If you’ve suffered from a traumatic brain injury and you feel the incident may have been caused by the negligence of another person, group, or entity’s behalf, you may be eligible to take legal action. To do this, you need a trusted representative at your side. A Louisville brain injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices may be able to help.
Our lawyers have the experience and passion to fight for the rights of people who were wrongfully hurt. We’re proud to represent Kentucky citizens and we will make sure that your rights are protected and that you get the help you need.
We understand how a TBI can completely upend your life and disrupte your ability to work, complete your everyday tasks, or participate in activities or hobbies that you enjoy. The consequences can also lead to chronic issues that you may have to manage for the rest of your life. While this can feel overwhelming, you can seek legal options. With our help, you can hold the people who caused your injury responsible for their actions and get the justice you deserve.
How Common Are Traumatic Brain Injuries?
According to 2013 research conducted by the CDC, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) lead to nearly 50,000 deaths, 282,000 hospitalizations, and 2.5 million emergency room visits every year in the United States. About 153 people die daily because of injuries that include a TBI. Sadly, children are at the greatest risk for crippling and potentially lifelong problems.
A concussion is extremely similar to a TBI but may be referred to as a mild brain injury, mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), or minor head trauma. Concussions are often harder to diagnose and treat since symptoms tend to start off as minor. The blow or hit that results in a concussion can even seem rather undramatic. Without proper caution, however, a concussion can lead to a much more serious complication or subsequent brain injury. To learn more, read on. First, let’s go over some useful information about TBIs and how they often result.
How Do Brain Injuries Occur?
According to U.S. government statistics, the most common cause of TBIs and concussions is falling. 47 percent of TBI cases reported in 2013 involved some form of “slip and fall.” Unintentional blunt trauma (being hit by an object) is the second most common cause, accounting for roughly 15 percent of TBIs. Coming in third and fourth places, car accidents and assaults account for roughly 14 percent and 10 percent of TBIs respectively. Other common causes of traumatic brain injury include diseases, inflammation, and birth injuries.
In regard to specific activities, sports injuries are one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries and concussions. Concussions, especially, are very common in sports-related activities. It’s reported that as many as 3.8 million concussions occur each year between all levels of sport. Since concussions may or may not result in immediate pain or loss of consciousness, coaches, medical staff, and even victims often dismiss a concussion as something very minor. New research suggests, however, that the accumulation of undramatic concussions can lead to serious brain injury and even brain disease later in life.
Brain Injury Symptoms and Implications
TBIs aren’t the only kinds of brain injuries. There are also non-traumatic brain injuries, also called ABI for acquired brain injury, and they can be just as dangerous. They happen because of a person’s physical condition or a response to an illness. If someone suffers from a stroke, infection, or oxygen deprivation, they can get an ABI. Unfortunately, negligence can also result in someone suffering from a non-traumatic brain injury.
No matter what kind of injury you have, it’s important to know the symptoms that indicate that something is wrong. TBI and concussion symptoms can vary considerably from person to person, as well as be based on the victim’s injury history. A concussion following multiple previous head injuries, for example, can result in symptoms that are much more debilitating.
Common early symptoms of traumatic brain injuries and concussions can include the following:
- Memory loss
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Poor concentration
- Loss of smell
- Dizziness/loss of balance
- Visual disturbances
Not all victims of a brain injury will experience every symptom. In fact, some victims—especially after receiving a concussion—may not experience any negative symptoms at all. In these cases, it’s common for symptoms to have a delayed response, some taking days or even weeks to present fully.
It’s relatively simple for doctors or medical staff to misdiagnose or fail to properly diagnose a concussion or traumatic brain injury. Recovering from a brain injury can involve complicated and long-term medical care including therapy, surgery, and medication. The initial trauma can set off a cascade of future traumas or injuries. Brain injuries can have serious implications throughout a victim’s entire life. There have been numerous cases of TBI/concussion victims who, years after the original injury, experience brain deterioration and degenerative brain conditions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
It’s recommended that any victim of a head injury or suspected concussion seek medical care immediately. Oftentimes, the only way to diagnose a TBI is to use brain scans. After experiencing a head trauma or major concussion, it’s also highly recommended to avoid sports or other high-impact physical activities which may cause additional concussions. When a victim experiences subsequent brain injuries, they have a far greater chance of suffering from serious, lifelong implications.
If you feel the injury was caused or allowed to happen by another party– whether it was a cause of a sports team official making a poor call or not letting a player rest, or due to an individual acting recklessly, the Louisville brain injury lawyers from Thomas Law Offices are on your side. An experienced lawyer may be able to get you or your loved one the special care they need to maximize their recovery and treatment options.
Recovery and Therapy
Recovering from a brain injury can involve complicated and long-term medical maneuvering. The initial trauma can set off a cascade of future traumas or injuries that may be difficult to detect at the onset. For instance, say you slipped and fell and hit your head on the pavement. You might experience a concussion and temporary loss of consciousness, but then seem to recover. But then, two weeks later, the longer-term effects of the blow to the head might manifest. The brain tissue may respond to the initial force of a blow, for instance, by shearing and releasing a surge of neurochemicals, which can later have crippling or deforming effects on brain function.
Sometimes, your brain injury may be catastrophic or keep you from doing gainful work. This is a difficult fact to process and can completely change your life. With these kinds of severe injuries, you need an attorney who will fight for you to get the compensation you need because you may be depending on that settlement to help pay past medical expenses, afford future care, and maintain a high quality of life.
Unexpected psychological issues may also arise, such as dealing with depression and anxiety. These can occur with TBIs and are just as serious as a physical injury. If you’re dealing with those problems as well, you need to be able to seek professional help. This could mean needing to see a psychiatrist or seek other forms of counseling. These sessions may be expensive, and you don’t know how long you’ll need it because these injuries are different. Someone may struggle with being near anything that reminds them of their accident, while others may have an unexplained overwhelming sense of dread. Your lawyer will also take this kind of treatment into account, so you never have to face the option of choosing care or paying off an expense.
The Dangers of Putting Your Claim at Risk
After an accident, it’s common for insurance adjusters to try to contact you. Their goal will most likely be to get a statement from you or settle the matter early. It’s imperative that you do not do this because it is not in your best interest. This tactic saves them money because you may not get the full settlement that you would be owed.
If an insurance adjuster speaks to you and asks how you’re feeling, you may say something along the lines of feeling fine because you’re making polite conversation; however, your statement may be used against you as evidence that your injuries really aren’t that severe. This could result in less compensation.
They may also ask you about what you know regarding your injuries. You may say something like you’re experiencing neck pain and they take note of that. But what you don’t know is that the neck pain is a symptom of a back injury. They may question later why you didn’t bring up the back injury even though you didn’t know about it at the time.
Right after an accident, you will not know the full extent of your injuries. It may take a while to know what injuries you have and what you will need to do to treat them. You need to get a medical evaluation as soon as possible and have a healthcare professional go over what’s wrong and what you need to do to heal.
From there, you’ll have an idea of what to expect in the future in terms of how long it will take, the care you will need, and an idea of what your past medical expenses and your future recovery will cost. Your personal injury attorney takes these into account when calculating your settlement.
The Legal Help You Need Is Here
Due to the relatively cryptic nature of TBI, its incredible complexity, and its long-term nature, getting the proper medical help can be challenging. If you or someone you love has been a victim of a traumatic brain injury or serious concussion and you feel the incident or its implications were not the victim’s fault, it may be possible to receive the needed financial compensation in order to recover.
By contacting an experienced Louisville brain injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices, you can receive a free, zero-obligation evaluation and find out if filing a lawsuit is an option for your particular case. Brain injury and concussion-related lawsuits are extremely complicated, but with the right legal team on your side, you can start receiving the help you need. To learn more, get in touch with us today.