Acquired Brain Injury
Atlanta personal injury lawyer Stephen M. Ozcomert has over 20 years of experience representing victims who are suffering from traumatic injuries, including acquired brain injury (ABI). A Georgia “Super Lawyer” and a member of its “Legal Elite,” Mr. Ozcomert continues to advocate for those injured due to the negligence of others. He has helped numerous ABI patients on the road to legal recovery for the harm they have suffered.Acquired vs. Traumatic Brain Injury
ABI is often distinguished from traumatic brain injury (TBI) by its cause. Whereas an external blow or jolt generally results in trauma to the brain in TBI cases, patients may “acquire” brain injury through nonviolent means after birth. ABI does not refer to genetic or degenerative conditions present at birth or induced by birth trauma. Rather, the injury is caused by a later health event. This may involve:
- Heart attack
- Brain swelling
- Metabolic injury
- Cerebral aneurysm
- Ischemia, tachycardia
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Brain tumor or treatment
- Exposure to harmful toxins
ABIs are most commonly caused by cerebrovascular accidents, which reduce or deprive the brain of oxygen. The brain receives oxygen through blood pumped through arteries from the heart. Strokes and heart attacks disrupt the normal flow of oxygenated blood to the brain, causing ABI. Pressure from tumors or plaques may also cut off oxygen resulting in ABI.Evolving Definition of ABI
In the past, ABI and TBI were viewed interchangeably by the medical community. When physicians began to define these injuries as distinct conditions, application of the terms became inconsistent. Now, authorities like the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, and the Brain Injury Association of America have updated their definitions to state that ABI “includes” TBI, or to clarify that TBI is a “form” of ABI.
For legal purposes, the Official Code of Georgia (OCGA) §31-18-2 defines “brain injury” as a TBI that is neither a congenital defect nor a degenerative condition, but caused by blunt or penetrating trauma or by moving forces. The Brain Injury Association of Georgia currently limits certain benefits to those who suffer TBIs from motor vehicle accidents, especially DUIs. But the law is silent as to what constitutes ABI. The issue remains for health care providers to decide. Do not hesitate to contact Atlanta acquired brain injury attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert if you or someone you love has sustained a brain injury as a result of an accident.
ABIs may be caused by negligence on the part of physicians and health care providers. These may include mistakes made after delivery of a baby or in neonatal intensive care. Improper handling of babies after birth can cause cerebrovascular events that result in ABI. Adult causes may involve:
- Prescription error
- Failure to diagnose
- Mistakes in intubation
- Bacterial, viral infection
- Anesthesia administration
- Administration of radiation
Prescribed medication alone or combined with other drugs may make patients more susceptible to cardiac arrest. Failure to properly prevent, diagnose, or properly treat disease can easily deprive oxygen to the brain, leading to potential medical malpractice liability for ABIs.Premises Liability
Property owners may be liable for damages resulting from ABI if they fail to protect invitees from things like toxic exposure. Failure to provide proper training or clean-up of spills can expose residents and workers to poisons. High doses of lead, for example, can lead to a metabolic shutdown depriving oxygen to the brain. Chronic exposure to small doses of toxins over time can likewise lead to buildup in the brain, causing long-term damage and cognitive impairment.Damages for Acquired Brain Injury
If you or a loved one suffer from an ABI, Atlanta brain injury attorney Stephen M. Ozcomert can help. He works closely with investigators and experts to determine the source of ABIs. As definitions of brain injuries evolve, it is important to obtain experienced counsel familiar with these conditions. After 20 years of handling medical malpractice, premises liability, and other related claims, Stephen M. Ozcomert is well qualified to represent ABI victims. He is dedicated to fighting for the compensation you deserve. Call (404) 370-1000 today for a free consultation or contact us online.