According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1.4 million people per year experience a brain injury. For every individual, the trauma, resulting from an incident as simple as a fall, becomes life altering. From potential memory and skills losses to mounting medical bills, the person injured isn’t only affected – friends and family, often assuming a caretaker role, find their lives changed, as well.
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, are not always apparent, with physical signs absent and symptoms surfacing months after an accident. As a result, navigating the process of filing a claim, be it for negligence or workers compensation, and negotiating with an insurance company require legal representation.
How Injuries Occur
A traumatic brain injury can stem from a wide range of situations: falls; sports injuries; assault; truck, car, or motorcycle accidents; slips and falls, or premises liability; product liability; and any instance in which an individual is struck or hits his or her head. For infants, TBI may be attributed to shaken baby syndrome or a difficult delivery.
No matter how the injury occurred, the brain experiences trauma in one of two ways: open head injuries (OHIs), such as a blow or penetrating wound, or closed head injuries (CHIs), which have no visible signs of trauma and, instead, involve the brain moving inside the skull and hitting a bone. Either has potential to happen even when an airbag is used or helmet worn.
Symptoms of TBI may be immediate or show up months later, and include the following:
- Memory, vision, smell, hearing, or taste loss
- Loss of bowel control
- Difficulty focusing
- Increased frustration or anxiety
- Impulsive or aggressive behavior
- Mobility or fine movement impairment
- Beginning epilepsy
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Headaches that do not go away
- Regular vomiting and nausea
- Slurred speech
- Pupil dilation
Along with physical symptoms, mental and emotional capabilities may be permanently changed. After an accident, an individual’s personality may be different, mental and social abilities may be diminished, and decision making, motor skills, and bodily control become far more difficult.
Filing a Claim
When a loved one suddenly requires a higher level of care and attention, filing a lawsuit seems like the last item on a lengthy to-do list. Yet, claims have potential to result in compensation for lost current and future wages and earning capacity; loss of enjoyment; current and future medical expenses; pain and suffering; mental anguish; impairment; permanent disability; and property damage.
Yet, difficulties arise in claims involving negligence and when TBI is not visually apparent – and this is when an experienced trial lawyer is needed. If your claim requires the knowledgeable representation and push only an attorney can provide, contact any of Trantolo & Trantolo’s offices to discuss your case.