Whether you or a loved one has been the victim of a traumatic brain injury because of a car accident, medical malpractice, or another tragic event, your life is likely forever altered. Traumatic brain injuries range in severity, but no matter how seemingly minor your injury is, you have the right to hold the negligent party at fault for your injuries.
As is often the case with anything related to the brain, traumatic brain injuries are difficult to diagnose, time-consuming to litigate, and costly to prevail. That’s why it’s so important that you select a trusted personal injury lawyer to represent you or your loved one after an injury. Traumatic brain injury cases are complex and require the keen eye of an experienced attorney.
Examples of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury is any impact to the body that causes brain injury. This usually results from the brain hitting the skull. Even minor forces can cause the brain to shift in dangerous ways. Over 150 people die each day in the United States from traumatic brain injury. While these injuries don’t always result in death, they are all life-threatening.
Common traumatic brain injuries include:
- Brain contusion
- Diffuse axonal injury
- Shaken baby syndrome
- Second impact syndrome
Many of these injuries have similar symptoms, including:
- Balance issues
- Memory loss
- Difficulty sleeping
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
- Personality changes
It’s important to keep an eye on these symptoms. If you or a loved one has recently been involved in any type of accident, and you see any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical care. Traumatic brain injuries are often not diagnosed immediately following an accident or injury because it can take time for the symptoms to appear.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Numerous factors can cause traumatic brain injuries. Half of all traumatic brain injuries are caused by falls, making this by far the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Other common causes of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Car accident
- Medical malpractice
- Truck accident
- Construction accident
- Sporting accident
- Pedestrian accident
While these are the most common causes, it’s important to remain vigilant after you or a loved one has suffered any injury. Keep an eye out for symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, and take immediate action if you see any of the warning signs.
It’s becoming more common to see children with traumatic brain injuries. From 2001 to 2009, more than two million children were treated for traumatic brain injuries as a result of sporting accidents. This is an alarming trend but also shows that you don’t need to be in a violent accident to suffer a traumatic brain injury, which is why it’s important to pay attention to all potential warning signs in your children.
Brockton Traumatic Brain Injury FAQ
While any injury can disrupt your way of life, a traumatic brain injury has the potential to change everything that you previously knew. Your ability to work, spend time with those you love, and do things you enjoy may all be different, or even impossible, after such a serious injury.
Read on to get answers to questions that a victim or their loved ones may have after suffering a traumatic brain injury.
Q: What is a traumatic brain injury?
A: The Centers for Disease Control define a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” Similarly, the Mayo Clinic describes a TMI as an injury that results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body or when an object penetrates brain tissue.
Q: How many TBI injuries occur in the United States each year?
A: According to recent data, there are over 2.5 million TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths each year. These injuries result in approximately 50,000 deaths each year, including over 2,000 children.
Q: How do TBI injuries occur?
A: While a TBI injury can result from any type of accident that causes a blow or jolt to the head, there are accidents that more commonly result in a TBI. Falls are one of the leading causes of TBI, accounting for almost half of emergency room visits. Falls are much more likely in children and elders. The second most common cause of TBI is being struck with or against an object. This type of injury can often occur in a car accident.
Q: What are common TBI symptoms?
A: A TBI can present physical, emotional, thinking/remembering, and sleep symptoms.
- Physical: Headache, fuzzy/blurry vision, ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, bad taste in the mouth, dizziness, sensitivity to noise, slurred speech, convulsions or seizures, numbness of limbs
- Emotional: Irritability, sadness, more emotional, nervousness or anxiety, agitation
- Thinking/Remembering: Difficulty thinking clearly, feeling slow, difficulty concentrating, retention trouble with new information
- Sleep: Overly tired, inability to sleep, trouble falling asleep
Some symptoms may present themselves immediately after the accident while others may take longer to manifest. At its worst, a TBI can result in long term brain damage.
Q: How is a TBI treated?
A: The injured party should always seek emergency care. The doctor may intubate, secure the neck, or attempt other relevant emergency interventions. A doctor may prescribe specialized medicine, including diuretics, anti-seizure drugs, or prescription pain medication.
For the most serious cases, surgery may be required to remove clotted hematomas, bone fragments, or excess blood. Rehabilitation may also be required to re-learn how to use certain parts of their bodies.
Q: When can I recover damages for a TBI?
A: To recover damages for an accident that causes a TBI, you must be able to demonstrate that the negligent or willful action of another party or parties caused your TBI.
