Traumatic Brain Injury And Why You Need An Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer
While trauma to the brain is not always visible on the outside, the consequences can be serious, far-reaching, and permanent. An experienced lawyer can help you claim appropriate compensation in order to help with the healing and rehabilitation process, as well as any long-term consequences of a brain injury.
Despite increasing awareness of the fragility of the human brain, brain injuries are not always obvious. They can result from what seems like a relatively light blow to the head or even a strong jolt or shake that causes the brain to impact against the inside of the skull.
It can sometimes take weeks for loved ones to understand that changes in behavior they are witnessing are symptoms of a physical injury to the brain. And even when treatment is swift, complete recovery is not always guaranteed. Depending on the nature of the injury, physical, cognitive, and emotional impairments can be unavoidable.
In the wake of a traumatic brain injury, as well as dealing with the shock and pain of the incident itself, families need to deal with medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and loss of income, perhaps even permanently if the individual is not able to return to work.
The potential support costs if the sufferer needs assistance to care for themselves can skyrocket too. Add to this the stress associated with trying to seek appropriate compensation from a responsible party or insurance firm, and this can be the worst experience of many people’s lives. This is where an experienced brain injury attorney can help.
Read to learn more about the basics of what constitutes a traumatic brain injury as well as the symptoms that can alert you to a traumatic brain injury. We will also go through the potential causes and long-term consequences of these types of injuries. We will explain how a lawyer can support you during this difficult time and why a lawyer with specific experience with brain injury cases is essential.
How Can A Lawyer Help With Traumatic Brain Injury
Why You Need An Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
In the aftermath of a TBI, it can be a good idea to contact a lawyer. While accidents happen, if another person was responsible for causing a TBI, either willingly or through negligence, they can be held responsible and be required to pay compensation to cover initial medical costs, long-term support costs, loss of income compensation, and even compensation for pain and suffering.
If there was no one at fault for the incident, and you have health insurance, it can still be a good idea to contact an attorney. It is often the job of claims assessors to ensure that their firms pay out as little as possible. A lawyer can help ensure that you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Even if a TBI does not seem serious, it is advisable to contact a lawyer. Symptoms and consequences can emerge a significant period of time after the incident. Most states have a statute of limitations within which a personal injury suit can be pursued, and if you miss this window, you may lose all recourse to compensation. It is best to consult a lawyer early so that you know what your options are.
Get An Expert
We work with a network of experts that have extensive experience handling traumatic brain injury cases. This can make a significant difference at court, as these types of cases can often come down to arguments between specialists offering different perspectives of the same evidence. Their testimony can be highly nuanced and academic, making it difficult for juries to decipher the facts and come to a fair decision.
Our team of lawyers has over 25 years of experience helping juries truly understand the consequences of traumatic brain injuries, even when they leave no physical trace. We also know exactly how to negotiate with insurance companies to gain maximum compensation.
Call us today and speak to a qualified attorney on your first phone call. And don’t worry about the expense, we only request payment once we have won your case.
What Is Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) occurs when a physical trauma disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. If this happens before birth, it is known as an inborn brain injury. If this happens after birth, it is known as an acquired brain injury.
It is a common misconception that TBIs only occur as a result of a blow to the head. Anything that causes the head to jolt or shake violently can also result in a TBI, as the soft tissue of the brain can be damaged when it hits the inside of the skull. These types of TBIs are often called silent injuries, as they may show no physical signs, but can have serious consequences.
Types of TBI include:
- Contusion – a blow to the skull that leaves behind a physical mark
- Concussion – when a person loses consciousness or becomes disoriented while remaining conscious as a result of a blow or jolt to the head
- Diffuse Axonal – a jolting or shaking of the brain that damages a portion of the brain
- Coup-Contusion – similar to the above, but both sides of the brain are damaged as it is shaken back and forth
- Penetration – when something, such as a bone fragment or shrapnel, enters the brain tissue, damaging it
- Secondary Syndrome – when an individual with a concussion suffers an additional brain injury that results in the severe swelling of the brain
Other brain injuries, which are not considered traumatic, are caused by incidents such as strokes, infections, hypoxia, and medical errors, such as the incorrect use of forceps during the birthing process.
Causes Of Traumatic Brain Injury
There is no limit on the potential causes of a TBI. Any incident that impacts the skull or violently jolts or shakes the head could damage the brain in such a way as to cause a TBI. Below is a list of some of the most common causes of TBI reported within the United States:
- Car accident – As cars move at high speeds, the potential damage that they can do on impact is significant.
