Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are exceedingly complicated. In fact, they’re often referred to as silent injuries because they don’t always make themselves known to outside observers. Nevertheless, never minimize TBIs, as these injuries are often life-altering—even as the outside world remains unaware of their effects. If you’ve suffered a TBI, your life may have changed dramatically in that instant.
If you or your loved one has been victimized by a TBI that was caused by someone else’s negligence, seek immediate legal guidance. At Brauns Law, PC in Duluth, Georgia, we’re well acquainted with the intricacies of TBI cases, and our traumatic brain injury lawyers here to help.
Common Causes of TBIs
Typically, traumatic brain injuries are caused by a significant blow to or a whipping back and forth of the head. In fact, the Mayo Clinic succinctly identifies those accidents that commonly result in TBIs:
- Taking a fall – When you slip and fall, you are susceptible to traumatic brain injury. While some falls lead to nothing more significant than embarrassment, others can cause significant injuries, including TBIs. This is especially true for both the elderly and the very young.
- Vehicular crashes – TBIs are often the result of car, motorcycle, and bike accidents. These crashes need not be extreme to lead to considerable personal injury. When your vehicle collides with another—even when moving slowly—the impact can create the necessary conditions for sustaining a TBI.
- Engaging in school sports – If your children are involved in highly physical school sports, they are prone to enduring TBI-inducing blows. High-impact sports, such as football, have recently received a great deal of national media attention for their brain-injury inducing potential. Young athletes undeniably face significant risks of traumatic brain injuries, and action-jammed sports offer plenty of opportunities to sustain them.
TBIs: The Signs
Every traumatic brain injury is unique, and every traumatic brain injury is unpredictable. Because TBIs often cause significant psychological, cognitive, sensory, behavioral, and physical damage, it’s necessary to understand and recognize the physical symptoms that are often linked to traumatic brain injuries:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent headaches
- The sudden onset of confusion
- The sudden onset of sleep disturbances
- Overwhelming fatigue
- Lack of balance or coordination
- A sudden change in mood or personality
- The sudden onset of speech disturbances
- The sudden onset of numbness or weakness
If you’ve suffered a significant TBI, your recovery process very well may include a lifelong battle. The significance of such injuries and their protracted recovery processes not only affect you as the victim but can also affect your family and your support system. It’s impossible to overstate the physical, emotional, financial, and psychological effects of such injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
TBIs can vary from extremely mild to deadly, and this wide variance can contribute to discounting TBIs when it comes to tallying injury significance. TBIs, in fact, are so common that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports:
- Traumatic brain injuries are involved in about 30 percent of injury-related fatalities in America.
- About 1.7 million Americans annually suffer TBIs.
- About 52,000 of reported TBI victims do not survive each year.
- An estimated 275,000 brain injury victims are hospitalized.
- Eighty percent of victims receive treatment in emergency rooms before they are subsequently released.
Traumatic Brain Injuries and Far-Reaching Consequences
Your brain is your body’s command center, and if you experience even incremental changes within this highly calibrated mechanism of body control, you’ll most likely be subjected to ongoing consequences. Even relatively minor TBIs can lead to highly unpredictable effects. TBIs aren’t inclined to follow protocol, and a TBI can lead to altered mental functioning, to defective sensory perception (including your hearing and sense of smell, and to altered language abilities, among other effects. Further, some TBI sufferers are afflicted by seizures, which can become chronic. TBIs, however, cause far more than negative physical effects.
TBIs are prone to eliciting ongoing emotional and psychological effects, which are often some of the most problematic symptoms of TBIs. In fact, many TBI sufferers find that they’re unable to control their emotions in the way they’d once could, which can lead to social isolation, depression, and other mental illnesses. Some who suffer from TBIs go so far as to describe the effects of their affliction as amounting to a loss of sense of self. Psychosocial symptoms of this magnitude not only affect victims of TBIm but also their friends and family.
Brain Injury Claims
If you suffered a TBI in an accident caused by another party, you may have the right to seek compensation for your losses. Victims of traumatic brain injuries often face serious, overwhelming emotional, physical, and financial challenges. Every traumatic brain injury is different, and each case should be evaluated on an individual basis. However, some losses commonly incurred by TBI victims include:
- Past and future medical costs
- Past and future lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent impairments
- Loss of enjoyment of life
These cases can be complex, but your rights and your legal compensation are too important to ignore. Don’t hesitate to discuss your situation with our experienced legal team today.
Duluth Brain Injury FAQ
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when an event disrupts the normal function of the brain. This disruption could be the result of an impact to the head, intense whiplash, or an object penetrating the brain tissue, among others.
Many people are not familiar with brain injuries, their effects, and the rights of certain brain injury victims. We know you likely have many questions, and the following are some answers to frequently asked questions by potential clients with brain injuries. Please do not wait to contact our office to discuss your specific questions with a member of our legal team.
