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What is Locked-In Syndrome?

By working with an experienced brain injury lawyer, you can pursue the compensation you are legally entitled to after suffering locked-in syndrome.

Locked-in syndrome is a rare neurological disorder. When experiencing locked-in syndrome, people are paralyzed but remain conscious of their surroundings. Locked-in syndrome is typically caused by trauma or damage to the lower brainstem.

Severe head trauma, such as from a car accident or a fall, can damage the brainstem and cause locked-in syndrome. Medical conditions such as strokes can also cause locked-in syndrome.

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If you or a loved one have sustained a brain injury in an accident and subsequently experienced locked-in syndrome, you may have cause to pursue a lawsuit. A lawsuit can provide you with the financial compensation you need to treat your condition and injuries. If you are unable to work after your brain injury, the monetary award from a lawsuit can give you the ability to keep up with your day-to-day expenses. 

Contact the attorneys at The Brain Injury Law Center online or by calling our team at (757) 244-7000. We are standing by to listen to you and help you begin the legal process. Read on to learn more about locked-in syndrome and how an attorney can help you and your family. 

How Locked-In Syndrome Affects the Body

Locked-in syndrome can have a serious emotional and psychological impact on individuals and their families. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders (NINDS), locked-in syndrome affects the body through its complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles. 

Individuals with locked-in syndrome retain the ability to breathe but their inability to manipulate their vocal cords renders them unable to speak. Usually, those experiencing locked-in syndrome can still blink, move their eyes, and remain aware of their surroundings. 

Feelings of frustration, isolation, and depression are common in those who experience locked-in syndrome. Those who experience locked-in syndrome must receive the psychological support needed to maintain their well-being and mental health. Locked-in syndrome is considered a permanent condition. Because it results from damage to the brain, the harm is usually irreversible.

What Causes Locked-In Syndrome?

Locked-in syndrome results from significant and often irreversible damage to the brainstem, leading to paralysis while leaving higher cognitive functions intact.

Some of the most common causes of locked-in syndrome include: 

  • Stroke: A stroke is the leading cause of locked-in syndrome. Strokes can occur when the blood supply to the brainstem is interrupted, either due to a blockage or bleeding, resulting in tissue damage and subsequent paralysis.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBIs): Severe head trauma, such as that sustained in a car accident, fall, or assault, can cause damage to the brainstem and result in locked-in syndrome. 
  • Prescription Drug Errors: Mistakes with medications, especially those that slow down the central nervous system like opioids or sedatives, can cause breathing to stop and reduce oxygen levels in the body. When this happens, serious brain damage can occur.

Accidents or incidents such as these can result in serious injuries like locked-in syndrome or coma. Both locked-in syndrome and coma involve altered states of consciousness, they differ in terms of awareness, responsiveness, brain function, and prognosis. 

Locked-in syndrome is characterized by preserved consciousness and cognitive function despite physical paralysis. In comparison, coma involves varying degrees of unconsciousness and lack of responsiveness. If you have experienced locked-in syndrome after any of the incidents listed above, you may have reason to pursue a lawsuit for financial compensation. 

Brain injury lawsuits, like those involving locked-in syndrome, are both legally and emotionally complicated. A qualified attorney can help you understand your right to pursue compensation for losses such as medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering. Contact The Brain Injury Law Center online or by calling (757) 244-7000 to learn more about the legal process.

Compensation in Brain Injury Lawsuits

Locked-in syndrome is one of the most terrifying effects of a traumatic brain injury. Lawsuits related to locked-in syndrome could arise in various situations, typically involving allegations of medical malpractice, negligence, or liability for the condition. 

Compensation in brain injury lawsuits aims to provide financial support to individuals who have suffered harm due to the negligence or wrongful actions of others. The specific types and amounts of compensation awarded in brain injury cases vary and will depend on the unique facts of your case. 

Financial compensation in brain injury lawsuit cases may include: 

  • Pain and suffering: This type of compensation seeks to address the physical and emotional pain and suffering experienced as a result of the brain injury. It accounts for the individual’s anxiety, depression, and other psychological effects caused by the injury.
  • Home modifications and at-home healthcare: Compensation may be sought for the cost of making modifications to the home to accommodate an individual’s disability. It may also include the cost of hiring caregivers or obtaining other assistance with activities of daily living. 
  • Punitive awards: In cases involving serious negligence or intentional behavior, punitive awards may be given to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar misconduct in the future. 
  • Lost income: Brain injuries can result in temporary or permanent disability, preventing individuals from working or earning income. Compensation may be sought for lost wages, including both past earnings and future earning capacity diminished by the injury.

If you have been injured by another party, a lawyer may be able to help you bring a lawsuit where you can financially recover for your losses. 

Treatment for Locked-In Syndrome

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in maintaining and improving muscle strength, range of motion, and overall physical function. Therapists work with individuals to develop personalized exercise programs focused on mobility, balance, and activities of daily living. This may include passive range-of-motion exercises, stretching, strengthening exercises, and functional training.

At this time, there is no cure for locked-in syndrome. However, management and treatment focus on improving quality of life, maximizing communication abilities, and providing supportive care. Research into potential treatments and interventions also continues, offering hope for future advancements in managing and potentially reversing the effects of locked-in syndrome.

If your loved one’s locked-in syndrome was caused by another’s negligence, you may have cause to bring a lawsuit for financial compensation. While there is no cure for locked-in syndrome, advancements in technology and rehabilitation approaches continue to improve the quality of life for individuals living with this condition. 

Contact an experienced brain injury attorney to learn more about how a lawsuit can benefit you and your family. 

Contact an Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer

Hiring an attorney is an important step in the legal process. You will want to make sure you are hiring a lawyer who has extensive experience handling cases involving brain injuries, including locked-in syndrome. 

The team at The Brain Injury Lawsuit has handled many brain injury lawsuit cases and has the experience necessary to set your case up for the best possible outcome. We have won many victories for our clients who have experienced mild to serious brain injuries. 

Contact The Brain Injury Law Center online or by calling our team at (757) 244-7000. We are here to help you during this difficult time. 

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