A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can change the course of a person’s life. It’s not just the immediate symptoms that can keep you from feeling like yourself – headaches, weakness, difficulty recalling words, forgetfulness, and more. The long-term effects of a TBI can affect your day-to-day life forever. The situation is all the more tragic when the injury occurred as a result of another person’s negligence. If you or a family member is in this situation, we can help.
The Brain Injury Association of America refers to traumatic brain injury as a change in brain function caused by an external force. In other words, an incident caused an injury that changed the way a person’s brain works. The impact might have physical, emotional, and/or cognitive effects. Symptoms can range from temporary to severe. Some symptoms may go away after a while, but others can last a lifetime.
Each year, about 30 percent of injury-related deaths in the United States involve a TBI. In addition to those tens of thousands of deaths each year, a TBI diagnosis is involved in more than 280,000 hospitalizations and millions of emergency room visits.
Brain injuries impact people in many different ways. The injuries can be temporary or permanent, and there is a wide range of symptoms that can have emotional, physical, and cognitive impacts on those who have suffered a brain injury.
We use our brains in every aspect of our lives, and when brain function is suddenly interrupted by an injury, fear and uncertainty about the outcome can be distressing. People who have sustained a brain injury might face emotional and behavioral challenges, such as personality changes, depression, anxiety, mood swings, and anger.
A brain injury’s cognitive impacts are generally more severe when the injury is more severe, but even a minor brain injury can create some cognitive disruptions. Confusion, inability to focus, forgetfulness, and disorganization are common brain injury symptoms. More severe cognitive issues include loss of memory, limitations on information processing, communication problems, difficulties with reasoning, and uncontrollable impulses.
Physical brain injury symptoms include loss of consciousness, headaches, vision problems, sound and light sensitivity, and fatigue. Some people also experience nausea, seizures, and ringing in the ears after being injured. Brain injuries can cause any number and combination of these symptoms.
Traumatic brain injuries are typically caused by a significant blow to the head, neck, or torso. Common causes of TBIs include the following:
Rather than being caused by a physical impact, non-traumatic brain injuries are caused by an internal experience such as lack of oxygen or exposure to toxic materials. Choking hazards, swimming pool accidents, and suffocation accidents are common causes of oxygen deprivation that result in brain injuries. Toxic exposure cases involve dangerous chemicals, lead poisoning, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Non-traumatic brain injury symptoms can be just as severe and sometimes more severe than traumatic brain injuries.
Our personal injury clients often have questions about how long their case will take from beginning to end and how the legal process works. The length of your case depends on several factors, including whether or not liability is disputed, the severity of your injuries, and whether or not the defendant’s settlement offers are reasonable.
After meeting with you to discuss your accident and injuries, our attorneys begin the investigation and discovery phase. During this process, they gather important evidence, send initial discovery documents to the defendant, and schedule depositions to interview people with important information about your case.
They also work on valuing your claim by examining the extent of your injuries and damages. Medical experts may be necessary to evaluate your injuries and determine how your injuries will impact you in the future. Other experts, such as therapists to prove your emotional damages and financial experts to calculate current and future losses, might be enlisted to help prove and value your injuries as well.
Every case is unique, and we cannot tell you how long it will take to settle your case. With severe brain injuries, it is important to thoroughly review your injuries and damages and hold out for a settlement that reflects the true value of your case. Some brain injuries require long-term medical care, and any settlement you accept must include compensation for future medical care related to your brain injury.
Defendants and their insurance companies have incentives to settle cases sooner than later, especially when your case is strong. It is expensive to defend personal injury cases, and those costs can be avoided when cases are settled early in the litigation process. Bypassing the risks and uncertainties of a trial is another reason that defendants prefer to settle personal injury cases, especially when they know that juries may be sympathetic to severe injuries, such as TBIs.
Most of our cases settle before trial, but our attorneys continuously prepare their claims for trial in case a settlement agreement is not reached. Agreements can be reached at any point, and sometimes defendants will hold out until right before they go to court to agree to fair settlement terms. If your case does not settle, we will try your case in court, and we will make sure that you are prepared and know what to expect.
To succeed at trial, plaintiffs must prove that the defendant caused the accident resulting in your injuries and damages. Witness testimony, accident reports, photos, and anything else that demonstrates the cause of your accident may be used as evidence. Witnesses include anyone who saw the accident, saw what happened after the accident, or heard statements made about the accident.
As previously mentioned, expert witnesses may be necessary to prove your claim. In addition to medical and financial experts, other experts may be helpful in your case, such as an accident reconstruction expert to testify about the cause and other relevant details. Expert witnesses are generally hired during the investigative and discovery phase to go over evidence, conduct their own investigation, and discuss their findings and opinions.
We will introduce evidence related to your injuries, such as medical records, reports, and injury evaluations. We will have experts to testify on your behalf and put forth evidence showing the extent of your injuries. We will demonstrate how your TBI has impacted your life and how it will continue to impact you in the future.
As discussed above, to get the care and medical treatment that you need, it is essential that you are compensated for past, ongoing, and future medical expenses related to your brain injury. If you missed work due to your injuries, your compensation might include lost earnings. If your ability to work in the future is impacted, you may also be entitled to compensation for loss of earning capacity. Financial recovery may also be available for pain and suffering, property damage, and other losses that you experienced.
At CaseyGerry, our attorneys have vast experience representing people suffering from a TBI. We advocate for injured individuals on a case-by-case basis, and we’ve helped lead major national litigation involving head and brain injuries. Managing partner David Casey served on the Steering Committee and represented injured players in the National Football League concussion injury litigation. He also represented the family of San Diego football legend Junior Seau. This experience has led the legal team at CaseyGerry to know the most cutting-edge brain injury research, spanning head injuries to the impact on the brain from repeated impacts.
We welcome you to contact the firm for assistance if you or a family member sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of someone else’s careless actions. We can give you the resources you need to move forward and seek compensation for your medical bills and other related expenses. Call (619) 238-1811 or fill out our online form to speak with someone right away.
It’s important to know that if you’re suffering from a TBI, you are not alone. Organizations such as BrainLine offer community and support resources to help you.