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Brain injury leading cause of wrongful death in Pennsylvania

Data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has linked traumatic brain injury to nearly a third of all deaths that occur from injuries. Thus workplace injuries, car accidents, or even intentional assaults that result in death often involve a brain injury. While its true that not all brain injuries are immediately fatal, even a mild TBI can be dangerous. In cases where an injury like a concussion goes undetected for a period of time, a secondary head trauma could have life-threatening consequences.

Not all brain injuries are traumatic. A TBI refers specifically to a situation in which the brain is injured by some outward force. Examples include car accidents in which the head impacts on the steering wheel or windshield, falls that result in the head hitting a hard surface, and unfortunately commonly, sports accidents. When a fatality occurs due to an impact that was the fault of another, it may give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit.

Not all brain injuries are considered traumatic. Non-TBIs are usually referred to as acquired brain injuries.

These type of injures occur when the brain is deprived of oxygen for a period of time. If no oxygen is getting to the brain at all, this a condition called anoxia. When the brain is getting some oxygen, but not enough to function properly, the brain is said to be in a state of hypoxia. Because brain cells die in an oxygen-deprived environment, acquired brain injuries can also be fatal. Choking and drowning are both situations that can lead to acquired brain injury.

When someone has suffered a fatal brain injury caused by another's negligent or intentional act, the facts may warrant a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death suit is brought by a victim's family or loved one to help compensate for the loss of the victim, as well as expenses occurred as a result of the injury.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "TBI: Get the Facts," accessed Feb. 27, 2018

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