Brain injuries are always a concern when you are involved in a fall, collision or if an unstable piece of equipment strikes you in the head. You should always be examined for a brain injury if you are involved in a serious accident.
Many people don’t know that the symptoms of a brain injury may take time to develop. You may be involved in a car accident in which you sustain a whiplash injury and only start to notice the resulting cognitive impairment once you return to normal activities. It is important for your long term health and recovery to be examined by a medical professional as soon as your symptoms begin to surface. Your quick action is also an important factor for your personal injury claim.
Types of Brain Injuries
Diffuse axonal injuries occur when the brain moves back and forth in the skull as a result of acceleration or deceleration. Many concussions are considered to be mild to moderate diffuse axonal injuries. The axons in the brain, responsible for sending messages between neurons, are severed when brain tissue slides over brain tissue. Unlike a blunt force injury, this injury is considered diffuse because it affects the entire brain. Many people who experience a diffuse axonal injury experience swelling in their brain. Most people survive a mild to moderate form of this injury, but very few people survive severe diffuse axonal injuries without permanent impairment. This type of injury is best diagnosed with an MRI.
Focal brain injuries occur when someone experiences a severe blow to the head. Focal brain injuries can be open or closed and can involve something, a piece of the skull or penetrating object, piercing the brain. These injuries are referred to as focal because they only affect a specific area of brain tissue. Focal brain injuries often result in contusions and hematomas. A contusion occurs when brain tissue is damaged. A hematoma occurs when there is bleeding present in the skull. The symptoms of a focal brain injury vary depending on the location of the damage to the brain. This type of injury can be easily diagnosed with a CT scan.
Facts about Brain Injuries
Nearly 2.4 million people suffer from a traumatic brain injury in the United States every year. Brain injuries are attributed to falls (40.5%), motor vehicle accidents (14.3%), object interference (15.5%) and violence (10.7%). Fortunately, it is believed that 75 percent of traumatic brain injuries treated in emergency rooms are reported as mild in severity.
Working with a Lawyer
If another person, business or landowner is responsible for your brain injury, the liable party can be held legally responsible for the damages you sustained in the accident. Considering that recovering from a brain injury can be a long process and affect many areas of your life, it is important that you work with a personal injury attorney who has extensive experience representing brain injury victims because they can help you determine the true value of your economic and non-economic damages. This is especially important if you are diagnosed with permanent brain damage.
Speak with a brain injury attorney about the following compensable damages:
•Medical Bills and Expenses: You can seek compensation for any past and future medical bills arising from the accident. Because traumatic brain injuries can have long lasting and even permanent consequences, it is important that your attorney has an established network of medical experts that can accurately determine the cost of future medical care. Your attorney must be able to prove the value of your future medical in court.
•Wage Loss: You can seek compensation for any lost income resulting from the accident. Since even the mildest of brain injuries can result in permanent deficits, of which are especially noticeable in people with jobs that require intense focus, it is important that your attorney evaluate any expected future reduction in your earning capacity as a worker. This requires an attorney to have an established network of economists and occupational therapists to help determine that value of your diminished earning capacity.
•Pain and Suffering: You can seek compensation for the undue pain and inconvenience of your injury. Since traumatic brain injuries can have physical, intellectual, behavioral, social and emotional consequences, is important that your attorney fiercely fight for your pain and suffering damages.
•Loss of Consortium: In cases involving severe traumatic brain injuries, loss of consortium damages may be pursued if your spouse or children are deprived of the normal and loving companionship that they became accustomed to prior to the accident.
•Disfigurement: Many traumatic brain injuries result in highly visible scars. In order to determine the value of your disfigurement, your attorney may arrange to send you to a plastic surgeon to obtain a professional opinion on the true cost of having the scar reduced as much as possible.
•Disability: It is not uncommon for traumatic brain injury victims to seek compensation for permanent disability. Your attorney will arrange for you to be evaluated by the appropriate medical and occupational professionals to support your claim for disability compensation.
Choose your personal injury lawyer wisely. You only have one chance to receive compensation from the liable party. It is important that your attorney has the experience, resources and network of experts necessary to accurately value your brain injury case. This is important because due to the long-lasting nature of brain injuries, if you settle your case and have medical issues that arise in the future, you cannot go back to the liable party and recover more money. You have to get the value right the first time.