Has a Chicago Brain Injury Changed Your Life?
Brain injuries – along with spinal cord injuries – are the most life-altering and life-threatening of all injuries. Even the most minor brain injury can leave the injured person dealing with personality changes, as well as constant pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 1.7 million Americans will suffer some level of head or brain trauma injury each year. Of those, over 50,000 will not survive the trauma, and many will never regain their prior cognitive or physical functions, forced to live their lives permanently disabled. Patients who live through a Chicago brain injury could find that they reach the limits of their medical insurance quickly, leaving them responsible for medical expenses that they simply can’t pay.
Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries
Although the brain is enclosed within hard skull bones which generally offers protection from life’s smaller bumps and bruises to the soft brain inside, when the brain comes into violent contact with a hard object, it can be seriously damaged. A closed brain injury is caused by movement of the brain within the skull, resulting from a fall, sports injury, auto accident, or altercation in which the person is struck in the head with a blunt object.
A penetrating brain injury can result from such things as a gunshot wound or being struck with a sharp object. The brain is made up of the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, cerebellum, and brain stem, and each of these have a specific function. Depending on which lobe of the brain is most affected by the brain trauma, one or more of the following functions may suffer serious changes:
- The ability to understand language can be altered
- The ability to communicate can be hindered
- The level of motor skills can change
- Visual perception can be lessened
- Inhibition of behaviors can result
- Problem-solving ability can be impeded
- The ability to plan may be lost
- The ability to anticipate can decrease
- Touch, taste, and smell can be dramatically altered
- Memory, thinking, and reasoning can change significantly
- Spatial perception can be affected
Brain trauma, even in minor forms, can result in loss of memory, depression, irritability, and the inability to concentrate. A person with a traumatic brain injury may become confused easily, may get lost in familiar areas, may be easily distracted, and may have an increased sensitivity to normal lights and sounds. The brain injury victim may be sad or angry much of the time, or may experience hesitation in the ability to think, speak, read, or react.
Most Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Nearly 20 percent of all brain injuries are the result of an auto accident. This number includes pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists who are struck by a motor vehicle. Falls account for the majority of brain injuries – about 28 percent. Children and the elderly are the most likely victims of brain injuries from falls, as they may fall out of bed, slip in the bathtub or shower, fall down the stairs, or, in the case of children, suffer a fall while playing.
About 11 percent of all brain injuries are the result of assaults or violent incidents, such as police brutality, gunshot wounds, child abuse, or domestic violence. The remainder of brain injuries in the accident category are caused by explosions, such as those experienced by military personnel, sports injuries, and injuries resulting from a construction accidents or defective product accidents. Traumatic brain injuries from sports are most common among boxers and football players, as well as those who snow ski, skateboard, or play certain sports (e.g., soccer, baseball or hockey).
Brain injury caused by medical malpractice can occur when the accepted standards of medical practice are not followed. One of the most common types of brain injury related to medical malpractice is a birth injury, in which the baby is deprived of oxygen to the brain – known as hypoxia. The improper use of anesthesia, an undiagnosed brain tumor, brain surgery gone wrong, surgical infection of the brain, or over-medication can all fall under brain injury caused by medical malpractice.
Brain Injury Elements and Types of Compensation Available
In order to fully prove your case, your Chicago traumatic brain injury attorney will show that you suffered trauma due to the negligence of another person or entity. If your injury was caused by malpractice, the lawyer will show that your physician had a specific duty of care – he or she was required to exercise a reasonable level of care in order to prevent harm – and this duty of care was breached. Your attorney will then show that this negligence was directly responsible for your resulting brain injury, and that your brain injury caused specific economic and noneconomic damages.
Contact Our Chicago Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury and you believe someone else’s negligence may be to blame, the experienced Chicago traumatic brain injury attorneys at Malman Law can help. To speak with a lawyer about your case, contact our Chicago law offices at (888) 307-7068 or schedule your free consultation online today.