A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur suddenly and have life-lasting impacts. It will often require an intense physical and mental recovery process. As part of the recovery process, filing a personal injury lawsuit following the TBI of yourself or a loved one can help you recover monetary losses and compensation for the pain and suffering endured.
When filing a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to work with an attorney who understands the complexities of your case and the long-lasting impact it can have on your life. Before we dive into important factors to consider when working with a traumatic brain injury attorney, let’s go over TBIs, what they are, and common factors that might bring them on.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is described as a physical injury that is brought on suddenly and unexpectedly, often causing significant injury to the brain.
Traumatic brain injuries can occur in a variety of ways, with a majority of TBIs being caused by unexpected external forces. Typically, they occur as a result of a sudden blow to the head.
In major cases, traumatic brain injuries can also result from skull punctures, impacting the brain.
The severity of the injury following a TBI can vary, depending on the individual and the incident that caused the TBI. Depending on the circumstances, some victims will face a quicker recovery period, while others may be left with lifelong health complications. In severe cases of a TBI, individuals can experience symptoms including but not limited to the following:
- Cognitive issues (an individual’s ability to think and process information)
- Issues understanding others
- Issues with communication
- Inability to move certain parts of the body (paralysis)
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Lingering headaches
- In extreme cases, a TBI can be fatal
What causes traumatic brain injury?
Brain injuries can be brought on by both internal and external forces. Internal forces include health issues like strokes or tumors which can cause damage to the brain. Conversely, external forces like hard blows to the head can also cause injury to the brain. When external forces are involved, this is what is considered brain damage brought on by a traumatic brain injury.
There are a variety of ways that TBIs can occur. According to recent data, the U.S. saw over 64,000 TBI-related deaths in 2020. Unlike certain health conditions, TBIs do not discriminate and can impact all individuals of all age ranges and backgrounds. However, there is some correlation that certain groups may have a higher risk of experiencing TBI. This can include the following:
- Individuals experiencing homelessness
- Survivors of domestic violence
- People who live in rural parts of the U.S.
- Service members and veterans
- Individuals more susceptible to slip and fall injuries (the elderly, construction workers)
- Individuals in correctional or detention facilities
Because TBIs are brought on by external forces, certain events are more likely to cause a TBI than others. For example, car accidents and physical assaults are one of the leading reasons why individuals might face traumatic brain injury. Falls are common causes of TBIs, accounting for over half of TBI-related hospitalizations in the U.S.
Falls on hard surfaces, such as falls down the stairs, are especially common among older individuals or individuals who work in construction. Because of the nature of high-contact athletics, individuals who play sports like football or boxing are also more likely to experience a TBI than the rest of the population.
What are the four types of traumatic brain injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries can vary in severity depending on the type of accident that occurred and the type of injury an individual sustains. Commonly, healthcare physicians classify traumatic brain injuries under four different types. Each type brings with it a unique level of severity, recovery period, and long- or short-term side effects.
These types of TBIs are the most common and are the mildest type of TBI an individual can experience. Concussions are brought on by blunt force trauma and closed head injuries. Typically, concussions occur when an individual hits their head hard on an object or an object strikes them in the head.
Any other events that might cause an individual to have a blow to the head severe enough to sharply move their brain inside their skull may bring on a concussion. As the brain shifts inside the skull, it can strike the skull, causing damage to blood vessels and brain tissue.
With appropriate treatment and medical attention, individuals can completely recover from concussions without any long-term side effects.
2. Penetrating brain injury
As the name implies, this type of traumatic brain injury is brought on when an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. This type of injury can be severe because it causes physical damage to the brain, leading to bleeding and even death to certain portions of the brain. Penetrating brain injuries can be brought on by gunshot wounds, falls on objects, or any other object that strikes and penetrates the brain.
3. Anoxic brain injuries and contusions
The lack of oxygen to the brain can cause anoxic brain damage. If an individual is unable to receive oxygen for about four minutes, brain cells begin to die, which in turn damages brain function.
Likewise, contusions occur when an individual strikes their head, causing bruising on the skull. As the brain swells following the trauma, the brain can suffer from a lack of oxygen, which can lead to brain damage.
4. Diffuse axonal injury
Diffuse axonal injuries (DAI) are similar to other traumatic brain injuries in that they occur after the brain shifts inside the skull. Connecting fibers located in the brain can get torn, causing severe brain damage.
Factors to consider when working with a traumatic brain injury lawyer
Traumatic brain injuries, whether they are mild or severe, can cause unprecedented pain and suffering for both a victim and their loved ones. Additionally, medical bills can quickly rack up as a victim receives treatment and begins their path to recovery.
A traumatic brain injury attorney can play a critical role in helping you and your family navigate the legal road ahead after a TBI. When determining whether or not to work with a traumatic brain injury attorney, it’s important to consider the following:
Speak with an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer
Lawyers who have a thorough and detailed understanding of traumatic brain injuries —their impact on a victim’s life and the recovery process — can serve as an invaluable resource during what may very well be the toughest period of your and your loved ones’ lives.
Experienced traumatic brain injury lawyers will be able to navigate both the legal process and medical process as they help you recover compensation for all aspects of your life the injury has impacted.
Working with a local traumatic brain injury attorney will alleviate the burden of unnecessary and long travel distances. Victims of traumatic brain injuries may often require additional support and accommodations in some or all aspects of their life, transportation included. Finding a lawyer who can serve you locally can be critical in your legal journey.
Track record of TBI cases
A lawyer who is well-versed in TBI cases and has a track record of success can help you recover the compensation you deserve. There are many ways to determine whether a potential lawyer can offer this experience. Speaking with previous clients and researching the law firm are simple and easy ways to get an overview of the attorneys you are considering to represent you.
Get the representation you deserve
At Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, we are proud to offer a legal team well versed in the legal and medical process following a TBI. Our attorneys are committed to fighting for the compensation you deserve. If your injury was the result of the negligence of another individual or entity, our team is ready to help fight for your rights. More importantly, our team is proud to offer the critical compassionate care TBI victims deserve.
Traumatic brain injuries can have long-lasting effects on both victims and their loved ones, no matter the severity of the injury. When you work with a law firm that understands this heightened sensitivity, you can be confident you’re working with a team that is committed to fighting for your rights. Recover the compensation you deserve by working with the team at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys.
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Mesfin, F., et al. (2023). Diffuse Axonal Injuries.
NIH Traumatic brain injuries. (2023).
What Is a Concussion? (2023).