The goal of these laws is to help people who have suffered from traumatic brain injury and to provide compensation for victims of traumatic brain injury. The two major organizations that are concerned with these laws are the National Head Injury Association and the Brain Injury Association of America. These two organizations actively lobby Congress by advocating for legislation to enact new laws relating to compensating individuals who suffer from traumatic brain injury.
There are three main aspects that fall under this legislation: loss of income, cost of medical care, and pain and suffering. The loss of income aspect refers to filing for unemployment benefits, and the medical care aspect refers to the cost of medical care for the victim. In some cases, both aspects are combined, and no separate compensation is necessary. Most laws include a provision that allows a victim to receive training if their job requires them to return to work. In many cases, an individual must be found eligible by the Social Security Administration before they can receive any benefits at all.
What is a Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury occurs when a person suffers a sudden and severe blow to the head. This results in swelling and loss of neurological function or damage to the brain. It is important to note that different parts of the brain may be damaged depending on where the blow occurs. Individuals who suffer from a brain injury usually experience some sort of loss of function, but the degree and severity can vary. This can manifest itself in certain bodily functions, such as:
The outcome of these symptoms can vary from individual to individual. Some people may suffer permanent brain damage, which results in a significant loss of function, while others may only have a temporary loss of function, which is not severe enough to be noticeable. In some cases, an individual may suffer another injury that puts them in critical condition. This part of the legislation was included to ensure that if the victim pays for their own care, they will be compensated for those costs.
What are Some Common Causes of Brain Injuries?
The most common causes of traumatic brain injuries include car crashes, being hit by a bullet, falls, and motorcycle accidents. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCHS), more than 1.7 million people suffered a brain injury in 2013. Car crashes are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, with nearly half occurring in motor vehicle accidents.
A traumatic brain injury can be caused by the victim being hit by a drunk driver, a driver that is texting and driving, or an intoxicated pedestrian who is struck by a moving vehicle. In addition to motor vehicle accidents, bicycle and pedestrian accidents are also responsible for approximately half of these injuries. Another common cause of traumatic brain injury is being hit by a stray bullet. This can occur from accidental fires on the street, which result in ricochets, or from the victim being struck by a bullet that was meant for someone else.
What is the Definition of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as damage to the brain that results from an external impact. A mild TBI typically causes a temporary loss of consciousness and can result in confusion, headaches, dizziness, or memory loss. More severe TBIs are those which cause a person to fall into a coma or experience persistent disruptions in mental function. This usually involves loss of consciousness and severe amnesia.
In order to be considered a TBI, according to the law, the brain must be damaged to the extent that it cannot function normally. In these cases, the victim will often have a long recovery process which can last many months or even years in some cases.
What are the Symptoms of Brain Injury?
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury usually start to show up within 24 hours after the injury, although some victims may not be aware that they have suffered a brain injury until they begin to experience symptoms. The most common symptom is a headache – this is often referred to as the "brief" or "silent" TBI. Additional symptoms include:
Loss of memory, concentration, and motor control (e.g., balance and coordination) can also result. In many cases, brain damage is only diagnosed after a victim falls into a coma or is otherwise discovered in a serious accident. In some cases, brain damage may not be noticeable until the individual suffers another injury due to the lack of sufficient blood supply to the brain. Most victims are usually diagnosed with brain damage by a neurologist who examines the victim and performs tests to determine whether or not there has been any actual damage.
Traumatic brain injuries can cause significant damage and injury to an individual. It is very important to qualify for benefits after receiving a TBI in order to receive the correct compensation for medical care and lost income. The best way to determine whether an individual is eligible for benefits after suffering a traumatic brain injury is to discuss the case with a lawyer. A personal injury attorney will investigate the accident and examine all medical records pertaining to the injury and subsequent treatment.