Brain injuries are common in motor vehicle accidents. When a pedestrian, bicyclists, or occupant of a vehicle is involved in a traffic crash, the impact of the collision can cause the head to collide with another object. Even if a person does not strike his or her head in the accident, the force of the collision can cause the brain to slam into the skull. According to the Mayo Clinic, a violent jolt to the body can also cause a brain injury.
Mild brain injuries typically heal with time and rest. However, severe or traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can have long-term symptoms that impact the person’s ability to work or enjoy life. For some individuals, a TBI may result in seizures, cognitive problems, sensory disorders, or infections. In some cases, accident victims may develop dementia or diseases years or decades after an injury. A recent study has linked TBI to dementia and other diseases.
Brain Injuries and Dementia
In a recent study, researchers used Danish health records to analyze individuals who had suffered brain injuries during their lifetime. Researchers found that a person who sustained a TBI was at a higher risk of developing dementia than someone who had never sustained a brain injury. In the study, a person who suffered a TBI that was diagnosed as mild had a 17 percent increased risk of developing dementia. A TBI diagnosed as severe was associated with a 35 percent increased risk of developing dementia.
For people who suffered multiple brain injuries, the risk was even greater for developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. For instance, if a person suffered two or more TBIs during their lifetime, that person’s increased risk was 33 percent. However, four or more TBIs increased the risk to 61 percent, and five or more TBIs increased the risk to 183 percent.
Because a mild TBI may not be detected right away, it is important for accident victims to seek medical attention regardless of whether or not they believe they could have suffered an injury. A physician cannot diagnose a brain injury until after a complete examination. Given the information in studies linking TBIs to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, it is important for accident victims to know if they suffered even a mild TBI, so that they can be aware of the risk of future complications.
Filing Personal Injury Claims for Traumatic Brain Injuries
It is unknown at this time how studies like the one discussed above may impact the settlements in accident cases. However, the information can be used when negotiating a personal injury settlement, especially in cases involving moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries. Personal injury attorneys will be paying close attention to the developments in this area and how they may impact personal injury claims and settlements.
What we do know right now is that an accident can receive compensation for a brain injury caused by the negligent acts of another person. However, the victim must prove that the other party caused the accident that resulted in the injury. If you believe you suffered a brain injury in an accident, you need to seek legal advice immediately to protect your rights.
Call an Erie Personal Injury Attorney for Help
An Erie personal injury lawyer will investigate the cause of the accident to determine if another party may be held liable for your injuries and damages. Because evidence can be lost or destroyed over time, we urge you to contact our office as soon as possible. In addition, your right to file a claim is limited by Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations. Therefore, do not delay in requesting your free consultation with an Erie injury lawyer.