If you suffered a brain injury in Tampa due to the careless or reckless actions of another person or entity, you may be eligible for compensation to pay for your injury-related expenses and the impact your injury made on your quality of life.
The experienced Tampa brain injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group can help you understand how you can obtain needed compensation through a personal injury claim. You can learn how we assess these claims and receive answers to all your questions when you contact our office for a free, no-obligation consultation.
- Why Dolman Law Group is Your Best Choice Among Tampa Brain Injury Attorneys
- How a Tampa Brain Injury Can Change Your Life
- Our Tampa Brain Injury Lawyers Understand the Range of TBI Symptoms and How Your Life Has Changed
- How Are Tampa Brain Injuries Most Commonly Caused?
- When You are Facing Long-term Complications From a TBI, You Deserve an Knowledgeable Tampa Brain Injury Lawyer on Your Side
- What Is the Cost of Brain Injuries in Tampa, FL?
- Our Dedicated Tampa Brain Injury Lawyers Answer Brain Injury FAQs
- Call Our Tampa Brain Injury Attorneys Today for Help With Your Case
Why Dolman Law Group is Your Best Choice Among Tampa Brain Injury Attorneys
Our Tampa personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, understand the serious complications accident victims face after suffering brain injuries. We have helped thousands of accident victims recover the compensation they need and deserve after someone else negligently caused an accident. Many of our largest case results involve traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims because their lives were forever changed by a careless person's actions.
Our legal team offers more than 115 years of combined personal injury legal experience, along with the financial and personal resources needed to properly prepare, present, and successfully resolve your Tampa brain injury claim. Whether we skillfully negotiate a settlement with the responsible party's insurance company, or take your case to a jury trial, we promise to provide exceptional guidance and advice throughout your legal experience. But don't just take our word for it, you can read some of our clients' reviews to see how we always treat our valued clients.
How a Tampa Brain Injury Can Change Your Life
Recently, Yahoo! Lifestyle published an article from a woman fourteen months after she suffered her second traumatic brain injury due to a car accident. The injury itself was considered mild—as opposed to the moderate injury she experienced 22 years earlier—and required no hospitalization. She was back to work within a week. However, mild or not, the injury changed her life.
In the past 14 months, she has found herself ready to sleep at 6:30 in the evening. She has to limit the time she spends running errands outside of the home or in conversation with other people. She is prone to panic attacks. After feeling unable to keep up with the demands of work, she quit her job. She found it hard to remember her house alarm code, in spite of having the same codes for years. She couldn't remember how to get home from places she traveled to frequently. She couldn't control her emotions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), brain injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., accounting for more than 2 million emergency department visits a year and resulting in about 223,000 hospitalizations and more than 64,000 deaths.
Our Tampa Brain Injury Lawyers Understand the Range of TBI Symptoms and How Your Life Has Changed
As explained by Tampa General Hospital, a traumatic brain injury causes damage to the brain. This trauma is caused when there is a sudden or violent strike to the head that results in bruising, swelling, bleeding, or tearing of the brain tissue. Categorized as mild to severe, brain injuries may cause immediate symptoms, or symptoms may manifest days or even weeks after the injury occurred.
Some of the symptoms of mild brain injuries include:
- Behavior or mood changes
- Sensitivity to light
Symptoms of a more severe brain injury may include:
- Slurred speech
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Consciousness disorders such as a vegetative state or a minimally conscious state
- Injuries that appear on neuroimaging tests
How Are Tampa Brain Injuries Most Commonly Caused?
As noted by the CDC, nearly half of all traumatic brain injuries that result in a visit to the emergency department are caused by falls, making it the leading cause of this type of injury. Those most susceptible to fall-related brain injuries are adults older than 65 and children 0 to 17 years old. The second most common cause of brain injuries is motor vehicle accidents, with approximately one in five brain injuries being caused in this manner. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of brain injuries in individuals ages 15 to 34.
