Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Be Smart About Brain Injuries

Be Smart About Brain Injuries

The brain controls the entire body and is the seat of the soul, an injury to it, no matter how small, can have very serious repercussions. Head and brain injuries are some of the most serious cases we handle.

One of the challenging things about brain injuries is that they can be very slow heal and difficult to know the full extent of.  There is a half heart-breaking, half heart-warming example of this over in Covington right now. In September, local woman suffered a severe brain injury when a building collapsed on her while she was chaperoning a school field trip.

The mother of two was in critical condition after the incident, and it has since been revealed that she will be a paraplegic for the rest of her life. The bright side to this sad story, it is that her brain injury is healing. Her family is so happy she has recovered to the point that she remembers who they are and is able to communicate with them.

In situations like this, it takes months, and sometimes even years to find out exactly how serious a brain injury is and whether a full recovery is possible. It is difficult to even imagine how frustrating that must be for the person who has been injured and for their family members. As the husband of the Covington woman said, “To get the diagnosis of her being a paraplegic is difficult, but losing her mind is the most difficult to deal with because you’re losing the person.”

The long recovery times and uncertain diagnoses make for some legal challenges as well.

There is only a small timeframe injured people and their families are allowed to file lawsuits. If you wait too long to file, the court can forbid you from doing so. Because brain injuries are sometimes slow to develop, and are always slow to heal, the window for filing a lawsuit may pass before anyone thinks about doing so.

The slow healing process also makes it difficult to know how much compensation is fair to ask for in a lawsuit. Injured people can be compensated for their medical bills, their lost income, future lost income, and often many other things, but an uncertain and slow recovery can make it really difficult to estimate these costs. For example, it is difficult to know whether someone who has suffered a brain injury will be able to go back to work. If they can go back to work, it is not clear that their injury and its lingering health effects will allow them to work as many years as they would have otherwise. This makes it difficult to calculate lost income.

The best thing someone who has suffered a brain injury, or who has a loved one who has suffered an injury, can do is talk with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Waiting too long to speak with an attorney, or working with an attorney that doesn’t have experience with brain injuries can significantly limit the amount of money you or your loved one will be able to collect to help with medical and other expenses.