A head and brain injury is a common injury type that results from a car accident, or other traumatic accident. These types of injuries can range in severity, and can often cause permanent impairment for a victim.
Types of Brain Injuries
Perhaps the brain injury type that the majority of people are most familiar with is a concussion. A concussion is considered a type of traumatic brain injury, as it alters the function of the brain. Concussions, like brain injuries in general, can range in severity, and may or may not result in unconsciousness, a blood clot, or long-term complications.
Another type of brain injury is a contusion. A contusion is a bruise on the surface of the brain. A contusion occurs when trauma to the brain happens, usually in the form of a direct blow to the head.
Coup-contrecoup and diffuse axonal brain injuries are two brain injury types that few people are familiar with. The first refers to a contusion that is on both sides of the brain, even though the trauma site was only on a single brain side. The second contusion is directly opposite of the first. The latter brain injury type, an axonal brain injury, is a type of injury where the brain structures tear. The tearing disrupts brain function, and can result in coma or death.
A penetration injury is another type of brain injury, and refers to the case of an object piercing through the skull and penetrating the brain.
Levels of Brain Injuries
In addition to types of brain injuries, there are also levels of brain injuries. These levels are measured using the Glascow Coma Scale. They are classified as a mild traumatic brain injury (13-15 on the Glascow Coma Scale), a moderate traumatic brain injury (9-12 on the Glascow Coma Scale), and a severe traumatic brain injury.
Causes of Brain Injuries
The type of brain injury that a victim sustains is dependent upon the cause of the brain injury, as well as the applied force related to the injury. Most traumatic brain injuries, such as the contusion injury mentioned above, are the result of blunt force coming in contact with the head or brain. Some types of brain injuries, though, like a axonal brain injury, occur as a result of shaking – Shaken Baby Syndrome is caused by shaking, and results in a an axonal brain injury – or by rotational forces.
Common causes of brain injuries include a car accident, pedestrian accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall accident, or a bicycle accident.
Long-term effects of a Brain Injury
The long-term effects of a brain injury, especially when the brain injury is classified as severe, are often devastating. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a severe TBI can have negative repercussions for a person’s sensory, motor, cognitive, and emotional functions. Sometimes, a traumatic brain injury can render a victim completely mentally dependent upon another person for the remainder of the victim’s life. Other times, a brain injury allows a person to remain self-sufficient, but greatly alters their mood or cognitive abilities.
How is a brain injury diagnosed?
A person who is suffering from a brain injury or a supposed brain injury should meet with a medical professional immediately – when the brain is in jeopardy, failing to receive immediately medical care can worsen the effects of the injury.
During an examination, a doctor will assess a patients physical and cognitive symptoms, such as dizziness, inability to think or speak clearly, unconsciousness, paralysis, changes in vision, nausea or vomiting, and more. In addition to assessing all visible symptoms, a doctor will also most likely use a CT Scan, MRI, or other imaging technology to diagnose the TBI, and assess its severity.
Treatment for a Brain Injury
The most important pat of treating a brain injury occurs immediately following the accident. A medical professional is responsible for stabilizing the victims as soon as possible. In some cases, surgical treatment may be performed to prevent a secondary injury from occurring, and to assist in maintaining healthy blood flow and oxygen levels to the brain. In most cases though, a brain injury is treated with rehabilitative therapy.
Financial Recovery Options for Brain Injury Victims
Brain injuries are usually caused by traumatic accidents, as noted above. Because these accidents are often not the fault of the victim, a victim of a brain injury may be able to recover financial compensation by filing a personal injury suit against the person who caused the accident. For example, if a victim was involved in an accident with a drunk driver, and the accident was the direct cause of the traumatic brain injury, then the drunk driver may be held liable for the victim’s injuries because he acted negligently, or outside of what is considered legal and rational behavior.
In Massachusetts, a victim may only file a lawsuit for personal injury damages following a car accident if they have sustained a severe injury resulting in permanent disfigurement or impairment.
How much can I recover?
If you’ve been in an accident that resulted in a brain injury, you are probably wondering how much you can recover by filing a personal injury suit. The amount that you may be awarded is dependent upon:
- The extent of your injuries
- The cost of your medical bills
- The amount of financial loss you’ve suffered
- Your percentage of negligence
Economic damages are damages that are paid based on economic loss alone, such as medical bills, treatment or therapy costs, or lost wages due to the injury. Non-economic damages are paid based on more immeasurable things, such as the extent of your pain and suffering, or the severity of your permanent impairment.
Contact a Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorney for Legal Help Today
If you or a loved one think you may have have sustained a brain injury from the result of an accident, then you should speak to an attorney sooner than later. At Louison Costello Condon & Pfaff, we have the experience it takes to make sure you recover the most damages possible and get you the medical and emotional help you will need. Call us now at 617-439-0305 to speak to one of our experienced compassionate attorneys. We are easy to talk to and understand your situation.