Other potential causes of brain injuries include:
- Being struck by or against an object
- Contact sports
- Violent acts, including being hit, shaken, or shot
Other causes of non-traumatic brain injuries include:
- Lack of oxygen, such as that experienced in a near-drowning incident, choking, or some types of birth injuries
- Electrical shock
- Neurotoxic poisoning, such as carbon monoxide or lead exposure
When You are Facing Long-term Complications From a TBI, You Deserve an Knowledgeable Tampa Brain Injury Lawyer on Your Side
The brain, which is divided into several functional sections, has a very limited ability to heal itself. Because of this, damage to any of these functional sections may have long-term or permanent complications to the functions that the section of the brain that was injured controls. Patients facing long-term care will also incur extensive medical expenses that they should not have to pay if their injury was caused by someone else. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help protect your right to recover the long-term compensation you will need.
Some of the complications that may arise following an injury to the functional sections listed below include:
- Frontal lobe: This portion of the brain controls functions such as the ability to pay attention or concentrate, self-monitoring, organization, expressive language, awareness of abilities and limitations, inhibition of behavior, emotions, and personality. An individual suffering damage to this portion of the brain may experience difficulty controlling emotions and behavior, recalling events, or speaking.
- Temporal lobe: The temporal lobe controls such functions as memory, receptive language (the ability to understand what is being said), sequencing, hearing, and organization. Complications of injuries to the temporal lobe include difficulty with communication and memory.
- Parietal lobe: The functions of the parietal lobe include the sense of touch, depth perception, identification of size, color, and shape, and visual perception. Injuries to this segment of the brain may cause an individual to have difficulty with his or her five senses.
- Occipital lobe: The main function of this part of the brain is vision. Individuals who suffer damage to their occipital lobe may experience difficulty seeing or distinguishing the shape and size of objects.
- Cerebellum: The cerebellum controls such functions as balance and coordination, skilled motor activity, and visual perception. Injuries to this part of the brain may cause difficulties with balance and movement.
- Brain stem: The brain stem controls life-sustaining actions such as breathing, heart rate, arousal, consciousness, and the individual's sleep and wake cycles. Damage to the brain stem typically means that the individual's body is no longer able to perform those involuntary actions that are essential to survival.
In addition to these areas of the brain, both the left and right side of the brain also have important functions that may be impacted by the injury and cause the following complications:
- Left side: The traits of the left side of the brain involve logical and analytical thinking, organization, and precision. Left-brain injuries may involve difficulties understanding language and speaking, depression or anxiety, impaired logic, sequencing difficulties, and difficulties controlling the movement of the right side of the body.
- Right side: The right side of the brain controls the creative, intuitive, empathetic, and figurative thinking. Injuries to the right side of the brain may result in visual spatial impairment, deficits to visual memory, altered creativity and music perception, loss of “big picture” type thinking, and the ability to control movement of the left side of the body.
Secondary Complications of a Brain Injury
In addition to the initial complications caused by the damage to an area or areas of the brain, those suffering from brain injuries may face secondary complications as well. These secondary complications may include:
- Brain swelling or pressure, known as edema, which can result in further brain damage if not treated
- Hypoxia, which is a reduction of oxygen to a part of the body. Hypoxia in the brain can result in inattentiveness, poor judgment, memory loss, decreased motor coordination, and even seizures or death.
- Anoxia is a complete deprivation of oxygen to the brain for a period of time. The longer the brain is without oxygen, the more severe the damage may be. Brain cells will begin dying off within five minutes without oxygen. This is why first responders begin immediate provision of oxygen when treating a person who has suffered a brain injury.
- Hypotension, which is blood pressure that is lower than normal. Severely low blood pressure can lead to shock and cause more significant damage to the brain.
- Seizures, which occur with approximately 20 percent of individuals experiencing a traumatic brain injury. They may be obvious to onlookers, exhibiting with uncontrollable shaking of the body, or they may be subtle and only appear through neuroimaging tests. However, it is standard treatment with traumatic brain injuries to administer anti-seizure medications to control this complication.
- Endocrine problems such as the inability to regulate one's body temperature (hyperthermia); adrenal insufficiency that can result in fatigue, weight loss, low blood pressure, vomiting, and dehydration; diabetes insipidus, which causes excessive urination and extreme thirst; hyponatremia, which is an imbalance of water and salt in the body that can result in headache, fatigue, vomiting, confusion, and convulsions; hypothyroidism, which can result in fatigue, constipation, weight gain, irregular menstrual periods, and constantly feeling cold; sexual dysfunction for both males and females; growth hormone deficiency, which causes increased fat and loss of muscle and bone.
