Across the United States, an average of 611 hospitalizations and 176 deaths related to traumatic brain injuries happen every day. For those who survive, this type of injury can be life-changing, so if you have suffered this kind of head injury, it’s important to protect yourself, your health, and your financial future.
The attorneys at Pastrana & Garcia Injury Law may be able to help. If you have suffered an injury, reach out to us for a free, no-obligation case review. There is no risk and your consultation is completely confidential. It is a chance to ask questions and to learn whether you have a case that can help you pursue compensation so you can pay for your medical bills and the other costs related to your injury.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
So what are traumatic brain injuries? A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious head injury caused by the brain being impacted by a blow to the head. To understand better, we need to review how such a brain injury can happen.
The human brain is encased in a hard shell called a skull. Most of the time, this is an advantage as the skull protects the important and very delicate brain tissue that is required for you to think, speak, move, and live. However, if you hit your head, fall and strike your head on a surface, get shaken violently, get something dropped on your head, or otherwise suffer an impact to your head, the skull can become part of the danger.
What happens in these situations is that the soft, jelly-like brain can bounce around inside the skull, where it can sustain bleeding, bruising, and other damage. In some cases, the brain can bounce back and forth, suffering bruises on every side where it hits the inside of the skull. As it suffers damage, the brain can begin to swell. When it does, it is essentially trapped with no place to go. It presses up against the skull, causing further damage.
In some cases, TBIs can also be caused by a penetrating injury. For example, if someone is shot and the bullet penetrates the skull, damage to the brain will happen. Any TBI is an emergency and needs to be treated as such. If left untreated, it can cause permanent damage or death.
Is a Concussion a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Both TBIs and concussions are types of brain injuries, and both can impact how your brain functions. The difference is in severity. Doctors sometimes refer to a concussion as a mild traumatic brain injury and refer to more serious injuries as traumatic brain injuries. However, any kind of injury to your brain or head is potentially serious and should be investigated by a doctor.
How Do Traumatic Brain Injuries Happen?
There are many potential causes of traumatic brain injury. Any time your head is struck or you suffer an injury to the outside of your skull, the brain inside may suffer harm. In many cases, a traumatic brain injury results from:
- Sports injuries
- Construction accidents
- Workplace injuries, including heavy machinery accidents and falls at work
- Truck accidents, including 18-wheeler accidents
- Violence and assault, including gun violence
- Car accidents
The most common causes of traumatic brain injuries are falls, firearms, and motor vehicle accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control, older adults are most at risk of TBIs and most likely to suffer complications, but anyone can suffer this type of injury, and if they do they require immediate, emergency medical care.
Do I Have a Traumatic Brain Injury?
If you have hit your head hard, it is important to seek medical help right away. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injury symptoms are subtle and sometimes don’t happen right away. This can lead to tragedy. Some people hit their heads and feel “fine” only to develop symptoms a few hours later. By then, the options for treatment may be limited. Common traumatic brain injury symptoms that can show up immediately after an injury or some time after can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Memory loss
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Cognitive problems, including problems speaking or understanding
- Sensory problems, such as light sensitivity or difficulty understanding sounds
- Blurry vision
While some symptoms go away as a person heals, some patients experience traumatic brain injury symptoms years later. In some cases, symptoms such as memory loss or cognitive impairment are permanent and can affect how someone can live or work.
Can You Recover From Traumatic Brain Injury?
The good news is that yes, in some cases, you can make a recovery. For mild traumatic brain injuries, doctors may recommend rest and close observation. In some cases, mild traumatic brain injury can slowly heal on its own and a person’s symptoms will generally go away.
Moderate traumatic brain injury treatment can include physical therapy, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, surgery, language therapy, psychological support, and other help. However, with this treatment for traumatic brain injury many patients with moderate TBIs can recover full cognitive function.
The outlook for people with severe TBI can vary. In many cases, even with traumatic brain injury treatment, symptoms can persist. In these situations, doctors may use social support and rehabilitation to try to help the patient recover as much function as possible and to help them live with their injury.
Why Might Someone Consider a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer?
If you have suffered a TBI, especially a serious one, you may want to call a traumatic brain injury attorney right away. Texas law allows you to pursue a legal claim if your injury was caused by someone’s intentional act or negligence. Through a civil claim, you can try to seek compensation (which is also called financial recovery) so you can pay for the costs related to your injury. You may want to file a claim because:
- A traumatic brain injury may be more expensive than you think. The medical and care costs of a brain injury alone can easily add up to millions of dollars if the injury is severe and the patient requires lots of treatment and support.
- Your insurance may not cover you. Even if you have excellent medical coverage, the out-of-pocket costs for an injury that costs millions of dollars can be very, very high. In addition, insurers may try to avoid paying for an expensive injury or you may have trouble getting insurance at all after a TBI. A traumatic brain injury attorney may be able to negotiate with insurers or file a claim so you get the compensation you need to pay for good medical care.
- A traumatic brain injury can impact your life in many ways. If you cannot return to work, for example, you may need to find a way to replace your lost income (and your medical insurance). If you have suffered permanent injury, you may need at-home care or may need to make your home accessible. You may suffer traumatic brain injury symptoms years later and may need care for a lifetime. You may even need to live in an assisted living facility. Seeking fair compensation can help you pay for these costs, many of which may not be covered by insurance.
Suffering a traumatic brain injury can be difficult, and a traumatic brain injury lawyer with extensive experience with traumatic brain injuries and cases can determine what is covered by insurance and can help you understand how much compensation you may be able to seek if you’re eligible for a claim. Your TBI attorney can be there for you and help you seek compensation.
What’s the Case Process Like?
The good news is that if you work with an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney, your attorney will take care of much of the process for you and will keep you updated about the status of your case. You can focus on medical treatment while your attorney does the work, including:
- Evaluating your case and determining if you have a claim.
- Reviewing any insurance you have and negotiating with insurance companies.
- Determining the likely total costs of your TBI.
- Gathering evidence of wrongdoing or negligence.
- Finding all liable parties.
- Filing the claim and making sure all liable parties are served with papers, so they’re aware of the case.
- Negotiating with all parties involved in the case.
- Reviewing any offers and responding to them.
- Responding to any motions the other side files.
- Sharing information with the other attorneys, as required by the discovery process.
- Going to court, if fair compensation can’t be achieved with negotiations.
An experienced attorney seeks to secure the fairest compensation possible in your case. While there are never any guarantees, TBI attorneys have the trial and negotiation experience as well as an understanding of the law to be effective in leveraging all avenues to help with your financial recovery.
How Can Pastrana & Garcia Injury Law Help?
Pastrana & Garcia Injury Law is proud to serve international clients as well as clients local to the Pflugerville area,including including Bastrop, Round Rock, Taylor, regardless of their immigration status, regardless of their immigration status. We are fully bilingual in English and Spanish, so we can speak whatever language you’re most comfortable with and we have over 30 years of experience helping people who have suffered head injuries and other serious injuries. Our team has been successful in winning multi-million-dollar settlements for injured people. Best of all, we are compassionate and truly care for the outcome of your case, going out of our way to make sure you’re supported.
If you have suffered a head injury and aren’t sure where to turn, schedule a confidential, free, no-obligation consultation with us. The team at Pastrana & Garcia Injury Law has already helped many people in your situation and we’re here for you, too, if you have been injured through no fault of your own.