A person who experiences any type of head trauma is at risk of developing a brain injury. The following reviews different types and causes of brain injuries, treatment and prognosis for brain injuries, and compensation options in Connecticut following a brain injury.
Types and Causes of Brain Injuries
The brain is a unique organ, and as such, each and every brain injury is distinct in how it affects its victim. There are two overarching categories of brain injuries — traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and acquired brain injuries (ABIs). The former is a type of brain injury incurred as a result of force; the latter is any brain injury acquired after birth. A TBI is technically a type of ABI, but ABIs are generally considered any brain injury acquired after birth that is not related to trauma.
Some common types of TBI and ABI are as follows.
- Shaken baby syndrome
- Penetrating injury
- Diffuse axonal injury
All of the above can be serious and life threatening. Brain injuries are caused by severe shaking, a direct blow to the head, a penetrating injury (gunshot wound, stab wound), whiplash and lack of oxygen. Some types of accidents that may lead to a brain injury may be a car accident, slip and fall accident, near-drowning accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident and any other accident type in which the head and brain is traumatized in some manner.
Treatment for a Brain Injury
Like all injuries, the specific treatment method employed is dependent upon the exact type and severity of the brain injury. Mild traumatic brain injuries, such as a mild concussion, usually require no treatment at all other than rest. More traumatic brain injuries, such as a penetrating injury, may require emergency surgery. In addition to surgery, medications may be used to induce a coma (used to reduce swelling in the brain), prevent seizures (a common side effect of a brain injury), and reduce the level of fluid in the brain.
Prognosis for a brain injury, like treatment, depends on the severity of the injury. Some brain injury victims may require months or even years of rehabilitative therapy. This therapy may include speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and more. Sometimes, a person will never regain certain motor or cognitive skills after a brain injury. Other times, skills will be reacquired, but the progression is slow. A brain injury often forces a person to retire early, decrease social outings and otherwise make adaptations to his or her lifestyle.
Compensation Options for Damages Caused by a Brain Injury
The treatment can lead to significant medical bills and the prognosis and long-term effects may cause a number of injury-related expenses.
If a person’s brain injury was the result of an accident that another person caused — such as a pedestrian accident caused by a drunk driver — then the victim has the right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This is called filing a personal injury claim for damages. Victims should talk to a lawyer about the insurance company or other party against which they can file a claim. This may include an auto insurer, a homeowner insurer, etc. If the insurance claim does not resolve the case, then the victim may have to pursue a civil lawsuit.
Victims who file a claim or lawsuit may recover both economic (damages for monetary losses) and noneconomic (damages for physical and emotional harm) damages. All personal injury claims in Connecticut must be filed within two years after the injury occurs.
Call MLKB& R for Legal Help Now
At Murphy, Laudati, Kiel, Buttler & Rattigan, LLC, our personal injury and brain injury attorneys believe that all brain injury victims deserve to have the best representation possible and will strive to provide exactly that. To set up a free case consultation with our lawyers today, call 860-674-8296 now.