Because a brain injury may so significantly change a person's behavior and abilities, significant changes in that person's relationships with friends and family may also be significantly changed. The injured person's partner or children may find themselves assuming a caretaker role, taking on the responsibility of ensuring that the injured person's basic daily needs are met. The sexual relationship between the injured person and his or her spouse may be permanently altered due to hormonal changes resulting from the injury as well as changes in appearance, self-confidence, sexual attraction, and areas of sexual interest.
Friends may find that they have little in common with the individual who has suffered a brain injury, and the brain injured person may be unable to engage in the same types of activities they participated in before the injury occurred. Often the unspoken complications of a brain injury are the implications of work and social groups and the stresses the injury places on family.
Our Compassionate Tampa Brain Injury Attorneys Understand How Brain Injury Victims May Feel
The Brain Injury Association of America lists the following common feelings that the injured person or his or her family members may experience in the weeks, months, and even years after the injury occurs:
- I can't relate to others anymore.
- I feel alone.
- I feel like people avoid me.
- Everyone who visited while I was in the hospital has abandoned me now.
- No one wants to be around me.
- No one understands me.
- My boss is going to fire me—I know it.
While it is difficult to place a dollar value on these emotional and psychological impacts, our legal team can explain how we determine a fair amount of compensation to help you deal with your unique TBI complications.
Children and Adults Respond to Brain Injuries Differently
While children and adults may suffer the same types of injuries, the brains of children are very different than those of adults and are still developing. A common belief that children can recover more fully than adults from a brain injury is not true in many incidences, with children actually suffering more devastating consequences as a result of a brain injury, with more cognitive impacts showing up with time as the child grows and develops. When brain injured children return to school, their educational and emotional needs may be very different than they were before the injury.
Frequent issues experienced by school-aged children as a result of a brain injury may include:
- Difficulty with memory and comprehension
- Trouble completing tasks within an allotted amount of time
- Being prone to distraction and confusion
- A lack of energy to complete the assigned tasks
Some ways that school systems and teachers can accommodate students with brain injuries include:
- Allowing extra time to complete work and tests
- Allowing extra or extended breaks from school work
- Grading the quality of the work over the quantity of work
- Providing the student with detailed notes of the subjects covered or allowing him or her to record instruction to play back later
- Allowing oral examinations or multiple choice tests rather than essay questions
What Is the Cost of Brain Injuries in Tampa, FL?
The costs of brain injuries in the United States are particularly steep, not only for the sufferer and his or her family, but to society as a whole due to the loss of productivity, as well as the cost of social programs and healthcare coverage for brain injured patients. Here are some facts:
- The lifetime costs of medical treatment following a brain injury are estimated at $85,000 – $3 million.
- The unemployment rate for people two years after suffering a severe brain injury is 60 percent, compared to around 5 percent for the general population.
- More than half of the nation's homeless population has suffered a brain injury.
- Approximately 320,000 military personnel have suffered job-related brain injuries since 2001, including more than 33,000 in 2011 alone.
- The estimated cost to society from brain injuries is estimated at around $48.3 billion per year, mostly due to hospitalizations and legal actions resulting from the cause of the injury.
Our Dedicated Tampa Brain Injury Lawyers Answer Brain Injury FAQs
We understand how confusing and overwhelming the brain injury claims process can be. For this reason, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding brain injury claims in Tampa below.
If you have additional questions that have not been answered on this page, do not hesitate to contact our office so we can discuss your concerns in further detail.
How Is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Defined?
The Mayo Clinic provides an official definition of a traumatic brain injury:
- Traumatic brain injuries are injuries that impact our brains; some result in concussions and manageable symptoms, but others can result in disability or even death
- TBIs often occur due to jolts or blows that impact the head
- Sometimes, a trauma causes brain tissue penetration (like in the case of a shattered piece of skull damaging the brain); this can also lead to a TBI.
- Mild TBIs usually impact our brain cells temporarily
- Moderate or severe TBIs may lead to long-term bleeding, bruising, and torn tissue
Are TBIs Common?
Yes. Traumatic brain injury can occur under a wide variety of circumstances. Almost 2.5 million people suffer TBI each year. Around a fifth of them (or about 50,000) die due to their injuries.
Are Many People Disabled by Brain Injuries Every Year?
Unfortunately, yes. Acquired brain trauma is actually one of the most prevalent disabilities in the United States.
