Your brain consists of about 86 billion neurons, all of which are in constant use. These neurons coordinate with one another to share information, influence and ultimately run your entire body, including your immune, endocrine, vascular, and musculoskeletal systems. Simply put, the brain is the most complex organ of the body.
Any issues with your brain, whether from physical trauma, a birth disability, or an illness, can leave a serious impact on your ability to properly function. The extent of your disability depends on the nature of the brain injury, including its severity and location. A blow to your frontal lobe can affect your personality and motor skills, such as walking. A tumor on your brain stem can affect your breathing.
Brain damage can be difficult to recover from, and you may need years of rigorous rehabilitation. Most professionals do not return to their regular occupations if the head trauma is serious.
If you or a loved one find yourself in this position, you may need to take advantage of individual or group long-term disability insurance benefits to meet your daily needs.
Don’t make a fatal claim mistake. Due to the serious and unpredictable nature of traumatic brain injuries, you may need an award-winning long-term individual disability lawyer or nationally renowned group ERISA attorney on your side with experience litigating traumatic brain injury and head trauma cases.
Look no further than America’s top-rated long-term disability attorneys at DarrasLaw. We often see more cases in a month than most disability firms do in a year. Our founding partner, Frank N. Darras, and his firms have recovered nearly $1 billion in wrongfully delayed, denied, or terminated insurance benefits. Our passion is fighting for the disabled American worker. To schedule your free disability policy analysis or free clam consultation, call DarrasLaw today at 800-898-7299 or contact us online.
Categories of Disabling Head Injuries and Illnesses
Head injuries typically fall into one of three categories, although no brain injury case is the same, and every patient will require different levels of treatment and rehabilitation:
- Closed head injuries – These injuries occur to your brain when nothing breaks your skull. Concussions, aneurysms, cancer and dementia are often closed brain injuries.
- Open head injuries – These head injuries occur when something breaks through your skull and injures your brain.
- Hybrid injuries – If you sustain a skull fracture, you may suffer from a combination of open and closed brain injuries.
Not all head injuries cause severe damage. If you’ve ever seen stars after hitting your head, you may have sustained a minor concussion—but still a brain injury.
The brain has the highest concentration of blood vessels in your body, so it’s not uncommon to experience bleeding in your brain cavity after a severe head injury. When blood vessels in the brain rupture or hemorrhage, your brain cavity fills with blood, which puts pressure on your brain. This can prove fatal unless the pressure is released through medical treatment.
It is important, therefore, to recognize the differences between minor and major head injuries. Many minor brain injuries manifest with:
- Ringing in the ears
- Brief confusion
More serious brain injuries often result in:
- Loss of consciousness
- Inability to balance or control/coordinate areas of your body
- Mood changes
- Bad headaches
- Lack of eye focus
It’s always important to consult a doctor after any head trauma, because some symptoms won’t manifest until the brain begins to swell.
Athletes prone to concussions, especially in football, rugby and soccer, should also see an independent neurologist to check for signs of cumulative brain conditions such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE, like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, is a degenerative brain condition.
You may claim long-term disability benefits with the help of the award-winning long-term individual disability lawyers and nationally pre-eminent group ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw if your risk of developing a degenerative condition is too high.
High school, college, and professional athletes with career-ending coverage and brain injuries should contact America’s most experienced athletic disability lawyers at DarrasLaw today. High-value, private athletic disability benefits differ from traditional individual and group long-term disability plans, but at DarrasLaw we know how to fight for all wrongfully delayed, denied and terminated individual and group long-term disability benefits.
Common Disabling Brain Conditions
Head and brain injuries are often classified as neurological disorders because the brain is part of your central nervous system. Your central nervous system essentially controls your entire body. The unfortunate reality is that doctors can’t cure many serious injuries to your central nervous system, including your brain and spine. Your nerves and brain cells don’t heal and regenerate like many of the other cells in your body. You’ll likely have to go through extensive rehabilitation to train different areas of your brain to take over functions of the damaged areas. This is often possible, but even then it will likely leave you unable to perform the important duties of your occupation with reasonable continuity and in the usual and customary way, perhaps for the rest of your life.
The most common traumatic brain injuries include:
- Diffuse axonal injury – Severe car crashes usually cause these often-fatal brain injuries. This injury occurs when the head moves back and forth violently enough to tear the brain stem and sever connections between the brain and the body. Depending on the location and severity of the brain stem tear, you can lose essential bodily functions such as movement or breathing. If a loved one is in a coma or vegetative state as a result of a diffuse axonal injury, the compassionate individual disability lawyers and stellar group ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw may help them claim disability benefits.
- Coup-contrecoup brain injury – A serious impact can cause the brain to crash into the inside of the skull, which bruises and damages the brain. The damage often occurs on the opposite side of the head that suffered the blow. For example, if you’re in a T-bone accident in an intersection while driving, the impact might cause the brain to crash into the right side of your head. On the other hand, if another driver rear-ends you, the impact may cause the brain to crash into the front of your skull. This injury may cause a total disability, but the nature of the injury depends on the injured area of the brain and its severity.
