Brain injury is a term that is used when the brain suffers damage or injury from any cause. Brain injury can occur at any age. It can happen in the mother’s womb before birth, or it can happen to a 120 year old during a stroke. There are numerous causes of brain injury.
Brain injury of the unborn or new born is a type birth injury. Brain injury of the unborn fetus can be the result of the brain not receiving enough oxygen or nutrients. The fetus gets its oxygen and nutrients from the mother through the placenta. The placenta allows oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood to diffuse into the fetus’s blood. The waste products of from the fetus’s blood are carried away through the placenta for the mother to expel. From the placenta the blood carrying the rich oxygen and nutrients are transported to the baby in the umbilical cord. Any compromise to the placenta or umbilical cord can cause injury to the fetus. During labor the contractions of the uterus can cause the placenta to separate from the uterus, therefore disrupting the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. Twisting or pressure on the umbilical cord can cause hypoxia resulting in brain injury to the fetus. Infection during pregnancy is another potential cause of brain injury.
Brain injury can occur from trauma, such as fall or head trauma. This type of brain injury is known by the acronym TBI or traumatic brain injury. During a fall or a serious car crash the forces created inside the head can be tremendous. The rapid acceleration and then sudden deceleration of the head and brain that occurs during trauma creates shearing forces inside the head. These shearing forces can cause blood vessels inside the brain to rupture. Leaking of blood inside the head can lead to a hematoma. Intracranial hematomas can result in brain injury.
There are many types of hematomas that can result from head injury. Subdural and epidural hematomas are two types of hematomas typically seen with head injury. Bleeding inside the brain can lead to what is called a parenchymal bleed or a parenchymal hematoma. If a hematoma is big or continues to expand, it can cause pressure on surrounding brain tissue. If this occurs, the brain injury can get worse and death can occur.
A serious head injury can result in a bruise to the brain called a brain contusion. A brain contusion is a type of brain injury. A brain contusion can occur even without bleeding. With a brain contusion swelling of brain tissue occurs from the jarring impact of the brain against the skull. If severe swelling of the brain occurs it can lead to compromise of the otherwise normal surrounding brain tissue. This swelling creates a lot of pressure on brain cells which can lead to death of brain cells. Brain contusion can result in serious permanent disability including death.
Brain injury may occur from natural causes which may not be the result of any negligence. Stroke and brain cancer are two examples. All strokes lead to brain injury. A stroke can be the result of clogging of an artery supplying blood to the brain. When this occurs it is called an ischemic stroke. A stroke can also be the result of bleeding or rupture of an artery, called a hemorrhagic stroke. The effect of both a hemorrhagic and an ischemic stroke is that the brain tissue dies. Brain cancer leads to brain injury. Cancer of the brain may be the result of a primary brain cancer, meaning that the cancer started in the brain tissue itself, or it could be the result of metastatic cancer to the brain, which started from another primary tissue source such as the lung.
Brain injury affects every aspect of life. The degree to which it affects life depends on the severity and specific type of brain injury. The brain is a very complex organ. It is the control center for human behavior and thought. Brain injury effects a person’s emotions, thinking, thought process, memory, communication, coordination, feelings, sensation, vision, hearing, ambulation, and expression. People with brain injury have trouble talking, walking, reading, and doing many of the activities that they used to be able to do.
The person with brain injury is not the only one that suffers. Brain injury has a severe impact on one’s friends and family members. Many times a person’s personality may change. Memories can get erased from a brain injury. If a brain injured person cannot perform the activities of daily living on his own that this can create an undue burden on family and friends.
In legal terms a brain injury case is created when someone negligently does something to you that creates brain injury. A brain injury which results from negligence falls in the category of personal injury law. If the brain injury occurs as a result of medical negligence than it is considered medical malpractice and falls under the subcategory of medical malpractice law.
There are not many statutes that explicitly address brain injury. But, Texas Insurance code Title 8 Subtitle E Chapter 1352 lays out Texas law as it concerns health care coverage of brain injury. In summary it states that any health benefit plan must provide minimal care for brain injury victims. The plan must also cover for rehabilitation services after the acute treatment. The plan must clearly and separately state the coverage day limits of acute care and post acute care treatment. The deductibles and payment limits that cover brain injury treatment must be similar to the coverage for other health conditions covered under the plan. The plan must also cover future expenses related to reevaluating a patient to determine what treatments are working or may be needed in the future. To see full limits and exceptions to Texas Insurance Code Title 8 Subtitle E Chapter 1352 please reference the law in its entirety.
We at The Kane Law Firm have the medical experience and legal knowledge to fully prosecute your brain injury case. Please give us a call now. We have a lawyer on standby to discuss your brain injury case with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.