Nearly 100,000 people every year grapple with permanent disabilities caused by brain injuries. Experts estimate that as many as 14 million Americans currently live with acquired brain trauma.
Can You Give an Example of Common Causes of TBI?
Somewhere between 50 and 75 percent of TBI accidents are attributed to car accidents. It's not difficult to see why—vehicles are extremely heavy and fast-traveling objects.
When car accidents happen, it's not unusual for the cars to be damaged. Many instances of TBIs caused by car crashes are linked to the victims striking their heads against inside surfaces of the vehicles, for example the windshield or steering wheel. When this occurs, the force causes a victim's brain to collide with the inside of their skull (which usually results in bruising and bleeding)
Other frequent causes of TBI include:
- Sporting accidents
- Military service
Does Anyone Face an Greater Risk of Negative Repurcussions from TBIs?
Yes. The elderly and the young face some increased risk of both sustaining a TBI and experiencing complications after one.
This is for a few reasons:
- Young children's motor skills are not totally developed; their risk assessment is generally poor
- Kids also tend to make more risky decisions than a lot of adults. This places them at an increased risk of TBI
- Evaluating, diagnosing, and treating neurological symptoms in children is very difficult
- Children have greater differences in their physical capabilities; lots of children who suffer TBI experience unique injury patterns for this reason. Treating TBIs in children is a complicated process
- The elderly may fall more frequently than the average young or middle-aged person due to various conditions or some natural physical deterioration. This means that the elderly are at an increased risk of TBI
TBI is the leading cause of death and disability in American children. It poses a huge risk to older adults, too. In fact...
- Nearly 100,000 emergency room visits every year can be traced to an individual 65 or older suffering brain injury
- Around 75 percent of these emergency room visits lead to hospital admissions
- Falls are the primary cause of TBI for elderly adults
- Around 51 percent of senior brain injury cases are linked to falls
- Car accidents are the second most frequent cause of TBIs in elderly adults
- Car accidents only account for around 9 percent of senior brain injuries
- Old age is directly linked to negative outcomes following TBI for several reasons. The primary one is that doctors don't have good clinical data about the elderly and TBIs. This means that many doctors struggle to offer care and predict outcomes in the instance of an elderly person who has suffered TBI.
Do Children Show the Same Symptoms of TBI as Adults?
Generally speaking, no.
Children face unique risks when they're impacted by TBI (as demonstrated above). As stated above, one reason for this is that children don't usually display the same warning signs of TBI as adults do.
If you're a parent, look out for some of these basic signs of TBI in children:
- Unexplainable changes to nursing or eating habits
- Unusual or persistent irritability, crying, etc.
- Sleep habit alterations
- Sadness (or an overall depressed mood)
- Loss of interest in favorite toys and activities
Can Traumatic Brain Injuries Affect Different Parts of Our Brains?
Yes! The impact of a TBI on an individual correlates to which part of the brain was injured.
The good news is that the way doctors and legal professionals understand TBI is something that anybody else can understand, too. TBIs are assessed based on which lobe of our brains they've impacted the most. Our brains have four lobes:
- The frontal lobe
- The temporal lobe
- The parietal lobe
- The occipital lobe
Each of these lobes can be injured independently or in conjunction with the others. The location of a brain injury usually heavily influences how a survivor is affected by that injury and the future medical expenses they will incur.
Can a Tampa Brain Injury Attorney Help TBI Survivors Collect Damages in Court?
Yes! With the help of a skilled attorney, a TBI victim has the potential to recover many of the expenses associated with the TBI:
- Medical bills: This encompasses past, present, and future medical bills associated with the TBI; if you needed special emergency transport or specific medical services, those are likely recoverable as well.
- Mental anguish and pain and suffering: Anyone who's injured can experience emotional or mental pain, but some injuries are more taxing than others. If you have faced exceptional mental or physical pain due to your TBI, you could collect damages for mental anguish and pain and suffering.
- Disability: Disability is an important topic to cover when it comes to TBI—recall that acquired brain trauma is a prominent form of disability in the US; you should work with a TBI lawyer who is experienced in fighting for disability payments when necessary.
- Lost wages, diminished earning potential: Some injuries put a person out of work for weeks (or even months) while they recover. If you've lost wages due to circumstances like these, you may recover them in court. Some TBI survivors even face diminished lifetime earning potential. If a construction professional sustains a TBI, for example, they may lose the ability to work in the construction industry. That individual could pursue damages for diminished earning potential if it appeared they would not make as much money in another job.
