Brain Injury and the Law
Traumatic brain injuries are a leading cause of death and serious disability. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), traumatic brain injuries are responsible for nearly three million ER visits, hospitalizations and deaths every year in the United States. Many of these injuries and deaths are the result of negligent behavior. In such cases, it’s vitally important to understand your rights and to seek the advice of experienced legal counsel.
To help you better understand brain injuries and your rights under the law, let’s take a closer look at the relevant issues.
How do traumatic brain injuries occur?
Serious brain injuries typically occur as the result of a bump or blow to the head. This sudden movement can cause the brain to shift violently, causing bruising, tearing and bleeding. It should be noted that traumatic brain injuries do not always require a violent blow to the head, however.
As we age, our brains become less able to withstand the jolts that come with sudden bumps or blows. Even a relatively modest blow that doesn’t lead to lingering pain can cause brain swelling and bleeding in some cases.
Some of the most common ways traumatic injuries occur include:
- Slips and falls. According to the CDC, falls account for nearly half of all serious brain injuries. Falls also disproportionately affect younger and older people.
- Being hit with an object. The CDC reports this is the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury.
- Vehicle crashes. Collisions are responsible for nearly 20-percent of brain injury deaths.
The fact that the severity of the injury is not always readily apparent is one of the most dangerous aspects of a serious brain injury. A victim may feel OK initially, but require emergency medical attention in the following minutes or hours.
Some of the symptoms to watch for include:
- Profound headaches that don’t resolve with aspirin or a similar pain reliever
- Memory loss.
- Cognitive impairment or confusion.
- Nausea or physical weakness.
- Insomnia, depression or agitation.
Should any of these symptoms be present following a fall, a blow to the head or a violent auto collision, you should seek immediate medical attention. When it comes to brain injuries, quick treatment is essential.
Brain Injury FAQs
What Is A Brain Injury?
Head injuries can take many forms, including concussions. In personal injury cases, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are the most common. TBI results from acute damage to the brain, often suffered in motor vehicle accidents and also seen in sports injuries, falls, and acts of violence.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Brain Injury?
In cases involving TBI, the symptoms can be very clear as a result of direct trauma to the brain resulting in bleeding and other symptoms that will show up on medical tests such as CT scans.
When an injury comes in the form of a concussion or less obvious trauma, the symptoms can be more subtle or take more time to develop. Things to look out for include changes in temperament or personality, loss of motor skills, irritability, confusion and disorientation, headaches, blurry vision, nausea and vomiting.
Rule of thumb: If a person loses consciousness due to a blow to the head, it is a must to be checked out by a doctor.
How Do Brain Injuries Affect The Patient’s Family?
No matter how patient family members are in the caregiver role, the aftermath of a brain injury can be extremely difficult for all involved. Survivors can go through many physical and behavioral changes, including depression and anxiety.
What Does A Victim Need To Recover?
Depending on the severity of the brain injury, a survivor may need a lifetime of medical treatment, rehabilitation, home modifications and even in-home care. It is important to make sure that any settlement or jury verdict covers the full scope of a survivor’s past, current and ongoing needs.
Who Is Involved In A Brain Injury Lawsuit?
First and foremost, you will be working with your attorney. But at Doyle Law, we bring in exceptional experts from a variety of fields, including medical doctors, economists, neurosurgeons, and life care planners. This allows us to paint the full picture of a brain injury survivor’s needs so we can obtain the best possible settlement or jury verdict.
When Do I Need To Speak To An Attorney?
The initial investigation and gathering of evidence can be a critical component in a brain injury lawsuit. It is in your best interest to speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, and it will cost you nothing at our Los Angeles firm.
Complications of traumatic brain injuries
The consequences of a major brain injury can be life-altering, and medical bills for treatment may run into the millions for the most serious cases. Brain injuries often require intensive treatment, long-term aftercare and physical therapy.
In the injury is the result of negligence, a victim will typically undergo a medical evaluation to determine the severity of the injury and its impact on the victim’s life. This evaluation is critical in determining health questions (such as whether independent living is possible) and financial questions (such as whether the victim is able to work).
The medical evaluation is an important part of a patient’s care regimen and also a key component of any legal case. If you feel you’ve suffered a serious brain injury as the result of someone’s negligence, it’s imperative that you seek out legal counsel.
Finding the right attorney
Cases involving traumatic brain injuries can be quite complex, which makes the assistance of experienced counsel a must. Our firm has a long track record of handling the most challenging cases involving serious brain trauma.
If you’ve been the victim of a brain injury caused by negligence, we encourage you to reach out for help today.