If you hit your head in an accident, you can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This is true even if your head does not open in the accident – all that has to happen for a TBI to occur is the brain suffering a blow, even if this blow is just with the inside of your skull.
A TBI can result from any type of accident, like a car, motorcycle or bicycle accident. When a victim suffers a TBI or another injury because of another party’s negligence, he or she can pursue compensation for any damages related to the injury through a personal injury claim.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries fall into two categories: open head injuries and closed head injuries. Open head injuries are injuries where the skull is penetrated. Closed head injuries are injuries where the skull remains intact. Both types of TBI can cause serious damage to the brain.
Within these categories, an injury’s severity is graded according to the Glasgow Coma Scale. This scale grades an individual’s motor responses, verbal responses, and eye responses to various stimuli to determine the severity of his or her injury.
Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Closed head TBIs are often known as invisible injuries because they do not have obvious physical symptoms. An open head injury, on the other hand, can have symptoms like bleeding from the head and a loss of consciousness in the victim.
Recognizing TBI symptoms is critical to a victim getting an accurate diagnosis and the treatment he or she needs for the injury. This is why it is so important that all accident victims receive prompt medical care as soon as possible after their accidents. Symptoms of a TBI that can easily go unnoticed include:
- Sensitivity to light and sound;
- Difficulty sleeping;
- Blurred vision;
- Slurred speech;
- Difficulty balancing; and
- Difficulty creating new memories.
Treatment for a Traumatic Brain Injury
The appropriate treatment for a TBI depends on the severity of the injury. For a relatively minor brain injury, the individual needs to rest. He or she should take time off work and avoid mentally strenuous tasks. For a more severe injury, a victim might need surgery and/or diuretics to recover from the damage.
To get back to his or her daily routine, a TBI victim might also need one or more types of therapy. This could mean spending time in a residential rehabilitation center to receive speech, occupational, and/or psychotherapy. If the victim can live at home or with a loved one while recovering, he or she may need to regularly attend therapy sessions to recover impaired skills and work through the psychological effects of a TBI.
Long-Term Complications of a Traumatic Brain Injury
A TBI can have long-term complications for a victim, such as:
- An increased risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s later in life;
- Cognitive impairment;
- Sensory impairment;
- Difficulty maintaining balance;
- Muscle weakness; and
- Emotional difficulties.
Seeking Compensation for your Traumatic Brain Injury Damages
When you file a personal injury claim, you do not have to prove that the other party involved in the accident intended to harm you. You do, however, have to prove that the other party caused your injury by creating an environment where an accident could occur or by failing to act within his or her duty to protect others from harm. In other words, you have to demonstrate how the other party was negligent.
A few examples of negligence that can lead to a TBI-causing accident include:
- Failing to fix broken steps in one’s home;
- Failing to mop up a spill on a tile floor;
- Driving drunk or distracted; and
- Creating a fire hazard or failing to repair a fire hazard.
Through your personal injury claim, you can seek compensation for the following damages:
- Your medical bills. These include your immediate medical expenses and any that you will continue to face, such as future surgeries or ongoing therapy, because of the injury you sustained;
- Your lost wages. Like your medical bills, you can recover compensation for long-term wage losses, like a reducing in your earning capacity because of your injury and advancement opportunities you could not access; and
- Your pain and suffering damages. These are the intangible damages you suffer because of your injury, like your reduced quality of life and the cost of hiring domestic help to handle your household chores while you recover.
Your lawyer can work with you to craft an effective personal injury claim that provides all the information the insurance provider or court needs to see how the other party caused your injury through negligence. This can be done with evidence like:
- Photographs of the accident scene;
- Eyewitness testimonies; and
- A copy of the official accident report.
You will also need to demonstrate how the injury affected you financially. Evidence to provide for this include:
- Copies of your medical bills;
- Documentation of your lost wages; and
- Bills for any other expenses you faced.
Your lawyer’s job is to be your advocate and pursue compensation for your damages on your behalf. He or she will negotiate with the insurance provider to help you reach an appropriate settlement. When this does not seem likely, your lawyer may suggest litigating your case.
Work with an Experienced Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer in Oakland
If you suffered a TBI in an accident and you are now facing steep financial damages, work with an experienced personal injury lawyer to pursue monetary compensation for your damages. Get started with our team at Dolan Law Firm today by calling to set up your free case evaluation with us. We can answer all of your questions and start working with you to seek the compensation you deserve for your damages.