A Traumatic Brain Injury (known in short as a “TBI”) usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body.These injuries are some of the most scary and challenging types of injuries a person can suffer. From a blow to the head to a severe open-head wound, brain injuries can be very difficult to overcome, and present significant challenges to the victim following a crash.
Mild traumatic brain injury may affect your brain temporarily, but more serious traumatic brain injury can cause long term effects, as a result of bruising, torn tissues, or bleeding within the brain.
There are many circumstances that can result in a traumatic brain injury:
Car Crash – the impact of another car crashing violently in your vehicle can cause powerful movement of the head, often times involving the victim's head striking a part of the car's interior with great force. Even a so-called ‘minor' impact can jar the head and neck, causing the brain to move within the skull.
Motorcycle Crash – It's easy to understand how a biker or passenger on a bike can suffer a traumatic brain injury in a crash. Wearing a helmet is not mandatory in Florida, and about 50% of motorcyclists choose not to wear one. Of course, even with a helmet, there is still a very likely chance of suffering a brain injury if a biker goes down or strikes another motor vehicle.
Slip & Fall – Slipping or tripping and striking your head on a hard surface is another very common cause of brain injury.
Sports-Related – An adult or child who experiences a sudden, violent blow to the head – either with another individual or an inanimate object – runs the risk of suffering a serious brain injury.
Work-Related – A work accident, like falling from a ladder or scaffolding, or being struck in the head on a construction job site can also result in a serious brain injury.
Assault-Related – If a person is physically attacked and beaten in the head and facial area, the result can be a life-threatening brain injury.
Brain Injury Facts
The Centers for Disease Control, (CDC), publishes statistics about TBI, some of which show an alarming increase in the numbers:
- There were 2.87 million emergency room visits for TBI in 2014.
- Children were victims of TBI in 812,000 of those cases.
- There were 56,800 TBI fatalities in 2014.
- 2,529 of those deaths were children.
- TBI contributes to nearly 30% of all injury deaths nationwide.
- The effects of TBI can last a few days, or the rest of a victim's life.
- Between 2001 to 2012, emergency room visits related to a TBI diagnosis more than doubled for victims aged 19-years old or younger.
- Motor vehicle crashes was the leading cause of TBI fatalities for persons aged between 5 and 24-years old.
- Falls were the leading cause of TBI fatalities among those aged 65-years old or more.
There are several different types of TBI:
- Direct Impact Injury – This is when a crash or fall victim's head hits an object with considerable force
- Closed-Head Injury – Some brain injuries happen when the brain sustains damage but the skull is not penetrated or opened. This can happen when the head is violently shaken but there may not be any impact.
- Open-Head Injury – This type of brain damage comes from a wound or injury that causes the skull to be penetrated or opened.
- Countercoup Injuries – This is the name for a TBI that occurs in both the left and right sides of the brain.
- Hypoxia Injuries – This means the brain has suffered damage caused by a lack of oxygen.
If you or someone you care about has suffered some form of brain injury, there are many steps that need to be taken that can directly affect not only your physical recovery, but also your ability to recover financial compensation for your injuries through legal action or the filing of a lawsuit.
It is critical to immediately seek the proper medical treatment. TBI is a very specialized type of injury, and the medical professionals who are treating you need to have a thorough and complete mastery of treating TBI victims. These could be a neurologist, neuropsychologist, neurosurgeon, neuroradiologist or another specialized practitioner. You will also need to make sure your medical provider is ordering all of the proper testing to evaluate the extent of your TBI, like MRIs, CT scans and more.
It is also imperative that a victim of TBI follow the exact treatments prescribed by the treating physician. This can include several types of rehabilitative therapies, both mental and physical. If you are taking legal action against another party who you believed caused your traumatic brain injury and should be held accountable, a victim will need to do everything as outlined by their doctor in order to demonstrate their willingness to overcome their injuries.
