Traumatic Injury and Youth – Predicting the Future
Young adults endure the majority of traumatic brain injuries every year, leaving themselves with a long and difficult road ahead. That prolonged struggle, beginning before full adulthood, presents a unique set of circumstances: A youth’s greatest asset is not the present but the future, so how do you measure compensation to reflect that?
Children and young adults are constantly growing and changing, developing new skills, sharpening the ones they have. When disaster strikes in the form of a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, the maturation process is still ongoing. A child’s physical body, including the brain and spinal cord, is also continuing to develop, so the full extent of disability has yet to unfold.
Children and teens face the prospect of falling far behind in school, losing contact with friends and struggling to prepare for the future. Classroom assistants and tutors are just two of the support systems young injury sufferers will require.
Assessing the extent of a brain injury requires a series of detailed tests from experts. But to a large extent these experts, using criteria that were originally designed for adults, have to predict the future: for example, will this child or teen finish school and be able to enter the workforce? And what kind of job and pay can this young person expect, given their current level of disability?
In cases of young people suffering a traumatic brain injury, a personal injury lawyer has to work with medical and rehabilitation experts to develop a detailed outlook for the sufferer. This often comes in the form of what is called a life care plan, also known as future care costs.
The injured person might also be able to claim compensation for loss of enjoyment of life, particularly when an injury threatens the chances of marriage or a similarly significant relationship. If it is determined that they will face a life of dependence on other people, this severely reduces the likelihood of reaching the typical milestones of adult life like independence, marriage and parenthood. At Futerman partners LLP, we have over 30 years of experience handling the most complex brain and spinal cord injuries involving children and young adults. These are difficult cases that require a specialized law firm and medical team to ensure that the victim receives all of the support and other services required over their life time.