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People most commonly get Traumatic Brain Injuries from motor vehicle crashes
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an injury that affects how the brain works. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 220,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States for Americans who suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year. A TBI is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of such an injury may range from “mild,” i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. Motor vehicle crashes are one of the most common mechanisms of injury contributing to TBI-related injuries and hospitalizations. Additionally, there are over 61,000 TBI-related deaths, which amounts to almost 166 TBI-related deaths every day.
If your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle accident or any other preventable incident, you are likely dealing with significant medical expenses, financial pressures, and the devastation caused by the injury. At We Win Injury Law, we understand how difficult this time is for your family and how important an insurance claim or lawsuit may be. We offer a free and confidential case evaluation in all brain injury cases and are ready to listen to your story and let you know how we can help.
Types of Accidents that Cause Traumatic Brain Injury
As noted above, a traumatic brain injury happens when your head experiences a bump, blow, or penetrating wound. Common accidents that cause these wounds include:
- Motor vehicle collisions – collisions with other vehicles can cause your head to hit the interior of the car, causing TBIs
- Slip-and-falls – a puddle at the supermarket without a warning sign could lead to a TBI you can recover damages on
- Assault – being struck in the head during a criminal assault can cause a TBI, and entitle you to civil compensation for your related financial costs
- Falls from ladders or heights – whether on the job or at a theater with a poorly constructed balcony, falls can cause brain injuries
The facts and circumstances of your injury will determine whether another party is liable for your damages, and evidence will measure what damages you are entitled to, as we’ll discuss below.
A TBI May Lead to Short-term or Long-term Health Problems
A TBI can result in short or long-term problems depending on the severity of the injury. Those with TBI may face health problems that might only last a few days or for the rest of their lives. For example, a person with mild TBI or concussion may only experience short-term symptoms and feel better within a couple of weeks or months. However, a person with a moderate or severe TBI may have long-term or life-long effects from the injury.
If you suspect that you or a family member may have a traumatic brain injury from a motor vehicle accident you should be seen by a healthcare provider immediately. Your healthcare provider may have treatment to help speed your recovery. This is important because most people with moderate or severe TBI may need ongoing care to help with their recovery.
Moderate and Severe TBIs are Serious and Costly
A person with a moderate or severe TBI may need ongoing care to help with their recovery. A moderate or severe TBI not only impacts the life of an individual and their family but can also be a large societal and economic toll. The lifetime economic cost of a TBI, including direct and indirect medical costs, was estimated by the CDC to be approximately $76.5 billion in the United States. Additionally the cost of fatal TBIs and TBIs requiring hospitalization account for approximately 90% of total TBI medical costs. The below chart lists the possible outcomes five years after a TBI.
TBIs May Be Missed After a Motor Vehicle Accident
Older adults are more likely to be hospitalized and die from a TBI compared to all other age groups. Still, TBIs may be missed or misdiagnosed in elderly adults because symptoms of TBI overlap with other medical conditions that are common among older adults, such as dementia. Anyone involved in a car accident should have their healthcare provider check for signs and symptoms of TBI. Additionally, anyone taking blood thinners such as Coumadin, Xarelto, Eliquis, Plavix, Brilinta, and even Aspirin. These medicines may increase the risk for bleeding in the brain following a TBI. Bleeding in the brain after a TBI may put a person at risk for more severe injury or death.
The difficulty in detecting traumatic brain injury is magnified for populations of individuals such as the elderly or developmentally disabled who might not be capable of communicating their symptoms. Alternatively, symptoms may be mistaken for something else, leading to a failure to discover the injury until it has had a chance to worsen.
Dangerous Signs & Symptoms of a TBI or Concussion
In rare cases, a dangerous collection of blood (hematoma) may form on the brain after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that may squeeze the brain against the skull. Anyone with a hematoma should call emergency services right away or take your injured family member to the emergency room. Additionally, if they have one or more of the following danger signs after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body during a car accident:
- One pupil larger than the other.
- Drowsiness or inability to wake up.
- A headache that gets worse and does not go away.
- Slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination.
- Repeated vomiting or nausea, conclusions or seizures (shaking or twitching).
- Unusual behavior, increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation.
- Loss of consciousness (passed out/knocked out). Even a brief loss of consciousness should be taken seriously.
- For toddlers and infants, look for any of the above, as well as the child will not stop crying or will not nurse or eat.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney with Experience on TBI Cases
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident in St. George, working with a local traumatic brain injury lawyer who has experience in your courts will support the best possible outcome in your case. Each court is presided over by a different judge, and each judge has different preferences in terms of how they want cases presented in their courts. Your local St. George traumatic brain injury attorney knows how to present your case in the best possible manner to support its efficient processing through the court, and to support an ideal outcome in your favor.
While all courts are basically governed by the same rules, in practice they each have their own personality. An inexperienced attorney can bungle your case if they don’t know how things work in your area. The experienced personal injury attorneys at We Win Injury Law have decades of combined personal injury experience, and we have served many clients with traumatic brain injuries in the St. George courts.
Your attorney should also have experience handling brain injury cases. These claims require a deep understanding of both the law and the medicine involved. At We Win Injury Law fight we have significant experience handling cases involving severe, catastrophic injuries. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of clients to allow them to move forward.
Building Your Case
You can only collect compensation for damages that you can prove with evidence. However, before you must first prove that someone or something else was responsible for the accident that led to your traumatic brain injury. Liability is proven by demonstrating that the other party was negligent, essentially that their careless actions caused your injury. Proving negligence requires that you apply the unique facts and circumstances of your accident to the legal elements of negligence, and prove each element to a sufficient degree that it would hold up in court. Learning the law then how to put it into practice might not be possible while you are recovering from your traumatic brain injury, which is why working with an attorney is especially beneficial.
When we work with clients, we begin collecting essential evidence immediately. This can include accident reconstruction, police reports, dash cam or surveillance footage, eyewitness testimony, tire skid marks, vehicle computer data and many other forms of evidence, depending upon the circumstances of the accident. Once liability is established, we begin documenting and calculating your damages. We used medical and occupational experts to provide full and accurate estimates of the impact of the injury to demand not only what you need now, but what you will need in the future.
Call Today For A Free Consultation
If you are dealing with the aftermath of a serious brain injury, you are not alone. At We Win Injury Law, we can provide answers and help recover the financial compensation that you and your family need to move forward. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.