Brain damage defined simply refers to the destruction or deterioration of brain cells because of a brain injury. Most brain injuries are localized brain damage. Another way to say it is that the damage is confined to a small area. As personal injury attorneys, the type of brain injury we deal with mostly is Traumatic Brain Injury. A traumatic brain injury is caused by an external force - such as a blow to the head or head injuries caused by car accidents - that cause the brain to move inside the skull or damage the skull, which in turn, damages the brain. Every year, about 1.4 million people have some type of brain injury in the United States. Another 5.3 million people suffer from the effects of brain damage. Permanent injury is just one of the possible outcomes of brain damage. About 50,000 people die as a result of a brain injury inflicted on them. The type of brain injury depends on how severe the brain damage is. Brain injuries typically fall under one of three categories:
- Mild brain injury - A person with a mild brain injury is dazed or confused. If they lose consciousness at all it is brief, lasting no more than a few minutes.
- Moderate brain injury - A moderate brain injury causes loss of consciousness that lasts from several minutes to several hours. Confusion lasts weeks or months, and impairments last for months or are permanent.
- Severe brain injury - Severe brain injuries cause loss of consciousness for days, weeks, or months. This includes can include a coma, vegetative state, or locked-in syndrome.