Examples of negligent actions that could lead to a TBI include:
- Car accidents: As stated above, car accidents are one of the most common causes of a TBI. Any violation of a traffic law or regulation is potential proof of negligence, including speeding, running a red light, or driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Product liability: Product manufacturers have a responsibility to test any product before release, to responsibly manufacture the product to comply with relevant safety regulations, and to accurately market the product and provide appropriate operating instructions. While less likely than a car accident, there is a chance a product malfunction may cause a TBI. For example, think of a ladder that was manufactured correctly. This could create a scenario where the risk of a fall is high.
- Premises liability: Property owners have a duty of care they must maintain for those who are on their property. If the duty of care has been breached, the property owner may be responsible for injuries that occur on the property. One common scenario that may result in a TBI is where a business owner does not properly mark a dangerous condition, like a wet floor, and a patron slips and falls.
- Workplace injury: Employers are obligated to provide safe working conditions and reasonable safety accommodations. If you suffer a fall due to unsafe working conditions, your employer may be responsible for your TBI and any other injuries you suffered. Recovery for workplace injury claims is generally managed through workers’ compensation.
Q: What kind of damages can I expect if I suffer a TBI?
A: Damages will depend on what ways the TBI has affected your life. Common damages recovered after a TBI include:
- Medical expenses like doctor’s bills, the cost of a hospital stay, surgery, and any long-term rehabilitation or care;
- Loss of income for any time you missed work due to your injuries as well as any work you might miss in the future;
- If your TBI limits your ability to perform your job, to work full time, or to advance into new roles, you may be able to recover for the loss of these future earnings;
- A common side effect of a TBI is emotional distress, including anxiety, and you may be able to recover for these damages; and
- Inability to participate in activities you previously enjoyed.
Proving damages can be a complicated process, especially for a TBI where the long term effects are not always known. It is important to establish a strong argument for some damages may require consultation with a medical expert or an economist.
Q: I want to pursue recovery for my damages from a personal injury accident. What should I do now?
First and foremost, make sure you take care of your injuries and prioritize your health. If you have suffered a TBI, make sure you secure immediate medical attention because these injuries often have negative consequences that may not be immediately apparent. Once you have seen to your medical needs, consider contacting a licensed attorney to evaluate your case and determine a strategy for recovery.
Holding the Negligent Party Accountable
In many cases, it’s not easy to determine who wronged you and caused your injuries. Because many symptoms of a traumatic brain injury don’t show up for some time after your injury, it may prove difficult to determine who or what caused your pain and suffering.
To give you the best chance of a full recovery, you should work with an experienced and trusted Brockton, Massachusetts, personal injury lawyer. Your aggressive advocate will help you recover damages for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
Traumatic brain injuries are often life-altering. Following such an injury, you may require medical care and attention for the rest of your life. This type of care does not come cheap, and you may be out of work temporarily or even permanently. This leaves you wondering how you’re going to pay all of your bills.
If you did not cause your injuries, you should not bear any responsibility for paying your medical bills. We’ll work together with you to understand your life, the circumstances surrounding your accident, and how your life has changed since your injury. We will then let you focus on your recovery while we focus on the legal complexities.
We will investigate the cause of your injury, work with you to better understand your circumstances, and create an estimate of your future costs so that you don’t end up having to pay out of pocket for your medical expenses. Our goal is to give you the peace of mind you deserve knowing that your medical bills will be covered. We do all of this at no up-front cost to you. Because we work on a contingency fee basis, we only get paid if you win.
We’ll also deal with the involved insurance companies, as they can be tricky. The insurance company will likely offer you a quick settlement, hoping you’ll take it because you need quick cash. It’s not advisable to do so until the settlement offer has been reviewed by a personal injury attorney. Most likely, the initial settlement offer won’t cover your future expenses and could leave you in a worse financial situation. This is tragic, and we don’t want to see this happen to you.
Our experience gives us the knowledge necessary to deal with insurance companies and negotiate with them to get you compensation for the full cost of your injuries. While most cases settle out of court, if the insurance company is unwilling to settle for a reasonable amount, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial. Working with a seasoned personal injury lawyer can make all the difference.
Contact Our Brockton Brain Injury Lawyers Today
When you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, you deserve to have the best chance of making a full recovery without worrying about how your medical expenses are paid. Using the services of a skilled personal injury lawyer with proven results can make the difference in your case.
Finding the right personal injury lawyer in Brockton, Massachusetts, takes time and research. Contact the Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan online or by calling (508) 588-0422 today, so we can show you how we can help you make a complete recovery.
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