One of the main obstacles in any personal injury case is the injured person stops treating with their medical professionals, stop going to their rehab or therapy appointments and not following the steps of their planned recuperation process. In that instance, it provides an opportunity for the lawyers and insurance companies representing the person that caused your injury to say you must not have been hurt as bad as you first claimed, since it seems you've stopped treating.
The brain is a very complex organ, and no two brain injuries are ever exactly the same. In many cases following a serious car, motorcycle or truck crash, the victim may be suffering from TBI but not even be aware of it. Injuries to the brain can take many forms, and people are not often able to tell if their symptoms are related to an impact crash involving the head and brain.
People who have suffered a TBI often exhibit some or all of these symptoms:
- Memory problems
- Hearing impairment
- Vision impairment
- Sleep impairment
- Difficulty catching their breath
- Lack of motor skills
- Lack of balance or coordination
- Slurred or impaired speech
- Lack of cognitive abilities or understanding
- Severe headaches
- Emotional or behavioral changes
- Inability to remain focused or pay attention
Because the brain is such an intricate and mysterious organ, there's no telling initially just how severe or long-lasting these types of traumatic brain injuries will be.
Can I File a Lawsuit for a Brain Injury?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your brain injury, you may be able to take legal action against the person or persons responsible for your injury. An experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with the law and medical standards surrounding a brain injury will need to determine several things regarding your case:
- The extent or severity of your brain injury
- Whether the brain injury caused by a traumatic event
- Whether another person or entity is responsible for these injuries
In Florida, there are restrictions that determine how long you have in order to undertake a personal injury lawsuit for a brain injury. These are called the statute of limitations, and for a personal injury case, that time frame is generally four years. But because serious brain injuries can be very complicated to diagnose and to then undertake treatment, that clock seems to tick very quickly, and people can run out of time before they realize it.
The first thing you must do is seek the proper, experienced medical provider to ensure your diagnosis is accurate, and your recommended treatment and rehabilitation plan is what you need. As in any physical injury, the priority is your health, and getting your life back in order.
The second thing you should do is reach out to the Goldberg Noone Law Firm to learn if you may have any legal recourse against the person responsible for your injuries. Our attorneys are always available to answer all of your questions about your specific situation, and there is never any cost to review your case.
As mentioned, no two brain injury cases are ever the same. A bump to your head may leave you a little confused and fatigued for a week or so, while a crash where your head went through the windshield of your car may leave a lifetime of necessary medical, psychological, rehabilitative, therapeutic and financial burdens that can cost several millions of dollars.
If your life has been greatly impacted from suffering a brain injury, you may be entitled to receive money for your future care, loss of income from being unable to work and support your family, emotional pain and suffering and the loss of future enjoyment of life. Negotiating with the insurance companies and their armies of lawyers is a daunting task that is best not left to anyone other than an attorney who is experienced in brain injury lawsuits.
The negligent party's insurance company will do everything they can to deny your claim totally, or to give you a very small settlement check just to get you to go away. Their likely tactics, designed to intimidate and to stall your claim, will include claiming you're not really affected by a brain injury, but rather you're just feeling depressed and tired after the crash. If you've ever suffered even a mild concussion previously, they will point to that as the reason for your current symptoms. They may also claim that the negligent party's insurance coverage does not offer any coverage for causing a brain injury, so you're entitled to nothing.
Fortunately for our clients, we've seen it all before, and have 20 years of taking brain injury cases to trial behind us, so we know exactly how to handle these roadblocks and denial tactics.
A TBI can be a life-altering injury that may seem insurmountable immediately following a crash or a fall. By allowing the Goldberg Noone Law Firm the opportunity to represent you for your injuries and to stand up to the giant insurance companies, you're ensured that we'll be continuously fighting vigorously to protect your legal rights, and get you the money to which you're legally entitled.
One call to Goldberg Noone at 239-461-5508 will begin to help you get the answers to the hundreds of questions you're going to have. Or, you can complete this short form and one of our attorneys will contact you immediately.
Don't let a serious brain injury impact your life without the aid of having skilled legal representation behind you every step of the way.