Austin Brain Injury Lawyer
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most complex injuries that may occur in a vehicle accident. People who suffer from a TBI may lose consciousness immediately, or they may seem alert, only to experience worsening symptoms over time.
Even a concussion, the mildest form of TBI, can cause long-term health problems and personality changes. More serious TBIs can result in severe disabilities, prolonged loss of consciousness, and death. Families whose loved ones have a massive brain injury often don’t know what each new day will bring – some TBI victims recover well, while others develop secondary health problems during rehabilitation.
If a vehicle accident caused a TBI in your family, The Evans Law Firm may be able to help you pursue compensation. We have more than 15 years of experience representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases, and as a small firm, we offer the kind of personal attention that’s hard to find at large corporate law offices.
TBI Facts and Figures
U.S. emergency departments treat about 2.2 million TBI patients every year, and approximately 280,000 patients are admitted to the hospital for TBI treatment.
Of those admitted to the hospital, roughly half will need surgery, followed by a stay in a neurological intensive care ward. Some patients may need to be transferred to a rehabilitation hospital for additional therapy before they can return home.
Some of the symptoms of a mild TBI include headache, nausea, balance problems, irritability, and concentration difficulties. Occasionally, when people sustain a bump on the head during a vehicle accident, these symptoms may arise several hours later. Seeing a doctor as soon as possible after a traffic accident can help identify TBI and other injuries that may not be immediately evident to untrained professionals.
A skull fracture, a penetration injury to the brain, or multiple impacts to the brain in a single accident may result in immediate loss of consciousness and severe brain damage. Some of these TBIs result in prolonged loss of consciousness, such as:
- Vegetative state – In this state, a person is unconscious and unaware of one’s surroundings but continues to have sleep-wake cycles and episodes of alertness. One may be able to respond to stimuli, make sounds, or move.
- Persistent vegetative state – A persistent vegetative state is one that continues for more than a month.
- Coma – The result of widespread damage to the brain, coma refers to a complete loss of consciousness, when a person is unresponsive, unaware, and cannot be awoken. A person may at some point transition from coma to vegetative state.
- Minimally conscious state – This is the state of altered consciousness that one might experience when transitioning from coma to vegetative state. A person who is minimally conscious shows some evidence of self-awareness or his surroundings.
- Locked-in syndrome – This rare state of consciousness is when a person cannot speak or move but is aware of her surroundings.
- Brain death – This is an irreversible loss of all brain activity.
An injury serious enough to cause a prolonged period of altered consciousness could result in disability.
Types of Disabilities
Upwards of 5 million people in the U.S. are living with a disability caused by TBI. Some disabilities associated with TBI include:
- The inability to recognize familiar objects
- Blurred or double vision, intolerance of bright light, loss of eye movement, and blindness
- The loss of one’s ability to communicate thoughts or understand language
- Speech that is slowed, slurred, and difficult to comprehend
- Weakness, paralysis, or loss of movement on one side of the body.
Specialized therapy may help TBI patients overcome the effects of disabilities, but some people never fully recover. They may need lifelong medical care, and if their TBI interferes with the ability to breathe or swallow, they will need equipment that assists with breathing and delivers nutrients to the stomach. In cases of severe disability, TBI patients may have to reside in a supported living group home or a long-term care facility.
Secondary Health Conditions
Secondary health problems can arise quickly in TBI patients, because the brain’s ability to send signals to the body may be compromised. Infection, blood clots, joint immobility, respiratory impairment, and digestive system defects are just some of the secondary conditions associated with TBI.
Personality changes and psychological problems, particularly depression, may also be an outcome of TBI, and many people report continuing chronic pain.
The consequences of TBI can be minimal or lifelong and are difficult to predict. It’s not uncommon for TBI patients to require additional hospitalization long after their initial injury, as other health problems emerge.
For TBI victims and their families, pursuing a personal injury claim against the party or parties responsible for their injuries can help cover the medical costs associated with this serious injury, as well as make up for a loss of income. In some instances, families may also be entitled to compensation for emotional suffering.
If a TBI has occurred in your family, don’t wait to ask for help. Call us today at 1-855-414-1012, or fill out our online contact form for your no-obligation consultation.