Head injuries happen all the time, from shaving accidents to broken noses. Thousands of Pennsylvanians have to seek treatment for a head injury every year. But the real danger with an otherwise minor problem is that a traumatic brain injury (TBI) could be a consequence.

What qualifies as a traumatic brain injury?

A TBI is damage to the brain that causes a loss of cognitive ability or an alteration in mental health or status. Doctors often warn patients and their families to look for memory loss, slurred speech and other symptoms of a TBI after a head injury.

How do traumatic brain injuries generally happen?

The most common causes, or mechanisms, of a TBI is an impact or penetration of the skull. Greater force means a greater risk of impact, so high-speed collisions with high-volume objects generally result in brain injuries. Occasionally, a brain injury may be caused by the organ’s collision with the inside of the skull through a sudden change in speed, and there will be no external collision.

What should I do if I suspect a traumatic brain injury?

The first step should involve medical care in a consultation with a doctor or other qualified clinician. If another party was involved in a collision that may have caused a brain injury, it may be advisable to discuss the situation with a lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help judge if a claim for financial damages in civil court is a good way to move past the damage caused by an injurious accident. TBIs take time to heal, so it is best to let your attorney focus on the legal end of things while you focus on your recovery.