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Five common symptoms and causes of traumatic brain injury

Brain injuries can occur from pure accident to someone else's negligence or malicious intent. They can even arise from the hazards of a job. Such injuries range from mild to severe and have a variety of symptoms that are physical, psychological or sensory for which the effects can materialize gradually or suddenly. In some cases, the symptoms may not show up until weeks later. Below are common symptoms and causes you should be aware of.

Moderate to severe symptoms

1. Loss of consciousness that can last up to several hours, persistent headache, as well as the potential for seizures.

2. Vomiting or feeling nauseated continuously.

3. Loss of coordination, weakness in appendages and difficulty waking.

4. Very confused, an unusually aggressive manner and dilation of the pupils.

5. Slurred speech.

Less severe symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, feeling sleepy and even feeling disoriented.

A number of events can cause a mild or severe brain injury. A common example is what we know as a concussion, which is gaining more awareness as we look to changes in the brains of athletes--especially those who play football. While that is the most widely known and it, too, can range from mild to severe, there are other ways such injuries can occur.

Common causes of brain injury

1. Falls: Falls can happen to anyone at any time and a brain injury could occur from simply falling out of bed or slipping in the shower. Additionally, falling off a ladder while cleaning out gutters or putting up holiday lights are the most common types of falls that are attributed to brain injury, especially among younger people.

2. Motor Vehicle Accident: Being involved in an accident that involves a car, truck or motorcycle can cause mild to severe brain injury, depending on the nature of the collision and who sustained the injury (e.g. infant, adolescent, adult, or senior citizen). Pedestrians are at risk as well.

3. Athletics: Sports that involve a lot of contact are quite common factors with brain injury, especially with concussions, but can and do cause more severe injury depending on the impact with another human or with an object (e.g. cement pavement in the case of skateboarding). Such injuries can come from participating in boxing, football, hockey or an extreme sport.

4. Explosions: The impact of an explosion is most commonly associated with those who have experienced combat. In addition to a traditional blast, these types of injuries also include those sustained from shrapnel or debris that caused a significant blow to the head.

5. Violence: Approximately 20% of all major head trauma is caused by violence, which includes shaken baby syndrome, child and/or domestic abuse, as well as wounds caused by gunfire.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury to the head, it's important that you seek medical treatment. A trip to the emergency room may be in order should you experience any behavioral changes after an impact to your body or head. Determining if someone else is responsible for your medical care or were negligent will come later.

After you have been treated, speaking with an attorney experienced in personal injury law can help you decide if you have a case, as well as what your options may be and what potential remedies you may seek. Most personal injury attorneys don't charge a consultation fee, which means you can get your questions answered quickly and easily.

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