Head injuries, particularly brain injuries, can have devastating consequences. A significant study into the impacts of brain injury has been described as finding that there was a "dramatic difference in quality and length of life that those who experience a traumatic brain injury experience versus those who do not".
An injury can be classified as a head injury if it involves damage to any part of the head, for example:
- Fractured bones in the face or skull
- Bruising or other soft tissue damage, like cuts or abrasions to the face
- Bruising, swelling or bleeding of brain tissues (brain injury)
Brain injuries are sometimes referred to as an 'acquired brain injury (ABI) or a 'traumatic brain injury' (TBI).
The term acquired brain injury is used to refer to any injury to the brain that occurs after birth.
A traumatic brain injury is a type of acquired brain injury that results from a trauma, like a blow to the head, or the head hitting an object. Other causes of acquired brain injury include disease, substance use, or stroke.
The mechanism by which traumatic brain injury usually occurs involves the brain moving within the skull as a result of an impact to the head, or severe forces acting on the head (such as rapid forward and backward movement in a vehicle collision). The brain tissues can move and twist, and the brain can impact the bones of the skull and/or face, causing swelling or bleeding in the brain. A concussion is a common form of brain injury.
Brain injuries can be categorised as "mild, moderate or severe".
The classification of the level of injury is informed by the seriousness of the bruising, bleeding or swelling in the brain.
You may be entitled to make a compensation claim whatever the cause of your head injury, but commonly claims arise from head injuries:
- That occur at work
- That result from a motor vehicle or car accident
- That are caused by a slip, trip or fall
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