How Does Brain Injury Awareness Month Help Victims of Traumatic Brain Injury?

Brain injuries are some of the most serious and life-altering personal injuries that can cause long-term disabilities and permanent impairments. There are over five million Americans that live with the physical, mental, and emotional impacts of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). For over 30 years, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has been raising awareness about brain injuries, the impact that they have on the victims and their families, and what can be done to support people living with brain injuries.

March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month, which means that, throughout the month, there will be a range of opportunities to learn more about TBIs, participate in events, share personal stories, and help people who have been personally impacted by a brain injury. Those who suffered a brain injury are urged to contact an experienced accident lawyer for assistance.

What is a TBI?

A TBI occurs when a sudden trauma, such as a car accident, a slip and fall injury, or a workplace accident, causes an injury to the brain. Depending on the nature of the accident and the extent of damage to the brain, symptoms can range from mild to severe. For example, symptoms of a mild TBI may include a temporary loss of consciousness, headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue, or trouble concentrating. Symptoms of a moderate-to-severe TBI may include many of the same symptoms as a mild TBI, as well as repeated vomiting, convulsions or seizures, slurred speech, weakness of numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination, and increased confusion or agitation.

What are the Leading Causes of TBIs?

A TBI can occur any time someone’s head is hit, bumped, or jolted. The leading causes of TBIs include falls, car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, sports injuries, being struck by or against an object, and assaults. If an individual suffers any type of head injury, it is crucial that he or she seek immediate medical attention. An experienced health care provider will examine the patient, determine the severity of the injury, and recommend the best course of treatment.

How can I Prevent a TBI?

According to the BIAA, brain injuries occur every nine seconds in the United States, and 137 people die each day of injuries related to TBIs. It is a serious health condition that affects everyone, including children and older adults. There are preventative steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of a TBI, including the following:

  • When riding in a car or truck, wear a seat belt at all times, including passengers in the back seat.
  • When riding a bike or a motorcycle, always wear a helmet.
  • Avoid driving when intoxicated, drowsy, or distracted.
  • Older adults are urged to review all medications. Certain medications can cause drowsiness, which can increase the risk of falling.
  • All drivers should have their eyes checked at least once a year.
  • Make sure that surfaces are free of debris that could be a tripping hazard.

What Common Head Injuries are Caused by Car Accidents?

Car accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, ranging from minor cuts and abrasions to broken bones, internal organ damage, and TBIs. Even if the injury seems minor, it is very important that the victim seeks immediate medical attention, particularly if he or she suffered a head injury. Symptoms may not appear immediately following an accident, but a skilled health care provider can identify symptoms of a head injury and discuss the treatment options available. The following are common head injuries that are common in car accidents:

  • This occurs when the brain strikes the inside of the skull because of the impact of a crash. Symptoms of a concussion may include the following:
    – Temporary loss of consciousness
    – Headache
    – Confusion
    – Temporary amnesia
    – Nausea or vomiting
    – Slurred speech
    – Fatigue
    – Ringing in the ears
    – Personality changes
  • This occurs when a direct impact to the head causes a bruise on the brain. Car accidents can cause contusions if the driver hits their head on the steering wheel or window, or if a hard or sharp object such as a phone or a set of keys hits the driver’s head. Summon symptoms include the following:
    – Slurred speech
    – Cognitive changes
    – Difficulty with coordination
    – Difficulty concentrating and forming sentences
    – Numbness or tingling in the affected area
  • This occurs when an external object that is inside the vehicle becomes a dangerous projectile and causes a head wound. Depending on the severity of the injury, a head wound can cause serious complications, including the following:
    – Blood loss
    – Difficulty breathing
    – Seizures
    – Paralysis
    – Loss of consciousness
    – Loss of bladder and bowel control
    – Loss of movement or sensation in limbs
    – Coma
  • Diffuse axonal injury. This type of injury occurs as a result of severe rotation or shaking. This is common in high-speed car accidents when the vehicle stops abruptly, and the brain is not moving as fast as the skull. Common symptoms of a diffuse axonal injury include the following:
    – Headache
    – Nausea and vomiting
    – Fatigue
    – Dizziness
    – Loss of consciousness
  • Coup-contrecoup event. This occurs when the brain jerks suddenly inside the skull. It is very common in serious car accidents such as rollover collisions. When the brain strikes both inner sides of the skull, both sides of the brain are injured. Symptoms of a coup-contrecoup injury include the following:
    – Bleeding in the brain
    – Fatigue
    – Swelling of the brain
    – Loss of consciousness
    – Sensitivity to light and sound
    – Slurred speech
    – Tinnitus
    – Seizure
    – Skull fractures
    – Nausea and vomiting
    – Blurred vision
    – Memory issues