What do brain injury statistics tell us?
Every year, roughly 288,000 Americans stay in the hospital for traumatic brain injuries, according to reports from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. That’s greater than 20 times the number of hospitalizations for spinal cord injuries.
The leading causes of fatal traumatic brain injuries are motor vehicle accidents, suicides, and falls. Most non-fatal TBI injuries stem from falls and motor vehicle incidents, at 35 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Additionally, 17 percent of all non-fatal injuries are a result of a strike or blow to the head or the head hitting against an object.
The direct and indirect costs for these TBI injuries are a massive $76.5 billion.
How is a brain injury classified in Duluth, GA?
The Mayo Clinic divides brain injuries into three distinct categories: mild, moderate, and severe. Even “mild” TBIs can require a victim to undergo extensive rehabilitation and might cause permanent impairments.
If you have suffered a brain injury, or even if you simply suspect you suffered a brain injury, seek professional medical care immediately. Symptoms are not always identifiable until later on, but prompt treatment may prevent an injury from worsening. Adhere to your treatment plan and attend all follow-ups.
Just as your physical recovery is important, so too are your legal rights and your financial recovery. Victims of brain injuries incur medical bills, lost wages, limited earning potential, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. We represent clients who are suffering from a brain injury through no fault of their own. Contact Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm now and let us put our experience and know-how to work for you.
Is a concussion serious?
In a word, yes. A doctor may diagnose your concussion as “mild” because they are rarely life-threatening.
Still, a concussion can have serious consequences, such as:
- Loss of memory/amnesia
- Reduced consciousness
- Neurological effects including loss of vision, change in speech, and muscle weakness
- Changes in mental health, including slower thinking, trouble concentrating, and disorientation.
In many cases, the nature of the symptoms makes it difficult for TBI sufferers to recognize or acknowledge they are having problems.
How can you sustain a traumatic brain injury?
There are two principal ways to sustain a brain injury.
Acquired brain injury (ABI): Brought about by lack of oxygen or another internal factor.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI): Incurred through external factors, including:
- Hitting an object or getting struck by an object
- Experiencing an abrupt and violent jolt or shake
- Getting hit by an object that pierces the skull
How do doctors diagnose a TBI in Duluth, GA?
Traumatic brain injuries are often hard to identify.
For a valid mTBI diagnosis, patients need at least one of the following symptoms.
- Amnesia of events that happened near the time of the injury
- Neurological or neuropsychological problems
- Scoring a minimum of 13 on the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)
Brain damage from an injury takes place on a near-microscopic level. Consequently, image scans may not pick them up. Doctors might call this nearly invisible damage a microtrauma. A person with microtrauma can suffer very serious symptoms that don’t show up in diagnostic tests. As you can imagine, this can cause confusion about the legitimacy and seriousness of your injuries—and cause disputes with insurance companies.
What treatment might you need for a TBI in Duluth, GA?
The treatment you can expect for your brain injury depends on the injury’s severity level, as well as the symptoms you are dealing with. Generally, doctors use three common treatments to address traumatic brain injury:
Medication. Unfortunately, expensive medications can put a strain on your finances.
Depending on the specifics of your brain injury, you may receive prescriptions for one or more of the following medications:
- Anticonvulsants / Seizure medication
- Medications for chronic pain
- Memory management medication
- Cognition medication
- Motor recovery medication
Therapy. Your doctor may recommend therapy to relearn and improve basic skills.
You may have to perform hours of therapy, which may include:
- Speech therapy
- Physical therapy
- Psychological therapy
- Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT)
- Occupational therapy
These types of therapy call for persistent participation to maximize their effectiveness. Both the physician and the patient must be committed to the process. Therapy works best when you follow it diligently, even if it becomes part of your lifestyle for months or even years to come.
Surgery. For severe cases of traumatic brain injury, doctors often perform emergency surgery. The goal of surgery is to prevent or reduce the likelihood of additional brain damage.
Doctors may start emergency brain surgery to:
- Relieve swelling or pressure inside the skull
- Remove a blood clot
- Repair the skull
- Drain blood or fluid from an infection or remove abnormal brain tissue through a craniotomy
Patients who undergo emergency TBI surgery can remain in the hospital for three to 10 days. Not surprisingly, the medical costs for surgery and the hospital stay can be very expensive. Even if you have good health insurance, you may still need to pick up a portion of the bills.
That’s why you want one of our Duluth brain injury lawyers in your corner. Our experienced attorneys understand the costs you may face with a traumatic brain injury, both now and in the future. Let our skilled attorneys review your case and begin fighting for the financial compensation you deserve to recover damages. Contact us now to schedule a free initial consultation.
How can a brain injury affect daily life?
