As personal injury attorneys, Dolman Law Group commonly represents individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can irreparably damage your physical and mental health, as well as your finances. If your TBI was the result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover damages in a traumatic brain injury lawsuit.
After you file a brain injury lawsuit, insurers will begin to discredit your injury. Let one of Dolman Law Group’s award-winning traumatic brain injury lawyers represent you. We know how to push back and gather the necessary evidence to show the severity of your injury. Our team won’t back down until you receive the settlement you deserve.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury can simply be defined as an injury to the brain caused by trauma to the head. Certain traumatic brain injuries are easy to identify. For instance, a fractured skull, a brain bleed, or if an individual is in a coma due to an impact to the head we can be certain they have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
However, oftentimes an individual will suffer what is termed a “mild” or “moderate” brain injury. Such injuries are more difficult to identify and involve subtle problems with emotions, memory, thinking, and concentration among others. In fact, the CDC identifies a myriad of factors and issues that may relate to suffering from a traumatic brain injury. The more factors an individual suffers from the greater the likelihood that they clinically present with a traumatic brain injury.
Common symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury:
- nausea and vomiting
- confusion and memory problems
- slurred speech
- vision changes
- difficulty thinking or speaking
- balance issues
What Are the Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
There are several types of traumatic brain injuries for which you can claim compensation. While brain injuries vary in type and severity, concussions, subdural hematomas, and diffuse axonal injuries are among the most common. They may present as open or closed brain injuries.
TBIs may result from direct head trauma or indirect forces applied to the skull, including whiplash. Symptoms of a TBI vary depending upon the severity and location of the damage. Mild TBIs typically can show no signs at all. Mild or moderate TBIs can involve changes in mood, balance, and concentration. Severe TBIs may lead to coma, paralysis, vision loss, or death. In addition to the unpleasant TBI symptoms, a blow to the head can also break bones, cause blood clots, and result in permanent deficits. If you hit your head, call 911 right away.
Trauma Can Cause Hematomas or Blood Clots in the Brain
One type of TBI is known as a hematoma, “a pool of mostly clotted blood that forms in an organ, tissue, or body space” caused by a broken blood vessel. When a mass of blood or pronounced swelling between the skull and the brain occurs, this is known as a subdural hematoma injury. The leaking blood puts pressure on the brain, which can lead to paralysis or death. This type of TBI causes headaches, weakness, vision changes, and trouble thinking clearly. The symptoms usually last only a few days, but they can worsen if not treated quickly.
In some cases, the swelling or mass of blood can also occur inside the brain. Blood clots may resolve on their own, or they may become obstacles that require surgical intervention. If left untreated, blood clots in the brain are capable of inducing a stroke. Strokes can permanently compromise functions like speech, vision, and movement.
Concussions are a Common Form of Traumatic Brain Injury
Concussions are the most common type of brain trauma. Both closed and open head injuries can result in concussions. They are often caused by impacts to the head, violent shaking of the head, or whiplash-type movements. Head trauma often results in post-concussion syndrome, a severe disorder that can last for months or even a year. Concussions are often referred to as mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).
Understanding Post-Concussion Syndrome
Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome mirror those of other types of TBIs, including changes in mood and behavior. Common symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include:
- difficulty sleeping
- inability to concentrate
- memory loss
A concussion must never be ignored and warrants immediate medical attention. Post-concussion syndrome can significantly inhibit your ability to perform tasks and may interfere with your job functions. We often see signs of a concussion either ignored or overlooked by personal injury attorneys and physicians who opt to focus on the more obvious orthopedic injuries.
Most individuals with concussions recover after a short to moderate time, aided by rest. Neurologists often play a crucial role in assisting a patient with post-concussive syndrome in evaluating and treating minor mental health and cognitive issues.
Diagnosis of post-concussion syndrome is based on the patient’s history of head trauma, results of both a physical and neurological examination, and perhaps other diagnostic tests to rule out the presence of a more severe brain injury. The patient’s age and history of prior concussions increase the risk factors for post-concussive syndrome.
What If You Suffer a Second Concussion?
An occurrence of second impact syndrome is marked by rapid swelling of the brain, which may prove fatal. Second impact syndrome (SIS) can occur if a second concussion occurs before the symptoms resolve from the initial trauma. Second impact syndrome (SIS) can occur when someone suffers even a mild head injury while they are in the process of recovering from a prior head injury. Even a minor concussion can cause secondary impact syndrome. Secondary impact syndrome often proves to be deadly and will result in a debilitating condition at a minimum.
Football players and other athletes often suffer multiple concussions during their careers. Repeated concussions can have severe and prolonged effects on the body. Sadly, these repeated injuries have resulted in chronic traumatic encephalopathy, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and severe depression.