How can I Participate in National Brain Injury Awareness Month?

During the month of March, there are a number of opportunities to learn more about brain injuries, help reduce the stigma associated with brain injuries, and promote effective strategies that can improve the quality of life for individuals who are living with TBIs.  Oftentimes, it is difficult to know where to start or how to help, but the following are ways that people can honor Brain Injury Awareness Month and get involved:

  • Learn more about TBIs. Individuals can visit biausa.org to learn about brain injuries, treatment options, the recovery process, as well as other frequently asked questions related to TBIs.
  • Locate speakers in the area. Each state has a chapter of the BIAA. People can reach out to a local speaker and arrange for that person to discuss his or her personal experience with a TBI. Oftentimes, these events are held in the workplace, in the religious community, or at a school.
  • Show support by posting on social media. Interested individuals can use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels to share information about TBIs, particularly if a family member suffers from a TBI. Sharing personal stories, challenges, treatment options, and support groups that are available can educate others and provide valuable information about available resources.
  • One can contact non-profit organizations that conduct brain injury research and donate to a reputable organization that is doing groundbreaking research. Websites such as GuideStar or Charity Navigator can help with this process.
  • Not everyone has the financial means to donate money. This does not mean that people cannot contribute financially. Organizing a fundraising event can help raise a significant amount of money. Bake sales and garage sales are a great place to start. First Giving is another resource that can help people create their own fundraising page.
  • Attend an awareness event. State chapters of the BIAA will offer different events, so people can contact their chapter to see what events are scheduled throughout the month.
  • Distribute literature. The BIAA makes this process simple and hassle-free by providing free, downloadable resources that can be emailed to others or posted on social media.
  • Health care agencies that serve people with TBIs are always looking for volunteers. It is an easy and free way to get involved.
  • Help a family in need. There are a wide range of things people can do to help a victim of a TBI or the family members who are caring for a loved one suffering from a TBI. Simply dropping off a home-cooked meal or offering a ride to and from a doctor’s appointment can make a huge difference. Rather than asking if there is anything they can do, people offering to help in specific ways can make it easier for the friend or loved one to accept help.
  • Share a personal story. Sometimes, simply sharing a personal experience with someone about how he or she has been affected by a TBI can make another person feel less alone.

Baltimore Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Traumatic Brain Injuries

If you suffered a traumatic brain injury after being involved in a serious accident, you are urged to contact the Baltimore accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. We understand how devastating these injuries can be, and the impact that they can have on you and your loved ones, particularly if the injury causes long-term or permanent impairments. We will work closely with you to determine who is responsible for causing the accident and ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are conveniently located in BaltimoreColumbiaGlen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, where we represent victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel CountyCarroll CountyHarford CountyHoward CountyMontgomery CountyPrince George’s CountyQueen Anne’s CountyMaryland’s Western CountiesSouthern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of CatonsvilleEssexHalethorpeMiddle RiverRosedale, Gwynn OakBrooklandvilleDundalkPikesvilleParkvilleNottinghamWindsor MillLuthervilleTimoniumSparrows PointRidgewood, and Elkridge.