The term traumatic brain injury (TBI) can encompass many different kinds of injuries to the brain.
Types of brain injuries include:
- Concussion (shaking or blunt force);
- Hemorrhage (bleed);
- Contusion (bruise);
- Edema (swelling);
- Diffuse axonal injury (from shaking such as seen in shaken baby syndrome);
- Brain hypoxia (deprivation of oxygen).
A brain injury may coincide with other injuries such as a skull fracture or a neck injury.
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
The symptoms you experience will vary based on your specific injury.
The many possible symptoms of a TBI include:
- Dazed feeling;
- Sensitivity to sounds and noises;
- Hearing and vision-related abnormalities;
- Memory problems;
- Concentration problems;
- Sleep disturbances;
- Personality changes, including but not limited to depression and anxiety;
- Loss of sensation.
Generally, the more severe your brain injury the more severe your symptoms. A brain injury may cause coma, seizures, permanent cognitive problems, and other serious health consequences. However, even “mild” traumatic brain injuries often have profound effects on peoples’ lives.
How Brain Injury Symptoms Can Disrupt Your Life?
A brain injury can disrupt several areas of your life, including:
Your Professional Life
A brain injury may make it impossible for you to do your job. Memory, concentration, and sensory sensitivity issues may be particularly disruptive.
When you must miss work because of a brain injury, you may lose:
- Your normal wages;
- Good standing with your employer even if your brain injury is not your fault;
- Performance bonuses;
- Retirement benefits (and any employer-matched benefits);
- Work satisfaction.
The longer your brain injury prevents you from working, your work-related damages may increase.
Your Physical Health
A brain injury may require you to rest, avoid certain sensory environments, and disengage from your normal routine. You may not exercise as you normally do. You might have to mostly stay home. Your physical health may suffer because of these and other restrictions. Additionally, the brain injury itself is a form of harm to your health.
Your Mental Health
A brain injury may disrupt your mental health in significant ways. Personality changes and conditions like depression may stem directly from your brain injury. An inability to work, engage in your normal routines, or live independently may further harm your mental health.
Personality changes, financial pressures, and other effects of a brain injury may strain your relationships. Such strains may cause harm in other areas of your life.
The negative effects of your brain injury may be wide-ranging. You must account for all of your losses when seeking compensation.
Causes of a Brain Injury That May Warrant Legal Action
Brain injuries don’t just happen. They arise from a single event or series of events.
An attorney will review the cause of your brain injury. They’ll determine if you can bring an insurance claim or lawsuit against someone who caused your brain injury.
Brain injury causes that may warrant a legal case include:
- Motor vehicle accidents: Car crashes often cause a blow to the head or the rapid whiplashing of the head and neck. In such cases, truck, car, and other motor vehicle crashes can produce brain injuries.
- Motorcycle, bicycle, and scooter crashes: Crashes on two-wheeled vehicles can also cause brain injuries.
- Falls: Slip and falls, trip and falls, and falls from heights may cause your head to strike a solid surface. Brain injuries from these events can be life-altering.
- Assaults: When physical assaults involve a direct blow to your head or cause the victim to fall, they may cause brain injury.
- Defective products: Defective products sometimes cause brain trauma.
- Medical errors: When medical professionals fail to exercise due caution they may cause brain injury. Lack of oxygen to the brain is just one possible cause of malpractice-related brain injuries.
- Sports incidents: Sports that require participants to use their heads, like football and soccer, can cause brain injury. In some cases, a sports-related brain injury is more than just “part of the game”—it can be the product of negligence.
These are not the only causes of brain injuries but some of the most common. Regardless of the cause of your brain injury you may have a case.
Negligence: The Standard of Liability in Brain Injury Cases
Though other liability standards can apply, negligence is the common factor in most brain injury cases.
An attorney may prove someone’s negligence for your injury by:
- Establishing that the defendant in your case owed you a duty of care;
- Showing that the defendant breached their duty of care;
- You were harmed;
- The defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor which contributed to causing you harm.
Proving negligence is often vital to any brain injury case. These are commonly complex cases, so you want to hire an attorney experienced in proving negligence to prepare and present your case well.
Should You Hire an Attorney for Your Brain Injury Case?
Hiring an attorney for your brain injury case is absolutely necessary. These are very complex cases and someone with a brain injury is the LAST person who should be prosecuting one.
Brain injury patients should hire an attorney because:
- They lack legal knowledge or experience in this complex and often controversial area;
- They are (rightfully) occupied with recovery from a brain injury;
- They cannot handle the stress that a legal case or insurance claim can cause;
- They know that an experienced qualified brain injury attorney provides a much better chance to win their case and receive just compensation.
Personal injury attorneys generally offer a contingency fee arrangement. In this arrangement, a client pays no upfront cost to hire the law firm. The firm pays for all case-related expenses. When the case concludes, the firm only collects a fee if they secure compensation for the client. This protects brain injury victims from paying for ineffective legal help.
You must decide if you should hire an attorney. Consider that a brain injury may require extensive and time-consuming medical care. Seeking compensation is a major responsibility—one you should entrust to an experienced attorney. The right lawyer will understand the nature of your brain injury and losses.