Unfortunately, a traumatic brain injury can have a significant impact on your ability to hold down a job or carry out any other aspect of normal daily living. Many individuals who have sustained serious brain injuries may find that their life is never the same.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 1.7 individuals sustain a traumatic brain injury every single year. The total cost associated with dealing with traumatic brain injuries, including lost productivity and direct medical cost, totaled more than $60 billion in 2000 alone. Understanding what to do if you have recently sustained a brain injury is important. There are several different common causes of traumatic brain injuries in the United States today.
Causes of Brain Injuries
Although there are several common ways to sustain a brain injury, you should know that this injury can happen anytime that your head has been struck. One of the most alarming aspects of many brain injuries is that they cannot always be identified right away. You might even feel fine right after the accident happens, but later notice that symptoms and problems are beginning to emerge.
Some of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries that can impact a victim’s life for many years include:
- Vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Combat injuries and explosive blasts
Slip and fall accidents are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries overall, particularly for younger children and older adults. However, vehicle accidents involving bicycles, cars, motorcycles, and pedestrians are also a common cause of traumatic brain injury.
Brain injuries can also happen when an employee gets hurt at work, sometimes warranting both a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party personal injury claim. Some of the types of jobs where these kinds of injuries are most common are construction and manufacturing where workers may be at heightened risk of falling or being slammed into something that ultimately causes a traumatic brain injury.
Complications Associated with Brain Injuries
Unfortunately, medical research is still determining the impacts of traumatic brain injuries including the many complications. Patients today may suffer from a broad range of complications after receiving treatment for a traumatic brain injury. These include:
- Deep vein thrombosis, which has an incidence rate as high as 54%
- Post traumatic seizures
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
- Heterotopic ossification
There may also be long-term behavioral, cognitive and physical impairments associated with a traumatic brain injury. The most common are:
- Cognitive decline
- Post traumatic headache
- Post traumatic depression
Damages and Compensation
In the event that you have sustained a brain injury caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. T
here are two primary types of damages that you may be entitled to in the event that you are injured in a serious accident. These are special damages and general damages. Special damages may also be referred to as economic losses for which money can compensate an individual for what was lost. These might also be referred to as an out of pocket loss. Special damages typically include:
- Funeral and burial expenses in wrongful death cases.
- Property damages
- Medical expenses
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost wages
General damages, however are frequently referred to as non-economic losses. These are compensation for losses where money can only be a rough substitute for what was lost. This includes:
- Loss of reputation
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium made by a family member or spouse
- Loss of society and companionship
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and shock
- Humiliation and embarrassment
Why Hire an Attorney for a Brain Injury?
In the event that you have sustained a brain injury after someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, such as property manager who failed to maintain his or her premises safely or an individual who was distracted behind the wheel causing a severe car accident, you need to protect your rights. It is never a good idea to negotiate a settlement on your own without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.
A personal injury attorney can help you better understand the long-term implications of your injury and protect your rights for the duration of a case. If necessary, a personal injury attorney will also help take your case to trial to fight for your rights in court.
Some of the ways that a personal injury attorney helps with your brain injury case might include:
- Reviewing your medical records
- Speaking to potential expert witnesses
- Negotiating settlement demands with the other side
- Determining legal strategy and case law to protect you in court
Having an experienced personal injury attorney at your side makes this process that much easier. Since a brain injury has the potential to impact your life in such big ways, it is important that you get the help you need from a knowledgeable attorney immediately after the accident occurs.