Can Traumatic Brain Injuries Lead to the Commission of Serious Crimes?
When someone suffers a traumatic brain injury, his or her life can and often does change instantly and permanently, and not for the better. Traumatic brain injuries have become common enough in the United States that they are also known as TBI's, and according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately 1.7 million people suffer a TBI every year across the country. This statistic includes people who suffer concussions, but nearly 500,000 people who fall into this unfortunate category face the very real prospect of permanent disability in some form.
Until very recently, it was almost impossible to accurately understand the nature of the suffering that would impact someone who had suffered a traumatic brain injury in terms of the potential symptoms, and even now such an exercise involves educated guesses with many patients. These symptoms can involve mood swings, depression, confusion, detachment from reality and in some cases aggression or even antisocial behavior. To make matters worse, these symptoms can change over time unpredictably, making it even more difficult to foresee what could happen with a traumatic brain injury survivor.
Tragically, it's possible that a woman in Wisconsin may have lost her life at least partially because one of her convicted killers had suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident a few years ago. A 13-year-old boy allegedly helped another boy viciously and brutally murder a 78-year-old woman, and that boy also happened to be the victim's grandson. The case is now moving towards sentencing, and a link to the full text of an article describing this horrific situation can be found here.
One of the issues that is of concern to people with regards to this case is that the boy who had suffered this traumatic brain injury may have become more susceptible to committing such a heinous act because of that incident. He had suffered brain damage as a result of the car accident and according to family members his personality changed markedly as he fought to recover from that harm. He was 10 years old when he was injured.
Sadly, this is not necessarily an isolated issue. According to several studies that have been done, including one that was described here, prison inmates in the United States are many times more likely to have suffered a traumatic brain injury in the past than those who are simply part of the general population. Researchers are still working on finding any definitive links between the suffering of this injury and the subsequent criminal behavior.
Does this mean that people who suffer traumatic brain injuries are likely to become violent criminals capable of unspeakable acts? No, but it should help people understand the uncertain futures that TBI survivors will face. That's also why people who are harmed in this manner by someone else need to make sure that they do what's necessary to recover funds for their future care. If this has happened to you, contact the traumatic brain injury lawyers at the Scarlett Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation.