SeanCarlo Lopez | October 6, 2023 | Personal Injury
What Is CTE?
The Boston University CTE Center defines Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) as a “progressive degenerative disease of the brain.” CTE can be found in people who suffer repeated head impacts or head injuries.
Common causes of RHI (repeated head impacts) are contact sports, working as a first responder, and military service. However, car accidents, slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, and other personal injuries can also cause CTE. The repeated head impacts do not need to come from the same source.
How Is CTE Diagnosed?
Currently, there is only one way to diagnose CTE: with a postmortem neuropathological analysis. Unfortunately, doctors cannot diagnose CTE with absolute certainty while the person is living.
Likewise, there is no cure for CTE at this time. However, clinical research continues to learn more about CTE, including the risk factors for developing the condition and effective treatments for its symptoms. At this time, doctors can treat the symptoms of CTE, such as anxiety and depression.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of CTE?
CTE generally gets worse over time. While there are no specific symptoms of CTE, patients and their family members report symptoms that could be associated with it. After the person’s death, family members can help identify the symptoms present during the person’s lifetime when doctors confirm through an autopsy that the person has CTE.
Common signs and symptoms of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) include, but are not limited to:
- Memory loss
- Trouble thinking and/or focusing
- Problems with executive-level functions, such as organization, planning, and carrying out tasks
- Behavioral changes, including aggression and impulsive behavior
- Emotional instability
- Depression or apathy
- Suicidal thoughts and/or suicide attempts
- Misuse of drugs and/or alcohol
- Problems with balance, coordination, and or walking
- Signs of Parkinsonism, including slow movement, shaking, and speech problems
- Motor neuron disease causes problems with breathing, swallowing, speaking, and walking
Several factors impact the symptoms a person with CTE may exhibit. The severity of the brain injury and the areas of the brain impacted by the injury are factors.
Someone experiencing any of these signs of CTE should seek immediate medical treatment. CTE does not develop immediately after a brain injury. It is thought to develop over many years of repeated brain injuries, including mild and severe TBIs.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for CTE in Florida
Sustaining repeated head injuries can result in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. If your CTE is caused because of another party’s negligence or wrongful acts, that party could be liable for your damages.
However, proving liability for CTE can be challenging. You would need to prove the elements of a negligence claim, which are:
- The party who caused you to suffer a brain injury owed you a legal duty of care
- The party breached their legal duty of care through their actions or inactions
- The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your brain injury
- You sustained damages because of the party’s conduct
If you believe your CTE diagnosis is the result of negligence by another party, you should contact a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer immediately. A lawyer who handles brain injury cases can investigate your claim to determine if another party could be liable.
Winning a CTE claim requires a lot of time and resources. For instance, you will likely need to hire medical specialists and other experts to assist with your claim. A St. Petersburg brain injury lawyer is better equipped to pursue the claim on your behalf.
What Damages Can I Recover for a CTE Claim in Florida?
A CTE diagnosis can be devastating for an individual and their family. Severe CTE can cause life-altering symptoms, impairments, and disabilities. Diagnosing, treating, and living with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy can be very expensive.
If another party caused your injury, you could be entitled to economic damages. These damages can help you pay for the care you need and reimburse you for financial losses. Examples of economic damages in a CTE case include:
- Past and future medical expenses for diagnosis, treatment, and care
- Occupational, psychological, and physical therapies
- The cost of long-term personal and/or nursing care
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of income, including future lost wages and reductions in future earning capacity
The amount you receive for a CTE claim depends on many factors. A St. Petersburg CTE lawyer can discuss how much your case is worth and answer other questions about filing a claim during a free consultation.