Articles Posted in Assault/Battery

In recent years there has been significant interest in the way that repeat brain injuries affect long-term personality and mental health issues. The focus has been most intense when it comes to athletic injuries. Many former NFL football players, for example, have faced serious problems after their retirement, presumably as a result of the head trauma they suffered during their playing days. Some of those injuries include mental health challenges, constant depressive thoughts, and, in some cases, suicide. Former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson and Chargers legend Junior Seau are two of the more high-profile examples.

If repeated head trauma caused by sports can lead to these sort of long-term issues, then is the same true in other contexts? That is a question being asked, surprisingly enough, in the wake of the tragic suicide of country music singer Mindy McCready.

Domestic Violence & Brain Injury

Medical malpractice cases, automobile accident cases, and many other lawsuits may involve brain injuries. When discussing brain injury legal actions, most of the time the underlying issue is either a traumatic brain injury (like in a car accident or sports injury) or problems associated with inadequate medical care (like oxygen deprivation at birth). Far less commonly discussed are situations like physical assaults that result in severe injuries. Like any other situation, our Chicago brain injury lawyers know that fights which cause serious injuries (often to the head) can make one party liable for the damage caused.

For example, Mercury News reported this week on the tragic death of a woman after an altercation with her neighbor. According to the story the police responded to a call in the early morning on Monday indicating that two neighbors were engaged in a fight. Upon arrival, police called for medical support as one in the incident, a fifty nine year old woman, was seriously hurt in the brawl. She was taken to a local medical center, but medical professionals could not save her.

Later it was learned that she suffered a critical brain injury during the attack, which caused her death. Witnesses explain that the victim fell and struck her head on the sidewalk during the fight. That significant blow to the head is assumed to have caused the fatal traumatic brain injury.

Most traumatic brain injuries are caused by accidents-car collisions, falls, and the like. However, the focus on these accidental injuries (and the subsequent brain injury lawsuits that they often spur) should not lead to ignoring the fact that many brain injuries are actually caused by intentional misconduct. Head trauma in physical altercations and fights often leads to serious injuries.

Noozhawk News reported this week on just such an altercation. Local police were called to the scene of a physical attack on a man early in the morning last Sunday. A passerby apparently called 9-1-1, alerting officials to the fact that a man was severely injured and lying on the street. When authorities arrived they found the man on the ground unconscious. He was convulsing, and had blood all over his face. After being admitted to an area intensive care unit it was discovered that he had a fractured skull, bleeding on the brain, and a broken nose. It was clear that the man had been attacked leading to the brain injury.

Fortunately, a witness saw that a car fled the scene, jotting down the license plate number. Police were able to find the car near the scene not long after. Four people were detained, but one of them was identified by the witness as the person who actually perpetrated the assault on the victim. The attacker has been charged with felony battery. The driver of the car was also charged with DUI and possession of marijuana.

Our Chicago brain injury lawyers have frequently noted on this blog that car accidents and slip and falls are the most common causes of traumatic brain injury. However, another way in which many victims experience these injuries is during physical fights. Significant physical contact of the head with the body of another (or the ground) often occurs in physical scuffles and permanent brain damage can result. Many people get into these disagreements without truly thinking about the long-term consequences that can arise. When the fight was provoked by one side or the actual physical harm was caused most significantly by one party, then a brain injury lawsuit may be filed to hold that party accountable for the consequences of the fight. In other cases, third parties who were not involved in the attack but contributed to it could also be implicated in a suit.

Many examples of these events can be found. One of the more high-profile recent examples involves a physical attack after a professional baseball game against fans of opposing teams. As discussed recently by ESPN, the family of a San Francisco Giants fan filed suit against the Los Angeles Dodgers organization after the fan was brutally beaten by a Dodgers supporter in the parking lot of the team’s stadium. The Giants fan was apparently ambushed by supporters of the other team, who threw him to the ground and kicked him repeatedly in the head. He suffered a significant brain injury. Even though the attack occurred months ago, it is only now that the man has regained the ability to speak and perform basic tasks like writing his name.

Following the incident the man and his family filed a brain injury lawsuit against the Dodgers organization for the environment that was created which led to the unprovoked attack. In the complaint, the victims argue that the team created an environment at the club that was generally hostile to fans of the opposing team. Since the filing of the lawsuit many others have come out to explain how certain aspects of the fan experience at this stadium seem to encourage taunting and rousing of certain fans against those supporters of other teams.

A 7 month old baby boy died from a serious brain injury. The brain injury was caused by the child’s father who shook the child. There have been 3 deaths already this year from children suffering brain injuries by their parents. The man was charged with assault. To read more about this brain injury victim, click here.

An attack, causing a brain injury, may have killed a person 8 years later. Two 18 year olds got into a fight and one of the individuals hit the other with a baseball bat causing a serious brain injury; 8 years later he died and the doctors are trying to determine whether the brain injury was the cause of death. Experts say that brain injuries can result in death years later; in fact people with brain injuries are more likely to die early. To read the entire article click here “brain injury

In a study of 326 women, researchers analyzed assault injuries including jaw fractures, zygomatic complex fractures, orbital blow-out fractures, and brain injuries to determine what injuries are common with intimate partner violence. A significant amount of women who reportedly were victims of domestic violence displayed injuries of jaw fractures, zygomatic complex fractures, orbital blow-out fractures, and brain injuries more so than assaulted women who did not know their attacker. The study was to help doctors screen out the women who displayed signs of domestic abuse in order to refer them to agencies that could help with their intimate partner problems.

For the full story, click here.

A man accused of beating his stepdaughter so severely that she suffered a permanent brain injury testified recently that he never hit the daughter. He claims that the daughter injured herself. The prosecution claims that he and his late wife beat the 11-year old daughter into a brain injury coma in September 2005.

For the full article.

A new report found that assaults could lead to a rise in the number of traumatic brain injuries. A recent report found that young people, infants, and women are the most likely to be brain injury victims. Brain injury is ten times more common than spinal injury and on average three times as disabling. The brain injury is different from any other injury because a brain is the seat of a person’s thinking and personality. An injury to the brain can affect everything from short term memory to a person’s behavior.

For the full article.

A baby was admitted to a hospital with brain injury and a skull fracture in addition to multiple broken bones. Last Thursday, the man whom police said caused those injuries was charged in court. He was charged with felonious assault and felony endangering children.

For the full article.

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