What Are the Signs of a Serious Head Injury?

If you or a loved one have suffered a serious head injury, reach out to McDonald Worley. An experienced Texas brain injury lawyer may be able to help.

“Head Injury” is a broad term used for a vast array of injuries that occur to the scalp, skull, brain, underlying tissues, and blood vessels in the head. Severe head injuries are commonly referred to as brain injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI), depending on the extent of the head trauma.

Head injuries are one of the most prevalent causes of disability and death in adults. Such injuries are rising dramatically, and about 1.7 million people have a TBI each year. Millions of victims of head injury alive today need help with the activities of daily living.

The injury can range from a mild bump, bruise, contusion, or can be moderate to severe due to a concussion, deep cut, open wound, or fractured skull bone.

If you or someone you love suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, a head injury lawyer in Houston, Texas can get the compensation you need to manage the aftermath.

What Causes Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Traumatic brain injury usually occurs by a sudden blow or some other injury to the head (when the force affects the brain cells) or body. The degree of damage depends on several factors, like the nature of the injury and the force of impression.

The causes of TBI depend on the type of head injury:


Falling from a bed or a ladder, downstairs, in the bath, or on-road is one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injury. It is more prevalent in older adults and young children.

Vehicle-Related Collisions

Collisions involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles, or pedestrians can result in severe accidents. These accidents are a common cause of traumatic brain injury.


Gunshot wounds, domestic violence, child abuse, and other such offenses are common causes of moderate or severe traumatic brain injury.

Sports Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries may cause by injuries from various rough sports, including soccer, boxing, football, baseball, lacrosse, skateboarding, hockey, and other high-impact or extreme sports.

Explosive Blasts And Other Combat Injuries

Explosive blasts are a common cause of traumatic brain injuries in active-duty military personnel. Though the reason for the damage isn’t yet well understood, researchers believe that a wave of pressure passing through the brain disrupts brain function.

Symptoms Of A Traumatic Head Injury

Frequent headaches, dizziness, disorientation, and nausea are normal in a head injury. You may have problems concentrating or remembering. Some symptoms often go away in a few weeks, but many last longer if the injury is worse.

Head injuries can be mild, moderate, or severe and exhibit different symptoms.

Some of them are as follows:

Minor Head Injury

In a mild head injury, a bump may appear on the head. If the scalp is cut, bleeding may be profuse because the scalp has many blood vessels close to the skin surface. Consequently, a scalp injury may appear to be more severe than it is.

The symptoms include:

  • A mild headache
  • The raised, swollen area from a bump
  • Small bruising or superficial (shallow) cut in the scalp
  • Sensitivity to noise and light
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Balance issues
  • Nausea
  • Alteration in sleep patterns

Moderate Head Injury

Symptoms for moderate traumatic head injury or brain damage are somewhat severe than a mild TBI, and concussion symptoms are often seen. It includes:

  • Passing out for a short time
  • Confusion or distraction
  • Symptoms of concussions
  • Blurry vision or double vision
  • Repetitive Vomiting
  • A persisting headache that complicates normal activities, especially physical activities (even if temporarily)
  • Fluids draining from the nose or ears
  • Temporary changes in behavior
  • Memory complications (although complete memory loss is only possible in severe cases)
  • Low level of consciousness

Severe Head Injury

The symptoms of severe injury to the head (due to serious motor vehicle crashes, blast injuries, and other extreme types of head injuries) often start with a period of unconsciousness. The duration may vary depending on the severity of the injury and will most definitely require immediate emergency care from an emergency department health care provider.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Significant bleeding (possibility of a blood clot in the brain)
  • Passing out
  • Incapability to wake up from sleep
  • Having convulsions or seizures
  • Problems with vision, taste, or smell
  • Difficulty staying alert or awake
  • Clear fluid or blood coming out of the ears or nose
  • Bruises behind the ears
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Loss of memory (possibly for a prolonged period of time)
  • Loss of coordination for an injured person (regarding normal brain function)
  • Locked-in syndrome (a neurological condition in which a person is conscious and can think and reason but cannot speak, or move)

How Are Head Injuries Diagnosed?

The full extent of a problem can’t be understood immediately after the injury. It may uncover after comprehensive medical evaluation and diagnostic testing. Diagnosis of a head injury is done through physical examination and analytical tests. The doctor obtains a complete medical history of the patient and family for better analysis.

Diagnostic tests used for head injury diagnosis may include:

  • Blood tests
  • X-rays test help diagnose fractures or lesions. It produces images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto a film. 
  • A computed tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan) shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) records the continuous electrical activity of the brain using electrodes attached to the scalp.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) produces detailed images of organs and structures within the body.

What Are The Treatments For Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

The treatments for TBI depend on many factors, like the size, severity, and location of the head injury. For mild TBI, the chief treatment is rest. If you have a headache, try taking over-the-counter pain relievers.

Other TBI treatments include:

  • Ice the wound
  • Rest
  • Topical antibiotic, ointment, and adhesive bandages
  • Immediate medical attention
  • Stitches
  • Hospitalization for observation
  • Minor surgery
  • Moderate sedation or assistance with breathing using a breathing machine, mechanical ventilator, or a respirator
  • While, in case of moderate to severe TBI, the health care providers will try to stabilize you to prevent further injury.

Once the person suffering from intracranial pressure, axonal injury, closed head injury, penetrating head injuries, spinal cord injury, and other traumatic injuries, is comparatively stable, the treatment starts:


Doctors perform surgery to reduce additional damage to your brain, i.e., to:

  • Remove hematomas (clotted blood)
  • Get rid of impaired or dead brain tissue
  • Repair skull fractures
  • Relieve pressure in the skull


Medicines can treat the symptoms of TBI and lower the associated risks, such as:

  • Anti-anxiety medication to reduce the feelings of nervousness and fear
  • Anticoagulants to avoid blood clots
  • Anticonvulsants to avert seizures
  • Antidepressants to treat depression and mood instability

Rehabilitation Therapies

The rehabilitation therapies include treatments for physical, emotional, and cognitive difficulties after the severe head injury:

  • Physical therapy builds physical strength, coordination, and flexibility
  • Occupational therapy allows you to learn or relearn how to perform daily task
  • Psychological counseling help work on relationships and improve your emotional well-being
  • Vocational counseling focuses on your ability to return to work and deal with workplace challenges

Some people with TBI may have permanent disabilities. A TBI can also put you at risk for other health problems such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Treating these problems can improve the quality of your life.

Can A Head Injury Be Prevented Or Avoided?

You cannot always prevent head injuries, but you can do things to decrease the risk. These include:

  • Wearing seatbelt and booster seats for children in the car
  • Wearing a helmet on a motorcycle or bicycle
  • Wearing proper protective gear when playing extreme sports
  • Keeping a close watch on children and elderly for falls or accidents
  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol

A Texas Brain Injury Lawyer at McDonald Worley May Be Able to Help

If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury, a professional attorney can help deal with complex cases. If we’re able to take on your case, a Houston, Texas personal injury attorney at McDonald Worley will work closely with investigators, industry/professional experts, and medical professionals to ensure that you are appropriately compensated for your traumatic brain injury.

When you reach out to us, we will make you feel heard and do all we can to strengthen your position.

Call us today!


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