Jul 27, 2020

Brain Injuries in Prisons, Military, Sports


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For many, their biggest fear is a severe head or spinal injury. Either can permanently affect their mobility. These ailments can also drastically change the personality and quality of life of the victims. For many victims, the changes are permanent and irreversible. Even treatable conditions can take months or years. They can also lead to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills. This is in combination with lost work, severe changes to your family, and tremendous pain and suffering.

There are no winners in such injuries. The severity of brain injuries can take many forms and come with an enormous number of complications. A Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, caused by accident is a devastating diagnosis. What does one do when faced with an injury in such a manner? It is first and foremost essential to work with your family, doctor, and an attorney.

Let them determine the exact amount of damage that you face. Common issues include the cost of immediate treatment. Another big problem has to do with lost work. These are just the tip of the iceberg. There could be other issues not even considered early in the process.


Are Brain Injury Costs a Complex Problem?

Being able to determine the true cost of the injury adequately is complex-- a bit of combining actuarial math with medical science. The sheer cost of therapy can reach into the millions. Your attorney and doctor can work together to estimate your lifetime.

You must find out the costs of such rehabilitation, and we will do the job to have it paid in full. You can also fit in the value of your medications and psychological stress. Many people lose a significant quality of life.

This loss of quality includes their inability to spend time with their family. They may not even be able to consort with their significant other. They will be entitled to general and special damages in the form of money to pay for their losses.

Studies have provided data that show how some of these injuries affect the victim over time. So injuries may reveal themselves later. Also, data shows that these people may have more overall complications than healthy subjects. Thus, these studies indicate that head injuries can slowly affect behavior over time.


Study Data On U.S. Servicemembers.

Helpful data that exists from one recent study were presented by the American Stroke Association. This information was provided at the International Stroke Conference. Most of all, researchers found evidence that U.S. combat soldiers may suffer more complications with traumatic brain injury (TBI.)

Also, the second study in this area funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center. Said study was released in February. The data from the first study showed that more than 40% of patients with TBIs have inter-cranial pressure. Also, it showed they suffer from Vasospasms. This condition holds whether a closed head injury or open head injury. The Army-funded study focused on treatment to help both military personnel and civilians. The design was to help all who have traumatic brain injuries.

Researchers published the study by the University of Utah National Center for Veteran’s Studies. The data in the study concluded that multiple brain injuries could result in the individual having an increase in suicidal thoughts. And this remains true even if they are minor.

The highest number of suicide rates remains military personnel. The other information found that military personnel has a higher probability of suffering a single or multiple brain injuries. Brain injuries mainly afflict infantry and motor transport troops, especially U.S. Marines, who are always riflemen first.

This study went even more in-depth and found that suicide is the second leading cause of death involving military personnel. The staggering numbers from 2008 showed over 100,000 service members’ deaths. The quantity has increased by about 50% from 2001 to 2008 according to the study data.

Other experts associated with the study have claimed the increased suicide rate has a connection to the increase in psychiatric illness in servicemen and women.

What Are Some Other Brain Injury Factors?

This is also during the period following the 9/11 attacks and the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have a significant effect on these numbers.

One of the leading causes of injuries suffered by veterans of these two conflicts has been traumatic head injuries. The study does state that service members suffering from a TBI are more likely to take their own life.

During the study, over 150 military personnel and some private contractors were examined. These had been in combat zones in Iraq. Service members were recovering in military hospitals from brain injuries when examined. The examinations found that seven percent of the service members had a first-time brain injury.

  • 22% of the servicemen and women tested who suffered multiple brain injuries said they had suicidal thoughts.

Brain injuries have a wide range of consequences. So here, the study focused on military personnel. This study was to understand why the suicide rates were so high when compared to similarly situated civilians. Service members are not the only individuals who suffer this type of injury, however.

Harm to the brain can occur in civilian life. It is often one of the injuries suffered in an auto accident. The statistics bear this out. These stats show approximately 2 million traumatic brain injuries occur in the United States annually.

Factors Surrounding Military TBIs.

This number, when separated into incidents, equals approximately one-third of TBI’s happening in car accidents involving non-military members.

This means if your client kills him or herself during your claim, or court case, you may need to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of those left behind!

TBI damage treatments and the expense can be devastating. But then added to these factors remain the likely increase in suicidal thoughts makes this type of harm even more dangerous. This risk proves that this type of damage to the body is severe.

However, there are many brain injuries never treated. Leaving this kind of injury, untreated is a mistake. And if you feel you or a loved one had an incident that caused a TBI, medical treatment is needed.

In conclusion, there is an increased risk of suicidal thoughts in brain-injured patients. So our experienced car accident lawyers are ready to help you. Also, we offer free and confidential initial consultations.

  • The Brain Injury Prison Study is Also Alarming.

The Howard League in Scotland urges jails to test prisoners for signs of brain injury. Basically, their study shows as much as half of the prison population has suffered brain trauma. So the league says that proper screening could pick up the injuries. Last, these are treated using drugs, thereby reducing the re-offender rate.

Researchers have found that criminals may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ("ADHD"). Hence, caused by a brain injury. So when treated with drugs like Ritalin, these criminals were between 32 and 41% less likely to re-offend.

Thus, a spokesperson for the Howard League said they believe Scotland should become a test base. Because of this, crime has dropped to a 37 year low. But the rate of re-offending (offenders commit another crime within two years) has remained at 42%.

Over the last few years, brain injuries suffered by professional football players have been an issue. Take the spring 2012 suicide death of Junior Seau. His family filed a wrongful death brain injury lawsuit against the National Football League (NFL). But they also went after a well-known helmet maker.

