Concussed adults are up to four times more likely to commit suicide than people with healthy brains, according to a group of Canadian researchers.
Brain injuries to athletes and military personnel have long been associated with severe depression and suicidal thoughts, but a similar connection had not been established between civilians and head injuries. So, Dr. Michael Fralick and his team looked at 235,000 Ontario patient records over a 20-year period who suffered concussion on weekdays, to help distinguish between recreational and vocational injuries. Weekday concussion victims were three times more likely to commit suicide, while weekend concussions resulted in a 400 percent risk elevation.
Researchers speculated that weekday concussions mostly occurred at work, where there was a concussion protocol in place.
Most traumatic brain injuries occur in motor vehicle crashes or slip-and-falls. Many times, the trauma injuries may not be terribly severe, and it is only later that friends and family recognize brain injury symptoms, like depression, lack of concentration, and loss of motor skills.
All these things are considered “serious injuries” under Article 51 of the New York Insurance Law, meaning that victims are entitled to compensation for their noneconomic damages, like emotional distress, in addition to their economic damages, like lost wages.
The law specifically defines “serious injury” as:
- Disfigurement: Visible scars on hands and faces are more likely to be considered serious than a scar on an abdomen or thigh. Additionally, many juries are more sympathetic to women than men.
- Impairment: The disability could range from the complete loss of a digit or member to the loss of mobility in a knee or shoulder.
- 90/180 Rule: If the victim experiences pain or a temporary disability that impairs everyday activity on at least 90 of the 180 days following the injury, said injury is considered serious. The days do not have to be consecutive.
To obtain additional compensation for noneconomic damages, the plaintiff must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant breached a legal duty that caused the injury. A “preponderance of the evidence” means “more likely than not.”
Most all negligent events, such as car crashes, result in serious injuries. For a free consultation with attorneys who fight for your legal and financial rights, contact our office. We do not charge upfront legal fees in a personal injury case.