Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are serious and can lead to long-term health problems and even death. When you suffer from a traumatic brain injury, you will likely require expensive medical treatments to recover and may even suffer a disability for the rest of your life. Furthermore, many who suffer from severe injuries like a TBI can experience mental anguish and symptoms of PTSD for years, in addition to being unable to work and earn an income.
If you or a loved one are involved in an accident that results in a traumatic brain injury, filing a personal injury claim, or even a lawsuit can help you get the compensation you need and deserve to recover. Injured victims can seek compensation for things like medical bills, loss of wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and even loss of enjoyment of life.
At Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery, our team will do everything we can to help you and your loved ones seek justice and get the compensation you need to recover and move on with your life as comfortably as possible. We will walk you through your case and the legal process to ensure all the necessary steps are taken to win your case. Recovering from a traumatic brain injury can be challenging, but our compassionate team of experts can do the hard work for you so you can focus on what matters most—your health and wellbeing.
Let the Law Office of Poynter & Bucheri fight for your rights to protect you and your family. Call us today at 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 for a free case review.
How Traumatic Brain Injuries Occur
Across the U.S., TBIs are a serious public health concern. In 2018, over 33,000 traumatic brain injuries occurred in the state of Indiana alone. Among those that were injured, 1,313 were reported to have died as a result of the TBI. Generally, TBIs occur as a result of violent blows or jolts to the head, but the exact manner in which these injuries happen can vary.
Below are some of the most common causes of TBIs based on percentage of hospitalizations:
- 56% Unintentional falls
- 23% Motor vehicle accidents
- 7% Assault
- 6% Other transport-related
- 5% Suicide
- 3% Struck by or against an object
If you were injured in an accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact our PBAR legal team for a free case review to discuss your legal options for recovering money for your injuries and losses.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Typically, TBIs are categorized in one of two ways:
- Closed brain injury: Closed brain injuries are when there is no break in the skull or any penetration. These are the most common type of brain injury, and while the skull is left unharmed, the injuries that result can still be quite severe.
- Penetrating (open) brain injury: Open brain injuries occur when the skull and possibly the brain are compromised. This happens when something like a knife or a bullet penetrates the skull and potentially pierces the parts of the brain.
After an injury to the brain is determined to be an open or closed injury, it will then be further categorized as either a primary or a secondary injury.
Primary Brain Injuries
Primary injuries are sustained at the time of the accident. They include:
- Hematomas: Ruptures of the blood vessels leading to a pooling of blood in the brain.
- Skull Fractures: Breaks or cracks in the skull.
- Contusions: A bruising or mild bleeding of the brain tissue.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI): Tearing of the connections between cells in the brain.
Secondary Brain Injuries
Secondary brain injuries refer to the changes or additional injuries that occur over some time after the primary injury occurs. Secondary injuries can include:
- Hypoxia: A lack of oxygen in the brain.
- Hypotension: When extremely low blood pressure starves the brain of oxygen and other nutrients.
- Ischemia: Inadequate blood supply to the brain.
- Cerebral Edema: Buildup of excess fluid around the brain.
- Hydrocephalus: Pressure created from a buildup of fluid in the brain.
Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
TBI symptoms can vary greatly depending on the specific type of injury the victim sustained. Some of the most common symptoms include the following:
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Blurred vision
- Ringing of the ears
- Changes in taste or smell
- Pupil dilation
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory and concentration problems
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
Symptoms of more serious brain injuries can include:
- Extended loss of consciousness
- Extreme confusion
- Intense headaches that persist
- Uncontrollable vomiting
- Convulsions and seizures
- Clear fluids draining from the ears
- Weakness or numbness in the extremities
- Severe loss of coordination
- Slurred speech
Complications of Traumatic Brain Injuries
While those that experience mild traumatic brain injuries may recover just fine in a short amount of time with proper treatment and care, some of the more severe brain injuries can result in prolonged or permanent changes and damage to the brain.
Some of the complications that can result from a severe TBI include:
- A vegetative or minimally conscious state
- Brain death
- Degenerative brain disease
- Chronic seizures
- Chronic headaches and vertigo
- Complete loss of taste or smell
- Loss of vision
- Loss of hearing
- Cognitive complications, such as chronic issues with memory, problem-solving, and concentration
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty writing
- Extreme behavioral and emotional changes
Treatments for Traumatic Brain Injuries
How a brain injury is treated will depend on the type of injury and its severity. To first diagnose a brain injury, doctors may perform an initial assessment by asking the patient a series of questions. From there, they will likely order a Computed tomography (CT) scan and/or an MRI to get a more thorough look at the damage.
If the traumatic brain injury sustained is mild, treatment may involve nothing more than rest and pain and anti-nausea medications for headaches. However, even mildly injured victims still need to be closely monitored once sent home to ensure their condition doesn’t progress or worsen. The doctor may suggest waking them periodically throughout the night or whenever they are resting to make sure their symptoms haven’t progressed.
Severe brain injuries may require more invasive treatments and stronger medications, such as:
- Anti-seizure drugs
- Coma-inducing drugs
- Surgery to:
- Reduce bleeding
- Repair skull fractures
- Remove clots
- Reduce pressure or fluid in the brain
After a TBI patient has gone through necessary surgeries or other treatments, they may require rehabilitative care to further help them recover or manage long-term effects. Rehabilitation treatments can include:
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Help from a social worker
- Help from a rehabilitation nurse
- Recreational therapy
- Vocational counseling
Pursuing Compensation for a Traumatic Brain Injury
The value of a traumatic brain injury claim will depend on several factors, including the type and severity of your injuries and the financial losses incurred as a result of the accident. Damages awarded in traumatic brain injury claims are categorized in two ways: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages that you may recover compensation for include:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Travel expenses (if you must travel long distances for medical treatments and therapy)
- Medical supplies and equipment
- Rehabilitative treatments
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for the pain and suffering caused by the accident. This may include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Disability and disfigurements
It is difficult to place a value on a person’s pain and suffering. As Indiana’s personal injury laws do not contain a formula for calculating pain and suffering damages, you will need the help of an experienced Indianapolis car accident attorney to establish the value of your claim. An attorney can also help you provide all of the necessary information to ensure you are adequately paid for your economic damages as well.
Proving Fault in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases
To ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your traumatic brain injury, you will need to prove that another party acted negligently, resulting in the accident and your injury. Indiana is an at-fault insurance state, so the fault of another party must be established for you to be awarded damages in a personal injury claim.
However, even once fault is proven, it is common for insurance companies to continue fighting in an attempt to deny claims and reduce compensation amounts. It is crucial for this reason for injured victims to hire an experienced attorney that can guide them through the process and advocate for their rights. Your attorney will work with you to gather all evidence and information needed to win your case.
Evidence that may be collected to help establish fault can include:
- Photographic evidence or video surveillance from the accident scene
- Physical evidence from the vehicles and any property involved
- Copies of your medical records
- Doctor’s statements
- Medical bills
- Eyewitness statements
- Copies of the police accident report
Our Indianapolis Firm Can Help Traumatic Brain Injury Victims Like You!
When you are suffering from a traumatic brain injury, you need a compassionate but aggressive personal injury lawyer who cares about you and will fight for your rights. Let the Poynter & Bucheri Law Office protect you and your family and get you the compensation you need and deserve to recover and move on with your life as comfortably as possible. Contact our PBAR legal team by calling 1-800-265-9881 or 317-780-8000 to schedule a free consultation with an Indianapolis traumatic brain injury lawyer.