Holding Large Entities Responsible for Sports Injuries.

So that lawsuit alleged the football league and helmet maker considered factors in the famous football player taking his life. Thus, the family believes that Seau’s suicide resulted from traumatic brain injury. This suicide occurred during his 20-year career in the NFL.

  • Skiing and Brain Injuries

Recently Michael Schumacher F1 champion sustained a head injury during a skiing accident and how his rehabilitation will go, remains unknown. Dave Irwin, an Olympian, suffered a brain injury in a skiing accident in 2001. He has talked about his recovery and issues with working memory. In Irwin’s case, he had suffered multiple concussions before the accident. And his injuries included severe memory loss.

  • He had to relearn English and coordination skills over.
  • Many years, later he can talk and hold a conversation.
  • But he can only engage with one or two people.
  • Any more than this number of people in a conversation become difficult for Irwin.
  • And he still experiences short-term memory loss.

Irwin went skiing on the same run that he almost died on a year after he suffered the brain injury. Then in 2002, he created the Dave Irwin Foundation for Brain Injury. Members fund research for recovery of brain injury survivors. It also brings public awareness about this type of damage for survivors and their families.

TBI Injuries Affect Everyone.

Accidents resulting in head injuries and TBIs do not only affect soldiers and athletes. They happen in work-related accidents and motor vehicle accidents, with motorcyclists having the highest rate of head-related injuries. Many of these types of accidents find drivers to be the fault of another person or entity. So this means they were avoidable accidents that occurred due to negligence.

If the person’s actions were different, and they were not careless or reckless, the accident was not inevitable. A government agency or entity can also be at fault. This liability could come into play when its lack of maintenance causes an accident. Examples include potholes. Others include substantially changed conditions on public property. So all these are defects that increase the risks to society in being hurt. These critical factors must be considered.

We use our minds every day. We remember calculations even when going to the store and making a mental note of what the items will come too when the cashier rings them up. This gets done instinctively so we can stay within the amount designated for food or other issues.

Using calculations and math remains just one part of working memory. Memory also permits some information to be held for unlimited amounts of time to use when thinking.

But distractions that limit your mind happen to everyone at one time or another. Examples include being trying to perform more than one task at the same time. Information will be lost sometimes due to all the juggling. People with brain injuries have an even harder time.

Also, it requires a significant amount of mental capacity when your brain goes on overload. So your brain may be unable to store enough information in working memory if it is damaged.

Potential Memory Effects.

  • In these cases, information can be erased from working memory.
  • This can come into play when doing calculations, as discussed above.
  • Lost working memory means having to start over from the beginning and re-train your brain.

When an individual suffers a brain injury in a car accident, slip, and fall or sporting incident, the person’s working memory can be affected. The result of this will be forgetting things quickly or not remembering them at all. Once compromised, one can quickly become distracted.

And this can seriously hurt the inability to multitask. Because the working memory is no longer working correctly, things go haywire. Brain injury survivors can take advantage of rehab. And this helps improve the condition. But it goes by slowly. And it will be a long period of recovery.

Rehabilitation for patients who have sustained a brain injury will work to improve their working memory. So this will mean repetitive relearning. It may also involve the use of memory aids.

These include items such as flashcards. Doctors break info into pieces for the patient. Most of all, this enables patients to retain information easier. And they can do so by reviewing it over and over.

Dangerous and Poor Product Designs and Head Injuries.

A designer who has a terrible, poor design or defective product could be at fault. Thus, harmful products can result in head injuries and also be negligent. So this is because they could have manufactured a safer product. If any of these parties used a reasonable duty of care, the person would not always injure. Thus, he or she would not have sustained the life-changing traumatic brain injury.

Brain injuries change lives with symptoms such as loss of memory. There can also behavioral changes. Other related ongoing symptoms remain that require medical treatment. Hence, in some cases, in-home nursing care needed. Also, sometimes, it remains a temporary change. But other times, it can mean life-long suffering.

Also, the lives of others in the family change post head injury. But this is primarily because of the care and behavioral changes within the family member. Hence, the person who has suffered head injuries often lashes out.

Or the patient could be a vegetable. There may be an inability to work either temporarily or permanently. So this can be financially stressful for the family and the victim. Our understanding improved with every year.

Studies Indicate Repetitive Learning Works on Memory Loss Victims.

It has been researched and published in the Psychological Science Journal that repetitive learning layers on the memory. There are numerous advantages to the individual using this method of rehabilitation to retrain the brain.

This can scientifically improve damaged working memory. The Baylor Research Institute also recently did some necessary research on this issue. Their findings showed similar outcomes, with a variation of healing between 25 and 45%. This remains between the best and worst recovery regarding numbers.

  • What Are Some Of The Many Factors That We Must Calculate in Resolving a TBI Claim?

There is no pain or problem too small to examine. Each one can cascade with other factors to completely reshape an injury victim's life. This injury can cause them to be unable to successfully lead the life that they did previously or wanted to.

They may face confinement to a wheelchair or cognitively impaired due to their injury. No matter what the injury, making sure that you are in the best condition to meet, it is necessary. Ehline Law has handled many similar cases in the past and thus have seen the sheer effects of such injuries on many of our clients.

This is why we have stuck with them through thick and thin to rebuild their lives as much as possible. For more information, including a free, no-pressure consultation, contact us now. Please call or email us today at any time of day or night.

For further reading:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2013/01/23/junior-seau-brain-injury-lawsuit/1858753/ https://www.scotsman.com/news/call-to-screen-prisoners-for-brain-injuries-1-2795977

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/a-new-link-between-traumatic-brain-injury-and-suicide

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1763534/pdf/v071p00436.pdf