Traumatic brain injuries are difficult to treat, understand and diagnose. Further, proving the existence of a brain injury to a judge or jury is very difficult. However, neuroscience evidence in the courtroom has gained popularity in recent months.
Signs of a traumatic brain injury include memory loss, difficulty focusing, headaches and trouble making decisions. In some situations, individuals with a TBI can exhibit violent or inappropriate actions that can result in injury to others that result in criminal or civil charges.
However, high-tech brain scans and images have gained popularity and have been introduced in courts across the country to prove the existence of a brain injury and explain and mitigate the violent behavior TBI sufferers may display.
Case example: a TBIs affect on legal competency
A case in point involves a teenage boy who suffered from a brain injury after an auto accident. Six weeks after getting his driver's license, the boy was involved in a roll-over car accident and suffered severe head injuries.
He was once a nice and gentle boy, however, the damage to his brain caused him to become a different person. After the injury, he exhibited violent outrages on different occasions. Seven years after the accident, he violently assaulted a women and her infant son, and faced criminal charges.
At his criminal trial, his defense attorney argued he was mentally incompetent and presented expert testimony on his brain injury. However, the court disagreed and declared him competent to stand trial for the assault charges.
It is difficult to comprehend that a person can become a criminal after being a victim of a car accident, but brain injuries are so complex they are hard to understand. Behavioral changes do occur in brain injury victims and it's important for courts to have a firm understanding of the nature of brain injuries and their devastating effects before weighing a person's legal competency and the extent of his culpability to commit crimes.
Help for brain injury sufferers
Brain injuries can, as highlighted above, drastically change an individual's personality. Further, they can severely impact a person's ability to live and work.
It's particularly discerning when these injuries happen as a result of an at-fault driver found texting or performing other distracted driving behaviors.
Fortunately, legal recourse is available for TBI victims of an auto accident. Seeking the help of an experienced auto accident attorney who knows the law and can help TBI sufferers obtain the compensation available under the law is advised.
An experienced lawyer can utilize experts in different fields - neuropsychology, occupational and rehabilitative therapy, speech therapy, and life care planning - to ensure that your injuries are well-documented, the projections for your recovery are accurate and that you request adequate compensation to recover from your injuries.