When a victim of a car accident sustains a serious head injury, there are very real complications that become an immediate possibility. Certainly not the least of these issues is brain death. Many people have heard of brain death, but may not have a clear picture of what it means. Here is a closer look at brain death following a vehicle collision, or any other type of accident for that matter.
In order to understand brain injuries, you must first understand the basic mechanics of the brain. The organ can be divided into two areas: the upper brain and lower brain. The upper part of the brain is responsible for thought, memory, personality and cognition. The lower part controls our bodily functions, such as breathing and the sleep/wake cycle.
Most Serious Brain Injuries
There are three types of injuries that people sustain that are considered very serious. These are coma, a persistent vegetative state and brain death.
Coma: When someone suffers a brain injury in a car accident, the may fall into what is known as a coma. In some cases, a person is put into a medically-induced coma to alleviate brain swelling. A person who is in a comatose state looks as though they are sleeping. The upper and lower parts of the brain are still active, and many victims recover.
Persistent Vegetative State: This is a condition in which the upper brain has lost function, either partially or completely. The lower half of the brain is still working. The person can breathe, has a heartbeat and shows signs of life. Because the upper part of the brain is not functioning, the person has no thoughts or memories. Cognitive abilities are lost.
Brain Death: In the medical field, brain death occurs when both the upper and lower portions of the brain cease to function on their own. There is no regulation of bodily functions, and there is no evidence of cognitive function. Doctors may be able to keep bodily functions working through the use of machines.
When a person is declared brain dead, the family may be given the option of organ donation. In some cases this is not a possibility. When a person suffers brain death as the result of a vehicle collision, the surviving family may also have the legal grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Charlotte and suffered a traumatic brain injury of any type, you may be legally entitled to compensation for those injuries. You may receive damages for medical bills, lost wages and more. Reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys for help in determining what you may be compensated for. Call our office today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your options.