Serious Brain Contusions May Need Surgery
A brain contusion results from an impact to the head resulting in severe bruising or bleeding of the brain. A cerebral contusion is a bruise to the brain tissue. Extensive contusions require surgery. A cerebral contusion can be related to blood vessel leaks and microhemorrhages. Contusions occur in the cortical tissue under the site where the impact occurred.
Contusions with edema (swelling) often require surgery to reduce intracranial pressure, which can be life-threatening or permanent brain damage. Contusion-related symptoms depend on the pathology’s location (sphere of the brain) and the severity. The swelling is usually most significant in moderate to severe contusions five to six days following the trauma. This is due to swelling of the brain tissue surrounding the impact site. Additionally, toxins are released due to the discoloration increasing the rate of the node.
Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries Damages Multiple Sides of the Brain
Coup-contrecoup injuries are a result of two contusions on both sides of the brain. The first contusion is a result of the initial impact on the head. The second contusion results from the head being hit with such force that the brain slams against the other side of the skull. A coup injury occurs directly under the area of impact. A contrecoup injury occurs on the side directly opposite the impact. In a coup-contrecoup brain injury, both sides of the brain are damaged.
Diffuse Axonal Injuries Can Have Long-Term Consequences
A Diffuse Axonal Injury occurs when the brain lags behind the movement of the skull, thus tearing parts of the brain. This is often a result of an intense jolting, shaking, or twisting of the head, such as a car accident. A diffuse axonal injury to the brain can cause severe problems like paralysis or speech and memory problems, and in some cases, even death.
Diffuse axonal injury is caused by shearing forces such as an acceleration-deceleration mechanism of injury akin to whiplash. This occurs when the head moves forward rapidly (acceleration) and then backward or a sudden stop (deceleration).
Individuals with diffuse axonal injury typically lose consciousness at the time of trauma. The back and forth movement of the brain disrupts the nerve cells and inhibits the ability of the cells to transmit messages. Individuals with diffuse axonal injury typically lose consciousness at the time of trauma.
Penetrating Brain Injury
An injury that forces a foreign object or even a part of the skull into the brain is known as a penetrating brain injury. Penetrating brain injuries can result from a gunshot wound, stabbing wound, or any other sharp object or blunt object with sufficient force. Penetrating brain injuries often involve the most severe direct physical trauma that can cause a brain injury. As a result, these brain injuries are often fatal. Those that manage to survive are almost guaranteed to suffer from severe disabilities.
What Causes a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the head suffers trauma from an external force. This may include being hit by an object, another person, or having a car accident. The result is damage to the brain tissue itself. A TBI can occur without causing any visible signs of injury, although there are many symptoms to indicate a TBI has occurred. The most common cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is falling. Other causes include:
- motor vehicle accidents
- slip and fall accidents
- sports injuries
- boating accidents
- truck accidents
- motorcycle accidents
- bicycle accidents
- gunshot wounds
Your ability to recover damages in a traumatic brain injury lawsuit will depend on whether or not the party who caused the accident is found liable. A negligent party, like a drunk driver, speeding boater, or careless employer must be shown to have breached the duty of care they owed you. Then, this breach had to result in an accident and culminate in your injuries and damages.
Damages Inflicted by Traumatic Brain Injuries
Those who suffer traumatic brain injuries risk dealing with severe damages. Traumatic brain injuries tend to cause permanent physical damage even in cases where the injury is on the milder side of the spectrum. The brain is an exceptionally complex organ that we still do not fully understand, which makes the options for treating damage to it limited.
Damage to the brain affects the body’s tangible and physical processes and leads to debilitating cognitive issues. This makes the damages inflicted by traumatic brain injuries somewhat unique. For many people, the physical damage they sustain has profound implications for their lifestyle, career, and finances.
Economic Damages Can Add Up in a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit
The economic damages caused by traumatic brain injuries tend to be particularly severe due to the tendency for traumatic brain injuries to cause permanent and debilitating issues. Medical expenses are often some of the worst economic damages that people experience.
The bills associated with treating a traumatic brain injury can add up to vast sums, with recurring costs like prescription drugs, therapy, and checkups driving up prices even more. There are also all the lost wages caused by time off work. Many people end up losing their jobs or careers altogether because of a traumatic brain injury which can have dire financial consequences.
Traumatic Brain Injury Victims Often Incur Non-Economic Damages
When someone suffers a traumatic brain injury, they can deal with intense pain and suffering and several other substantial damages that don’t have a clear dollar value or cannot be easily validated with a receipt. Some of the most common non-economic damages involved in traumatic brain injury cases include loss of consortium, mental anguish, psychological injuries like depression, and pain and suffering. These non-economic damages can still be significant to claim in a traumatic brain injury claim.