A traumatic brain injury harms the structure of the brain, making it difficult, if not impossible, to function as expected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a traumatic brain injury affects the manner you think and your perceptions of taste, smell, and other sensations. They can impact your speech and your cognitive abilities making it more difficult to communicate with others. Also, many people suffering from a TBI struggle to control their emotions in social settings.
In the long term, some people can recover from a brain injury and lead normal lives. Others are less fortunate and may never get back full functionality of their brain. They may suffer chronic symptoms from the brain injury, or their symptoms may return many years later. They might require ongoing care and treatment, including home health assistance.
If you’re suffering from a traumatic brain injury, it’s wise to consult an experienced attorney who can evaluate your case and assess financial compensation for damages. The goal of a financial settlement is to remove the financial burden of your situation so you can focus solely on your recovery.
What are some lasting effects of serious brain injuries?
Many times after a mild TBI, the brain works to repair brain tissue and other damage. Combined with medical treatment, many TBI sufferers can heal in a relatively short time.
Moderate to severe brain injuries are not always so fortunate, however. Many times specific parts of the brain can’t repair, resulting in long-term or even a lifetime of damage. To that end, there are several ongoing physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms of traumatic brain injuries that can last for years to come, including:
- Light sensitivity
- Headaches / Migraines
Emotional or cognitive symptoms:
- Impaired memory
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulting concentrating or paying attention
- Depression / Anxiety
Other symptoms affecting the quality of life:
- Diminished desire to participate in activities
- Higher likelihood of unemployment
- Higher likelihood of death
- Difficulty managing finances
Every brain injury is unique. While some patients suffer more serious consequences later in life, a great number of patients improve significantly and often return to near pre-injury brain function levels. Quality healthcare and consistent rehabilitation efforts are key to recovery.
Who can you hold liable for your brain injury-related losses in Duluth, GA?
Any negligent party can be at-fault and liable for damages relating to your brain injury.
Of course, you must prove negligence by showing the following:
- The defendant owed the defendant a legal “duty of care.”
- The defendant did not exercise reasonable care.
- The action or inaction of the defendant caused the injuries suffered by the plaintiff.
- The plaintiff’s injuries and damages are “measurable.”
Negligent parties may include:
- A doctor or medical professional whose negligent actions resulted in your brain injury
- A manufacturer whose defective product is responsible for your brain injury.
- A driver whose negligent or careless behavior led to an accident resulting in your traumatic brain injury.
Sometimes, the liable party is not easily identifiable right after an accident. For example, if a commercial truck driver loses control and smashes into your car, it may not be completely his or her fault. After an investigation, it may become evident the trucking company did not perform routine maintenance on the truck causing a failure of an important component like the brakes.
If you’re unsure about the liable party for your brain injury, contact Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm now. We can investigate to determine the at-fault party. We can gather evidence from an accident scene to help reconstruct what happened and how.
We will advise you on the appropriate compensation for damages and seek the most compensation allowable by law. The amount of your compensation will take into account your medical bills, current and future lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages.
How can a Duluth brain injury lawyer help after a TBI?
When you contact Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm, you’ll talk with a skilled and compassionate Duluth brain injury lawyer with experience handling traumatic brain injury cases. We’ll answer all of your questions and let you know your rights under the law. Also, we’ll outline your options going forward.
Once we begin working together, we’ll launch a comprehensive investigation of your case to determine the exact cause of your brain injury and who should be held responsible for damages.
Additionally, we’ll consult with medical professionals to evaluate the impact of the traumatic brain injury on your life, now and in the future. By working with experts, we can create a detailed description of your medical and personal care requirements and their associated costs.
We will handle all correspondence from the insurance companies. Remember, if you try to handle your brain injury claim on your own, the insurance company will not give you the fair settlement offer that covers the true value of your damages. While insurance company representatives may appear friendly and genuine, their aim is always to make a claim disappear while paying you as little money as possible.
Our goal is always to pursue a fair settlement for full compensation for you that covers all of your losses, such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Physical, mental, and emotional suffering
- Increased risk of future harm
- Caretaking costs
Reports reveal that 92 percent of all cases reach a settlement, and there is no need to go to court. However, if the insurance company is not willing to negotiate in good faith, we will fight your case vigorously in court.
We work on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you pay nothing unless we obtain financial compensation for you. Please contact us today.
If You’ve Suffered a TBI, Seek Legal Counsel from Brauns Law, PC
If you or someone you care about has suffered a traumatic brain injury in Duluth, Georgia, don’t leave your recovery to chance—you need a skilled TBI attorney on your side. TBI accidents are serious, and they often lead to physical, emotional, and financial difficulties. Allow the experienced TBI attorneys at Brauns Law, PC to help you move forward with your TBI case. Our skilled TBI lawyers have the knowledge and commitment to advocate for your claim’s best possible outcome. If you’ve incurred a TBI, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at (404) 348-0889 for a free consultation today.