A traumatic brain injury is sometimes called “the silent injury” because the effects are often invisible to the casual observer. However, brain injuries can be life-altering The human brain is an essential command center for a person’s nervous system, but it is fragile. What may seem like a minor injury can be devastating, and the effects may not be obvious to everyone. Traumatic brain injuries contribute to about a third of all injury-related deaths. Approximately 2.8 million people in the United States experience a traumatic brain injury each year. About 50,000 of these injuries are fatal.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may be familiar with the physical, emotional, and financial impact it can have on a victim and their family. Those dealing with the effects of a traumatic brain injury need care and financial support. They need the help of an experienced, compassionate attorney.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
The CDC explains that a traumatic brain injury is “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” The force of the impact, the nature of the injury, and other factors affect the degree of damage to the person’s brain. A mild injury may have temporary effects. More serious injuries can result in bruising, bleeding, and other physical brain damage, which may cause long-term or fatal complications.
According to 2014 data from the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury-related hospitalizations for people between 15 to 44 years old. Other common causes include falls, sports injuries, combat injuries, and violence.
Concussions are a mild form of traumatic brain injury, and the symptoms are usually temporary. But in some cases, symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer. These symptoms may include:
- Headache or feeling pressure in the head
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Confusion or disorientation
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
- Other emotional and behavioral problems
Danger signs of a serious traumatic brain injury include convulsions or seizures, different sized pupils, drowsiness, confusion or agitation, or trouble recognizing familiar people or places.
Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries range from mild to severe. A mild brain injury may result in loss of consciousness and/or confusion for less than 30 minutes. But even a mild injury can cause headaches, problems with thinking or memory, and mood swings.
A severe brain injury can result in loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes and memory loss for more than 24 hours after the injury. Symptoms may range from loss of higher-level cognitive functions to comatose states. The type of symptoms and degree of recovery varies between people, but victims may undergo personality changes as well as difficulty with thinking, language, emotions, or movement after an injury.
The long-term damage from a traumatic brain injury is usually hard to assess because each injury is unique, and the human brain is extremely complex. However, long-term symptoms may include cognitive effects, physical changes, social-emotional changes, and more. Such symptoms require ongoing medical care, therapy, and rehabilitation. In order to receive adequate compensation for a traumatic brain injury, it is important to work with an experienced brain injury lawyer.
How to Find the Best Attorney for You
Brain injury cases involve complex legal and medical issues. The lifetime costs of medical treatment and care for a person with a traumatic brain injury can be enormous.
Because traumatic brain injuries often affect cognitive function, decision-making, and communication, it may be difficult for the victim to understand all of the issues and pursue a legal claim effectively on their own. Friends and family may need to help with this process, but an experienced brain injury attorney can help to relieve the stress on everyone.
If you are looking for an attorney, it is a good idea to talk to people you trust who have had a positive experience with an attorney. Another source of information is the internet, where you can search for attorneys who handle traumatic brain injury cases. Beware of lawyers who have poor client reviews, promise too much too quickly without knowing the facts of the case, do not have written fee agreements, or whose knowledge of the relevant area of the law seems shaky.
After you’ve done some research, you should schedule an initial consultation. Many personal injury attorneys offer these consultations for free. The main purpose of the initial consultation is to allow the attorney to gather information about the injury. Based on the facts and circumstances, the attorney will advise you about the legal options available to you. This is also an opportunity to make sure you are comfortable with the attorney. If you have any problems communicating, such as speech or language issues, make sure the attorney and their staff are willing and able to accommodate your needs.
Be prepared to ask questions, such as:
- What percentage of your practice is devoted to representing people with a traumatic brain injury?
- How many cases similar to mine have you been the principal attorney for over the past three years? What were the results?
- Will you be handling my case personally or will you be referring it to your staff or another law firm?
- How are fees handled?
- Does your law firm have the financial resources to advance and properly prosecute my case, if necessary?
- Do you participate in any brain injury associations or organizations?
What Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Do for You?
After a traumatic brain injury, obtaining medical treatment should be a top priority. Once the victim is medically stabilized, speaking with a qualified lawyer is essential. An experienced, dedicated traumatic brain injury lawyer can help you:
- Get a clear understanding of the law
- Explore all available legal remedies
- Gather the necessary evidence to build and present a strong case
- Obtain the best possible outcome
A traumatic brain injury can have a catastrophic effect on the victim, as well as their family and friends. It may affect the victim’s ability to do their job, enjoy everyday life, or maintain their relationships. Every case is different, so it is worth the effort to find the right attorney.
For further information or to schedule a free initial consultation with the Law Office of William W. Hurst, contact us online or call (317) 636-0808.