Yes, you can suffer a brain injury from an aviation accident if you sustain a significant blow to the head during the incident. Brain injuries can be life-changing. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can require months of rehabilitation. Your life might never be the same after a brain injury from an aviation accident.
Many people lose the ability to support themselves through employment because of a traumatic brain injury. Living independently might no longer be an option. Traumatic brain injury lawsuits frequently involve claims for significant compensation.
How an Aviation Accident Can Cause a Brain Injury
You can experience a blow to the head during a fall, midair turbulence, or a plane crash. A brain injury can occur whenever a significant force impacts your skull.
In the event of a skull fracture, the colliding object can compress or impale the underlying brain tissue. Brain tissue bruising and hematomas (blood clots) can happen if an incident causes your head to get snapped back and forth rapidly, flinging your brain about inside the skull.
Altered States of Consciousness After a Traumatic Brain Injury
If a person suffers a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, the person can experience altered states of consciousness. These altered states can happen immediately or soon after the injury. Brain injury altered states of consciousness can include:
- Coma. Although people frequently misuse the term, a coma is not a permanent condition. A person can be in a coma temporarily, usually for several days or weeks. A comatose patient is unconscious. He cannot respond to any stimulus, and he is not aware of his surroundings. The possible outcomes from being in a coma include regaining consciousness, falling into a vegetative state, or passing away.
- Vegetative state. This type of consciousness can either be a temporary phase or a permanent condition. A patient in a vegetative state is not aware of her surroundings, even though she might open her eyes, make sounds, and move around. Those actions are not voluntary. Patients who improve from a vegetative state can enter a minimally conscious state.
- Minimally conscious state. Although not fully conscious, a patient in this condition might experience some awareness of himself or his environment.
- Brain death. Severe brain injury can cause brain death, which means that there is no measurable brain activity. This state is irreversible.
Damages for a Brain Injury from an Aviation Accident
Aviation accidents fall under the category of personal injury claims. As such, a plaintiff can seek any damages available to any other personal injury victim, depending on the facts of the individual case. Some of the common damages for brain injuries in aviation accidents include:
- Medical expenses, the reasonable costs of any treatment the plaintiff needed because of the brain injury.
- Long-term care, if the brain injury leaves the plaintiff unable to live independently or if he needs help with daily medical treatments.
- Lost wages, to replace the wages, salary, self-employment, and other income the person missed because of the accident and recuperation time.
- Diminished earning capacity, if she is not able to make as much money after the accident because of her injuries.
- Disability, if the injury causes him to be unable to support himself through gainful employment.
- Pain and suffering, for the physical discomfort and emotional distress she endured.
- Other intangible damages, like loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the spouse’s claim for loss of consortium.