Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) cause changes in brain function. Though they may occur spontaneously due to strokes or other medical events that take place within the body, a significant percentage of TBIs are caused by external force. It is the latter that we will concern ourselves with here: accidental brain injuries for which another party’s negligence or recklessness may be to blame. Tragically, there are a great many types of accidents that may result in such injuries.
If you have suffered a TBI in an accident, you are no doubt overwhelmed by physical and cognitive symptoms, not to mention loss of income and financial burdens. Once you have been properly diagnosed and are being treated for symptoms that accompany such severe injury, it is imperative that you or a family member contact a personal injury attorney with experience in brain injury accident cases. A talented lawyer with a history of successful outcomes can mean the difference between an unremitting financial struggle and a secure future for you and your loved ones.
Types of Accidents That Commonly Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries
Though our brains are designed to be well-protected by the bones of the skull, a hard blow or collision can result in severe injury to their delicate tissue. Depending upon what part of the brain is impacted, it is possible to suffer a broad range of symptoms, including:
- Loss of consciousness (briefly, for a prolonged period, or permanently)
- Sensory loss (e.g. loss of sight, hearing, tactile sensation, smell or taste
- Motor impairment, partial or complete paralysis
- Cognitive deficits, such as memory loss or mental acuity
- Mood disorders, depression, inexplicable rage
- Inability to speak
The harsh reality is that accidents like those listed below may, in a matter of seconds, result in death or permanently alter your life.
Traffic Accident Brain Injuries
As the media makes us aware, serious traffic accidents occur on a daily basis and some result in TBIs. Whether you are driving or a passenger, traveling in a car, truck, bus or trolley, riding a motorcycle, motor scooter or bicycle, or simply a pedestrian, a traffic accident can damage the organ you most depend on.
If someone else is responsible for the serious harm that has come to you, you are entitled to receive substantial compensation. If you were hit by a drunk, speeding, or otherwise reckless driver, were the victim of a poorly maintained public vehicle or a poorly maintained road surface — an aggressive traffic accident attorney will protect your rights.
Sports Accident Brain Injuries
In many cases, so-called sports “accidents” are caused by improper supervision (especially of children and teenagers on school or recreational teams) or defects in helmets or other protective gear. In such cases, a savvy sports injury attorney may well be able to win damages from the school district, athletic organization, camp, or manufacturer of defective sports equipment.
Examples of sports in which you may have suffered a brain injury include:
- Contact sports like football, hockey or boxing
- Horseback riding
- Basketball or baseball
Don’t just assume that sports injuries are nobody’s fault. It is very possible that you may have legal recourse.
Slip and Fall Brain Injuries (Premises Liability)
While some falls are simply the result of clumsiness or misstep (tripping over your own shoelace, for example), many TBIs occur as a result of someone else’s negligence. If you trip on your neighbor’s property, at a store, office, public building or sidewalk as a result of an unmarked:
- Slippery floor
- Broken step or banister
- Falling debris
- Construction materials
a competent slip and fall attorney may be able to win damages for your injury and its concomitant expenses. Whether your TBI occurs when you’re making a deposit at the bank or walking in your local supermarket’s unsanded icy parking lot, you need a knowledgeable premises liability lawyer to see your case through.
Nursing Home Brain Injuries
It is painful to realize that a certain number of elderly patients in nursing homes suffer severe injuries due to negligence or abuse. While most nurses and aides are dedicated to their patients, some allow them to fall and suffer TBIs by:
- Not supervising them carefully enough
- Failing to assist them when they need to go to the bathroom or want to walk, leaving them to navigate unsafely on their own
- Overmedicating them to keep them submissive, which impairs their balance and makes them disoriented, increasing the risk that they will fall
- Shoving them or slapping them so that they fall and hit their heads
If your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to such awful treatment, you should contact a nursing home negligence/abuse attorney to give your family the best chance of obtaining justice.
Medical Malpractice Brain Injuries
No one likes to admit the possibility that medical professionals may cause injury or disease, least of all doctors or nurses themselves. Still, the grim reality is that a certain number of patients suffer TBIs due to one of the following types of medical malpractice:
- Anesthesia error
- Failure to diagnose a condition that might lead to a stroke
- Misdiagnosis of a brain infection that delays treatment
- Medication error (e.g. accidental overdose)
- Birth injuries that occur due to negligent obstetric care
Even though in all but the rarest cases, medical mistakes are unintentional, the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s injury must be held accountable. You will need a skilled brain injury attorney to fight vigorously for the funds that will be needed now and going forward.
What an Accomplished Brain Injury Attorney Will Do to Help
No matter whether the brain injury suffered was one the patient was able to recover from through surgery and/or extensive rehabilitation, or has resulted in permanent disability or death, your lawyer’s job will be to:
- Investigate the accident carefully
- Pore over the police report
- Exam all medical records
- Interview witnesses
- Consult with experts who may be able to give pertinent testimony
- File all required legal documents promptly
More than that, your personal injury attorney will commit to fighting tooth and nail to win you the damages you deserve.
Recoverable Damages in Brain Injury Cases
TBI cases result in some of the highest verdicts and settlements because the consequences of brain damage are so often catastrophic. How do you calculate what a patient is owed for blindness, loss of memory, constant confusion, loss of the use of one side of the body, complete paralysis? Depending on the particular circumstances, your attorney will seek to provide you with resources to pay for:
- Medical costs
- Lost income, present and future
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Physical, psychiatric, and occupational therapy
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Alterations to make your home accessible
- Long-term nursing and home care
Though it is hard to carry on with your life after a traumatic brain injury, with the help of a highly competent, compassionate attorney, you will have the very best chance of overcoming this tragedy and moving forward in a positive direction.