What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
The statistics on Traumatic Brain Injury in America are staggering. Approximately 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries occur every year. Traumatic brain injury related hospitalizations, surgeries, and ER visits are some of the costliest medical expenses for a family.
After TBI due to someone else’s negligence it’s difficult to understand what comes next. This article takes our readers through the process.
Why is a lawyer with Traumatic Brain Injury experience necessary?
Retaining an attorney with Board Certification, and with experience in TBI cases is important after a victim sustains injuries as the result of someone else’s negligence. A lawyer with experience takes the burden from the family, so they’re able to help the victim heal. That is the only thing a family should have to worry about
Hospital bills, lost wages, and childcare expenses can add up quickly. An attorney with experience in TBI-related injuries can passionately pursue your right to compensation to be able to better care for your loved one.
What are the two types of TBI?
In short, there are two different types of traumatic brain injury that occur most frequently: Open and Closed TBI. What are the differences between these injuries? Are there different prognoses for each type?
- Open TBI: This type of TBI means that the skull has suffered a fracture. This injury comes as a result of a fall or other serious injury where the skull has direct contact with the hard surface of an object. This type of injury has less chance of cerebral edema or swelling of the brain, due to the skull being fractured. However, that doesn’t reduce the seriousness of the injury, and serious cognitive disruption, strokes, coma, and death can occur.
- Closed TBI: While a closed head injury doesn’t involve fracture of the skull, it is considered more serious than an open TBI. This is due to the fact that cerebral edema is more likely to occur and thusly, blood clots within the brain can form. This type of TBI as well as an Open TBI can both cause paralysis, loss of consciousness and fatalities if not treated quickly and by experienced medical professionals.
Other common forms of brain injury
Contusions (bruises) of the brain frequently occur as a result of motor vehicle accidents and sports-related injuries such as football. These types of injuries force the brain back and forth and the force itself can cause bleeding. Bleeding on the brain can result in stroke, paralysis, and even in death.
Another aspect of of TBI is “tearing”. The force of the brain and skull colliding with a surface can cause small cracks, causing damage to the nervous system and dependent upon where in the brain this damage occurs, can seriously impair use of bodily functions ranging from speech to use of arms and legs.
No matter what kind of trauma the brain encounters, swelling usually occurs. It’s the body’s natural way of beginning the healing process, but it can cause problems when the brain cannot swell past the point of the skull and has no room to migrate any further. This occurrence is called “intra-cranial pressure”. It can severely impair bodily function and in extreme cases it can cause death.
How does a lawyer evaluate a Traumatic Brain Injury?
After suffering a traumatic brain injury, victims and their families often struggle with medical bills and lost wages. An attorney representing the family will be able to present a medical evaluation pertaining the extent of the victim’s impairments. This evaluation is necessary in order to recover compensation that can ease the financial burden on the family.
A brain injury medical evaluation includes the following questions:
- Can the victim work?
- Can the victim live independently?
- Is the victim protected against discriminatory hiring practices if they attempt to work?
- What medical interventions may improve the prognosis of the victim?
The attorney will look at everything that could possibly assist the family when their loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of someone else’s negligence. The evaluation will most likely include multiple parts. This includes: records of hospitalization and how much assistance is necessary to help the victim reintegrate. Another important aspect of the case is what the likely outcome is long term from a medical standpoint.
Victims of TBI often require the following upon returning home:
- Round-the-clock home health care aides (nurses, attendants, physical therapists, occupational therapists)
- Disabled access at home (ramps, lowered sinks and toilets, safety bars and wheelchair access in bathtubs/showers)
- Hospital bed in a home care setting (this occurs when the victim cannot ascend and descend the stairs in their own home upon returning)
- Assistance with cooking, bathing, dressing, and taking medications
- Accessible vehicles and an aide to drive the victim to doctor’s appointments, errands, etc.
The right to pursue a legal claim
Traumatic Brain Injury victims are entitled to pursue a lawsuit against a person who causes them harm in attempt to recover compensation n to ease the financial burden of their injuries. When a TBI victim pursues a lawsuit, their attorney will use a specific principle of liability. The “negligence” principle of liability is necessary to provide proof that someone owes a reasonable duty of care. If they fail to fulfill such duty, this could cause injuries to another.