In recent years, there has been considerable national focus on concussions in the National Football League. Concussions have received attention from sports commentators, news anchors and even Hollywood. A common argument is that players who engage in contact sports are aware of the risks of getting injured while playing sports and accept that risk willfully due to high salaries.
However, it is important to realize that brain injuries do not just occur on the national stage. Even in the most recreational of settings, individuals may be at risk of brain injuries. Recently, a Cobb County high school senior received a catastrophic injury from a seemingly harmless activity. The student was playing a sport known as bubble soccer where players wear large inflatable bubbles and run into each other while playing a traditional soccer game. Bubble soccer has gained popularity in recent years in Europe and came to the United States around 2014. While supporters of the sport call it a fun recreational activity, like any sporting event, serious injury can occur.
The teen in Cobb County collided with another player and shattered his forehead, causing his brain to bleed. He is currently in critical care in a local hospital. The teen’s story is a truly sad testament to the negative effects a brain injury can have.
Effects of a Head Injury
A head injury can be minor—a few cuts or scrapes—or it can be incredibly serious causing hemorrhaging or death. A difficulty with head injuries is that they often may not show external symptoms such as bleeding. The true extent of an injury may be difficult to determine because a brain injury may cause things like memory loss, decrease in motor skills and changes in behavior or emotions that affect the way an individual lives. Unlike a wound that heals after a shallow cut or a bone that grows back together, the impacts of a brain injury on overall health may be long lasting or permanent. Catastrophic brain injuries can lead to a lifetime of medical care and attention. A lifetime of care of course means a lifetime of medical costs and treatments.
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
Unlike some other types of injuries, the symptoms of a brain injury are varied because the symptoms depend on where on the brain the injury has occurred. The brain is divided into several parts, or lobes. Depending on where an individual was injured, their injuries can range from mild to incredibly serious.
Injuries to the front part of the brain, or the frontal lobe, can include paralysis, the inability to do things in a particular order or sequence, and loss of social skills. Injuries to the top of the head or the parietal lobe can lead to memory problems, difficulties with hand eye coordination, and problems with reading or drawing. Injuries to the back of the head or to the occipital lobe can cause blindness and hallucinations. Because the brain is so complex, what is listed here is only a small portion of the potential side effects of a serious brain injury. A more complete list can be found here.
How Is a Catastrophic Brain Injury Case Different from Other Personal Injury Cases?
Individuals who have suffered a brain injury due to the negligence of another may have a more difficult time proving their case compared to an individual with a broken bone. If someone has a broken leg, they will likely have x-rays showing the break, or be confined to a wheelchair, or another form of visible evidence that indicates how they were injured. However, visual evidence of a brain injury can be much more expensive. MRI imaging or CT scans can be 10 times, if not more, expensive than an X-ray. This increased expense may make it difficult for individuals to provide proof of their injury.
Another difficulty that presents itself more in cases with serious head injuries is the level of scrutiny an individual must go through. If you break your leg, and you didn’t have any pre existing conditions, it may be an easier process to show how a broken bone affected your daily life. However, if you suffered some cognitive impairment, your entire record may be subject to examination. Insurance companies or opposing attorneys may ask questions to determine if you have always had impairment, and these questions may be personal and invasive.
What Will an Insurance Company Do If I Have a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Not all insurance companies will attempt to discredit your case, but insurance companies are not in the business of giving out free money. Before you or a loved one will receive any compensation for an injury, you will likely have to prove, at least to the satisfaction of the insurance company, that you have suffered a brain injury. Often, insurance companies will call you and you will have a conversation with an adjuster. If an insurance company insists on getting a statement that is recorded, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney prior to or during having the recorded conversation. It is a good idea to have the input of an attorney because insurance companies may try to use proof of a recorded conversation as evidence that you did not suffer a brain injury and you are fine. However, the ability to carry on conservation does not mean you are free of any brain injuries.
How Can a Georgia Injury Attorney Help?
Head and brain injuries can be incredibly scary events for you and your family. While legal representation is often not on people’s minds immediately after someone suffers a serious injury, it is important you act quickly to protect the rights of your loved ones. An attorney from the Law Office of John. B. Jackson can help navigate the difficulties of a case involving a serious injury. Our personal injury team in Georgia has experience handling catastrophic injury cases and will fight to protect the rights of you and your family. Contact us today for a free consultation.