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Mild Brain Injuries and Concussions

New Mexico residents may not be aware that any trauma to the head, even what appears to be a small bump, can lead to a mild traumatic brain injury, also known as a concussion. Anyone who suffers head trauma, such as a blow to the head or whiplash, and then displays disorientation, confusion, short-term loss of consciousness, memory problems, dizziness, headaches, vomiting or poor concentration may have a mild traumatic brain injury. It is important to note that a person may have suffered a brain injury even if they did not lose consciousness.

The brain is a soft organ that floats in cerebral-spinal fluid within the skull. A mild traumatic brain injury occurs when the head is struck or violently shaken, causing the brain to bounce around in the rough, bony interior of the skull. The neural cells that make up the brain require a delicate balance and distance between cells to properly process information, but brain movement caused by head trauma can stretch, squeeze or tear the neural cells and interrupt the brain's normal functions.

It can take weeks or months for someone to recover from a mild traumatic brain injury. After initial symptoms, a victim may experience a persistent headache, poor concentration, fatigue, light sensitivity, ringing in the ears, anxiety, depression and irritability while their brain heals. Repeated head trauma can result in longer recovery times or permanent disability.

If someone suffers brain damage due to the actions of another individual, such as in an assault or a car accident, they may wish to meet with an attorney to discuss legal remedies. A civil lawsuit could result in a financial settlement to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, lost wages and other damages.

Source: Brain Injury Association of America, "Mild Brain Injury and Concussion", December 01, 2014

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