Brain injuries can occur to Texas citizens on any average day. A fall, a car accident, being in the wrong place at the wrong time -- these are things that you can't predict when you walk out of the house. But they can change your life forever.
While a number of injuries may cause great concern, there are few that top brain injuries. Besides the fact that our brains are the control center for all of our body functions, the other concern is that with many brain injuries, recovery is a "wait and see" issue. It is often hard to determine if a patient will fully recover, partially recover or have later problems from the injury.
Let's take cerebral hypoxia as an example. This is a brain injury that occurs when the supply of oxygen is cut off from the brain for a period of time. It may occur from a near-drowning incident, cardiac arrest, strangling or choking, carbon monoxide poisoning, a traumatic brain injury or even during the birthing process.
The extent of damage that a person experiences usually depends on the amount of time that the brain is deprived of oxygen. A mild case may cause a person to have memory loss, be inattentive, make poor decisions, and have problems with motor skills. The more time that the brain is deprived of oxygen, the worse the effect. Seizures, coma and total brain death can occur. When brain death occurs, all brain activity is stopped and the patient must be put on life support to keep the other body parts functioning.
Recovery is often unpredictable and can take days or even years. Brain damage from carbon monoxide poisoning may not even occur right away. It may take days or weeks to show up. It can appear as amnesia, hallucinations, memory loss, personality changes, twitches and more.
When seeking compensation from a responsible party for brain injuries, it is important to consider the possible future medical issues that can occur. Knowing that a brain injury can often cause issues later in life, this should be taken into consideration before settling a claim.
Your attorney should be able to provide recommendations for long-term expectations. See our webpage on head injuries for more information on what to expect in brain injury cases.