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Brain injury victims may be more prone to getting into trouble

Brain injuries can be particularly difficult for a teenager. A vehicle accident or other incident may cause a traumatic brain injury that affects one's ability to walk, talk or even brush his or her teeth. However, the effects of this type of injury also can be behavioral, which can be just as devastating in West Virginia. New research shows that a large number of teenagers who end up in jail actually have brain injuries.

According to the research, half of the girls and boys who were studied suffered traumatic brain injuries that led to amnesia and/or losing consciousness. Many of these brain injuries are the results of assaults. These injuries are connected to higher rates of substance abuse and disobeying jail rules.

The new study indicates that an incarcerated teen may actually be talking back or acting in a rude manner not out of disrespect, but rather because his or her brain has been damaged. The findings of this study could help corrections officers to better address trauma symptoms such as poor decision-making and weak impulse control. Unfortunately, brain injuries sometimes are not diagnosed properly because their victims don't always show obvious signs of the injuries.

When a brain injury stems from a West Virginia accident for which another party is deemed at fault, such as a vehicle accident, the situation can cause pain and suffering as well as emotional distress. It is within the right of the person who has suffered the injury to seek monetary damages in a civil court to help with occasional medical expenses and other losses tied to the situation. There must be adequate evidence to prove that the other person really did cause the accident due to negligent behavior.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Nearly Half Of All Jailed Youths In New York City Have Brain Injury", Jake Pearson, April 18, 2014

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