- Concussion – The most common brain injury is a less-severe version of a coup-contrecoup injury. It occurs when a force causes the brain to bounce against the inside of the skull. Brain contusions (or bruises) can occur on the brain at the area of impact, resulting in bleeding in the brain. Contusions may clot on their own, or a surgeon may have to surgically repair them.
- Penetrating injuries – Bullet wounds are an example of a penetrating injury. These injuries often destroy areas of the brain, but in rare cases can hit only non-essential brain matter. Accordingly, such injuries can prove fatal or result in only minor damage. Even with serious conditions to receive individual or group long term disability insurance benefits, you’ll need to prove how your injury affects your ability to perform the important duties of your occupation.
Not all head and brain injuries are related to physically traumatic events. In fact, most are not. A variety of illnesses and degenerative neurological conditions can cause brain trauma. Examples include:
- Stroke – You’ve had a stroke if the blood supply to your brain is cut off or reduced. Without oxygen, brain cells will die within minutes. Symptoms of a stroke include trouble speaking, numbness in the face and arms, trouble walking and headaches. The severity and location of your stroke will determine the extent of your disability. A severe stroke may end a patient’s career, while minor stroke victims might benefit from rehabilitation.
- Cerebral palsy – This birth injury is categorized by incomplete brain development. It mostly affects speech and motor skills. While you’re born with cerebral palsy, difficulty with movement can result in additional musculoskeletal disabilities as you age.
- Dementia – A dementia diagnosis stems from the decline of memory, critical thinking skills, and overall perception such that you can’t perform daily activities. While many dementia patients suffer from Alzheimer’s disease after retirement age, even working-age people can suffer from vascular dementia after a stroke. Dementia, which includes difficulty focusing, communicating, seeing, perceiving, understanding, and remembering, is caused by damage to brain cells. Accordingly, a variety of traumatic brain injuries can also cause dementia.
- Brain cancer – Some cancers from other parts of the body may spread to the brain, destroying brain cells, while other cancers begin in the brain. Typically, brain cancers occur when defective brain cells multiply, resulting in a tumor. This tumor may not be operable depending on its location, and it will take blood supply and resources from the brain as it grows.
- Benign brain tumors – Not all brain tumors are cancers, but they may prove just as dangerous and disabling. Non-cancerous brain tumors that form on your brain stem or in some regions of your brain may not be operable, and they can still grow and affect your brain function. Radiation therapy may keep a brain stem tumor from growing, but you likely won’t return to work during the lengthy treatment period.
Call the top-rated individual disability attorneys and nationally recognized group ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw today if you or someone you love is suffering from a brain condition that leaves them unable to perform the important tasks of their occupation. We know that not all brain conditions are the same and can help you and your treating doctors present the proper evidence to your individual or group long-term disability carrier.
The Lasting Effects and Costs of Head Trauma
Every part of your brain controls a different bodily function. This is why the area of your injury determines your symptoms. If you struggle with balance but not speech, you likely injured the back of the brain rather than the front.
Most brain injuries are to the frontal lobe, which can easily sustain a bruise during a car accident or fall. The frontal lobe controls speech, smell, muscle control, concentration, planning, and problem-solving. Accordingly, many patients with frontal lobe injuries struggle to perform the important tasks of their occupations.
Injuries to the occipital lobe, located at the back of your head, can occur after a severe blow to the head or a front-end car accident. Your occipital lobe controls reading, language, and vision, which can naturally damage your ability to perform the important tasks of your occupation.
Your brain stem, which sends brain signals to the rest of your body, controls your breathing, blood pressure, and heart. Accordingly, an injury to the brain stem itself can prove paralyzing or fatal. Open brain injuries, such as a penetrating bullet or construction wound, can damage the deeper areas of your brain that control knowledge, sensation, understanding, behavior, and language.
Experts estimate that brain injuries cost anywhere from $100,000 to $3 million in medical bills and lost income. The cost of medical care for a severe brain injury is about $1,000,000 during a shortened lifetime, and this doesn’t include lost salary or hourly wages. If a brain injury at 35 leaves you unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your occupation for the next 10 years, you may suffer another $1 million in lost income. This is where long-term disability insurance can help.
Contact the Award-Winning Long-Term Disability Lawyers and Experienced Group ERISA Attorneys at DarrasLaw
Long-term disability insurers may offer lump-sum settlements in traumatic brain injury cases. While this may seem tempting, don’t settle without contacting America’s top-rated long-term individual disability lawyers and skilled group attorneys at DarrasLaw. Lump sum settlements are not always the best option for you and your family.
Wrongful delays, denials, and terminations of individual or group long-term disability benefits are also common in cases where the brain injury is not readily apparent or its effects on your ability to perform the important tasks of your occupation not so easy to prove.
It may be hard to prove you’re suffering from dizziness and a lack of concentration resulting from a concussion. Led by the nation’s premier long-term disability lawyer, Frank N. Darras, our all-star team can help you fight your individual or group long-term disability insurance company and help get the benefits you are entitled to. Call our experienced individual long-term disability attorneys and group ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw today to schedule your free disability policy analysis and free claim consultation. We’re here for you whether we need to litigate a complex ERISA case, file a bad-faith individual disability claim or negotiate a lump-sum settlement. Contact us at 800-898-7299 or online.