FAQs About Traumatic Brain Injuries
How do you know if someone suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
The only way to know if you suffered a TBI is to see your doctor. Your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical examination. They may order blood tests, imaging studies, and other diagnostic procedures. In addition, they may refer you to specialists who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to TBI to ensure you get the proper medical care you deserve.
If you suspect that you have sustained a TBI, contact a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced brain injury lawyer can help you determine whether you have a valid claim against the responsible party.
What does it mean to have a closed head injury versus an open head injury?
TBIs can result from open or closed head injuries. Open brain injuries are called penetrating brain injuries, which happen when matter is forced from the skull into the brain. It can result from being struck by someone or something, such as a gunshot or sharp object. It may also happen when you fall downstairs, slip, or hit your head against something hard. In some cases, it may happen if a wild animal attacks you. Often these types of brain injuries can result in death.
Closed brain injuries should be treated just as seriously. A closed brain injury is when the skull has not been breached or punctured, but the brain has sustained damage as a result of an outside force. For example, being rear-ended in a car accident can cause your brain to be jolted forward and backward against your skull, damaging your brain. There may not be a corresponding injury visible from the outside even though the internal damage may be extensive.
What is the difference between a traumatic and a non-traumatic brain injury?
Brain injuries occur in two broadly distinct ways. As the Brain Injury Association of Florida (BIAF) explains in its invaluable publication Brain Injury: A Family Guide (also available in an español version), brain injuries are generally classified as either “traumatic” (TBI) or “anoxic or hypoxic.” The latter is also sometimes referred to as “non-traumatic” brain injury, according to Tallahassee Memorial Health Care.
These classifications refer to how a patient acquires a brain injury. But the apparent simplicity of the terminology hides the vast variations in how brain injuries happen and what types of deficits and disabilities they inflict on their victims. Brain injuries differ widely from one patient to the next in terms of their severity, symptoms, and prospects for recovery.
Why Should I Hire a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer?
Hiring a traumatic brain injury lawyer should be your priority after seeking medical care. One of the most challenging things a traumatic brain injury attorney helps with is ensuring you or your loved ones get help with medical bills and dealing with insurance companies.
TBI victims who try to handle a personal injury lawsuit on top of recovering and managing debt often recover lower settlements. Having a dedicated advocate affords you the benefit of their experience and lends legitimacy to your claim for damages.
What Services Does a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Offer?
Brain injury victims, especially, benefit from having a lawyer with experience and expertise with their particular condition. As we described above, brain injuries have tremendously wide variations in how they occur, what harms they inflict, and the prospects for (and costs of) recovery. Here are the ways choosing a brain injury lawyer—not just any old personal injury lawyer—can help you in the aftermath of a brain injury.
Assess the Scope of Your Brain Injury and Evaluating Liability
Doctors and other health care professionals, obviously, will treat your brain injury. But they are not the only people who need to understand and evaluate the nature and extent of your TBI or anoxic/hypoxic injury. Your brain injury lawyer’s job is to ensure you have the financial resources and support you need to make a full recovery and to compensate you for the difficulty you face.
To do that job well, they need to have a detailed working knowledge of brain injury terminology and diagnosis. This allows them to understand and fully appreciate the contents of medical records and the opinions and assessments of your condition delivered by your medical team. A brain injury lawyer with experience in and knowledge about brain injuries also serves your interests when it comes to finding out who may have a legal liability for your damages. As we described above, brain injuries happen in all kinds of ways, for all kinds of reasons.
A brain injury lawyer who understands the mechanics of how you sustained a blow to your head, or were deprived of oxygen, or contracted a dangerous infection, is one who can pinpoint whose decisions and/or actions led to the harm you have suffered. Also, the more precisely a traumatic brain injury lawyer can pinpoint the party or parties whose conduct led to your injury, the higher the likelihood you will recover the compensation you deserve.
Calculate the Full Scope of Your Brain Injury Damages
Since brain injuries have complicated diagnoses and recovery prospects, it is not easy to determine exactly what costs they might inflict on their victims. The longer a lawyer’s track record in representing brain injury victims and their families, the more knowledge and resources that lawyer has to draw upon to help calculate what a brain injury might “cost” in terms of medical and therapeutic care, assistive services, lost wages and earning opportunities, and pain and suffering.
One danger of hiring an inexperienced personal injury lawyer is that they will not appreciate the countless ways a brain injury affects a person’s day-to-day life and wellbeing, each of which constitutes a data point on which to base a damages calculation. By choosing a personal injury attorney with a brain injury specialty, you ensure every difficulty you endure as you recover from your brain injury will get counted and compensated.
