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    Brain Injury/Trauma
    According to a leading medical treaties, in a twelve month period nearly ten million Americans suffer from some degree of head injury, and approximately two hundred thousand of these injury victims sustain brain damage. Harm to the brain can result from blunt trauma to the head, even where the blow has left no obvious external injury. When a head wound results from someone's culpable conduct, the injured person is entitled to seek compensation for all of his or her damages stemming from the injury.

    Damages from such closed head injuries (where there is no skull penetration) can include physical injuries such as speech or sensory impairments, headaches, paralysis or seizure disorders, cognitive disabilities such as memory deficits or concentration deficits, emotional impairment including mood swings, anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction, loss of emotional control or agitation for no apparent reason. Oftentimes especially where there was no substantial external wound to the skull, claims of some of the above-described injuries, will be met with skepticism.

    Certain injuries resulting from head trauma can be especially difficult to prove and may not be immediately obvious or readily measurable. Physical problems such as frequent severe headaches, are manifested mainly through the person's subjective complaints. The organic cause of one's emotional or cognitive impairments, (mood swings, agitation, memory loss, etc.) resulting from head trauma may not be instantly apparent, in that people naturally function differently in the cognitive and emotional zones. Although proof of an injury (i.e., a definite loss of ability to function) in such areas can be a challenge, it is accomplished on a regular basis by skilled practitioners.

    Reasonably objective evidence does exist. A sudden decline in school test scores or a decrease in job performance, corresponding with a blow to the head, are indicators of a brain injury. Family, friends and other long-time associates can describe their observations of behavioral and intellectual changes in the victim. Medical experts can also offer opinions based on the patient's clinical picture. The medical community's recognized tests can provide further objective evidence of brain injury.

    Notwithstanding a lack of obvious physical harm, the above-described physical, emotional and cognitive damages can be as devastating as any more-recognizable bodily injury. Just as an organically-based physical paralysis can incapacitate an individual, frequent severe headaches or substantial emotional or intellectual impairment can also cause disability. Likewise, as with any serious injury, the victim's family and friends inevitably share in the suffering.

    Although proving emotional or cognitive injuries stemming from a head trauma can be challenging, the accomplishment of such a task is feasible. Skepticism can be overcome with reliable evidence and objective tests. It is becoming widely understood that "invisible" harm to the brain, which results in emotional or cognitive impairment, is a real and sometimes-devastating injury.


    This informational piece was prepared by Monheit, Silverman & Fodera. If you would like more information on this topic, call us at (800) 220-LAW1, or use the "Do I Have A Case?" button on this web site.

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