The brain is probably the most important organ in the human body, and any injury can seriously disrupt your life. Composed of two hemispheres, the brain controls most functions of the body and is central to regulating mood and engaging in logical reasoning. After a brain injury, many victims report never being the same.
If you have suffered a brain injury, you might be able to receive compensation, but you need qualified legal counsel by your side. At Sibley Dolman, we have represented clients suffering some of the worst brain injuries in the North Miami Beach area.
Brain Injury Accidents
There are many types of brain injuries, but they all have something in common – they disrupt your brain’s normal functioning. Typically, brain accidents are caused by traumatic or non-traumatic episodes:
- A traumatic brain injury is caused by an external physical force. Think car accidents that shake a person’s head, hard hits in football, or smacking your head after falling in your home. It is a common misconception that your head must be hit to suffer a brain injury. In fact, any blow that causes your brain to move around can result in a traumatic brain injury.
- A non-traumatic brain injury can be caused by infection, genetics, stroke, or illness. However, we tend to see clients whose brain suffered injury because of oxygen deprivation. The brain needs oxygen to work properly, and oxygen deprivation can kill brain cells permanently. Compromised births, near-drowning accidents, and medical malpractice cases are some of the more common causes of anoxic brain injuries.
If you think that you have suffered a brain injury, you should write down what you think happened and consult with an attorney. There is no “typical” cause of brain injuries.
Symptoms of a Concussion
A concussion is a relatively mild traumatic brain injury. Concussions have been in the news lately because of injuries to professional athletes – in particular, football and ice hockey players. Any blow to your body or head can cause a concussion when it shakes your brain. Recent research from Stanford University has shown that parts of the brain move at different speeds after trauma, which leads to tears and chemical changes that affect how the brain functions.
If you’ve suffered a blow, you should look for the following concussion symptoms:
- Passing out for several seconds
- Headaches that don’t go away
- Stiffness in your neck and shoulders
- Loss of balance
- Changes in your sleep patterns (such as sleeping too much or being unable to sleep)
- Increased sensitivity to noise, light, or other stimuli
- Trouble thinking
- Double vision
It might take up to 24 hours for these symptoms to manifest themselves, so do not assume you are okay if you do not immediately feel anything. Instead, go to the doctor or hospital and explain what happened. Your doctor can monitor your situation. Mild concussions can clear up in a few weeks with rest and over-the-counter medication to manage pain, but pay attention if symptoms worsen.
Symptoms of More Severe Brain Injuries
Moderate and severe brain injuries like brain contusions or coup-contrecoup injuries have similar symptoms as concussions, though they might be more intense and last longer. For example, you might experience:
- Extended loss of consciousness, for hours or days
- Pupil dilation
- Lack of coordination
- Pronounced confusion or disorientation
- Changed behavior, such as increased aggression
- Difficulty talking clearly
- Weakness in extremities
More severe concussions can take a long time to heal, and some victims never regain their former functioning. For example, someone with a brain injury might never speak as fluently as they used to or be as mobile as they once were. Nevertheless, with adequate support and rehabilitation, many brain injury victims can regain independence and improve their quality of life. Everything depends on the severity of the brain injury and its location, as well as your age and overall general health.
Consequences of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Suffering a brain injury is always a serious matter. Any damage no matter how small to what is arguably the most important organ of your body can have dire consequences. Even traumatic brain injuries like concussions that tend to heal on their own with time can potentially have long-term consequences that can negatively affect someone’s life. For example, a concussion on its own is usually not too terrible of an injury since it typically does not require direct treatment since it heals on its own over time. However, repeated concussions run the risk of causing second impact syndrome or chronic traumatic encephalopathy which are severe complications that cause immense brain damage that not only is debilitating but often irreversible.
The brain is an incredibly complex organ that we have yet to fully stand and because of this, medicine for treating brain injuries is very limited in its effectiveness. Traumatic brain injuries are well known for how they can cause cognitive issues amongst those that suffer them. These cognitive issues surface as the debilitating symptoms mentioned before that can interfere with a person’s everyday life in a number of ways. A person can easily lose their job and even their entire career because of these symptoms which naturally results in massive economic damages. Relationships with friends as well as family can deteriorate because of things like personality changes, mood swings, and mental illnesses caused by brain damage. Additionally, there is a high rate of development of mental illnesses like depression and PTSD after someone suffers a traumatic brain injury. The reality of confronting such an injury can prove to much for some people and they begin to develop these psychological problems.
Recovery After a Traumatic Brain Injury
There is also the overwhelming cost of any treatment for traumatic brain injuries and the management of their symptoms. There are drugs and therapies that can help to roll back a measure of the damage done and help to manage the symptoms caused by brain damage but the effectiveness of these treatments are limited and often costly. Due to the permanence of these debilitating injuries, the recurring costs of these treatments can continually put a strain on someone’s finances. There is hope for a measure of recovery after a traumatic brain injury with the assistance of s number of rehabilitative processes.
Receiving Compensation for Your Injuries
If someone’s negligent or wrongful act caused your brain injury, you might be able to sue them for financial compensation. Our clients have received money (called “damages”) for the following losses:
- Medical care, including ongoing medical care if necessary
- Lost wages, including lost future wages if the victim cannot return to work
- Property damage, if their vehicle or other property was damaged in the accident
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of consortium for the loss of care, guidance, instruction, and sexual intimacy with their spouse
Not every client receives all of the above damages, so it is vital to meet with a brain injury attorney who can perform an individualized case review.
To prevail, you must show that someone else was responsible. This might require showing that a driver was reckless, aggressive, or negligent. Or it might involve showing that a hotel or motel failed to provide adequate security, which led you to be attacked by a criminal. Because each case is different you need someone with experience in brain injuries to analyze whether you can bring a lawsuit.
Building an Effective Case
The claims process for brain injury victims is long and confusing. Many victims give up, unable to figure out what steps to take to get the compensation they need when they suffer an injury through no fault of their own. To make the process as simple as possible, you should hire a qualified attorney to help you with the following:
- Investigate the case. You need evidence of wrongdoing in order to receive compensation.
- Negotiate with the defendant or their insurer. Negotiations are complicated and high-stakes, and you should not handle them alone. Insurance companies are very experienced and know how to use the law to their advantage.
- File a lawsuit if negotiations break down. The Florida court system is daunting, and an experienced lawyer can shepherd your case to trial if necessary.
Speak with a Brain Injury Lawyer in North Miami Beach
Brain injury victims potentially face years of rehabilitation to regain functioning and mobility, all of which is expensive. At Sibley Dolman, we have built our reputation obtaining favorable awards and settlements for our clients thanks to our dedication and client-centered approach. To schedule a free consultation with one of our brain injury attorneys, please call (305)-676-8154 or fill out our contact form.
1820 NE 163rd St #306,
North Miami Beach, FL 33162