Experienced Spartanburg Attorney Helping Persons with Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are complicated head injuries that can often lead to a wide range of symptoms and even debilitating long-term disability. Your brain is a delicate organ that doesn’t always regenerate in the same manner as some of the other body’s systems, so head injuries can be quite serious. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), TBIs account for about 30% of all injury deaths in the United States. Those who survive a traumatic brain injury accident could be left with some devastating consequences.
If you’ve been involved in an accident where you suspect head trauma, seek medical attention immediately. Our South Carolina Brain Injury Attorney has extensive experience with these cases and will work hard to assist victims of traumatic brain injuries in recovering the money they deserve.
Major Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
Each day in the U.S., more than 6,800 people sustain a traumatic brain injury. Of those injuries, 2% are fatal and over 11% require hospitalization. Even without requiring hospitalization, TBIs account for more than 2 million emergency department visits each year. Most of these head injuries are accident-related and the most common causes of TBIs include:
- Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, accounting for over 40% of all TBIs in the U.S. Many of these cases deal with either young children or older adults.
- Blunt trauma is the second leading cause of TBIs (15.5%), and these cases might either involve a child’s accident or a work-related accident with falling objects or machinery.
- Motor vehicle accidents are also a leading cause (14.3%) of brain injuries. A vehicle impact can cause the head to strike a solid surface, or there could be trauma from extreme whiplash.
- Assault is another common cause (10.7%) of brain trauma. This is often due to involvement in a robbery, fight, or a domestic violence situation.
The types of traumatic brain injuries that could result from any of the accidents that we just listed include:
- Open head injuries. Open head injuries occur when something fractures the skull and damages the underlying brain tissue. These can be caused by such things as falls, blunt objects, or knife and gunshot wounds.
- Closed head injuries. A closed head injury doesn’t involve a penetration of the skull, but the injury can be just as severe if not more so. Closed head injuries include concussions, brain contusions, and hematomas. These are often seen with sports accidents, car crashes, and falls.
- Chemical injuries. While not often considered in a class of traumatic brain injuries, rapid chemical damage to the brain is a possibility from the inhalation or ingestion of poisonous substances.
The Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
The symptoms associated with brain injuries vary depending on the type of injury, its severity, and even on the medical condition of the person before the injury. The symptoms themselves might be mild to severe, be more physical or more cognitive in nature, last only a short time or become permanent. Here are just a few common symptoms that are linked to TBIs:
- Coordination issues
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
- Sensory issues (loss of vision, smell, taste)
- Partial or full paralysis
- Bowel and bladder control issues
- Vision problems
- Difficulty speaking
- Change in attention span
- Coma or semi-comatose state
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident and suspect a brain injury, seek medical attention immediately. While a TBI may not be immediately apparent, these signs and symptoms can appear days or even weeks after the event. Document all symptoms, medical appointments, and tests provided since delay in diagnosis can lead to further long-term damage or even death.
How a TBI Can Impact Your Life
While a brain injury could heal quickly and not leave a lasting impact, this isn’t the reality for many victims. Too many brain injury sufferers need lasting medical care and are not able to return to their former jobs. This can be an event that is not only life-changing but incredibly expensive.
Some brain injury treatments can reach into the millions of dollars for serious cases, and few families have the financial resources to cover such things as home care, hospitalization, surgeries, and repeat testing. If your life has been altered by one of these injuries, you have the right to pursue compensation from the parties responsible for your injuries.
Possible Damages From a Traumatic Brain Injury Case
Even minor head injuries can have a lasting impact, and any legal settlement needs to compensate you for both the present and future costs of this trauma. Two basic types of damages in head injury cases are special damages and general damages.
Special damages are damages that pay for actual economic losses resulting from the injury. These are also known as “out-of-pocket” losses and might include payment for such things as lost wages, medical expenses, property damages, and burial expenses in the case of wrongful death. If there is a lasting disability, there are also damages for future medical expenses and lost earning capacity.
General damages are non-economic damages and may be more difficult to quantify. These include damages for such things as pain and suffering, emotional distress, humiliation, loss of consortium or companionship, and loss of reputation. Depending on the severity of the injury, general damages might be 1.5 to 5 times special damages.
Choosing a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
Most brain injury cases are based on proving negligence for your injuries and suffering. This means that a lawsuit must be filed against the person responsible for your injury. Proving that both your brain injury occurred and was the result of someone else’s bad behavior might be a tall order for some lawyers, which is why you should take care when choosing a traumatic brain injury attorney.
When you speak with an attorney, ask about their experience with brain injury cases. You need someone on your side that can protect your rights as well as seek compensation for your injuries. You’ll be contacted by insurance companies and investigators who may not have your best interests in mind. An experienced brain injury attorney will advise you and act as your advocate with professionals so that you receive the best care possible, both today and in the future.
If you or a loved have suffered a traumatic brain injury, no matter how mild or severe, contact the Chad Pye Law Firm. Our experienced injury attorney combines compassion and a wealth of experience with traumatic brain injury cases. Contact us today to speak with an attorney about protecting your rights and getting you the compensation you deserve.