This might seem like a surprising question, but it’s one we get often. And that’s because science is starting to show that brain injuries may in fact affect opposite sex and genders differently. We’ve seen it ourselves in the variety of traumatic brain injury clients we’ve help after they suffered an accident like a car crash or a severe slip and fall.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, it’s important to understand what type of recovery you face after suffering a brain injury. That’s because it not only helps to build your case should you be seeking to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries, but it also helps to better prepare yourself and your family for what the future might hold.
Q: What is a traumatic brain injury?
A: A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when some type of external force is suddenly enacted on the head and/or brain, causing some type of severe trauma or damage. In turn, this damage causes a series of physiological and sometime psychological effects that can be life-altering or even life-threatening. There are many different types of brain injuries and TBIs that can occur during an accident, leading to symptoms like loss of consciousness, memory loss, loss of motor function or other normal bodily functions, mood swings, headaches, and more.
Sometimes, the above symptoms are just signs that a brain injury may have occurred. If ignored or left untreated by a medical professional, some TBIs can result in lasting or permanent damage that includes a variety of the above, as well as possibilities like coma and even death.
Q: Do some injuries cause more damage to men than to women, or vice versa?
A: Not exactly. We’ll start by saying that no two people’s injuries are ever identical. You could put two men (or two women) in the exact same hypothetical accident scenario, impact their heads with the exact same items, force, and angles, and they still might walk away with their injuries looking different from one another. This is because no person’s skin, muscle tissue, or bone is exactly the same as another’s. So it stands to reason that if you were to put one woman and one man in identical hypothetical accident scenarios, they too would be affected differently, but not because they are a different sex or gender.
The initial injury to the brain itself often affects men and women in similar ways, but no one gender of person is equipped to handle severe trauma to the head better than the other. Instead, science has started to explore the possibility that the major differences between men and women when it comes to brain injuries are in their recovery processes.
Q: How is the recovery process impacted by gender?
A: For decades, extensive study of human anatomy and physiology has shown that males and females have some pretty dramatic differences in certain neurodevelopment. These are often due to the differences in hormone balances that males and females have. And this has led many scientists and doctors to start believing that these differences may affect how an injured brain recovers.
Recent and ongoing studies are starting to show that the increased levels of estrogen and progesterone in females may actually help them to physically recover from brain injuries more thoroughly than men, or have fewer medical complications of the brain after suffering a TBI. However, women have also been found to suffer worse clinical outcomes than men after a TBI. In layman’s terms, this means that women who suffer a TBI may have worsened quality of life after the fact, even though the tissues of their brain might heal better than that of a man’s.
Such clinical outcomes that may contribute to a worsened quality of life may include things like permanent memory loss, a change in mood or personality, worsened cognitive abilities, or worsened motor skills and functions.
Though there are no apparent structural differences between the brains of men and women, there apparently are differences in the way each genders’ bodies react to help an injured brain recover. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the role of sex and gender in brain injuries is a field that still has much room for exploration and analysis.
Q: Does my gender play a role in filing a brain injury accident lawsuit?
A: Absolutely not! If your TBI accident was caused by the negligence of another person, you have every right to pursue filing a lawsuit against the responsible party. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman, how your injuries might have affected you differently from someone else, or how your recovery process is going. Understanding the differences in how a TBI might affect a man versus a woman is more of a means for understanding why your injuries happened the way they did, what your recovery process has looked like and might look like down the road ahead, and using those factors to determine exactly how much compensation you deserve.
Whether the responsible party might have been a reckless driver on the road, the owner of a premise where you suffered a trip/slip and fall, or another type of scenario might have occurred entirely, don’t let your stance on your injuries or your recovery stop you from seeking the justice you deserve.
When to Contact a St. Louis Brain Injury Attorney
If you believe you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, seek medical attention immediately. Then reach out to a personal injury lawyer experienced in litigating traumatic brain injury cases.