Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a leading cause of disability and death in the U.S. This type of head injury may lead to temporary or permanent brain impairment, leaving the injured victim in varying states of debilitation. A victim may suffer on social, physical, and psychological levels due to these catastrophic injuries and may require months or even years to fully recover.
Medical expenses required to treat and manage a TBI may also be costly, negatively impacting your quality of life.
In worst-case scenarios, a severe traumatic brain injury may leave an injured victim in a persistent vegetative state or even result in wrongful death. If you are facing this situation, consider enlisting the services of a traumatic brain injury lawyer.
The role of a traumatic brain injury attorney isn't just to offer sound legal backing to help you secure maximum compensation for your damages. A lawyer can also advocate for your rights and best interests throughout the claims process, ensuring you are emotionally compensated for the toll the TBI has taken on your life.
What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries?
A violent jolt or blow to the head or body may lead to a traumatic brain injury. This head injury may either be penetrating, such as a bullet wound, or a closed head injury, such as being hit by a motor vehicle.
TBIs vary in severity, with falls and car crashes accounting for the top two causes of this type of head injury. Other causes include:
- Sports or recreation injuries
- Gunshot wounds
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Military injuries
Symptoms of Memory Loss and Other Neurological Deficits
Traumatic brain injury symptoms vary from one victim to the next depending on the type of TBI, the extent and severity of injury, and the area of the brain that was injured.
Cognitive problems, like memory loss, are common in victims of TBIs since this type of head injury can damage parts of the brain responsible for learning and remembering. TBI typically affects short-term memory more often than long-term memory.
Victims of head injuries may also have a hard time remembering things to do in the future, such as calling a loved one back or keeping appointments. They may experience post-traumatic amnesia regarding the incident surrounding their head trauma.
Some of the symptoms that could indicate impaired memory include:
Asking the same questions over and over again
- Forgetting common words/phrases when speaking
- Getting lost while walking in a familiar location
- Mixing up words, for example, referring to a cat as a dog
- Misplacing items like house keys
Memory loss isn't the only neurological deficit associated with TBIs. Other symptoms common in traumatic brain injury cases include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Speech problems
- Sensory problems
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling anxious or depressed
- Mood swings
- Convulsions or seizures
- Ringing in the ears
If you have experienced a head injury, it's advisable to visit a doctor and seek emergency medical care. To make an accurate diagnosis, your doctor may perform neurological examinations, imaging tests, blood tests, or use the Glasgow coma scale to determine the range and severity of the injury, your mental status, and the appropriate treatment and care for your TBI.
Proving a Traumatic Brain Injury Case
Your ability to recover damages in a traumatic brain case depends on whether the defendant is found liable for your head injury and other losses. Your traumatic brain injury lawyer must prove that a negligent party, like a careless employer or a drunk driver, was at fault for the incident that led to your TBI.
Here's how proving negligence in a head trauma case works.
The Severe Injury You Suffered
In a negligence claim, the injured plaintiff must show they suffered a head injury, such as an axonal injury, due to another party's actions. For instance, if a doctor performs a procedure in a manner that's unacceptable by medical standards, they may be responsible for the head injury you suffer.
Evidence that can help prove the mechanism of injury you suffered may include:
- Medical images such as X-rays, MRI scans, and CT scans
- Intracranial pressure monitoring
- Brain mapping
- Diagnostics exams for cognitive ability, motor skills, physical function, speech control, etc.
- Medical expert testimony
- Witness accounts
- Testimonies from mental health experts such as psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, psychiatric-mental health nurses, and licensed professional counselors
The Long-Term Effects of The Injury
In many cases, victims of TBIs may experience lasting effects. This type of injury may leave you bedridden in the intensive care unit for months or even years.
You may experience a range of cognitive, physical, and even behavioral effects after a head injury. The effects of TBI may also vary depending on the area of the brain affected by the injury.
The most common long-term effects of TBIs include:
- Persistent headaches
- Light sensitivity
- Sleep disorders
- Mood swings
- Cognitive impairments
- Depression and anxiety
Some of the unique signs of depression due to TBI include weight loss, fatigue, excessive crying, feelings of hopelessness, and lack of interest in favorite activities.
How It Was Directly Caused by the Accident
To be eligible for compensation, your traumatic brain attorney must show that the at-fault party's negligence was directly responsible for your head injury. For example, if a fatigued truck driver rear-ended your car at a stop sign, you can prove their negligent actions led to your TBI.
Simply put, if they were more careful on the road, you wouldn't have suffered your head trauma.
Potential Settlement for a Traumatic Brain Injury Incidence
People who experience traumatic brain injury cases risk dealing with severe losses, also known as "damages." TBIs tend to cause permanent damage, even when the injury is mild or moderate.
When an injured victim files a TBI lawsuit, they may be able to recoup compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Some of the damages available in a TBI claim include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of life's enjoyment
- Vehicle repairs
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
Because every case is different, there is no true average settlement for traumatic brain injury claims. Settlement for damages may range between hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. This number varies significantly from victim to victim, depending on the facts of the head injury case.
For head trauma that leads to lifestyle changes and job compromises, damages may be worth over $200,000. If the TBI leads to brain damage and other permanent injuries, the TBI case may be worth over $500,000.
Some of the factors that affect your potential settlement for a TBI include:
- Level of severity
- Number of defendants
- Victim's characteristics, including age, medical history, occupation
- Location of trial
- Length and extent of recovery
- Egregious behavior by the defendant
Take a look at some of our top case results, including a $17 million recovery for a 24-year-old mother who suffered a TBI due to medical malpractice. Our client recovered compensation after suffering a TBI during a spinal block procedure during her C-section delivery.
If You've Suffered Brain Trauma, Contact a TBI Lawyer
Have you been diagnosed with a brain injury? If so, Ratzan Weissman & Boldt can help you understand your legal options. Our legal team will determine if you have a valid traumatic brain injury case.
Contact our TBI lawyers in Miami, FL, today to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve.