A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen when a violent blow or jolt causes damage to the brain. It is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is considered a serious public health concern.
If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The traumatic brain injury attorneys at The Champion Firm, P.C., can help you navigate the legal system to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and claim evaluation.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
No two brain injuries are exactly alike. The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) explains the most commonly used terms to describe the different categories of traumatic brain injuries. They are:
- Concussion – The most common type of TBI, a concussion is caused by a direct blow to the head, violent shaking of the head, or force from a whiplash-type of injury.
- Contusion – Caused by a force, such as a direct blow or jolt, to the head, a contusion is a bruise or bleeding on the brain.
- Coup-Contrecoup – Contusions that are both at the site of the impact and on the opposite side of the brain constitute a coup-contrecoup injury. This occurs when the force of the impact is great enough to cause the brain to slam into the opposite side of the skull, resulting in contusions on both sides of the brain.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury – This injury can be caused by shaking or strongly rotating the head, as with shaken baby syndrome or abusive head trauma. Forces such as car accidents or whiplash-type motions can also cause this type of injury.
- Second Impact Syndrome – Also called recurrent TBI, second impact syndrome occurs when a person sustains a second TBI before the first one has healed. It may occur from days to weeks following the first impact and is more likely to cause brain swelling and widespread damage.
- Locked-in Syndrome – This is a rare neurological condition in which a person remains conscious but cannot physically move any part of the body except for their eyes.
- Open-Head Injury – A penetrating head injury, which occurs when the outer layer of the brain is pierced by a foreign object, such as a high-velocity projectile. This forces outside elements, such as hair, skin, and bone fragments directly into the brain.
- Closed-Head Injury – This is caused by an outside force that doesn’t penetrate the skull. It can cause the brain to swell within the skull. With no room to expand, pressure builds up inside.
If you or a loved one have suffered any of these head injuries in an accident caused by someone else, you should contact our TBI lawyer right away.
What Are the Causes and Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury?
The effects of TBI vary widely from person to person, depending on where the brain the injury is located and the severity and type of the injury. A brain injury results in a change to the brain’s normal processes or functionality of the brain’s nerve cells.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that TBI could cause a wide variety of symptoms, including:
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Vomiting or nausea
- Blurred vision
- Bad tastes in the mouth
- Ringing in the ears
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Emotional or behavioral changes
- Sleep changes
- Changes in or loss of memory
- Trouble concentrating or thinking
- Loss of coordination or mobility
- Loss of consciousness or coma
The BIAA reports that some causes occur more regularly than others. Traumatic brain injury causes include:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – These are the leading cause of TBI for adults and the third-leading cause of TBI for everyone.
- Sports and Recreational Injuries – Children and others who are highly involved in sports are at greater risk of getting hit in the head with a ball or another person. Contact sports are more likely to cause a brain injury. Getting hit with an object is the second-leading cause of TBI.
- Falls – Falls are the leading cause of TBI for infants, toddlers, and the elderly, disproportionately affecting the youngest and oldest members of society. TBI accounts for nearly half of all TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths.
- Workplace Injuries – Brain injuries can occur in workplaces when workers fall, are struck by falling objects, and more.
- Gunshot Wounds – Also called an open or penetrating wound, a bullet entering the brain can cause extensive damage or death.
- Military Service-Related Injuries – Explosive blasts, blows to the head with shrapnel, and penetrating wounds are the most common causes of TBI among military personnel.
- Violence – Assault, domestic partner violence, and child abuse can all result in brain injuries, both from being thrown and from being struck.
Whether the brain injury was an accident or the result of intentional violence, as long as someone else was responsible, may be able to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation. Workers’ compensation may be available for a work-related TBI even if it wasn’t someone else’s fault.
When Should You Hire a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney?
If the accident that caused your traumatic brain injury resulted from someone else’s careless actions or negligence, then you should hire an attorney as soon as possible after seeking medical attention. To assure that the person who caused your accident is held responsible you will need to act quickly. There are statutes of limitations, or deadlines, for filing a lawsuit.
The sooner you hire an experienced attorney, the more likely you are to receive a satisfactory settlement to compensate you for your injuries. There will be more time to gather evidence of the accident and documentation of your injuries, as well as time to properly calculate the lost wages and other expenses, and damages for pain and suffering. Additionally, you will need the time to negotiate the best possible settlement.
How Can a Lawyer Help with a Traumatic Brain Injury Claim?
A traumatic brain injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and walk you through the process of filing a claim. They can handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance companies and attorneys who represent the parties who are responsible for your injuries. This will give you the time and space to focus on your recovery.
Filing a claim in court can be complex, and the justice system can be daunting. Insurance companies can be intimidating and will likely try to pay you less than you deserve. You will need a tough negotiator to pursue the best possible settlement on your behalf, and an experienced litigator to take it to trial if necessary.