How Can a Tampa Brain Injury Lawyer Prove Someone Else's Negligence After a TBI?
Proving negligence centers around four primary elements: duty (and the breach of it), causation, and damages.
- Duty refers to a “duty of care” that we all owe each other—it's the “duty” we all accept to not intentionally put others at risk or make ourselves a danger to others.
- Breach of duty refers to what happens when the duty of care is not exercised; when somebody fails to adequately protect and consider those around them, they're usually in breach of duty.
- Causation must be linked to the breach of duty (in simpler terms: the breach of duty itself needs to be found to be the cause of the accident).
- Damages refer to the injuries or losses a survivor suffers due to their TBI. When a breach of duty occurs that causes damages, the two must be connected to prove negligence.
Why Do I Need a Tampa Brain Injury Lawyer?
Look for an attorney with extensive experience litigating and negotiating TBI-related claims. Insurance companies do not want to pay injury claims and will use many tactics to avoid paying the maximum amount deserved by injured claimants. Some injury lawyers will try to settle your case quickly and for less money than you deserve because they are not prepare to go to trial. The Tampa brain injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group are ready, willing, and able to take your case as far as it needs to go to recover the compensation you deserve.
If you are a TBI survivor, reach out to our Tampa brain injury lawyers as soon as you are medically stable. We can deal with the insurance agents hounding you for settlement agreements. You'll also have peace of mind knowing you have an advocate working for you. When you partner with Dolman Law Group, you will feel empowered and protected throughout your healing process.
It's critical to receive legal assistance when you are facing:
- Significant financial losses due to a TBI
- A TBI that reduces your ability to perform everyday tasks
- A TBI caused by an accident that can be traced to someone else's negligence or recklessness
- Emotional suffering and/or physical pain is being caused by the TBI
If you or a loved one suffered a TBI due to the negligence of another party, speak with an experienced Tampa brain injury lawyer at Dolman Law Group soon as possible.
How Long Do I Have to File My Brain Injury Case?
According to Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a), you generally have a four-year window to file your personal injury lawsuit. If your loved one passed away from their brain injury, you typically have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you don't comply with the statute of limitations, you will no longer have the right to be awarded compensation for your damages.
The date the statute of limitation expires in your case may not always be obvious. Make sure you take steps to protect your injury settlement by consulting our team. We will handle all the details of your case.
What Can I Expect from the Insurance Company?
Unfortunately, dealing with the insurance company is one of the most difficult aspects of the brain injury claims process. No matter how deserving you are of compensation, the insurance company only cares about one thing: their bottom line. Insurance companies have entire teams working on claims, looking for opportunities to reduce or deny the damage amount the injured person may otherwise be entitled to recover.
These teams look for loopholes in contracts and will even deny claims in bad faith. You can avoid being taken advantage of by the insurance company when you have your attorney negotiate on your behalf from the start.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Brain Injury Lawyer in Tampa?
If you had concerns that hiring a brain injury attorney to represent you in Tampa would cost you more than you could afford, you will be pleased to learn that you can work with a brain injury attorney at our firm for a contingency fee.
This payment plan means you will not be expected to cover any costs or pay your attorney any fees unless or until we win your case. We are absorbing all of the risks of pursuing your case. If we take on your brain injury claim, we aim to win.
Can My Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Seek Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are awarded as a way of punishing the defendant beyond compensatory damages. You are not entitled to recover punitive damages for a brain injury. However, if the court finds the defendant's actions grossly negligent or malicious, they may deem it appropriate to award punitive damages.
Although they are rare, if you receive punitive damages in your brain injury claim, this award can dramatically increase the amount of your injury settlement.
Call Our Tampa Brain Injury Attorneys Today for Help With Your Case
If you or your loved one suffered a TBI due to someone else's negligent, reckless, or careless actions, we'd like to discuss your legal options with you. The compassionate and dedicated Tampa brain injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group can protect your legal rights while you focus on your physical and psychological recovery.
With offices in Tampa and across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Dolman Law Group by phone at (813) 303-0916, or you can write to us using our online contact page for your free initial consultation.
13513 Prestige Pl. Suite 103
Tampa, FL 33635