Brain injuries are one of the most serious types of injuries that can occur in an accident. If a brain injury is mild, the victim may make a full recovery. Severe brain injuries can have long-lasting and life-altering effects for an accident victim. If the accident was caused by another party’s negligence, they are responsible for the victim’s medical costs, lost income, property damage and pain and suffering.
The kind of brain injury due to an external force or trauma (rather than genetic brain issues or conditions such as aneurysms or strokes) are called traumatic brain injuries (or TBI).
What Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Occur in an Accident?
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- Concussion. A concussion can be described as a “brain bruise.” When the head is hit hard, the brain will shake inside the skull. The force causes trauma to the brain.
Penetrating brain injuries describe trauma to the brain when an object forcibly breaks the skull, exposing the brain to skull fragments, hair, and fragments of the object causing the injury. This can cause serious damage to a large part of the brain.
- Hypoxic brain injury occurs when the oxygen flow to the brain is temporarily restricted. If an accident victim is unconscious and stops breathing for a short period of time, brain cells will be impaired and some may die off.
- When the brain is deprived of oxygen for a prolonged period of time, the result is an anoxic brain injury. A large number of brain cells can die off simultaneously, and if the victim survives, they may have diminished brain function.
What Are the Symptoms of a Brain Injury?
An accident victim may experience a wide range of symptoms after a mild brain injury. However, some symptoms do not show up right away. It is extremely important for anyone involved in an accident to seek medical care immediately, and to visit a doctor even if these symptoms come up later.
Brain injury symptoms can be put into three categories: physical (sensations and movement), sensory (vision, hearing, taste and smell) and cognitive (thinking, remembering, emotions).
A person with a mild brain injury may display these symptoms:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Inability to speak clearly
- Loss of balance
- Blurred vision
- Ears ringing
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Unusual sensitivity to light or sound
- Unconsciousness for several seconds to several minutes
- Difficulty remembering things or concentrating
- Changes in mood
- Anxiety or depression
- Inability to sleep or sleeping more than usual
A person with a moderate to severe brain injury may display these symptoms:
- A loss of consciousness
- A headache that lasts and get worse
- Persistent nausea and vomiting
- Numbness or weakness in the extremities
- Unable to be woken up
- Problems with coordination
- Slurred or unclear speech
- Unusual behavior such being combative or agitated
How Can a Lawyer Help In a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury lawyer can help their client recover financial damages after suffering a brain injury.
Medical costs can be significant for treating a brain injury. The victim will need to be diagnosed and treated in the emergency room, and may need an extended stay in the hospital. Tests such as MRIs and CAT scans can be incredibly costly. Depending on the severity of the brain injury, the victim may need extensive physical therapy, speech therapy or occupational therapy.
A brain injury can seriously impact an accident victim’s ability to work, resulting in lost income. A victim may have to take extended time away from their job to recover from their injuries, or become permanently disabled and unable to work at all.
One of the most important types of compensation a personal injury lawyer can recover for a client with a brain injury is for pain and suffering, also known as non-economic damages. A brain injury can have a serious, long-lasting impact on the victim’s physical and emotional state. The victim may suffer mental anguish, depression, a loss of enjoyment, a loss of companionship, disfigurement, or physical pain.
If you or someone important to you have suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, the expert team at Mueller, Lawson & Frobish can help you claim the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation.
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