Advocate for Compensation of Your Damages on Your Behalf
Personal injury lawyers advocate for their clients. They aim to recover compensation from people who harmed their clients. That advocacy happens in two principle settings: settlement negotiation and jury trial. In both settings, the job of advocating for a brain-injured client is sometimes complicated by the fact that the people sitting “across the table” or “in the jury box” have limited experience and expertise with brain injuries.
It is up to the personal injury lawyer to help them understand and appreciate the important details of a brain injury and its costs, while not overwhelming them with technical detail or medical/legal jargon. That is no easy task. It takes a brain injury lawyer with top-notch communication and analytical skills, and deep, broad knowledge of brain injury science, medicine, and recovery, to pull it off effectively.
Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me in a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit?
After a TBI, the brain injury attorneys of Dolman Law Group can help you file the necessary claims or lawsuits and fight insurance company tactics. We make sure all brain injury survivors have the money they need to pay for the considerable damages that they suffer.
Our brain injury lawyers have over 115 years of combined experience successfully negotiating fair settlements, which has made us one of the most highly sought-after personal injury law firms in Florida. Dolman Law Group offers our clients the benefits and resources of a larger firm and the personal attention of a small personal injury firm.
Insurers May Claim You Don’t Have a TBI
A TBI requires long-term medical treatment, and insurance companies will often attempt to fight claims. Insurance adjusters often claim that the medical testing did not conclusively establish a TBI. Our lawyers counter this fallacy pushed by insurance adjusters immediately. While diagnostic testing has dramatically advanced over the past twenty years, microscopic lesions in the brain and damage to the neurons are often missed on an MRI.
Neurologists will rely on the medical history of the patient and their clinical presentation when diagnosing TBI. It is pretty common to have a negative MRI yet manifest with cognitive or functional impairment during neurological or neuropsychological testing. Our brain injury attorneys work with neurologists to provide evidence of your brain injury even when MRIs and other diagnostic testing are inconclusive.
Insurers May Claim Your TBI Is Minor
Claims adjusters and insurance defense lawyers often attempt to minimize the extent of a brain injury by alleging that the injury is minor and that you will quickly recover. Some symptoms of brain injury are minor and subtle such as memory issues. However, 10-15% of mild TBI patients have not healed after one year. Many are more symptomatic than even immediately after the injury. Some suffer from persistent headaches, neck pain, or dizziness.
Our traumatic brain injury lawyers push back on this tactic because we know that even minor brain injuries can result in severe and long-term suffering. The brain injury lawyers of Dolman Law Group have seen firsthand the chronic disabilities endured by TBI survivors even after low-impact accidents. Our team will work diligently to recover a fair settlement for your past, present, and future expenses.
Dolman Law Group Recovers Maximum Compensation for TBI Accident Victims
If you or a loved one has sustained a TBI, chances are you weren’t prepared for the onslaught of bills and other burdens that often accompany such a serious injury. You need a skilled, empathic advocate to protect your interests. Dolman Law Group has proven time and again that our brain injury lawyers are capable of consistently recovering maximum compensation for our clients.
Recently, we have secured several settlements of over 1 million dollars for TBI victims, including:
- $3.85 Million Settlement for Semi-truck Accident Resulting in Brain Injury
- $3.2 Million Settlement for Truck Accident Resulting in Brain Injury
- $1.75 Million Settlement for Shoulder Surgery With Mild TBI
- $1 Million Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident Resulting in a TBI
The best way to choose a personal injury lawyer is by asking friends, family members, colleagues, and others who have used them before. If they recommend someone, that person has likely done an excellent job for them. Dolman Law Group has aided many injured clients who were referred to us by their friend’s glowing recommendations.
Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit
Traumatic brain injuries can be life-altering events. At Dolman Law Group, we understand that financial instability, stress, and physical recovery can discourage accident victims from seeking legal representation. We want to assure you that expert brain injury attorneys are accessible to you, and you won’t owe us anything unless we successfully settle your traumatic brain injury lawsuit.
Dolman Law Group has the knowledge and resources to hold negligent parties and their powerful insurance companies accountable for your damages. Our team is not afraid to take your claim to trial if we can’t reach an agreement with the insurance company. You won’t be pressured to settle for less than your damages are worth.
If you believe that your traumatic brain injury was caused by the negligence of another party, we encourage you to contact our personal injury lawyers as soon as possible so we can review your case. You can call us at (727) 451-6900 or reach out to us through our website. Our team of brain injury lawyers are prepared to advocate on your behalf while you focus on healing.
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