Wild West Gunfighter and TBIs

One hundred thirty years ago this month, Wild West gunslinger Clay Allison, whose bizarre and violent behavior was probably caused by a childhood brain injury, was killed in a wagon accident near his Pecos, Texas home.

Born in 1840, the Tennessee native was discharged from the Confederate Army during the Civil War because of a mysterious condition which doctors classified as “partly epileptic and partly maniacal”; most historians agree that this condition was the lingering effects of a head injury. This conclusion is supported by the aberrant behavior that Mr. Allison displayed during his lifetime. In the 1870s, he was linked to a number of shootings that were mostly prompted by sudden fits of violent rage. Although the killings stopped after he married in 1881, the strange behavior continued for the rest of his life. He once rode naked through the town streets, and used a pair of pliers to forcibly extract a dentist’s tooth following a dispute with the man.

After he fell under a wagon’s wheels and was crushed to death, his gravestone strangely read that Mr. Allison was “a gentleman and a gunfighter who never killed a man that did not need killing.”

Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms

Even today, noted brain specialists in Atlanta have a difficult time diagnosing brain injuries. Noted football concussion Dr. Bennet Omalu, who was played by Will Smith in a Hollywood movie, said that he would “bet [his] medical license” that O.J. Simpson has a brain injury, because there is no other way to explain his erratic behavior. Friends and relatives of TBI victims are very familiar with the personality changes that often accompany brain injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injuries are permanent, because dead brain cells do not come back to life. However, following aggressive medical treatment and extensive physical therapy, the symptoms become less extreme and more manageable.

Damages in a TBI Case

Motor vehicle crashes, assaults, and falls are among the most common causes in the estimated 1.7 million TBIs that occur in the United States each year. Victims in these cases are entitled to compensation for their economic damages, including lost wages, hospitalization and emergency care, follow-up medical bills, and physical rehabilitation expenses.

Victims are also entitled to compensation for their noneconomic damages, like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, emotional distress, and loss of consortium (companionship and contribution to household affairs). Punitive damages, which are designed to punish the negligent actor and deter future similar wrongdoing, are also available in some cases.

TBIs have lifelong emotional, physical, and financial consequences. For a free consultation with an aggressive Atlanta personal injury attorney, contact us at 404-JUSTICE.