What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be defined as an injury to the brain caused by a trauma to the head which often then causes a range of other complex side effects. In other words, a traumatic brain injury is initially caused by an outside force such as a blow to the head, but also includes other complications such as damage caused by lack of oxygen, and rising pressure and swelling in the brain. One way to think about traumatic brain injuries is as a series of events.
First, the injury occurs to the head, then a second injury happens within the brain sometimes minutes, sometimes hours after the initial trauma, this can sometimes be stopped with medical intervention. Finally, a third injury can occur at any time after the second injury-causing further complications. Traumatic brain injuries can prove to be some of the most debilitating and dangerous kinds of head injuries with just a single blow to the head leaving a person with life-altering consequences or worse, dead. If you or a loved one or someone you know has suffered from a head injury then you should contact our West Palm Beach Traumatic Brain Injury attorneys from Shiner Law Group today. Our team of legal professionals are ready to pursue your claim and fight for your rights; you can rest easy when your case is in our hands.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury can be caused by a number of different things that can be largely grouped into four main categories. Knowing what actually caused the injury is an important part of making a brain injury claim as without being able to pinpoint the specific incident or accident that caused the injury it can prove difficult to substantiate your claim to a point where it can be heard in court. We understand that it can be stressful trying to determine the exact cause of a TBI which is why we offer a free consultation to discuss the events that led up to your brain injury and may also be able to help you to figure out who is liable. The four main causes of traumatic brain injury are:
- Blunt force trauma: Blunt force trauma occurs when an object hits or strikes a part of the body. Slipping and hitting your head on the pavement, having an object fall on your head from above, or being hit over the head by an object are all examples of blunt force trauma and can cause traumatic brain injury almost immediately.
- Shockwaves: If the head experiences extreme movement or shockwaves then the brain is literally bashed against the inside of the skull. Shockwaves can be caused by car crashed, powerful explosions or other instances where a person may experience whiplash. Shockwaves can lead to concussion, cerebral bruising and hemorrhaging.
- Oxygen deprivation: If the brain is unable to get the oxygen it needs then it can begin to die, causing lifelong brain damage. Drowning, suffocation, and choking are instances that can all starve the brain of oxygen.
- Dangerous Medications: Medications can save us but they can also harm us and prescription drugs that have not been thoroughly tested within controlled environments can cause serious health risks including brain damage.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries can have a very wide range of physical and psychological symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms present themselves immediately, and other times they can appear days or even weeks after the event. The symptoms experienced can also vary depending on the type of brain trauma to occur and its severity.
Mild TBI symptoms
- A loss of consciousness immediately after the trauma, usually lasting a few minutes
- A feeling of confusion or disorientation
- A headache
- Vomiting or feelings of nausea
- Speech impairments
- Trouble getting to or staying asleep
- Dizziness or lack of balance
- Blurry vision
- Ringing in the ears
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Concentration problems
- Memory trouble
- Mood swings
- Feeling anxious or depressed
Severe TBI symptoms
- A long loss of consciousness
- A worsening headache
- Vomiting uncontrollably
- Having a seizure or convulsing
- Dilation of the pupils
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
- An inability to wake up
- Difficulty feeling or moving fingers or toes
- Lack or loss of coordination
- Significant confusion
- Agitation or unusual behavior such as aggression
- Slurred speech
It’s also important to recognize that a young child with a brain injury may not be able to communicate some of their symptoms or recognize the severity fo a worsening headache. In a child with a traumatic brain injury, you may see a change in their eating habits, unusual irritability persistent crying, drowsiness or a loss of interest in their toys. In a worst-case scenario, a brain injury could cause immediate or eventual death; surviving family members or loved ones would be responsible for filing a wrongful death lawsuit following such an event.
Preventing Traumatic Brain Injury
Although here at Shiner Law Group we take pride in representing and advocating on behalf of clients who have been wrongfully injured, we would much rather see our clients safe and not needing our services at all. Preventing traumatic brain injuries is not always possible but there are things that you can do to help protect your head such as:
Wearing a helmet
Wearing a helmet whether you are riding a motorcycle, a bicycle, a skateboard or are even driving something such as a go-kart can make the difference between you experiencing blunt force trauma or shockwave trauma to your head or not. A helmet can help to protect your head from impacts as well as absorbing some of the force of impact. It’s especially important that young children wear helmets during these situations as they are more susceptible to head injuries.
Practice pool safety
Thousands of accidents happen in swimming pools across the US each year. People diving into shallow water, slipping and falling or being held underwater can all cause TBI and can be avoided with careful supervision and proper pool safety. If you have young children then always enclose your pool with a gate or fence to stop children from using the pool unsupervised and make sure to install anti-slip matting around the pool to stop trips and falls.
Wear a seatbelt
There’s no denying the fact that seatbelts save lives. Always be sure to buckle your own seatbelt and to check that everyone else in the vehicle has buckled there’s before you start your journey. Teach children to wear their seatbelts properly and always use a booster seat if they are under the recommended minimum height.
How A Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help
Traumatic brain injuries can be life-threatening and lead to life changing consequences. If you or someone you may know has experienced a traumatic brain injury in the West Palm Beach Region as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault then a West Palm Beach traumatic brain injury lawyer can help you to pursue compensation that can help to pay for your medical bills, rehabilitation sessions, lost wages, reduced standard of living and emotional suffering. If it is also determined that your claim was caused by criminal activities such as a drunk driver crashing into you, then you may also be rewarded punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are a way to punish the offender for their wrongdoing and can help you to lead a better life.
Here at Shiner Lawyer Group, we understand the implications that suffering a life-changing traumatic brain injury can cause and have a team of highly trained traumatic injury brain lawyers waiting to fight your corner each step of the way. We want you to be able to focus on resting and recuperating, safely in the knowledge that your case is in expert hands.
Traumatic Brain Injury FAQ’s
Q. Do I need a lawyer to handle by TBI claim?
A – Yes – Unrepresented TBI victims are likely to be scrutinized closely on each aspect of their claim as the insurance companies will try anything to avoid paying your owed compensation. This stress is not only going to negatively impact your recovery but can lead to mistakes and errors. To make sure you get the right compensation for your injury TBI lawyers work closely with medical experts who can validate your claim and answer to any of the insurance company’s questions.
Q – How much compensation could I get for a TBI?
A – When assessing the amount of compensation owed to a victim of a TBI the court will look at a number of factors including loss of wages, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, emotional trauma, physical pain, medical bills, transportation costs, home adaptation costs, etc. These costs can vary from person to person but are usually quite significant. For example. A minor TBI as a result of a car crash has been known to achieve a compensation value of $250,000. On the other end of the spectrum, settlements can easily run into millions of dollars.