Can a Brain Injury Show Up Years Later?

Brain scan - The Jackson Law Firm

Brain injuries impair an accident victim in ways that other injuries do not. Because the brain is critical to most functioning, a brain injury can rob a person of movement, enjoyment, and sometimes even their personality or memories. At The Jackson Law Group, we represent brain injury victims as they seek compensation for the harm they have suffered.

Research shows that some brain injury impairments show up years later. We also analyze what that means for a personal injury case.

Brain Injury Increases Dementia Risk

A recent study from the University of Pennsylvania has found that head injuries can lead to greater risk of dementia decades down the road. In fact, someone who suffered only 1 head injury in their lifetime was 1.25 times more likely to develop dementia later compared to someone who had never suffered any head injury. Two or more head injuries increased the risk by a factor of 2.

According to researchers, about 9.5% of all cases of dementia were caused by a prior head injury. This means that many people would not have dementia in their Golden Years but for a head injury.

The study was comprehensive. It reviewed data over a 25-year period for both men and women and for people of different races. Based on findings, women who suffered a head injury suffered the greater risk of dementia. The same was true of whites compared to blacks.

Can You Receive Compensation?

Many of our clients suffer brain injuries in car accidents, truck accidents, and slip and falls. They deserve compensation for medical care, as well as lost income.

For example, someone with dementia would probably need at-home help. If the disease manifests before retirement, they might have to stop working, which means losing out on income. At some point, many dementia patients need to be sent to a nursing home, which could bankrupt a family.

If we can connect a brain injury to an accident, we might sue the person who injured you or a loved one. However, there are some hurdles that make this hard:

1. In Virginia, the statute of limitations gives you only 2 years to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you are barred from suing. A court might extend the deadline on the theory that you couldn’t discover your injury, but judges do not routinely grant this kind of extension.

2. You have to connect your cognitive impairment to the accident. The more time that has passed, the harder it is to make that connection. After all, some people get dementia or other impairment simply by aging.

3. You need evidence to establish the defendant’s liability. Evidence can disappear the more time you wait, which makes bringing a lawsuit difficult.

Although brain injuries might not show up for years, your ability to sue weakens considerably the more time that passes.

Call Our Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers

Let The Jackson Law Firm analyze whether you can sue someone for you or a loved one’s brain injury. We have decades of combined experience in this field, which we put to use for our clients’ benefit. Contact us to get started.