As well as resulting in traumatic blows to the skull, the head can be whipped back and forth violently by impact or swift deceleration, which can cause the brain to impact against the inside of the skull, resulting in significant damage.
Cyclists, pedestrians, skateboarders, and others are also in danger of being involved in similar accidents.
- Slips and falls – Slips and falls can happen anywhere, but they often happen in the workplace or at sites that have not been adequately evaluated for health and safety. A knock on the head while falling is a leading cause of TBI.
- Projectiles – Similar to slips and falls, except it is an object rather than you that is falling or flying through the air. If the result is a head impact, this can cause a TBI.
- Sporting or recreational activities – Thanks to recent press coverage, there is a general awareness of the dangers of some sports, such as football, when it comes to TBI.
But even activities with less obvious dangers can result in head injuries. Needing to move the body unexpectedly to avoid an object or a heavy impact as part of competition can result in a TBI.
- Assaults – When it comes to assaults, the goal of the assailant is often to incapacitate their victim. There is no faster way to achieve this than a blow to the head, causing a TBI.
Medical professionals should be consulted immediately in the wake of any of these incidents. Just because there is no physical evidence of trauma, does not mean that there is no internal damage to the brain.
Individuals should also be observed closely by loved ones in the days following an incident. Doctors and medical tests are not infallible, and injuries can be missed. Looking out for key symptoms can help ensure that sufferers get medical care in time to make a difference.
Aside from physical signs of head trauma such as fractures and contusions, individuals that have suffered a TBI may display a variety of symptoms that can indicate damage to their brain. Symptoms and their severity vary significantly from person to person, and they can either improve or deteriorate over time.
Common symptoms of a TBI include:
- Short-term memory loss
- Personality changes
- Short temper
- Mood swings
- Coordination issues
- Numbness in the extremities
- Difficulty sleeping
- Vision problems
- Ringing in the ears
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Slurred speech
If a loved one displays any of these symptoms, a medical professional should be contacted immediately. The sooner traumatic brain trauma is treated, the more likely an individual is to make a full recovery. But even when someone receives immediate and excellent medical care, they may never fully recover from a traumatic brain injury.
Potential Long-Term Consequences
While some people completely recover from a traumatic brain injury, for others, the consequences may fundamentally change their lives forever. In the long-term, TBI can result in the following:
- Cognitive issues – such as permanent memory loss and ongoing memory recall issues, loss of space and time perceptions, and decreased ability to solve problems and make sound judgments.
- Physical complications – these can range from full or partial paralysis to general weakness, poor balance and coordination, reduced endurance, and seizures that are commonly called traumatic epilepsy.
- Sensory problems – including loss of sensation, taste, hearing, and smell, as well as a variety of visual impairments.
- Communications challenges – after a TBI, individuals can develop difficulties with speech, writing, reading, planning, and identifying objects.
- Behavioral and psychological problems – it is common to develop uncontrollable mood swings, anxiety, and depression.
As a result of these problems, which are a result of physical trauma to the brain, individuals may lose the ability to continue in their current employment or even hold down a steady job at all and support their dependents.
Social issues that result from anxiety, depression, and lack of self-control can make it impossible for an individual to maintain normal social relationships, even with close family members. Someone with a TBI may also lose the ability to complete basic self-care tasks, such as feeding and bathing themselves.
Add to this the high medical costs of treatment and rehabilitation, as well as the pain and suffering associated with these changes in life circumstances, and the impact of a TBI can be both long-term and serious.
Are Traumatic Brain Injuries Permanent?
While not all traumatic brain injuries are permanent, many are. As well as resulting in a coma or death, they can result in permanent diminished brain function that can damage motor skills, cognitive abilities, and emotional stability.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Traumatic Brain Injury?
Recovery from a TBI depends on the nature and seriousness of the injury. Rehabilitation periods are generally considered to take a maximum of two years. After this time, around 30 percent of sufferers still require some sort of additional assistance.
What Does Brain Injury Feel Like?
While the results of brain injury are different for different people, commonly reported symptoms include headaches, fogginess of the brain, memory problems, and nausea.
Does Brain Injury Qualify For Disability Support?
Depending on the nature of the brain injury, you may qualify for disability support. As with all disability claims, this will depend on the diagnosis and recommendation of a qualified medical professional.
Can Brain Damage Cause Changes In Personality?
Damage to the brain can cause changes in personality as emotional and cognitive centers of the brain are damaged and no longer continue to function in the same way. In severe causes, sufferers may be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.