfortunately there are many other kinds of falls that do lead to this, especially for the very young and the very old. People slip and hit their head on a rock. Or fall down a flight of stairs. Or tumble from a great height, such as off of a ladder or over a balcony. Even simply falling directly onto your head on a hard surface can lead to lasting brain damage, such as slipping in the bath or slamming into concrete. Some have even experienced injury to their brains from diving into a swimming pool improperly and smacking their head on the diving board.
Injuries from athletic competition. If you follow the Dolphins or the Bucs, then you’re probably aware that the NFL has been trying to put a lot more focus on concussions lately. Even wearing state-of-the-art protective helmets and following rules that prevent leading with the head, head injuries happen when large men race towards each other and purposefully collide. And one need look no further than Muhammad Ali to realize that boxing, with its repeated blows to the head, can cause serious and lasting injury to the brain. But these aren’t the only sports that are culprits – kids fall from skateboards and bicycles, get hit with balls in baseball, and run into each other even in sports like soccer and basketball or when swimming.
Damage from vehicle collisions. When cars, trucks, boats, and other kinds of vehicles collide, there are all kinds of ways for head injuries to occur. Sometimes it’s something as simple as having your head slam into the steering wheel or window. Other times someone involved may be thrown from a vehicle and hit the pavement hard, an outcome that is common for accidents that include motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
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How Do You Know if You or Someone You Love Has a Brain Injury?
It’s not always obvious that someone has suffered a traumatic brain injury, so it’s important that you keep a close eye on anyone who has hit their head hard. If it’s you that suffered the injury, you need to find help immediately and make sure that someone is watching over you. With certain kinds of brain injuries, it’s possible for people to seem more or less fine other than having a desire to lie down and go to sleep – unfortunately, some will never wake up. Here are some signs that you should watch for.
Loss of memory
Feelings of deep sadness or depression
Difficulty with balance
Difficulty remembering things
Difficulty focusing or concentrating
Trouble sleeping or frequently waking up
Sluggishness, tiredness, or sleepiness
Feeling groggy or “foggy”
Vision that is fuzzy
In addition to the above, there are also physical symptoms that someone can look for if they are with someone who has experienced a head injury.
Swelling near the injury
Facial features that are distorted
Pupils that are too large or too small
Initial improvement of symptoms, followed by a swift decline
Blood running from the person’s nose, ears, or mouth
Clear fluid running from the person’s nose, ears, or mouth
Bruising on the face
Skull or facial fractures
Senses that are impaired (trouble hearing, seeing, smelling, or tasting)
Breathing extremely slowly
Paralysis in one or more limbs
Passing out or going in and out of consciousness
Very low blood pressure
Get Help for Your Florida Head Injury
Beyond getting the right treatment and rehabilitation for your injury, it’s also important to seek out compensation if you were hurt because of someone else’s negligence. No one should have to deal with brain injuries on their own, but that’s exactly what you’re doing to yourself if you don’t go after the people who are responsible and hold them accountable. After all, the cost for all of that treatment can be incredibly expensive, and often injuries to the brain can be something victims have to deal with for the rest of their lives.
If you or a loved one is going through this painful, frustrating experience, you owe it to yourself to sit down with a Florida lawyer who knows the ins and outs of personal injury law in the state and how it pertains to brain injuries. If you live in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, or Deerfield Beach, schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of The Injury Law Firm of South Florida. You can contact us 24/7 by calling 954-764-7377 (Fort Lauderdale), 561-209-2100 (Boca Raton & West Palm Beach), 877-566-8759 (Toll-Free), or by filling out a convenient online form. If you decide to work with us, you won’t pay anything until we’ve recovered compensation.