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Understanding the severity of a brain injury can be difficult

Brain injuries can result from various causes, including blunt force trauma, whiplashes, falls and assault. Being exposed to toxic substances or deprived of oxygen can also lead to traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, in some cases, even the most advanced medical techniques cannot reverse the damage, and some California families may spend years hoping for miracles to improve the conditions of injured loved ones.

When a loved one is unable to communicate due to a brain injury, family members may not understand the prognosis and be uncertain of the level of recovery they can expect. A neurologist explains that a coma is typically a sign of a severely damaged brain, and, although the patient is alive and a full recovery is possible, his or her condition may develop into a persistent vegetative state if it lasts for three months or longer. While blood circulation and breathing remain normal, certain brain functions will be lost, and such patients are extremely vulnerable to other conditions, such as pneumonia.

In some cases, after rigorous neurological evaluations, a patient is declared brain dead. This is an extremely traumatic situation for family members. Although the loved one seems alive, his or her breathing is generally facilitated by machines. Once a person is declared brain dead, the family will have to face the difficult decision concerning the continuation of life support.

When a California family has to watch a loved one’s life fade away, with little or no hope for improvement, there will be the added stress of medical expenses, lost income and more. Family members may pursue financial relief by filing a personal injury claim — or a wrongful death claim, when applicable — in a civil court. If sufficient evidence is available to indicate that the traumatic brain injury was caused by the negligence of another party, a successfully presented claim may lead to compensation for associated losses.

Source: health.clevelandclinic.org, “3 Brain Injury Terms Defined: What They Mean for Loved Ones“, May 4, 2015