Cognitive ability refers to the way a person reacts and processes things which are going on around them – basically, it is one’s ability to think. Cognition is used in almost everything a person does from moving their hand to answering questions on a hard test.
Cognitive ability involves the following functions:
- Motor Skills
- Visual Processing
- Executive Functions
When someone loses cognitive ability, they may also lose the ability to function as they once could. Brain injuries which cause loss of cognition can be utterly devastating; a person may lose their capabilities to work and complete everyday tasks without assistance.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury, often called TBI, is a result of a blow or sudden shock to the head or body.
According to the CDC, the leading causes of traumatic brain injury include:
- Falls- this factor accounts for the highest number of brain injury resulting accidents (35%) – falls cause half of all brain injuries in children under 14 and 61% of brain injuries in people over 65.
- Motor vehicle accidents- this is the second leading cause of brain damage and accounts for just over 17% of TBI and is the leading cause of brain injury related deaths.
- Being struck by or against an object- out of the major causes of brain injury, this makes up for the third largest group accounting for approximately 16% of TBI. In ages 0 to 14, this makes up of 25% of all brain injury accidents, making it the second most common cause for this age group. These injuries happen when a person makes sudden physical with another object or person.
- Assault- brain injuries as a result of assault only account for 10% of such injuries in the general population. Assault is the intentional act of injuring another person by using physical force or weapons.
Brain injury as a result of these or other factors may be limited to the area of impact or can affect multiple points in the brain.
The Cost of Losing Cognitive Ability
The initial costs of brain injuries come from medical bills and time lost at work. Following emergency care and lost wages are expenses which vary considerably depending on the severity of the injury. Long term expenses can include continued medical care/treatment, rehabilitation, and possibly even in home care services.
Who is Responsible?
Brain injuries are costly both short term and long term. Since many of these accidents happen as a result of hazardous situations, it is crucial to determine if there was something that could have been done to prevent such injuries. Traumatic brain injuries happen most commonly with the extremely young and very old so caregivers should act with added caution to prevent injuries. Many of the brain injuries amongst low risk age groups occur on the job and are a result of dangerous working conditions. On the job brain injuries may include incidences such as truck driving crashes, construction site incidences, and rail yard accidents. Perusing a claim when you have lost cognitive ability will almost always require the help of an advocate – this person is tasked with acting in your best interest. Advocates in lawsuits are typically attorneys who provide legal counseling and represent the claimant who cannot present their case properly because they are not qualified or not able.
Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC is a Cerebral Palsy law firm located in Baltimore, Maryland/Columbia, South Carolina/Asheville, North Carolina. For more information, please visit www.cerebral-palsy-injury.com.