Numerous accidents or intentional actions can cause brain stem injuries. Sadly, the effects of a brain stem injury can decrease a person’s quality of life, ongoing medical treatments, and long-term personal care. When a person sustains a brain stem injury because of another party’s conduct or actions, the person may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.

Because the chance of permanent impairments and disabilities are significant with a brain stem injury, these types of brain injury are considered catastrophic injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim to recover compensation for damages caused by a brain stem injury. 

What Functions Does the Brain Stem Control?

The brainstem is located at the bottom of the skull. It connects your brain to the spinal column. It is composed of three sections. The brain stem is an integral part of the body’s communication system.

Each section of the brain stem controls different body functions. The Pons assists with posture, bladder functions, senses, equilibrium, and swallowing. The Midbrain assists with sleep, motor functions, hearing, temperature regulation, and vision.

The Medulla Oblongata helps control and regulate the body’s heart rate, respiratory functions, and blood pressure. Damage to any section of the brain stem could result in severe and life-threatening conditions. 

Depending on the damage and the bodily function affected, an individual could require life-sustaining procedures. A person might not be able to survive if they were taken off life-support in severe cases.

What are the Symptoms of a Brain Stem Injury?

The signs and symptoms of a brain stem injury vary. The area of the brain stem that sustains an injury and the extent of the injury can impact the type and severity of symptoms.

Signs that can indicate a brain stem injury include, but may not be limited to:

  • Breathing problems
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of bodily functions
  • Interruption of bodily functions
  • Hearing loss
  • Paralysis
  • Problems swallowing
  • Insomnia
  • Altered heart rate
  • Loss of consciousness or coma
  • Blurred vision
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Decreased motor functions
  • Loss of smell or sensations
  • Abnormal sleep patterns
  • Vomiting, dizziness, and/or nausea

If you experience any of the above systems or any unexplained systems after an injury, go to the emergency room immediately. Prompt medical attention could save your life.

Also, prompt medical attention can help you recover the compensation you deserve after a brain stem injury. Documenting your injuries is essential in proving that your brain stem injury resulted from an accident caused by another person. Medical records also document the extent of your injuries. 

Do not risk your health or jeopardize your injury claim by waiting to seek medical care after a brain stem injury.

How Do Brain Stem Injuries Occur?

Most brain stem injuries are the result of an accident or trauma. Situations that can result in an injury to the brain stem include, but are not limited to:

A lawyer investigates the circumstances of your injury to determine how the injury occurred and who is responsible for the incident or accident that resulted in the brain stem injury. If another party is responsible, your lawyer works to obtain the maximum compensation available for your case. 

Depending on the facts of your case, you could receive compensation for damages including but not limited to:

  • Cost of diagnosis and treatment of the brain stem injury
  • Cost of physical, occupational, emotional, vocational, and other therapy
  • Loss of wages and reductions in earning capacity
  • Loss of benefits and other forms of income 
  • Permanent impairments and disabilities
  • Long-term medical and personal care
  • Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life and enjoyment of life

The amount you might receive for a brain stem injury depends on numerous factors, including the extent of your injury and how the brain stem injury impacts your daily life. 

If your conduct contributed to the cause of the accident that resulted in your brain stem injury, Maryland’s contributory fault laws would prevent you from recovering any money for your claim. Therefore, it is generally in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. 

The insurance company for the other party uses every tactic available to deny your claim. If the company believes it can blame you for the cause of your injury, it will do so to avoid paying your injury claim.