Traumatic Brain Injury Laws

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 What is a Brain Injury?

Brain injuries are defined as any injuries which are sustained to an individual’s brain, which results in internal damage. A brain injury can be caused by a mechanical injury, for example, a blow to the head, or through a virus or an infection.

A brain injury may range from a very mild case to a case which is very severe in nature. The effects of brain injuries may, in some cases, last forever, or they may recur periodically.

A brain injury may result in the following issues:

  • Loss of motor functions;
  • Impairment with regards to:
    • attention;
    • cognition;
    • language; and
    • memory;
  • Difficulty in performing physical tasks; or
  • Neurological, psychological, and emotional disorders.

The term brain injury may also include other conditions, such as:

  • Brain damage;
  • Brain trauma; or
  • Traumatic head injury.

On the other hand, the term brain jury usually 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 have a number of different causes. The cause of the brain injury typically determines what type of legal claim an individual is able to file in connection with their injury.

If an individual sustained brain damage because of the actions of another, they may be able to file a lawsuit and to recover damages caused by the injury or injuries. Common causes of brain injuries may include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical malpractice;
  • Slip and fall;
  • Dangerous activities;
  • Automobile accidents; and
  • Product liability.

Health care professionals may be held liable if they breach medical care standards and cause a brain injury. Common causes of action related to medical malpractice include defective surgical procedures and errors in prescribing medication.

A slip and fall accident may cause an injury to the:

  • Brain;
  • Head;
  • Neck; and
  • Spinal cord.

The owner of a premises may be held liable for an individual’s injuries if they do not correct dangerous conditions on their premises. For example, spills in a grocery store or objects in the floor which cause individuals to trip.

There are some dangerous activities, such as sports and recreational activities, including skydiving, which are dangerous in nature and involve a risk of harm. These types of claims typically involve some form of negligence on the part of the defendant.

A motor vehicle collision is a leading cause of brain injury. This is especially true for accidents involving motorcycles and other specialized vehicles.

Defective products may also cause brain injuries. Especially those types of products which involve hazardous substances or products which are ingested.

One of the main issues with proving a brain injury claim is that the effects of the injury may not appear until a long period of time has passed after the incident, sometimes several years. This is true especially in cases of traumatic brain injury, or injuries that are caused by a blow to the head.

Because of this, it is very important for an injured individual to document their injuries soon after they occur. It may be helpful to make a written account of what occurred as well as to keep any medical receipts and reports related to the injury.

It is also important for an individual to list any:

  • Important Dates;
  • Witnesses; and
  • Contact information.

What is the Definition of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is one of the most damaging types of injuries an individual can endure in their brain. This type of injury has the potential to change an individual’s life forever.

A traumatic brain injury is very severe in nature. This type of injury will most likely affect the individual forever and may even prove fatal.

A traumatic brain injury may result in some of the following issues:

  • Loss of motor functions;
  • Impairment with regards to:
    • attention;
    • cognition;
    • language; and
    • memory;
  • Difficulty in performing physical tasks;
  • Neurological, psychological, and emotional disorders; or
  • Death.

It is important to note that an anoxic brain injury may also be classified as a traumatic brain injury. This type of brain injury occurs when an individual’s brain fails to receive adequate oxygen for proper functioning.

Anoxia may be a serious, permanent, or life-threatening injury which may result in cognitive issues as well as disabilities. Anoxic brain injury may also be referred to as cerebral hypoxia or hypoxic-anoxic injury (HAI).

What are Some Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries may result from a number of different causes including, but not limited to:

Can I File a Legal Claim for a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury may form the basis of a legal claim. This applies especially in cases where one party directly causes another party to sustain a brain injury or if their actions led to the brain injury.

Legal claims for brain injuries may be based on several different legal theories, including:

In any case involving a brain injury, a plaintiff will be required to prove causation. This means that the plaintiff shows that their injury can be traced back to the actions of the defendant.

In addition, the plaintiff’s claim must be for real damages which can be calculated into an actual number figure. In most cases, the legal remedy is a compensatory damages award which will help compensate the plaintiff for their medical costs as well as other expenses related to the injury.

For more information on issues related to this article, see the following LegalMatch articles:

What are the Remedies for Traumatic Brain Injuries?

As noted above, the most common legal remedy for a traumatic brain injury lawsuit is a monetary damages award. This award allows a victim of a brain injury to recover for the losses which result from the injury.

A plaintiff may be able to recover damages to cover the following:

  • Necessary and reasonable medical expenses;
  • Loss of earnings, both present losses and future losses;
  • Any other injuries which were directly caused by the brain injury;
  • Pain and suffering, both physical and mental;
  • Inability to enjoy life;
  • Exemplary or punitive damages for negligent or reckless conduct; and
  • Rehabilitation expenses.

Should I Contact a Lawyer if I have a Traumatic Brain Injury Claim?

If you have suffered a loss because of a traumatic brain injury, it may be helpful to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you possibly can. Having the assistance of an attorney who specializes in traumatic brain injury claims will help ensure that you receive the proper amount of damages to ensure that your life is not made even more difficult than it already has been due to the injuries you have sustained.

It is important to be aware that traumatic brain injury claims, similar to other types of medical cases, can be very complex to prove in court and often require testimony from an expert to help prove the causation of your injuries. In addition, many physicians and companies have either the funding to pay for an attorney or access to a staff attorney who will defend them against your claim in court.

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