The consequences of a brain injury can vary from minor trauma to serious and even fatal conditions, all depending on the severity and site of injury. The diagnosis and study of brain injuries is a complicated and intricate task. Head injuries can leave a person at times only with slight temporary personality changes (sensory problems, confusion, mood changes) however, it could also cause someone to display very explicit signs of brain injury, such as loss of speech and/or motor skills. If you or a loved one have undergone a brain injury contact the Law Office of Ben Roberts. Our Attorneys can clarify your legal options, including aggressively working towards acquiring monetary compensation for your injuries.
THE CAUSE OF BRAIN INJURIES
Brain injury classification varies. Brain injuries may either be caused by direct contact or no contact. In a “direct contact” traumatic brain injury, the brain is injured due to an outside force to the head. In addition, a “direct contact” brain injury may be a penetrating injury or a closed head injury and can result in brain swelling, bruising of the brain tissue, or nerve shearing. Furthermore, a so-called “countercoup injury” may occur, which is a brain injury on the opposite side of the impacted point. A countercoup injury can happen if the head is moving at the time of the contact and occurs as a result of the brain smashing into that side of the cranium. Although there may not be any external indication of damage to the head, major injury to the brain could still have occurred.
Contact Brain Injuries can be the result of:
Auto and truck accidents
Slipping and falling
It is not necessary for one to hit his or her head to be a victim of brain injury. For example, oftentimes brain injury can occur as a result of a non-contact injury such as whiplash. Furthermore, a person can suffer severe brain damage as a result of a stroke or heart attack. Medical emergencies, such as a stroke and a heart attack can distress the brain’s blood and oxygen supply, causing localized or even extensive brain damage. Additionally, the brain may be injured by a stroke or heart attack due to severe oxygen starvation that is caused by choking or cardiac arrest. It is crucial to understand that traumatic brain injury is vastly different from these types of anoxic brain injuries, where there is not enough oxygen going to the brain. Unlike anoxic brain damage, which results in brain cells dying because of oxygen starvation, traumatic injuries can result in bruising or swelling of the brain.
A major brain injury can drastically affect a person’s ability to live a normal life. The person may suffer physical and/or behavioral effects, depending on the location and severity of the brain injury. A severe brain injury may affect a person’s life in many aspects: the ability to work, to learn new material, to be independent and even to interact with his or her loved ones.
DIAGNOSING AND TREATING BRAIN INJURY
Recognizing and proving permanent brain injury can be a difficult task; especially due to the fact that the associated changes in a person’s behavior or personality can often be subtle. In order to provide the best medical treatment for a brain injury victim, it is crucial to get diagnosed by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Rehabilitation for brain-injury victims depends upon the severity and cause of the injury. For instance, a person may require both physical and occupational therapy in order to not only condition muscles but also to re-adapt and re-learn daily activities. In general, the earlier the treatment initiation, the better the recovery.
ESTABLISHING YOUR CASE
It can be difficult for a plaintiff to prove his or her case due to the fact that brain injury cases entail many unique issues. Bringing in a brain injury lawsuit may be difficult especially if there is a delay in diagnosis and treatment. A delay in detection and confirmation of such injuries may make it look like the injuries are not that severe. Additionally, since brain injury victims for the most part appear “normal” it can create a further obstacle in establishing the victim’s injuries and damages to the jury. Furthermore, diagnostic tests, such as CT scans and MRI’s often do not detect many closed head injuries and minor brain trauma, making it even more difficult to prove to the jury. Also, people with brain injuries oftentimes experience memory loss and do not recall the incident that caused the injury. If the victim experiences difficulties remembering the incident that left him or her suffering from such injuries, the attorney may call individuals who witnessed the accident to testify. Besides the accident witnesses, the plaintiff will likely need to call other witnesses that played an important role in the victim’s life, such as family members, friends, and coworkers, to testify about the plaintiff’s condition pre and post-accident. Witnesses may testify about the plaintiff’s problems with his or her memory, coordination, feelings, reading, communication, sleep, pain, etc.
The defendant may try to raise the argument that the plaintiff is not suffering from brain injury. This argument normally takes one of two approaches: The defendant may try to argue that the plaintiff’s injuries are the cause of a mental or emotional condition or that it’s just plain exaggeration. Defendants may also argue that the brain injury was caused before the accident date or his suffering was not entirely caused by the accident that is the focus of the lawsuit.
Becoming a victim of brain injury can be overwhelming to both the victim and the victim’s family. The cost of suffering from a brain injury can drive the victim and his or her loved ones into an ongoing financial crisis; the possibility of not making a full recovery from brain injury and requiring therapy and medical assistance for life should be considered. A good personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve from the responsible parties.
Brain injury cases are some of the most difficult to handle. Insurance companies may not believe an injury occurred because they are difficult to diagnose. However, it is still possible to get a good settlement if the liability and damages are strong. Call the Law office of Ben Roberts if you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury.