The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 1.7 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury every year. Of all the potential injuries a person can sustain in a preventable accident, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) ranks among the most serious.
In severe cases, individuals who sustain a traumatic brain injury can develop significant mental and physical problems that have the potential to last for years. Even in instances of relatively mild TBIs, victims can be left with significant medical bills and the inability to work for an extended period.
Legal assistance from a St. Petersburg brain injury attorney can help you win your legal claim to help ease the financial burden of your medical bills and related expenses.
Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury occurs when an external mechanical force disrupts a person's normal brain function. TBIs occur when:
- Your head forcefully strikes another object.
- Your head jolts forward or backward on the neck without hitting an external object.
- An object strikes your head.
- An object pierces your skill and ends up in your brain tissue.
The most common form of minor brain injury is a concussion, which itself is a serious injury that should always be promptly evaluated by a licensed medical professional. Nearly half of traumatic brain injury victims may need surgery to remove objects or repair hematomas (ruptured blood vessels) or contusions (bruised brain tissue).
Depending on your health and age and the location and severity of your injuries, you may have life-long health and mobility issues. This is why it's important to contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in traumatic brain injuries as soon as possible. They will help you file a personal injury claim to get the compensation you need to get back on your feet.
Types of Brain Injuries
Because of the wide variety of brain injury types, having one diagnosed can lead to a battery of expensive and time-consuming CT, PET, or MRI scans, cognitive and memory tests, and cranial nerve exams.
These tests help neurologists, and other healthcare professionals determine the severity and cause of your brain injury. Vital information that can help your doctors prescribe an effective treatment plan. These tests can also be used as evidence for you to take legal action and bolster your personal injury case.
Primary brain injury types include:
- Repetitive brain impact: This form of brain injury typically occurs on construction sites, manufacturing facilities and due to involvement in sporting activities including boxing, football, ice hockey, wrestling, and other sports.
- Brain hemorrhage: A brain hemorrhage (or stroke) is internal bleeding following a high-force impact. This brain injury is common in motorcycle accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, or when your head is injured by falling debris.
- Skull fractures: Skull fractures can sometimes be difficult to detect because the skin above them may not be damaged. Compound skull fractures, depressed skull fractures, and linear fractures are subtypes of this head injury. Common signs of a skull fracture include tenderness or bleeding at the fracture site, bruising or bleeding behind the ears, around the eyes, or from the nose.
Other brain injury types include:
- Diffuse axonal injury (DAI): A DAI is a traumatic brain injury characterized by microscopic damage to white matter tracts throughout the brain. DAI is often associated with closed head injuries and usually occurs when there is a rapid deceleration of the head. DAI results in impaired cognitive function, including memory loss, confusion, and the inability to concentrate.
- Acquired Brain Injury (ABI): An acquired brain injury is any neurological condition caused by disease processes or brain trauma. It can result in physical, cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social, occupational, or language impairments.
- Penetrating Head Brain Injury (PHBI): PHBIs occur when an object pierces the skull and causes bleeding inside the head. They are usually caused by gunshot wounds, falls, a motor vehicle accident, or blows to the head.
Common Brain Injury Causes
Traumatic brain injuries can occur in a number of ways that could be caused by someone else's negligence.
Some of the more common causes of brain injury include the following:
- Sports injuries
- Slip and falls
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Injuries from defective household products
- Boating accidents
- Auto accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Workplace accidents
- An assault with a deadly weapon, including firearms
- Flying debris
- Falling objects
- Loud explosions or other noises that create intensive shock waves
According to research, slip and fall accidents make up approximately 600,000 individuals while 300,000 were caused by automobile crashes.
There are many other accidents and forms of negligence that may result in a TBI, so it is extremely important for brain injury survivors to have their cases thoroughly reviewed by an experienced lawyer.
Victims of brain injuries should be aware that in many cases, people who are injured in preventable accidents are able to recover even if they were partially at fault for causing an accident. So do not fail to discuss your case with an attorney simply because you may have contributed to your accident.
What Are the Potential Effects of a TBI?
The effects of a TBI generally occur in direct proportion to the severity of the initial injury. For example, in many cases, a mild concussion results in relatively mild symptoms, including headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and drowsiness.
On the other hand, more significant brain injury can result in much more severe side effects, including:
- Issues with thinking, reasoning, memory, and cognitive issues
- Changes in a person's sense of taste, touch, sight, hearing, and smell
- Problems with communication and understanding others
- Issues with emotional regulation and changes in personality
In addition to the issues listed above, multiple TBIs can result in cumulative deficits in cognitive function. In addition, multiple TBIs have also been linked to an increased risk for the development of certain disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, among others.
Economic and Non-Economic Losses Related to TBIs
If you can prove negligence against the defendant in your personal injury or medical malpractice case, you are legally entitled to recover economic and non-economic damages.
TBI-related injuries can result in significant economic and non-economic losses for you and your family.
Economic damages are compensation you can earn to restore monetary losses you may have experienced due to your accident.
These compensatory damages may include:
- Household services, including childcare
- Loss of wages and earning capacity
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Out-of-pocket expenses for medical treatment
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Medical care costs
- Long-term care rehabilitation loss
Serious injuries often result in a plaintiff's inability to appreciate or enjoy previously relished activities. For instance, individuals with a severe brain injury often experience pain in everyday activities that healthy people may take for granted.
These activities can include driving to work or school, helping their children get dressed for the day, standing while cooking dinner, or running errands.
Therefore, a plaintiff may bring their brain injury claim to recover economic damages and obtain redress for their loss of joy in living.
They do this by seeking recovery of non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are evaluated subjectively by a jury because they aren't as concrete as economic damages. Non-economic damages may also include things like:
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
- Reputational damage
- Reduced quality of life
- Worsening of prior injuries
- Loss of consortium
Hiring a St. Petersburg Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
Your St. Petersburg traumatic brain injury attorney can assist you with the financial burden of medical bills and other obligations by taking your legal claim to court.
Hiring a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer also allows you to focus on recovering from your associated losses and injuries while we build your case.
To bring a successful claim, you will need to establish that your injury was caused by someone else's negligent act or omission. This is often a complex legal task that requires specialized skills.
Consequently, anyone who has sustained a TBI in an accident should discuss their options with an experienced St. Petersburg traumatic brain injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident occurs.
Obviously, no amount of financial compensation can heal a brain injury; however, a win in court can give you tools you need to overcome the economic obstacles you face. In addition, our brain injury lawyers want to ensure you aren't stuck covering the bill for a negligent party's mistakes.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA's St. Petersburg office today.
Contact a St. Petersburg Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
Anyone who has sustained a traumatic brain injury that they believe was caused by the responsible party's negligence or recklessness should contact an experienced lawyer for legal representation as soon as possible. Our experienced traumatic brain injury lawsuit attorneys will work within Florida's statute of limitations to build a solid personal injury or medical malpractice case for you.
In addition, we will negotiate with insurance companies and, if necessary, litigate your lawsuit in court. Finally, we will work to secure monetary compensation for your injuries and bring the party responsible to justice.
In many cases, victims can recover fair compensation for losses such as physical and emotional pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, and loss of quality of life, as well as others.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers.