Few injuries are as terrifying and life-altering as a brain injury. It can change a person’s personality, disrupt their ability to move, work or enjoy life, in the most serious cases, kill. And the damage can be insidious—sometimes taking months, and even years to become fully apparent.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can occur in all sorts of incidents. Some of the most common include:
- Motor vehicle accidents (motorcycle, ATV, car, etc.)
- Bicycle accidents
- Slips and falls
- Contact sports injuries
- Work accidents
- Assaults and fights
The problem is that while our brains are safely encased in the hard shell of our heads, they are soft organs. And when you suffer a sudden jar or blow or to the head, the brain can literally be slammed against that hard shell. The resulting damage can include:
- Over-stretching damage to the nerve fibers in deeper tissues due to a whiplash injury (diffuse axonal injury)
- Shock or pressure wave force, such as seen in veterans who survive explosions
- Displaced and penetrating fractures of the skull
- Severe shaking, such as with Shaken Baby Syndrome
Traumatic Brain Injury in the Aftermath of an Accident
The brain is the body’s command center, and when it is damaged the results can be devastating. Nature’s protection is your skull, but even that tough bony shell cannot guarantee safety in the wake of certain violent or traumatic events. In fact, roughly 1.5 million people experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year somewhere across the nation. 500,000 actually die from complications related to TBI. Five billion or more live with the encumbering aftermath of such injuries. If you or a family member has suffered an act of aggression or negligence that will have lifelong TBI impacts, a Long Island personal injury attorney may be able to assist in your quest for damages to deal with the costs you will be facing.
Causes of TBI
Injuries to the brain do not have a single source: in fact there are many causes, ranging from chemical exposure, hypoxia, and tumors to open head injuries, closed head injuries, and deceleration injuries. Even strokes and infections can cause TBI. Any causes can be devastating, but when brain damage is the result of human neglect or aggression, it may be compensable. Some of the most common issues related to TBI include:
- Wounds to the head as a result of gunshots;
- Falls that result in blunt trauma to the head;
- Repetitive or severe force as from shaking;
- Motor vehicle collisions;
- Post-surgical infections;
- Moments of oxygen restriction, as with drowning; and
- Chemical exposures (solvents, insecticides, carbon monoxide, etc.).
Sports injuries are such a significant source of TBI that they deserve their own category. In fact, New York law requires children age 13 and younger to wear helmets when riding bicycles, scooters, skateboards, and inline skates. And according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, helmets should be worn regardless of age and skill any time a sport has the potential to cause a head injury. That includes organized team sports, as well as sledding, skiing, and snowboarding.
What Does TBI Look Like?
The symptomology related to traumatic brain injury differs among patients, but may include an amalgam of symptoms, including:
- Changes in mental/emotional reactions;
- Limited self-awareness;
- Distractibility and issues with focus and attention;
- Cognitive or processing issues;
- Sensory processing problems;
- Chronic or debilitating pain;
- Memory difficulties; and
- Sensory processing disorders.
When is it a good idea to pursue legal action? If TBI occurs as a result of a reckless or negligent motor vehicle collision, inadequate safety precautions at work, medical malpractice, or out-and-out assault, or any other human-caused event, you may wish to seek compensation to address the financial concerns related to the incident. At Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC, we will fight aggressively in order to recoup monies to address a number of issues, including:
- Hospitalization costs;
- Interventions related to psychiatric issues;
- Lost present and future wages;
- Therapies and support services;
- Travel costs related to medical concerns; and
- If necessary, funeral costs.
What Kind of Damage Can a Brain Injury Do?
The effects of a brain injury can be extensive and profoundly disabling. With even mild injury, they can include, headache, confusion, dizziness, sensitivity to noise or light, ringing in the ears, blurred or double vision, restlessness and insomnia. More serious injuries may also lead to:
- Physical disabilities, loss of motor control, paralysis
- Seizures and convulsions
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Speech problems
- Loss of coordination
- Trouble thinking clearly and impaired judgment
- Emotional and behavioral issues, such as depression and aggression
- Changes in personality
Recovery for a brain injury victim may take years, and some may never fully recover.
Facing the Challenges
As you can imagine, brain injuries can be extremely difficult for victims and families—emotionally, physically, and financially. There is a very real risk to families that rehabilitation needs outlive insurance payments and that the victim may never again have the capability to work as they once had.
For many, that means that the only way they can get the care they need is to file a personal injury claim against the party or parties responsible for their injury.
If you or a loved one has had a brain injury, it would be wise to talk about your options with a personal injury attorney experienced in prosecuting brain injury claims.
To prosecute a negligence claim, the Long Island Personal Injury attorney will have to show that the actions or failure to act by another party or parties was responsible for the accident and resulting injuries. Your attorney will fight to ensure that you win full and fair compensation for your short- and long-term needs, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional Damages
- Punitive damages
Brain Injury Treatment
Fortunately, most brain injuries are mild concussions that heal well. The treatment will depend on the severity. For mild brain injuries, the most important thing a person can do is rest. Those who were injured while playing sports should cease activity until the brain injury has healed.
For more severe cases, more treatment is required. The most important steps will be to keep the victim stable and ensure adequate oxygen flow and keeping blood pressure under control. Surgery may be needed to prevent further damage and remove blood clots, repair skull fractures and relieve pressure in the skull.
Therapy will likely be required to help the person regain physical and mental function. Physical, speech and cognitive therapy may be needed, as well as psychological and vocational counseling.
Medications may be prescribed to alleviate pain and inflammation and prevent secondary issues. Anti-anxiety medications can help with fear and nervousness and antidepressants can help with other mood problems. Anticoagulants can keep blood clots from forming. Muscle relaxants can help control spasms. Anticonvulsants can help those who are suffering from seizures. Stimulants can help those are tired and need to feel more awake and alert.
Get Hurt? Get Gary!
A brain injury is a serious medical condition that can affect a person’s life in many ways. Such an incident can lead to many damages that can impact a person for the rest of their life.
Recovering from a brain injury can be costly. If you or a loved one is a victim, get the resources you need from a Long Island Personal Injury Lawyer. We can help you with financial and physical recovery. To schedule a free consultation, call 844-GET-GARY today.
Recovery from a brain injury may require significant financial resources and a team of medical and rehabilitative experts. A Long Island brain injury attorney can help ensure you have access to those resources for as long as you need it. Call the Falkowitz Law Firm today for a free consultation.