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Can You Recover Compensation For a Brain Stem Injury?

Just thinking about a brain injury can be disturbing, so imagine how frightening it can be to suffer from one. You may lose cognitive or motor function, sometimes both; the pain can also be excruciating, and brain stem injuries can even result in fatalities.

Along with the physical and emotional toil a brain stem injury can have, there’s also the financial aspect. Treating and caring for a brain stem injury can quickly become expensive. This is when sufferers often think about maximizing recoverable damages after a brain stem injury. However, maximizing compensation involves a little more than listing the highest dollar amount for your damages.

What Is a Brain Stem Injury?

Your brain stem is made up of a group of nerves attached to your spinal cord. Think of your brain stem as a type of control center.

Everything from your balance, heart rhythms, breathing, and circadian rhythm are all controlled by the brain stem. Other functions, like the ability to swallow and smile, are also controlled by the brain stem. Occasionally, injuries to the brain stem fully heal over time while others never completely recover.

After suffering a brain stem injury, it’s not uncommon to require full-time care. This is common when the brain stem suffers extensive damage. Blood and oxygen may not be able to reach the brain resulting in significant damage.

Common Causes of Brain Stem Injuries

Brain stem injuries can be caused by a variety of factors and this can affect your ability to recover compensation. If you suffer a brain stem injury while playing sports, you may not be able to recover damages.

When you hit the field for a friendly game of football you’re assuming the potential risks. So, if you take a hard hit, bang your head, and suffer brain stem injury you can’t claim the other player is negligent. The opposing player is only performing their duty on the field, which is to keep you from making it down the field.

However, if another player tackles you for no reason, you may be able to claim negligence. Every claim is different involving sports-related brain stem injuries, and sometimes there’s no one to blame. The incident is simply an accident. Along with sports, here’s a look at some of the other common causes of brain stem injuries.

Vehicle Accidents

The most common cause of brain stem injuries is vehicle accidents. The force of the impact can violently jerk your head and neck back and forth. You can also slam your head against a hard object like the dash or seatback. Motorcyclists, bike riders, and pedestrians are especially at risk for a brain stem injury in a vehicle accident.

Wearing a seatbelt when riding or driving in a vehicle can significantly reduce your risk of suffering a brain stem injury. Motorcycle and bicycle riders should always wear helmets to protect their heads. These simple safety precautions can minimize your risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI). If your brain stem injury is caused by a vehicle accident, there’s a good chance you’re eligible to receive compensation from the at-fault driver.

Since Georgia is an at-fault state, you can file a claim for damages against the driver responsible for the accident insurance company. The law is a little different if you live in a no-fault state. In this instance, you file a claim with your insurance provider. You can also file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver for damages not covered by your insurance.

Workplace Accidents

Your workplace can be dangerous. There can be unseen hazards just waiting for you to trip and fall. Imagine your traumatic brain injury happens at work; chances are. In that scenario, you can receive compensation for your economic damages, like your medical costs, both current and future care, along with lost wages. If your traumatic brain injury also results in property damage, this should also be covered.

You report the accident to your employer and file a worker’s compensation claim. If your brain stem injury is severe enough to require lifetime care and/or prevents you from returning to work, you may also be eligible to receive disability benefits. This is usually separate from your initial worker’s compensation claim.

Types of Recoverable Damages After a Brain Stem Injury

Regardless of where and how your brain stem injury occurs, if negligence is to blame, you can usually recover both economic and non-economic damages. If you’re wondering about negligence, it’s something you must prove in all personal injury claims.

You must show the individual responsible for the accident owes you a duty of care, breached their duty, and caused the accident and your injuries.

Worker’s compensation claims are different since you only need to show the accident occurred at work or while you’re on the job acting in your official capacity. However, if you plan on also filing a personal injury claim, you need to prove negligence even if the accident happens at work.

Okay, with that being said, what are some examples of economic and non-economic damages? Remember, your damages are usually what increases or decreases the value of your brain stem injury claim. For example, if you make a full recovery from your injury your damages are going to be lower than for someone requiring long-term care.

So, your economic damages typically include medical expenses, lost income, and property repair or replacement costs. These are tangible items that are relatively easy to calculate. Just add up your bills and receipts—this is how much you can claim in economic damages.

Non-economic damages don’t come with a handy price tag. These are things like pain, suffering, loss of life enjoyment, and mental anguish. You can use either the multiplier or per diem methods to figure out the estimated value of your non-economic damages.

Maximize Your Brain Stem Injury Claim

While you don’t want to claim damages you can’t prove, doing so can lead to serious trouble, including potential charges of fraudulent insurance claims. To maximize your compensation, take steps to document your injuries and consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.

A skilled attorney can help ensure you receive fair compensation for your traumatic brain injury, guiding you through the legal process and protecting your rights.

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