BRAIN INJURIESBrain injuries can be permanent and are among the most debilitating injuries an individual can suffer. There are two main types of brain injuries. These are acquired brain injuries (ABI) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Acquired brain injuries can be caused by cerebral vascular accidents (strokes), as well as by hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain). Traumatic brain injuries are caused by traumas that can include blunt force trauma, shaking, or any action that causes the head and brain to move back and forth quickly. A deceleration injury like whiplash is one example. Concussions are the common example most people are familiar with.
Acquired brain injuries most often result in litigation because a medical mistake led to a lack of oxygen to the brain or stroke and related complications. Failure to timely treat the signs and symptoms of a stroke can have profound effects. Lack of oxygenation due to failures to timely manage and monitor anesthesia care during surgery, or to properly correct lack of oxygen to an infant during delivery are also scenarios causing this type of injury. Lack of oxygenation resulting in stroke and complications can be irreversible. Effects can include weakness and physical losses and are often accompanied by cognitive changes and personality changes that leave the injured individual a shell of the person they once were.
The New York State Department of Health estimates that there are nearly 400 daily incidents of traumatic brain injury and that each year there are approximately 2,000 deaths, 19,000 hospitalizations and over 112,000 emergency room visits. The leading causes of traumatic brain injury include motor vehicle accidents, falls and assaults. Concussions resulting from sports injuries, falls or car accidents are the very common. Some individuals can quickly recover from a concussion and go back to their usual activities of daily living. Others find that the concussion symptoms never fully resolve and suffer from post- concussive syndrome with cognitive, memory and other difficulties that significantly impact their ability to engage in school, work and leisure activities.
Those who suffer permanent brain injuries require lifelong care across a wide spectrum of services. Permanent brain injuries often require an individual to apply for social security disability benefits. Additionally, most individuals with permanent brain injuries find that it is in their best interest to begin the process of qualifying for Medicaid benefits to gain access to the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Waiver program for additional services. Julie has extensive experience handling claims involving brain injuries. Call for a consultation today.