A brain injury is defined as any injury sustained to the brain, resulting in internal damage. Brain injury may be caused by mechanical injury (such as a blow to the head) or through infection or virus.
Brain injuries can range from very mild cases to those that are very severe in nature. The effects of a brain injury can sometimes last indefinitely, or they can recur periodically. Brain injury may result in the following:
- Loss of motor functions;
- Impairment with regards to attention, cognition, language, and memory;
- Difficulty in performing physical tasks; and/or
- Neurological, psychological, and emotional disorders.
The term “brain injury” also includes other conditions such as brain damage, brain trauma, or traumatic head injury. On the other hand, the term brain injury generally does not include Alzheimer’s disease, alcohol-related effects, or infirmities due to normal aging.
What are Some Common Causes of Brain Injuries?
A brain injury can result from a number of different causes. The cause of a brain injury usually determines what type of legal claim may be filed in connection with the injury. If a person received brain damage due to the acts of another, they may be able to file suit and recover damages caused by the injury. Some common causes of brain injury include:
- Medical Malpractice: A health care professional can be held liable if their breach of medical care standards causes a brain injury. A few common causes of action in this regard include defective surgical procedures and errors in prescribing medication.
- Slip and Fall: A slip and fall can cause serious injury to the brain, head, neck, and spinal cord. Owners of premises may be held liable if they do not correct dangerous conditions on their premises.
- Dangerous Activities: Some sports and recreational activities such as sky diving are dangerous in nature and involve a risk of harm. These types of claims usually involve some form of negligence on the part of the defendant.
- Automobile Accidents: Motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of brain injury. This is especially true for motorcycles and other specialized vehicles.
- Products Liability: Defective products can cause brain injury, particularly those products that are ingested or those products that involve hazardous substances.
One of the main difficulties in proving a brain injury claim is that the effects of the injury may not appear until a long time after the incident, sometime several years. This is especially true of traumatic brain injury (injuries that are caused by a blow to the head).
For this reason, it is very important to properly document any injuries soon after they occur. It helps to make a written account of what happened and to keep all medical receipts and reports. Be sure to list important dates, witnesses, and contact information.
Can I File a Legal Claim for a Brain Injury?
Brain injuries can form the basis of a legal claim. This is especially true where one party directly causes the other party’s brain injury, or if their actions led to the injury. Legal claims for brain injuries can be based on legal theories such as:
- Worker’s compensation/disability
- Assault and battery
- Slip and fall
In any case, the plaintiff generally needs to prove causation, i.e., that the injuries can be traced back to the defendant’s actions. Also, the plaintiff’s claim must involve real damages that can be quantified into an actual number figure. The legal remedy in most cases is a monetary damages award to help compensation for medical costs and other expenses.
What are the Remedies for Brain Injuries?
The standard legal remedy in brain injury lawsuits is a monetary damages award. This remedy allows the victim of a brain injury to recover for their losses that result from the injury. The individual may be able to recover for the following:
- Necessary and reasonable medical expenses
- Loss of earnings (both presently and in the future)
- Any other injuries caused directly by the injury
- Pain and suffering (both physical and mental)
- Inability to enjoy life
- Exemplary or punitive damages for negligent or reckless conduct
Should I Contact a Lawyer if I have a Brain Injury Claim?
If you have suffered losses due to a brain injury, you may wish to speak with a local personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Hiring a personal injury attorney that specializes in brain injury claims will assure that you receive the right amount of damages to ensure that life will not be made more difficult than it already has as a result of the injury.