Common injuries with serious complications

Subdural hematoma is bleeding on the surface of the brain that develops after trauma. When this condition is chronic, blood can gradually accumulate and cause complications such as muscle weakness or cognitive impairment, according to Forbes. These effects may be highly debilitating, as most disability attorneys in Chicago would agree. Unfortunately, victims of brain injuries are often at risk for developing this condition.

A growing problem

Subdural hematoma can result from falls or seemingly minor injuries. Older adults may have a higher risk of this condition, due to atrophy of brain tissue and cells. The use of blood-thinning medications may exacerbate this danger. People with alcohol addictions may also be at greater risk, since alcohol thins the blood and makes falls more likely.

Many people may not realize they have suffered subdural hematomas, leading to delayed treatment and greater complications. Even after victims undergo surgical drainage, they are more likely to have difficult recoveries. Compared to brain surgery patients, patients with subdural hematomas require more extensive hospitalization and rehabilitation after surgery.

A study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery anticipates that this condition will become more common as the population ages. The study predicts the following outcomes:

  • By 2030, chronic subdural hematoma will represent the most common reason for adult brain surgery.
  • The rate of this injury will increase notably among veterans, from 79.4 to 121.4 cases per 100,000 people.
  • These increases may result in a shortage of neurosurgeons to treat the condition.

Sadly, this shortage, along with the nature of the injury, may leave patients at risk for complications or long-term disablement.

Addressing disabling injuries

Social Security Disability benefits may be available to people who can’t work due to brain injuries or related complications. The Social Security Administration may consider various side effects of brain injuries disabling, as any disability attorneys in Chicago know. These include seizure, stroke and epilepsy. The SSA also recognizes cognitive decline due to physical injury as disabling if victims suffer from specific symptoms or functional restrictions.

Even if a traumatic brain injury doesn’t automatically qualify as disabling, a victim may receive a medical-vocational allowance. An allowance is granted if a person’s functional limitations and skills or knowledge prevent the person from reasonably pursuing gainful employment. When awarding an allowance, the SSA may consider all physical, cognitive and psychological effects of a brain injury.

Properly documenting these effects can be difficult. In addition to objective evidence, victims should provide third party statements to support their claims. A doctor can assess a victim’s functional capabilities, while personal sources can describe the lingering effects of the injury. To ensure adequate documentation, many victims may benefit from partnering with disability attorneys in Chicago.