Domestic Violence and Brain Injuries
Domestic violence affects countless women and men each year. As people have begun to talk more about the problem, counselors, medical personnel, and victim advocates are raising awareness about traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A TBI occurs when the brain, typically cushioned safely in the skull, is violently jolted. For instance, a concussion is a type of TBI. After a TBI event, the brain may be bruised or damaged, sometimes irreparably. TBIs are frequently seen in individuals hurt in car accidents or in athletes who experience intense collisions. The most intense types of TBI require immediate attention to avoid victim death or extensive brain damage.
How Do TBIs Relate to Cases of Domestic Violence?
According to recent statistics, up to 83 percent of women who reported domestic abuse said they were either hit in the head with an object or had their head forcibly and intensely jostled. When asked how many times these types of incidents occurred, most respondents said they could not pinpoint the exact number because the abuse happened so often. However, eight percent of participants agreed that they were hit or shaken at least 20 times during the past calendar year.
Signs of a TBI
Upon medical examination, countless domestic abuse survivors present symptoms indicating current or past TBIs. Yet, it should be noted that TBIs and their outcomes are different for everyone. Depending upon the severity of a TBI, a person may exhibit a wide range of symptoms. Chronic headaches and memory loss are common indicators of a TBI and may cause lifelong trauma and issues. Other problems associated with TBIs include personality changes, inability to concentrate, sensitivity to lights and sound, nightmares, seizures, nausea and vomiting, problems sleeping, depression, difficulty speaking, and bouts of lost consciousness.
How are TBIs Treated?
When medical staff have immediate access to TBI victims, as in the case of a car wreck, they may prescribe medications, surgery, and physical therapy to reduce the TBI effects and promote healing. Ideally, people who suffered TBIs should stay away from circumstances where they may be at risk of another TBI.
Regrettably, domestic abuse victims consistently resist health care treatment after an abusive incident. Often, their reluctance stems from a fear that their abuser will retaliate against them, or a sense of shame that the abuse was their fault. This leaves them at a disadvantage because they lack diagnosis and proper care of TBIs.
Options for Domestic Violence Survivors with TBIs
Domestic violence sufferers who seek help and discover that they have been left with significant injuries due to abuse-related TBIs can take legal action against their abusers. Many attorneys specialize in assisting domestic abuse survivors fight back and sue for compensation to cover everything from medical bills to lowered wage earning capabilities. Family members of domestic violence victims left with reduced mental capacity may also wish to pursue lawsuits against alleged abusers.
Somerville Domestic Violence Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Victims of Domestic Abuse
If you suffered a TBI due to a confrontation with a violent domestic partner, contact the Somerville domestic violence lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Call us at 908-575-9777 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Morristown and Somerville, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.