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What are the signs of brain damage?

The Carolina Law Group > Blog  > What are the signs of brain damage?

What are the signs of brain damage?

Nihar Patel | The Carolina Law Group

Nihar Patel | The Carolina Law Group

Brain injuries are extremely common in the US, accounting for millions of emergency department visits and hospitalizations every year. A further 50,000 people die each year after sustaining a brain injury. Many who survive live with permanent pain, disability, and/or dysfunction as a direct result of the brain injury sustained.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of brain injury and brain damage can help you identify brain injury in yourself and others after an accident or medical event. If you’re ever in doubt as to whether you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury, seek medical care at once.

Signs of Brain Damage

The signs of brain damage range from subtle to severe depending on how traumatic the injury was to the brain. On one end of the spectrum you have mild concussions, which may come and go with no discernable signs at all, and at the other end you have severe brain damage that can leave someone in a coma.

Because the brain is responsible for motor movements, behavior, cognition, emotion, memory, and everything else, damage to the brain can lead to impairments in any or all of those areas. Here are signs and symptoms to look for that indicate brain injury.

Common signs and symptoms of concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), include:

  •       Temporary loss of consciousness (measured in minutes)
  •       Headache
  •       Feeling of pressure in the head
  •       Blurred vision
  •       Double vision
  •       Confusion
  •       Disorientation
  •       Dizziness
  •       Slurred speech
  •       Memory loss
  •       Cognitive impairment (problems with attention, memory, thought processes, executive function)
  •       Nausea
  •       Vomiting
  •       Difficulty balancing
  •       Sensitivity to light and/or sound
  •       Irritability
  •       Fatigue
  •       Trouble sleeping

Signs and symptoms of more severe TBI and brain damage include all of the above, as well as:

  •       Longer periods of loss of consciousness (more than 20 minutes)
  •       Coma
  •       Seizures
  •       Convulsions
  •       Fluid leaking from nose and/or ears
  •       Problems with or loss of sight, speech, smell, or hearing
  •       Loss of coordination or motor function
  •       Incontinence
  •       Difficulty communicating
  •       Difficulty swallowing
  •       Difficulty regulating emotions
  •       Disordered mood and behavior
  •       Chronic headaches
  •       Chronic pain
  •       Severe cognitive impairment 

Causes of Brain Damage

Brain damage can result from traumatic injury or non-traumatic injury to the brain. In non-traumatic brain injury, the brain sustains damage with no external force. Stroke is the leading cause of non-traumatic brain injury; tumors, brain inflammation, infections, and hypoxia are other causes.

Traumatic brain injury occurs when strong external forces physically jolt the brain inside the skull or an object penetrates the skull and physically damages the brain. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the US, accounting for 48% of all TBIs – almost half. In adults over the age of 65, falls were responsible for 81% of emergency department visits related to brain injury. Other leading causes of brain injury include motor vehicle crashes, sports injuries, abuse, and being struck by or against an object.

Challenges of Bringing a Brain Injury Lawsuit

Some TBIs are not the fault of the victim but the direct result of the negligence or misconduct of another party. In these situations, the person who has suffered a TBI may be able to bring a suit against the party at fault for compensation.

Winning a brain injury lawsuit, however, can be challenging. Brain injuries are difficult to see and therefore difficult to prove; symptoms may take time to appear; and memory loss around the time of a fall or motor vehicle accident may make it difficult to establish liability. These are just a few of the challenges related to bringing and winning a TBI personal injury case. (Read more on this topic here.)

Contact the Brain Injury Attorney Team at The Carolina Law Group

If you’ve sustained a TBI in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall incident, or other accident that wasn’t your fault, and you’ve been left with lingering symptoms and problems because of it, contact us. The brain injury attorneys at The Carolina Law Group are experienced at handling TBI lawsuits and know how to build a strong case and tackle the challenges of such a case head on. We’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve for the injury you’ve suffered and will fight for you while you continue the healing process. Call one of the numbers below to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney to discuss your case.

Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.


Mr. Patel worked for the Greenville County Public Defender’s Office in 2005 after graduating from law school. While there, Mr. Patel handled thousands of cases ranging from low-level misdemeanors to high-profile murders. In March 2011, Mr. Patel and Mr. Desai formed The Carolina Law Group. Mr. Patel practices in the areas of criminal defense, family law, and personal injury. In 2011, Mr. Patel was elected as the President of the Greenville Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (GACDL).

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