A brain injury claim is just one of many personal injury claims that are filed in the United States daily. According to the Department of Rehabilitation in California, approximately 1.7 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury yearly. These claims arise from accidents caused by the negligence of others and can have varying degrees of severity. This comprehensive paraphrase will explore the nature of brain injury claims and how the severity of the injury affects a personal injury case.
What is a Brain Injury Claim?
To fully grasp the concept of a brain injury claim, it is important to understand that it results from trauma or a blow to the head due to an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Such claims are considered among the more complex types of personal injury claims since they consider the potential lifelong consequences of the injury. The responsible party must compensate the victim for immediate and future injuries resulting from the accident.
Categories of Brain Injury Claims:
Brain injuries sustained from car accidents can vary in terms of severity. It is crucial to distinguish between the different types of brain injuries that can occur in such accidents in order to determine the appropriate type of claim to file.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Claim: Traumatic brain injury is the result of sudden, forceful blows to the head or skull. This type of brain injury can occur due to falls, car accidents, blasts, combat, or sports activities. Traumatic brain injuries can manifest as either closed or open head wounds or skull fractures that penetrate the brain tissue. Additionally, victims may suffer from a concussion, contusion, diffuse axonal injuries, or penetration injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries can be categorized as mild or moderate to severe. Mild traumatic brain injuries can heal over time, but they can still temporarily affect the brain, lasting from a few hours to several days. Symptoms of mild TBI include brief loss of consciousness, confusion, disorientation, nausea, headache, oversleeping or difficulty sleeping, sensory problems, memory issues, and mood swings.
On the other hand, moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries have long-lasting effects and may even result in death. Symptoms of moderate to severe TBI include significant loss of consciousness, progressive headaches, seizures, convulsions, dilation of pupils, drainage of clear fluid from the nose or ears, coordination loss, agitation, confusion, and slurred speech.
- Anoxic Brain Injury Claim: An anoxic brain injury claim can be filed if an individual sustains this type of injury. An anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen. If an anoxic brain injury is left untreated, it can lead to cell death and permanent brain damage. In some cases, it may even result in death if not treated within four to six minutes after it occurs.
There are three types of anoxic brain injuries: anemic, toxic, and anoxic anoxia. Anemic anoxia occurs when the blood cannot carry enough oxygen to the brain due to insufficient hemoglobin levels. Toxic anoxia occurs when chemicals or poisons prevent the blood from effectively taking oxygen to the brain. Lastly, anoxic anoxia is caused by a lack of breathing oxygen, leading to suffocation.
Symptoms of anoxic brain injuries include confusion, loss of consciousness, dizziness, nausea, changes in behavior or sensation, and intense headaches. Cognitive symptoms such as depression, anxiety, difficulty performing previously simple tasks, trouble with recognition, heightened fears or phobias, and memory problems can also result from this type of injury.
- Hypoxic Brain Injury Claim: A hypoxic brain injury is similar to an anoxic brain injury, with the distinction being that the brain still receives some oxygen, albeit at dangerously low levels. Hypoxic brain injuries can occur due to various factors. For example, a victim may have inhaled carbon monoxide during a fire, or someone at a high altitude of 8,000 feet may suffer from this type of brain injury. Other common causes include choking, strangulation, anesthetic errors, extremely low blood pressure, and asthma attacks.
The signs and symptoms of hypoxic brain injuries depend on the severity of the injury. Mild hypoxic brain injuries may result in temporary memory loss, reduced body locomotion, or difficulty focusing or making sound decisions. Severe hypoxic brain injuries, on the other hand, can lead to seizures, coma, or even brain death.
Regarding brain injury claims, the damages awarded depend on the physical and emotional injuries the victim suffers. There are two main types of damages: general damages and special damages.
General damages are non-economic and encompass the victim’s pain and suffering resulting from their injuries. This type of damages entitles the victim to financial compensation for their mental and physical issues directly related to the accident. General damages include mental anguish, mental health issues, loss of love, care, or companionship, reduced quality of life, disfigurement or physical impairment, and current and future physical and emotional suffering. Calculating the monetary value of general damages can be challenging, and experts are often consulted to assess the severity of the injury.
Special damages, on the other hand, are economical and cover financial losses incurred due to the injury. These can include medical bills, lost earnings, property damage, loss of rare or one-of-a-kind items, other out-of-pocket expenses, and present and future expenses for maintenance or ongoing treatments. Special damages are generally easier to calculate, as they can be supported by documents such as receipts and invoices.
Sustaining a brain injury in a car accident can be incredibly physically and emotionally challenging. In addition to the pain and suffering, victims often have to deal with the financial burdens of medical treatment. If you have been injured in an accident or have suffered a brain injury, it is essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Working with a personal injury lawyer is crucial to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Before proceeding with a brain injury claim, it is crucial to clearly understand the nature of such cases and the types of damages that can be awarded. This knowledge will empower you to navigate the legal process and make well-informed decisions confidently. If you are in Orange County and searching for a personal injury lawyer, consider reaching out to RMD Law. Their team of experienced lawyers is ready to provide the dedicated representation you need, and they offer a free case evaluation to assess your situation.