An injury to a person’s brain stem can be devastating and life-threatening. The brain stem is at the top of the spinal cord and provides the main motor and sensory nerve supply to the face and neck. It is also involved in cardiovascular system control, respiratory control, pain sensitivity, alertness, awareness, and consciousness.
A brain stem injury can cause dizziness or lack of motor function, with more severe cases resulting in paralysis, coma, or death. Treatment can be extremely expensive, and many victims are unable to work while coping with a brain stem injury.
If you have suffered a brain stem injury due to an accident that could have been prevented, you need to seek trusted legal advice on your right to claim compensation. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., our brain stem injury attorneys have been fighting for the rights of accident victims in Chicago for more than 35 years. We are here to help you now.
Our law firm will handle your case on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not have to worry about paying us unless we win compensation for you. We can discuss all your legal options in a free, no obligation consultation.
What Is a Brain Stem Injury?
The brain stem generally includes the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla oblongata:
- The midbrain is a portion of the central nervous system associated with vision, hearing, motor control, sleep, alertness, and temperature regulation.
- The pons is less than one inch in length and has neural pathways and tracts conducting signals from the brain to the cerebellum and medulla.
- The medulla oblongata connects the brain to the spinal cord and regulates several nervous system functions, such as control of ventilation, the cardiovascular system, and reflexes such as coughing, sneezing, and swallowing.
An injury to the brain stem can cause widespread dysfunction in the brain and lead to a number of debilitating effects for the victim. Some victims may have difficulty speaking, walking, or even breathing.
Causes of Brain Stem Damage
A person’s brain stem can be injured in a wide variety of accidents. Most incidents will involve some kind of severe trauma to a person’s head, but seemingly minor bumps can also lead to brain stem injuries.
Common causes of brain stem injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Large truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Taxi accidents
- Bus accidents
- Public transportation accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction accidents
A brain stem injury can also be the result of trauma or swelling in the brain. No matter the cause of your brain stem injury, if you believe another person’s negligence was to blame, you should speak with one of our attorneys about your legal rights.
Brain Stem Injury Symptoms
The brain stem plays an important role in how messages are transmitted from the brain to the rest of the body. The most common signs of a brain stem injury often involve a person not being able to function as they should. Symptoms of a brain stem injury include:
- Abnormal sleeping patterns
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance issues
- Inability to cough or gag
- Difficulty eating, drinking, or swallowing
- Slurred speech
- Inability to control movement
- Decreased motor function
- Abnormal breathing patterns
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Impaired vision or nystagmus
- Loss of consciousness
- Altered heart rate
If you have suffered a head injury, it is critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You will want to be certain that a physician has ordered the necessary tests to diagnose a brain stem injury so you can receive the proper treatment and have the best chance at recovery.
Brain Stem Injury Recovery
The recovery process from a brain stem injury can be long and arduous, and rehabilitation can vary depending on the nature of the injury. In most cases, the initial phase of recovery begins at the hospital or a specialized facility. Therapy will attempt to help a person regain physical and occupational ability.
The second phase of recovery is often conducted in homes or extended nursing facilities, and some people may begin vocational programs that allow them to regain employment. Other victims may continue dealing with issues relating to their injuries and require additional assistance throughout their recovery.
People can face a number of major expenses related to care for their brain stem injury, including medical bills, modifications to homes, therapy, rehabilitation, and long-term care. This is in addition to being unable to work and missing paychecks due to the injury, as well as coping with noneconomic damages like loss of enjoyment of life or pain and suffering.
Many people who suffer brain stem injuries develop the phenomenon known as “locked-in syndrome,” in which a person is fully conscious but unable to move or communicate. Some victims may remain in this state for several years and require 24-hour care or placement in skilled nursing facilities.
An experienced attorney can help a brain stem injury victim fight for full and fair compensation to cover all of their losses. In 2018, Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard obtained a $50.3 million jury verdict on behalf of a young boy who suffered a severe and permanent brain injury due to a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of hypoxia (oxygen deficiency) prior to his birth. The verdict is the third highest reported Illinois medical-malpractice verdict and the second highest reported Illinois birth injury verdict.
Contact Us Today for Help with Your Brain Stem Injury Case
Did you suffer a brain stem injury in an accident in Chicago or a surrounding area of Cook County? Do not wait to contact the knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., to discuss your case. We can help you seek the compensation you need to focus on healing.
Call our lawyers now or contact us online to schedule a free consultation about your brain injury case. There are no attorney fees upfront to start work on your case, and you only pay us if we win compensation for you.