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The Relationship Between Brain Injury And Stroke

By Butler Prather LLP on June 15, 2021

When most people think of traumatic brain injuries, they think of most of the damage coming from the impact and the subsequent swelling that occurs inside of the skull. However, many people are not aware that there is a link between brain injuries and strokes. Strokes occur when the blood supply in part of the brain is interrupted or reduced. When this occurs, brain cells begin to die within minutes. The link between brain injuries and strokes needs to be discussed and understood, particularly if you or somebody you know has experienced a brain injury recently.

What is the Link Between Strokes and TBIs?

Even though a person can sustain a traumatic brain injury separately from a stroke, and vice versa, there are times when a traumatic brain injury can trigger a stroke. A blow to the head or jolt to the neck that drives the upper body or head forward, backwards, or left to right can cause significant damage inside of the skull. The brain can be jostled around and experience contusions and bruising, even though there may not be much evidence of an injury on the outside of a person’s body.

One study, referenced here by WebMD, indicates that those who have experienced a traumatic brain injury could be more likely to suffer a stroke. In fact, the study indicates that traumatic brain injuries may be as big of a risk factor as high blood pressure when it comes to whether or not a person will have a stroke.

Another study, this one from the University of Michigan, indicates that there is an increased risk of a stroke after a traumatic brain injury by as much as 30% over those who have never had a brain injury at all. This study also considered other common stroke factors, including age, high blood pressure, heart disease, and high cholesterol.

According to Dr. James F. Burke, M.D., one of the researchers involved in the case, the study established a strong enough link between traumatic brain injuries and strokes to make it a risk factor. The study examined more than 430,000 participants.

Can You Receive Compensation for These Injuries?

If you or somebody you care about has sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of the negligent or intentional actions of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. In general, individuals will be able to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering damages, and more as a result of the trauma they experienced.

However, recovering compensation from a stroke that may be linked to a traumatic brain injury could be more complicated. That is because the traumatic brain injury may set in motion the risk factors for a stroke, but the actual stroke may not occur until years after the actual incident occurs. In most situations, an individual harmed by the careless or negligent actions of someone else will have already recovered compensation through an insurance settlement or through a personal injury jury verdict.

Should a stroke occur at a later date, it may very well be linked to the initial traumatic brain injury that the person already recovered compensation for. Unfortunately, going back and recovering additional compensation will likely be impossible. Insurance carriers and at-fault parties well usually point to a signed settlement agreement that ended the case, and they will also point out that there are other risk factors involved when it comes to strokes occurring.

Posted in: Personal Injury

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