A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a severe type of catastrophic injury that can leave victims with immense financial, physical, and emotional consequences to deal with. When these injuries are caused by the negligent acts of another party, victims and their families may be entitled to received compensation for the damages they have suffered. If you or a loved one have received a traumatic brain injury in an accident, an experienced Traumatic Brain Injury lawyer may be able to help you get compensation for various losses including physical pain, medical bills, loss in earning ability, emotional suffering, rehabilitation costs, property damage, loss of affection, loss of income, and punitive damages. Many personal injury firms also handle these types of cases pro Bono, so victims are often not charged for legal fees unless the case is won in their favor.
Types of Accidents That Commonly Result in Traumatic Brain Injuries
Debilitating brain injuries are more common than they may seem with millions across the globe suffering these types of serious injuries every year. Certain types of accidents cause more traumatic brain injuries than others. According to the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children under 4 years old, teens between 15-19 years old, and elderly citizens are the groups that are most vulnerable to suffering a TBI.
These are some of the most common causes of TBI’s:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Car crashes are responsible for a huge portion of traumatic brain injury cases. Negligence committed by the other driver, vehicle manufacturer, or distributor can create opportunities for a TBI victim to receive compensation for their injuries through a personal injury lawsuit.
- Slip and fall accidents. Falling down and hitting one’s head is one of the most, if not the most, common cause of traumatic brain injuries. If a property owner failed to fix or warn of dangerous conditions that result in someone falling & suffering a TBI, the victim may be able to file a negligence-based claim against the responsible party(s).
- Medical malpractice. Oxygen deprivation, failure to monitor patient conditions, and accidents made during surgery can result in permanent brain damage.
- Sports accidents. Football and rugby players are involved in high-contact situations that can result in traumatic brain injuries.
- Assault & Battery. Close to 10% of TBI’s are the result of violence.
- Whiplash. Sudden acceleration & deceleration of the head with no external impact.
- Unintentional blunt trauma. Worksite accidents, falling objects, etc.
Traumatic Brain Injury Types
Concussions, Hematomas (blood clots), skull fractures, and contusions (internal bruising/bleeding) are the most common types of brain injuries suffered in these accidents. Types of head injuries are also classified into a few major categories that are distinguished by how they occurred including:
- Closed Head Injuries – These occur when the brain is injured but the skull remains unpenetrated & intact. Closed head injuries can create concussions, internal bleeding, and excess pressure on the brain.
- Open Head Injuries – An injury where the skull was penetrated or broken by a foreign object or the ground.
- Anoxic Brain Injuries – Damage caused to the brain by a lack of oxygen flow.
- Blast Brain Injuries – Head damage caused by explosive force.
Symptoms That Traumatic Brain Injury Victims May Experience
Head injuries are a broad category of injuries that can be accompanied by many different symptoms depending on the severity and type of trauma suffered. Those who have suffered a head injury that is more on the minor side may experience symptoms such as:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleeping issues
- Amnesia or memory loss
- Sensitivity to light
- Increased irritability
- Loss of appetite
When left untreated, minor brain injuries can become major problems that create lifelong damage. A victim with a serious brain injury may experience a wider variety of symptoms including those from above and/or:
- Severe, unrelenting head pain
- Changes or loss in vision
- Loss in motor function
- Trouble speaking or understanding words
- Temporary or permanent changes in personality
- Radical mood swings
A TBI victim may have only minor symptoms initially or may not even lose consciousness when they receive the injury, but this does not mean the injury cannot become life-threatening when left untreated.
Treatments Available for Traumatic Brain Injury Victims
Depending on the type of injury suffered and the extent of the damage caused, TBI treatment options can vary wildly. However, one consistent aspect among nearly all TBI treatment plans is that they are almost all expensive options. Those recovering from a TBI may undergo treatments such as:
- Physical therapy – Pain management, returning physical capabilities to normal, management of nutritional/medication needs.
- Caretaking for daily tasks – Help with feeding, bathing, grooming needs for victims.
- Speech therapy – Help with regaining the ability to communicate effectively & understand speech.
- Psychological care – Emotional therapy & medication to help with emotional or behavioral problems that resulted from the injury.
- Mobility – Wheelchairs or walking devices that may be needed by those who’ve been left with paralysis after a TBI.
- Cognitive therapy – To help with the recovery of problem solving, memory, and concentration issues brought on by the injury.
- Social skills – Redevelopment of social skills to improve victim relationships with their friends/family after the accident.
What Happens After a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Close to 50,000 Americans lose their lives to traumatic brain injuries every year. For the TBI victims that survive, they often suffer immense damage to their quality of life due to the loss of mobility, need for constant care, and financial strains that are placed on their lives as a result of the accident. Traumatic brain injury victims and their families may be entitled to recover compensation from those responsible for causing the accident for up to 2 years after the accident in most states across the country. These personal injury cases often request millions in compensation and involve an experienced legal team of traumatic brain injury lawyers to achieve success in the case.
Elements of a Brain Injury Case
Four major elements must be proved by the victim’s attorney in a negligence claim. This includes:
- Defendant’s Duty of Care – The legal obligation that one has to operate in a safe & reasonable manner. For a driver, this is the duty to operate their vehicle in a safe manner.
- Defendant Breached Their Duty – Negligence may be applicable in cases where it can be proved that the defendant breached their duty to operate in a safe manner.
- Defendant’s Breach of Duty Caused the Accident – The defendant’s failure to uphold their duty must have directly lead to the injury which caused the TBI to take place.
- Victim Suffered Damages – For there to be any compensation to be recovered, a victim’s attorney must be able to prove that they suffered some sort of damage as a result of the injury.
What to Do Immediately After Suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury
The first thing anyone involved in an accident should do is seek medical treatment. The initial medical inspection is an important part of monitoring a victim’s symptoms for signs of progression and is a critical piece of evidence when building a personal injury case for a traumatic brain injury. Changes in one’s speech, behavior, mood, or personality should be things that are kept under constant watch if a traumatic brain injury is suspected to have occurred. All doctor visitors, medical records, and witness contact information, and police statements should be documented and kept as evidence for the case. An experienced traumatic brain injury attorney can help you and your family navigate the complexities of building a successful argument for recovering compensation. Contact us at Heidari Law Group today for a free consultation. 1-833-225-5454