TBI stands for traumatic brain injury. These injuries are head injuries that can impair mental and physical functioning, even with proper treatment. They typically happen when an incident leads to some degree of blunt force to a person’s head, such as when a person’s head is struck by an object or the ground, or when an object penetrates the person’s head.
Possibly the worst aspect of TBIs is that their symptoms do not always show up right away. Often, symptoms might not become apparent until several days—or even weeks—following the accident that caused a person’s brain injury.
When it comes to traumatic head and brain injuries, you should always remember that even seemingly “mild” head injuries can lead to serious problems. The mild TBI designation that healthcare providers use only refers to immediately observable symptoms evidence on diagnostic scans rather than a patient’s actual long-term medical diagnosis or the severity of symptoms.
In short, even in cases where a medical provider indicates that a person suffered a ‘mild’ TBI or concussion, the accident victim can still suffer one or more symptoms that wind up being lasting, severe, and even permanent.
If your health care provider diagnosed you with a TBI, then you and your loved ones should keep an especially close watch on any symptoms or complications that you experience. If you suffer additional complications or symptoms, seek medical treatment as promptly as possible.
Types of TBIs
Traumatic brain injury symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending upon the circumstances that led to the injury and the nature of the resulting damage to the brain. Symptoms can range from slight headaches or disorientation that lasts for a few days to functional losses requiring around-the-clock medical care life (or even death), and everywhere in between.
Some of the most common types of TBIs and complications include:
- Diffuse axonal injury (DAI)
- Brain bruising and bleeding
- Severe TBI causing coma or permanent vegetative state
If you or a person you love suffered a head or brain injury in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, a skilled TBI lawyer in your area can explain your legal rights and discuss filing a claim or lawsuit for monetary compensation.
Potential Long-Term Complications of TBIs
Both mild and severe TBIs often lead to serious complications. While some mild TBIs clear up in a short time, this is not the case for all patients, and any degree of TBI can result in lasting effects, including post-concussive syndrome.
Some of the most serious complications that are frequently associated with TBIs include:
- Memory losses or amnesia
- Severe headaches
- Swelling or hemorrhaging of the brain
- Serious cognitive impairment
- Behavioral and mental disorders
- Inability to move or function
- Inability to care for oneself following an accident
- Permanent coma
Inconvenience, impairment, and pain and suffering are all compensable damages in TBI cases. Medical expenses, lost wages and other types of economic damages are also recoverable. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area can evaluate your personal injury claim and explain your best options for pursuing monetary compensation for all resulting damages.
Types of Accidents that Can Lead to a Short or Long-Term TBI
Common incidents that can lead to a short or long-term traumatic brain injury include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Bicycle accidents
In many accidents, the victim will strike their head on the ground, resulting in a serious TBI. Accidents such as pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents, where the victim has limited head protection, if any, often result in serious TBI. Even cyclists who wear a helmet run the risk of suffering a TBI since their helmets can crack if they strike the ground hard.
If you or someone you love has suffered a TBI in one of these types of accidents, you should seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. In addition, contact a knowledgeable TBI attorney in your area who can explain your legal options and help you take prompt action.
Filing a Legal Claim Arising From a TBI
Victims of TBIs carry the legal burden of proof in their brain injury cases. An injured person must demonstrate that their accident occurred because of someone else’s wrongdoing (whether intentional, reckless, careless, or negligent). In addition, an injured person must demonstrate they suffered a TBI as a direct result of the accident.
Proving the existence and extent of brain injuries usually requires evidence in the form of medical records and testimony from doctors. Specifically, the evidence from medical experts must establish that the likely cause of the brain injury was the incident at issue. Medical experts will also need to explain how severe the brain injury is and how it will affect a person’s mental and/or physical function.
If the accident victim can prove the fault of another party caused the injury, then he or she must prove the extent of the damages. Since TBIs often require a significant amount of medical treatment and can have life changing impact, damages in TBI cases are extensive.
An accident victim can recover compensation for all related medical expenses (past and future). Lost wages for time lost from work in the past or future is also recoverable. In addition, those who sustain TBI’s can recover compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and other noneconomic damages resulting from the injury.
If you have suffered a TBI injury in an accident that someone else caused, a knowledgeable attorney in your jurisdiction can help you satisfy the legal elements of your injury claim and pursue the full monetary compensation you deserve.