Some of the clients that we serve throughout Florida have suffered some form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). We understand how this type of injury can drastically change people’s lives and the lives of those around them. We work closely with our clients to pursue the compensation they need to pay for their medical treatment and address the many other challenges brought on by TBI, including their loss of income and diminished ability to earn a living in the future.
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact the Fort Lauderdale catastrophic injury attorneys at Englander Peebles today to discuss how we can help you. We will provide a free review of your case. As you will quickly see, our brain injury lawyers are aggressive when it comes to standing up to insurance companies and protecting our clients’ rights.
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What Is Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain suffers physical damage. The injury typically results from a direct blow to the head, penetration of the skull by a foreign object, or a sudden, violent shaking. The injury causes a disruption in the brain’s ability to function. The amount of disruption will depend on the extent of damage to the brain.
At Englander Peebles, we have worked with clients with a range of traumatic brain injuries. Because TBI affects people in different ways, we know that no two cases are the same. As we seek justice and compensation for our clients, we always focus on the unique ways in which TBI has affected their physical and mental health, their ability to work, and their enjoyment of life.
Common Types of Severe Head Injury
The amount of compensation that a traumatic brain injury victim seeks in a claim against the party responsible for the injury largely will depend on the type of TBI. Doctors typically assess these injuries by using a tool called the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). This universally accepted clinical measurement tool helps doctors to determine the level of TBI that a victim suffers from. Doctors may use other tests such as MRIs, CT scans, and a full neurological assessment in order to reach a complete diagnosis.
Generally, doctors will put TBI patients into one of three categories:
Mild TBI (GCS Score of 13 to 15)
A mild TBI typically occurs when someone has a brief loss of consciousness. A victim may not even realize that he or she has experienced the lapse of consciousness until someone else mentions it. The victim may experience a slight amount of memory loss, known as post-traumatic amnesia (PSA).
However, many people will not even notice it that much. It may be explained away as shock.” An MRI will usually show very little in the way of objective changes. A concussion is considered to be a mild form of TBI.
Moderate TBI (GCS Score of 9 to 12)
This level of TBI involves a loss of consciousness that can last between a few minutes to as long as 24 hours. Memory loss or PSA can last for upwards of a day. A high-quality MRI can usually detect changes to the brain.
TBI (GCS score of 3 to 8)
This level of TBI is marked by a significant loss of consciousness, typically more than 24 hours. Memory loss can last more than a day or even be permanent. People with severe TBI may slip into a coma or vegetative state, from which they cannot be brought back.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
A TBI can happen in different ways. For instance, many returning service members suffer from a TBI due to explosions and exposure to loud noises. Our attorneys assist those who have suffered TBI due to the negligence of others. The common causes of these injuries include:
Motor vehicle accidents
Whether they are involved in a car crash, trucking accident, or motorcycle collision, people can readily suffer TBI in a motor vehicle accident. In a crash, one’s body can get flung around violently, even when it occurs at a low speed.
Often, people strike their heads on the sidewalls of the vehicle’s interior, or their heads hit the windows, steering wheels, or other internal structures of the vehicle. Even a headrest can cause blunt trauma when someone’s head is thrust forward and then backward. In some circumstances, airbags can cause TBI.
While less common than car accidents, falls can result in head trauma as well. Consider someone who slips and falls, striking his or her head on a wall, concrete, furniture, or an object. These accidents often result in a form of TBI. Likewise, falls from high elevations can also cause TBI.
Construction site accidents
Workers and members of the general public alike face TBI risks in and around construction sites. Falling debris, flying objects, and falls from heights such as scaffolding, ladders, and roofs can all be causes of injury.
Recreation and sports-related incidents
Many young people suffer concussions while participating in sports such as football, lacrosse, soccer, and basketball. Unfortunately, coaches and trainers often fail to properly manage these injuries. A young athlete who has suffered a concussive event could be exposed to the risk of a more severe form of TBI if the athlete is allowed to return to action before he or she has fully healed.
Symptoms of a Traumatic Head Injury
If you or a loved one were involved in an accident of any kind, you should seek medical attention immediately. An injury such as TBI should be promptly diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. You should especially get medical attention if you observe any of the following common signs and symptoms of TBI:
- Cognitive changes – These symptoms include changes in the ability to process information, perform mathematical calculations, and think in general.
- Headaches – Unlike a typical fluctuating headache, a TBI often brings about persistent, dull headaches that either don’t go away or seem to recur all day.
- Vision abnormalities – Many TBI victims complain of fuzzy or blurred vision or sensitivity to light.
- Mood changes – Whether it is irritability, angry outbursts, or feelings of frustration, mood swings can be explosive at times among people with TBI.
- Sleep disturbances – TBI can lead to restless sleep, nightmares, night terrors, and a general inability to stay asleep. While some people with TBI struggle to sleep, others experience just the opposite problem, they sleep all of the time.
- Nausea – Many people complain of feeling sick to their stomachs or needing to throw up after they suffer a concussion. These feelings can go on for days or longer.
- Balance issues – Some TBI victims experience unsteadiness or gait trouble, including dizziness, vertigo, and a feeling of spinning.
- Motor function delays – People with TBI also frequently begin having sensory perception problems and motor function challenges. It can be difficult to use their hands, perform complex tasks, or follow instructions of a physical nature.
- Anxiety and depression – A TBI can lead to frustration, anxiety, and chronic depression. Many people with TBI can no longer work in their chosen professions and struggle financially, which can exacerbate these symptoms.
- Auditory and perception changes – Some people with TBI survivors experience auditory and visual hallucinations, changes in taste and smell, and chronic and persistent tingling sensations in their extremities.
Proving Liability for a Traumatic Brain Injury Claim
To prove liability, a plaintiff must show that the type of trauma which he or she suffered caused the TBI. The plaintiff must also provide evidence of how symptoms of the injury evolved and were discovered. It is accepted in the medical community that not all symptoms of TBI develop at the time of the initial head trauma or accident. The injury may take time to become noticeable.
A plaintiff often will need a qualified medical expert to provide an opinion that the trauma caused the TBI. For this reason, TBI litigation can be complex and requires the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Our Fort Lauderdale Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help You Today
At Englander Peebles, we understand the pressures that people face when they suffer a serious injury like TBI. We also know how frustrating it can be to face off against an insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to pay you in full, we won’t let you become victimized a second time. We will aggressively protect your rights.
Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers have the knowledge and the resources to go toe-to-toe with insurance companies and pursue maximum compensation for our clients’ medical bills, lost wages, future expenses, as well as pain and suffering. We will skillfully handle every aspect of your traumatic brain injury claim so you can focus on your health and your family. To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation.