If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you and your family may face crushing financial pressures. A Jefferson County traumatic brain injury attorney can take legal action and file a personal injury claim on your behalf.
When someone sustains a traumatic brain injury (TBI), the right medical care may require a great deal of time, money, and effort. If you were injured by someone else’s negligence, your attorney will fight for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and related losses and damages.
What are the different types of traumatic brain injuries? How are TBIs categorized and defined? If you’ll keep reading, you will find the answers to these questions, and you will learn more about your legal rights in Missouri as the injured victim of another person’s negligence.
How Do Traumatic Brain Injuries Happen?
Traumatic brain injuries can happen when someone’s head receives a strong blow or jolt or when the skull is penetrated by an object. A TBI may affect one part of the brain, several parts, or the entire brain.
A severe traumatic brain injury is life-threatening, and survivors may be permanently disabled or impaired. Treatment for the most severe TBIs may require prolonged hospitalization as well as years of therapy and rehabilitation. Many TBI patients never fully regain their pre-TBI health.
If you or someone you love sustains a traumatic brain injury in Missouri, and if someone else’s negligence is the reason that injury happened, schedule a consultation – immediately – with a Jefferson County TBI lawyer to discuss your legal options and your right to compensation.
How is the Severity of a Brain Injury Measured?
Doctors usually measure the severity of a traumatic brain injury with a 15-point system called the Glasgow Coma Scale. Points measure verbal responses, motion in the eyes, and other critical functions. The fewer points a patient has, the more severe the patient’s injury is. A patient with:
- 13 to 15 points has a mild TBI
- 9 to 12 points has a moderately disabling TBI
- 4 to 8 points has a severely disabling TBI
- 3 or fewer points is in a persistent vegetative state
How Are Traumatic Brain Injuries Categorized?
TBIs are categorized by the type of injury and the injury’s severity. The eight main types of TBIs are concussions, contusions, brain hemorrhages, intracranial hematomas, coup-contrecoup brain injuries, diffuse axonal injuries, penetration injuries, and second impact syndrome:
- A concussion happens when a strong force or blow causes the brain to crash into the skull. Concussions happen frequently in traffic accidents and in contact sports like football, but even a mild concussion may cause long-term medical difficulties.
- Contusions are bruises on the brain that may accompany concussions. When a contusion doesn’t heal, it may develop into a hematoma and require surgery. The severity of the damage a contusion causes depends on its location and size and a patient’s ability to heal.
- Brain hemorrhages happen when ruptured blood vessels cause bleeding on or in the brain. A hemorrhage that develops on the brain’s surface is a “subarachnoid” hemorrhage, and hemorrhages that develop in the brain tissue are “intracerebral” hemorrhages.
- A hematoma is a collection of blood outside of the blood vessels. Large hematomas in the brain are severe injuries that are fatal if untreated.
- A coup-contrecoup brain injury is actually two concussions. The brain collides with the skull, and the force of that collision causes the brain to “rebound” and strike the other side of the skull.
- A diffuse axonal injury happens when a brain is shaken or twisted inside the skull, causing the brain’s connecting fibers (called axons) to tear. This disrupts the messages that the neurons send to the rest of the body and causes the loss of basic body functions.
- Penetration injuries happen when objects (usually bullets or bullet fragments) penetrate the skull and then the brain. In some cases, penetration injuries cause seizures and eventually lead to epilepsy.
- Second impact syndrome is caused by second and subsequent traumatic brain injuries. Second and subsequent TBIs almost always cause more damage to the brain and more harm to someone’s health than a first brain injury.
What Are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A TBI may affect someone’s memory, thinking ability, and speaking ability. It may trigger behavioral and/or emotional difficulties. Eating and sleep disorders, vision problems, and nausea are also common symptoms of traumatic brain injury.
Additionally, a TBI may be the cause of epilepsy, and TBIs increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and several other brain disorders. Over a million persons in the U.S. sustain traumatic brain injuries every year.
If Someone Else’s Negligence Causes a TBI
In Missouri, if another person’s negligence is the reason why you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, you are entitled to compensation for your:
- current and projected future medical expenses
- lost and projected future lost wages
- personal pain, suffering, and your other related losses and damages
However, “entitlement” does not mean that compensation simply appears in your bank account or mailbox. You and your Jefferson County traumatic brain injury attorney will have to prove that someone else has liability for the accident that caused your brain injury.
When Should You Contact a TBI Attorney?
In Missouri, the deadline – that is, the statute of limitations – for filing a personal injury claim based on a traumatic brain injury is five years from the date of the injury or (if it was a latent or difficult-to-detect injury) five years from the date the injury was discovered.
Limited exceptions to the five-year deadline are allowed on a case-by-case basis, but your claim may be exceedingly difficult to prove after so much time has passed. Instead, contact a Jefferson County TBI lawyer as soon as you’ve been examined and treated for a traumatic brain injury.
Your injury claim will be stronger if your attorney examines the evidence before it deteriorates (or disappears) and questions any witnesses before their recollections begin to fade.
How Will You Be Compensated?
Your attorney will negotiate for a fair and appropriate settlement amount, but if no reasonable settlement offer is forthcoming, your attorney will take the liable party or parties to trial, explain to jurors how you were injured, and ask those jurors to order the payment of your compensation.
TBI attorneys in Missouri work on a contingent fee basis, so you pay no attorney’s fee until and unless you are compensated, and if you are a TBI victim, your first legal consultation is offered without cost or obligation.
Pick up the phone and take advantage of this opportunity to receive personalized legal advice and to learn how Missouri law applies to your own case by scheduling a consultation today with a Missouri brain injury attorney.