You or a loved one has suffered a brain injury — it may be anything from a concussion that resulted from slipping on a wet floor, being in a car accident, or oxygen deprivation during a medical procedure that has led to permanent cognitive damage. It is important to know the facts about brain injuries and the legal recourse available after you have been injured.
Common Types of Brain Injuries
A brain injury is best described as damage to the brain, possibly resulting in death. The difficulties associated with brain injuries may be temporary, or they may result in permanent damage. There are two basic categories of brain injuries: traumatic and acquired. Both can have devastating results and neither should be treated lightly.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are often seen in connection with car accidents, slips and falls, workplace accidents, or defective products. This category of brain injury includes:
- Concussions, which result from a direct impact to the head or a whip-lash
- Contusions, which are the result of an impact that results in localized bleeding on the brain itself
- Coup-contrecoup contusions, which are impacts that cause the brain to slam into the opposite side of the skull, thus creating a second contusion where the brain impacts the skull
- Penetrative injuries, where an object pierces through the skull and enters the brain
- Diffuse axonal injury, which results from shaking or rotational forces that actually cause tears in different brain structures
It is also important to note that not all traumatic brain injuries result from a direct blow to the head. These are simply the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries. You may still have a valid claim even if your injury was not suffered in one of these ways, so it is important to contact a personal injury attorney.
Acquired Brain Injuries
Acquired brain injuries are very different from traumatic injuries but are no less serious and can be just as life-threatening. This type of brain injury includes:
- Anoxia, which is absolute oxygen deprivation that often results in cell death and can be fatal
- Hypoxic brain injury, which is partial oxygen deprivation and results in the same issues as anoxia (cell death, potentially fatal)
The vast majority of acquired brain injuries result from medical malpractice, while some may be related to defective medical equipment.
The Aftermath of a Brain Injury
The effect that a brain injury can have on your daily life depends on the type of injury, its seriousness, and which parts of the brain were affected. For example, some brain injuries can damage the speech centers of your brain, which may mean many long speech therapy sessions to restore your ability to communicate effectively. Other injuries might affect your ability to move, resulting in partial paralysis that may be temporary or full paralysis that you may never be able to recover from. A brain injury may render you dependent on a cane, walker, or wheelchair.
If the part of your brain that handles memory is damaged, you may require cognitive therapy and no longer be able to hold intellectually demanding jobs. There are naturally going to be emotional repercussions, some directly related to the injury itself and others as a natural result of struggling with the limitations that come with brain injuries. In short, brain injuries can seriously lower the quality of your life.
There is also the financial impact resulting from brain injuries that can include medical costs, lost wages, and loss of future wages. If the injury is serious, you may need continuing and long-term therapy, including psychological, physical, and cognitive — which is often out of reach financially for those who have suffered this type of injury. Filing a brain injury lawsuit may help you recover those costs.
Legal Basis for a Brain Injury Lawsuit
The basis for many brain injury lawsuits is negligence. If you bring a negligence lawsuit, you will be responsible for showing that the defendant had a legal obligation to be reasonably careful, the defendant was not reasonably careful, and that the defendant’s action/inaction caused your injuries.
Two things all brain injury lawsuits have in common is the need to demonstrate clearly that the brain injury was caused by the defendant (whether the defendant is a drunk driver, a careless medical provider, or a company that knowingly sold a defective product) and the extent of the brain injury. Because these types of injuries are so complex, you should consult with a lawyer that has experience in brain injury cases.
Brain injuries are serious and they are scary. There are provisions under the law to help those who have been injured receive compensation. The type of lawsuit you pursue depends heavily on how you were injured — automobile accidents, slip and fall, medical negligence, or the result of a defective product. The amount of compensation you are eligible for will depend greatly on the type and seriousness of the injury and the effects that the injury has had on your life. Fortunately, there are experienced lawyers who can help you navigate the process of filing a brain injury lawsuit.
Contact Sacchetta & Baldino
At Sacchetta & Baldino, we have a great deal of experience dealing with brain injury cases, including both traumatic and acquired brain injuries. We work closely with experts in neurology, neuropsychology, neurosurgery, and life care planning to develop a strong case that can be understood by an insurance adjuster, a judge, or the jury called upon to render a verdict in your case. Contact us today so that we can put our years of experience and successful track record to work for you and make sure you receive the compensation the law provides.