Brain injuries caused by trauma often result in permanent impairment or death. TBIs are among the most debilitating traumatic injuries and are often the result of someone else’s negligent, careless, or violent act. Auto accidents, falls and other premises accidents, accidents in the workplace, and assault may produce brain damage.


Head trauma can result from almost any type of accident that results in force to the head. Some of the most common causes of head injuries include the following:

  • Truck and car accidents – The violent forces involved in a car or truck accident can cause a wide variety of head injuries including concussions, brain damage, traumatic brain injuries, and skull fractures.
  • Motorcycle accidents and bicycle accidents – Because motorcycle and bicycle riders are so exposed, they are far more likely to suffer severe head injuries, even when wearing a helmet.
  • Slip and fall accidents – Head injuries are common where the victim falls backward and strikes their head on a hard surface. Falling downstairs can also often result in head injuries.
  • Construction accidents – While hard hats can help prevent serious head injuries, falls from considerable heights and falling tools or other materials often cause severe head injuries.

As we learn more about head trauma and the brain injuries that can result, it is important to note that you can unexpectedly suffer a brain injury in almost any type of accident. The symptoms may not be immediately apparent, but you should seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you have suffered a head injury. If you are diagnosed with a head injury, you should discuss your options with an experienced Elmira brain injury lawyer.


In about seventy-five percent of the approximately 17 million brain injuries that occur every year in the U.S., the impact to the head leaves the skull and the membrane between the brain and the skull (dura mater) intact. These are closed head injuries and can range from mild concussions to diffuse axonal injuries, which commonly result in coma and death.

Survivors of closed head injuries often suffer long-term or permanent physical, psychological, and cognitive impairment. The following are types of closed head injuries:

  • A diffuse axonal injury or damage to the axon of the neuron is often fatal; it results in coma and usually causes permanent brain damage or persistent vegetative state in survivors.
  • An intracranial hematoma is a pooling of blood caused by a bleeding in the brain, either under the dura mater or between the dura mater and arachnoid membrane (subdural hematoma) or between the brain and the skull (epidural hematoma). Intracranial hematomas create pressure on the brain and are potentially fatal.
  • A concussion is a closed head injury from an impact that causes temporary disruption of normal brain function.
  • A brain contusion is bruising of the brain tissue.


When an object penetrates the skull and membranes around the brain and damages brain tissue, this is an open head injury. The foreign object can introduce contamination into the brain and may cause infection. Open head injuries are often caused by car accidents, falls, gunshot and stab wounds, and construction accidents.

An open brain injury can be seen, but the symptoms of closed brain injuries aren’t always apparent immediately after an accident. Brain swelling occurs over hours or days.


These are some signs that you might have a brain injury:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Additional symptoms of severe closed head injuries may include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of bladder and/or bowel control
  • Persistent vegetative state


Half of those who survive a traumatic brain injury develop psychosocial symptoms. Mental health problems that follow brain injuries include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social withdrawal
  • Executive functions challenges
  • Memory loss
  • Problems reading, speaking, and writing
  • Personality changes


Many accident victims assume they don’t have a head injury because they did not suffer any impact to their head during the accident. Unfortunately, it is possible to suffer a brain injury even in cases where you did not sustain a direct impact to the head.

A diffuse axonal injury, for example, is one of the most severe brain injuries that you can suffer. Caused by the sudden backward and forward movement of the brain within the skull, this injury can occur in accidents where there is little or no impact to the head. Because there are no immediate signs of the injury until later, diffuse axonal injuries often go undiagnosed.

Accidents that result in whiplash can also cause brain injuries. The rapid whipping, back-and-forth motion of the head can cause the brain to impact on the inside of the skull. In turn, this can result in bleeding and swelling inside the skull.

If you suspect you have suffered even a minor brain injury, the best thing you can do is speak with an Elmira brain injury lawyer as soon as possible.


Head injuries can range from mild to severe with some that result in death. Unfortunately, even comparatively mild head injuries can result in serious consequences, both short-term and even permanent disabilities. For example, cognitive impairment, mood disorders, mobility issues and paralysis, as well as visual impairment.

Any of the injuries can make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to work, take care of your family, or simply engage in day-to-day activities. Many people who suffer head injuries are unable to work for extended periods of time and require extensive medical treatment and in-home care. An Elmira brain injury lawyer can make sure you get the compensation you need to cover both your medical needs as well as your lost income.


Much of who you are depends on the functioning of your brain. When you have suffered brain damage, you may feel that your intellect, personality, character, and sense-of-self have been damaged along with your brain. An experienced Elmira brain injury lawyer knows that your losses go far beyond the cost of your medical bills and extend to every aspect of your life.

Elmira Brain Injury Lawyer Steve Proudfoot understands that you may never be able to work again and need lifetime medical treatment, mental health services, and personal care, but that’s not all. He’ll demand compensation for all non-economic damages that have changed your life: loss of ability to do the things you once enjoyed, damage to personal relationships, loss of ability to contribute to society and to achieve your life’s goals, loss of satisfaction with life, and more.

If you or a family member suffered a brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence, call Steve Proudfoot Law today for a free consultation.