What Are Brain Stem Injuries?

A brain stem injury is always serious and sometimes fatal. If you or someone you love has sustained a brain stem injury because someone else was reckless or negligent, you should discuss your legal right to compensation – immediately – with a Texas brain stem injury attorney.

The brain stem is located at the top of the spinal cord. It connects the body’s nervous system to the outermost layer of the brain, the cerebral cortex. Information going to and from the cerebral cortex must pass through the brain stem.

How does a brain stem injury happen? Can you recover compensation if you sustain a brain stem injury in an accident that is not your fault? When should you contact a Texas brain stem injury lawyer? Keep reading for the answers you and your loved ones may need.

How Do Different Parts of the Brain Stem Work?

The brain stem has three parts: the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla oblongata:

  1.  The midbrain regulates movement by processing what the eyes see. A brain stem injury can damage the ability to process what the eyes see and cause loss of equilibrium.
  2.  The pons carries information from the brain’s cerebral cortex to the spinal cord. It controls your sleep-wake cycle and your breathing.
  3.  The medulla oblongata also regulates breathing, swallowing, heartbeat, and controls blood pressure.

The brain stem links the body and brain. An injury to the brain stem can virtually divide someone into two parts, body and brain, which are not linked and cannot communicate.

What Are the Causes of Brain Stem Injuries?

Trauma to the brain stem can take place in almost any accident scenario, including but not limited to:

  • traffic accidents
  • slip-and-fall incidents
  • swimming pool accidents
  • workplace, oil rig, and construction accidents

The brain stem may also be injured in a criminal assault scenario, including sexual assault. If you believe someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or criminal act is the reason your brain stem (or your loved one’s) was injured, discuss your rights immediately with a brain stem injury attorney.

What Are a Brain Stem Injury’s Symptoms?

The symptoms of a brain stem injury are the same symptoms a victim may experience after any injury to the head or brain: vomiting, nausea, loss of balance, sleep disorders, slurred speech, impaired vision, and full or partial paralysis. Some brain stem injury victims become comatose.

Seek medical help immediately after any injury to the head. Depending on the severity of the injury, having a doctor conduct diagnostic tests as quickly as possible to identify a brain stem injury increases your chances of recovering fully.

What is Locked-In Syndrome?

Short of death, perhaps the worst long-term consequence of a brain stem injury is when patients can’t move anything but their eyes – locked-in syndrome. Patients maintain their thinking ability and hear what is happening around them, although they cannot move or communicate.

There is no treatment for locked-in syndrome. While many patients with locked-in syndrome never regain the ability to move, others slowly regain their bowel control and motor skills and may eventually be removed from a ventilator.

Is Full Recovery Possible After a Brain Stem Injury?

Treatment and recovery after a brain stem injury can be expensive, lengthy, and quite challenging. Physical therapy helps many brain stem injury patients regain their physical abilities, and over time, some patients can achieve what is virtually a full recovery.

However, other brain stem injury patients encounter persistent medical complications, and they may need assistance with everyday activities like dressing, bathing, and cooking.

Most patients recovering from brain stem injuries can’t work, and surgeries, physical therapy, and long-term care are quite costly. If someone else was responsible for the accident that caused a brain stem injury, that party may be held accountable with a personal injury claim.

What Does Filing a Personal Injury Claim Entail?

If you or someone you love has sustained a brain stem injury as the result of someone else’s negligence in the State of Texas, you have the right to recover monetary compensation by filing a personal injury claim with the advice and guidance of a Texas brain stem injury attorney.

A lawyer who does not understand the difficulties you face may suggest settling your claim for less than it is worth and less than you need. Your lawyer should have experience handling brain stem injury claims and prevailing on behalf of brain stem injury victims.

Severe brain stem injuries that negatively affect someone’s life may entitle a victim to a sizeable damage award. The cost of treatment, counseling, and therapy are considerable, but a successful injury claim can provide the resources that brain stem injury victims and their families need.

When Should You Contact a Brain Stem Injury Lawyer?

In Texas, if you or someone you love has sustained a brain stem injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party – in most cases – is two years from the date of the injury.

While there are several narrow exceptions to the statute of limitations, it is important to speak with a Texas brain stem injury lawyer as quickly as possible after a brain stem injury has been sustained (or discovered) and treated.

If your attorney can review the evidence while it’s fresh and speak to the witnesses before their memories fade, you may be offered a reasonable settlement and avoid a personal injury trial. Discuss any settlement offer with your attorney before you accept or reject that offer.

Why Choose Mike Massey Law?

Texas personal injury attorneys offer representation to injury victims on a contingency fee basis. At Mike Massey Law, one of our attorneys will evaluate your brain stem injury case without cost or obligation, and you will owe no attorney’s fee until and unless we recover your compensation.

Our goal at Mike Massey Law is to settle your claim smoothly and quickly and achieve the best outcome on your behalf, including reasonable compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and related losses. If necessary, we will take your case to trial to fight for the justice you need.

After a brain stem injury or any other injury caused by negligence, call the offices of Mike Massey Law without delay – at 512-400-4430 in Austin or in Houston at 713-489-7360 – to learn more about your legal options and rights or to begin the personal injury process.