If you suffered a blow to your head during a car crash or fell and hit your head, you may have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Falls and car accidents are leading causes of severe head injuries. If you hit your head against a windshield or struck your head on a floor, you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury, even though there was no visible wound.
You should have an experienced injury lawyer fighting for your interests if you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury caused by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. But insurers will try to take advantage of your lack of understanding of the claims process if you do not have an attorney standing up for you.
A traumatic brain injury is caused by a blow or jolt to the head that causes the brain to move inside the skull, altering brain function. Brain injuries range from mild concussions to severe injuries that cause extended loss of consciousness and loss of memory.
A person who suffers a concussion may stay conscious or have only a brief loss of consciousness. Doctors rate concussions as mild, moderate or severe depending on the symptoms such as slurred speech, blurred vision, confusion, loss of balance, and loss of consciousness.
Young children and older adults are particularly prone to suffering brain injuries in falls. Head injuries related to sports and recreation are more common among teens and young adults.
Some brain injuries result in paralysis or permanent disabling injuries that leave the victim unable to work again or limit the type of work a person can do.
If you have suffered any kind of blow to the head, you should have a medical evaluation by a doctor. It is very important to seek prompt medical attention if you lost consciousness, experienced confusion or disorientation, developed a persistent headache and had balance problems.
The causes of brain injuries include falls, car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, sports injuries, skateboarding, explosions and violent assaults.
Falls are the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. Slipping on a wet floor, tumbling down stairs, falling from a ladder or tripping on a loose carpet many cause a head injury. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to brain injuries caused by falls.
Crashes involving cars, trucks, or motorcycles also are common causes of traumatic brain injury. Motorcyclists are particularly susceptible to traumatic brain injuries because of the lack of restraints that motorcycles have to shield the rider from injury. Pedestrians who are struck by a vehicle are vulnerable to injuries from their head striking the hard surface of the vehicle or the pavement. A high-speed collision may cause a skull fracture in which the bone fragments damage brain tissue.
Violent assaults may lead to penetrating head injuries in which an object such as a bullet enters the brain and causes damage. A baby who experiences shaken baby syndrome, may suffer a traumatic brain injury caused by the rupturing of blood vessels and bleeding in the baby’s developing brain. The tearing of brain tissue can cause temporary or permanent brain damage.
Explosions are a common cause of brain injury among combat veterans. Blast injuries are caused by the pressure wave generated by explosive devices such as grenades, bombs and artillery shells.
Open brain injuries are obvious because of a visible wound to the head or face. But closed-head brain injuries are often difficult to diagnose. A person who has a concussion may develop post-concussion syndrome, experiencing symptoms such as headaches, irritableness, and difficulty thinking and concentrating, and memory problems. The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury or post-concussion syndrome may be subtle at first.
Many people do not realize they have sustained a brain injury until several weeks or months after an accident. Even minor brain injury may cause changes in an individual’s personality that also affect the loved ones that he or she interacts with on a regular basis.
The treatment of a moderate to severe head injury usually begins in an emergency room. Doctors will attempt to assess the severity of the brain injury. Doctors will try to make sure the brain has adequate oxygen and blood supply to prevent further damage due to swelling, bleeding or reduced oxygen.
Doctors perform imaging tests such as a CT scan to determine whether the patient should have surgery to repair skull fractures, remove blood clots, relieve pressure on the brain caused by swelling, or remove pieces of skull or a foreign object if the injury involves a penetrating head wound. A probe may be inserted through the patient’s skull to monitor brain tissue swelling and pressure.
To prevent secondary brain damage caused by inflammation, doctors may use drugs such as diuretics to reduce swelling and put a brain injury patient into a temporary coma. A comatose brain requires less oxygen.
The brain injury patient may be directed to follow up with a family doctor or with a neurologist. A neurologist is a medical specialist who treats disorders and injuries to the central nervous system including the brain.
A brain injury patient should be evaluated by a neuropsychologist. A neuropsychologist focuses on diagnosing the effects a brain injury may have on cognitive, behavioral, linguistic, motor or executive functioning. The neuropsychological evaluation is a good tool for evaluating the problems caused by a head injury. Since most head injuries are not diagnosed through an MRI or CT scan, a neuropsychological assessment is a critical tool for assessing the extent of a head injury.
A recovery from a moderate to severe brain injury is a lengthy process. You and your family will need all the financial resources available to help you to overcome a serious injury. If the brain injury was caused by the carelessness or negligence of another, a brain injury lawsuit may be appropriate to seek compensation. You should meet with an experienced brain injury lawyer to understand your legal options.
Determining how much compensation you should seek after a brain injury is a complicated task. The value of a TBI claim depends on a number of variables including the severity of your brain injury, whether you contributed to your own injury and the insurance policies available to provide compensation.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will have a sense of the reasonable value of a claim based on an analysis of the accident and from having handled similar cases. However, you should avoid any attorney who promises that he can obtain you a certain amount of money.
Among the factors our attorneys at Sansone, Sumner & Lauber take into account in estimating the value of your case are:
The above items are all financial losses that can be quantified.
A second component of personal injury cases is known as pain and suffering and is harder to measure. The damages awarded for pain and suffering depend on a jury’s determination of what is reasonable compensation based on the facts of a specific case. A jury may weigh the severity of the brain injury, whether an injury is temporary or permanent and how it affects the quality of your life.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury caused by another in St Louis, we understand that your family is going through a very trying time. You will need all the financial resources at your disposal during recovery.