In a recent article in Time Magazine, author Emily Wing Smith described what live is like for people who have suffered a serious brain injury. “When you have an invisible disability,” she writes, “it’s easy for people to forget you’re disabled.”
While other people with disabilities, healthcare professionals, and personal injury lawyers like those working at Neinstein & Associates are likely to be quite mindful of the effects of a serious brain injury, it’s easy for most people to forget how difficult life can be for disabled people. In the article, Ms Smith gives a wonderful, account of her own experiences:
When I was 12, I was hit by a car while crossing the street. I cracked my head on the windshield and was raced to the hospital. CT scans showed several fractures to my skull, but that wasn’t all—it also showed a pre-existing, grapefruit-sized brain tumor in my cerebellum, so large that it was close to killing me. Without the accident, we’d likely never have discovered the tumor until it was too late.
It explained so much—why I’d gotten headaches before I even knew what headaches were, why I was clumsy and uncoordinated. I’d been living with a brain injury my whole life and hadn’t known. It had taken another brain injury to discover it.
The tumor was removed completely, and a biopsy showed it was non-cancerous and had little chance of regrowth. My skull fractures were repaired. I had a railroad-track incision running down the right side of my head, and an upside-down Y scarring my forehead, but I was alive. I was lucky.
That’s how I’ve thought of myself ever since. Lucky, even though my headaches didn’t go away once the tumor was removed. Lucky, even though I was still just as uncoordinated and clumsy as before. Lucky, even though the tremor in my right hand was so severe I couldn’t hold a baby without shaking.
Once you’ve come to terms with the difficulties a person with a serious brain injury lives with each day, it’s important to understand the scope of the issue, and the wide variety of brain injuries people can sustain. FindLaw.com gives us a brief overview:
Every year in America, there are approximately 1.7 million traumatic brain injury (TBI) related deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits. You don’t have to be traveling at a high rate of speed or to strike a hard object in order to suffer a TBI. Serious brain injuries can result from falls, car accidents, sports activities, and work-related accidents. Any kind of trauma to the head or neck region can cause the brain to bruise, bleed, tear, or swell.
Types of Brain Injuries: Open and Closed
There are two general types of head injuries: open and closed. An open injury means the skull has been fractured, and this kind of brain injury usually results from falls or other accidents in which the head comes in direct contact with a hard surface or object. A closed head injury doesn’t involve a fracture, but can be more serious than an open injury due to the possibility of brain swelling and the formation of dangerous blood clots inside the skull. Whether a brain injury is open or closed, the most serious of either type can cause paralysis, loss of consciousness, and even death.
The personal injury lawyers at Neinstein and Associates understand the complexities of brain injuries, and are thus an excellent resource for people considering a lawsuit over their brain injury. However, for people who have experienced a brain injury, finding a community in which they feel comfortable and supported is as important as the services delivered by Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers. A group of brain injury victims in Minnesota, for example, is taking an interesting approach to revealing the realities of living with a brain injury. Check it out in this video: