Because traumatic brain injuries can lead to serious, lifelong health complications, victims may need to take legal action to ensure that they have the funds necessary to pay for their long-term medical care and other expenses. Filing a personal injury lawsuit after a traumatic brain injury can help you or your loved one gain financial security, as well as a sense of closure in knowing that the party responsible for the injury will be held accountable for their actions.
According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, 1.7 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury every year. Tragically, more than 50,000 people die from traumatic brain injuries every year, accounting for more than 30 percent of all injury-related deaths in the United States. The annual costs associated with these types of injuries exceed $60 billion in the United States annually.
If you or someone you know suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of careless behavior by another person, company, or government entity, contact our offices to discuss your rights. The Texas civil court system provides victims of traumatic brain injury with a path to justice. Our brain injury lawyers can help you determine whether filing a lawsuit is right for you.
Brain Injuries: An Overview
Traumatic brain injury, or “TBI,” is a neurological disease with many different symptoms that are often misunderstood, misdiagnosed, or left untreated. People who suffer a traumatic brain injury may require expert care, specialized rehabilitation, and a lifetime of treatment to help them lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
Typically, traumatic brain injuries are caused by bumps, blows, or jolts to the head. Falls, assaults, car accidents, and sports accidents often cause traumatic brain injuries. Sometimes, penetrating head injuries result in TBI. For example, a bullet fragment can enter the skull and disrupt normal brain functioning.
While some traumatic brain injuries are mild and result in only a brief change in mental status or consciousness, others are very severe or even fatal. A severe TBI can lead to an extended period of unconsciousness (also known as a coma), amnesia, or paralysis after the injury.
Doctors refer to more mild traumatic brain injuries as “concussions.” Although most concussions are not life-threatening, their effects can be serious. Someone who has suffered a concussion may experience blurred vision, anxiety, and difficulties sleeping and thinking clearly for months after their injury.
Signs and Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Only a doctor can determine whether someone has suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury. If you witness any of the following warning signs of a traumatic brain injury, call 911 right away.
Warning Signs of Traumatic Brain Injury in Adults
After an accident, seek medical attention for anyone who may have injured their head or neck and is experiencing:
- Headaches that only worsen,
- Weakness, numbness, or decreased coordination, and/or
- Repeated vomiting.
Call 911 right away if you see someone who was involved in an accident exhibiting any of the following symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. Accident victims should should be taken to an emergency medical facility if they:
- Will not wake up or respond to you,
- Have one pupil that is larger than the other,
- Suffer convulsions or seizures,
- Speak with slurred speech, and/or
- Act confused, restless, or agitated.
Danger Signs for Children
Take your child to the emergency room if he or she suffered a jolt or blow to the head and:
- Will not stop crying,
- Cannot be consoled, and/or
- Refuses nurse or eat.
Anyone who may have suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury needs to see a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor may do a computerized tomography (or “CT”) scan to test for a traumatic brain injury or other neurological issues. He or she will likely ask a series of questions to determine whether the patient’s cognitive functioning may have be impaired. Even if these tests are inconclusive, it is still possible that you suffered a mild concussion or traumatic brain injury.
Brain Injuries are Not Always Obvious
Many people do not recognize that they have sustained a concussion after an accident because their other injuries are more apparent. Victims may go weeks or even months without realizing that they are exhibiting signs of a traumatic brain injury after an accident. A brain specialist can help accident victims determine the cause of any confusion, anxiety, insomnia, or lack of coordination that persists after a serious accident or injury. The brain injury lawyers at Sutliff & Stout are dedicated to helping their clients in Houston secure the best possible medical treatment.
Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury and Treatment
The consequences of a traumatic brain injury depend on the severity of the injury itself. Some people who suffer a TBI might recover relatively quickly. But others struggle to regain the life they had prior to their accidents. TBI can lead to paralysis, memory loss, dramatic mood swings, changes in personality, increased anger, and persistent insomnia.
Many TBI victims require costly medical and psychological treatment. This might include surgery, consultations with experts, speech and occupational therapy, psychotherapy, and more. Treatment for a TBI might also involve expensive medications that the victim must take for the rest of his or her life. The financial burden of treating a traumatic brain injury, coupled with the emotional and familial toll on the victim, can be devastating.
We Can Help. Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Filing a lawsuit after a traumatic brain injury can be an important step on the road to recovery. Because of the complex legal issues involved in a personal injury lawsuit of this kind, you must hire a lawyer who has extensive experience representing traumatic brain injury victims.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact our personal injury lawyers in Houston today for a no-cost consultation.
Image courtesy of Flickr via liz west