First, it should be clarified that not all head injuries are brain injuries. Just because someone has sustained an injury to the head does not automatically refer to brain damage.
Under federal law, a traumatic brain injury is damage to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial disability or impairment. This means that the injury had an adverse effect on the victim’s cognition, language skills, memory, attention, reasoning, or abstract thinking skills, among others. A brain injury may also affect motor skills, sensory and/or perceptual abilities, psychosocial behavior, and physical functions.
To determine if you have a traumatic brain injury, you need to consult with a qualified medical professional. They will run one or more tests in order to determine the level of consciousness, brain function, and the degree of physical damage to the brain.
One common test is the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), used to evaluate a person’s responsiveness after a head injury. For example, if the injury seems to have affected the patient’s ability to speak or move, that could indicate brain damage. The GCS scale helps gauge the severity of brain damage, by giving the patient a score on a scale from 1-15. A score of 8 or below indicates severe brain trauma, while 9-15 indicates moderate to mild brain injuries.