The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that traumatic brain injury, or TBI, affects about 1.7 million people each year. 52,000 people die from TBI and 275,000 must go the hospital as a result of the injury. It is also estimated that traumatic brain injuries contribute to nearly one-third of all deaths related to injury.
Many TBI cases are preventable events, such as automobile crashes, workplace accidents, and slips and falls. There is also medical evidence to suggest that brain injury at birth can be a cause of cerebral palsy. Children are more open to getting cerebral palsy as a result of a preventable event during childhood.
A TBI can also be caused by trauma or blow to the head, or by an injury that punctures the brain. A brain injury can impair critical functions such as speech, vision and memory. A TBI may be mild, often characterized as a mild concussion. In fact, most injuries to the brain are mild concussions or other forms of mild TBI. Severe TBIs are characterized by an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia.
Traumatic brain injury is difficult to detect because the signs of serious brain damage are not obvious or the symptoms may be attributed to another cause. Symptoms of TBI include:
- Memory loss
- Inability to focus
- Sensitivity to noise and light
Any trauma to the head can lead to TBI. According to the CDC the leading causes are:
Falls – They are the leading cause of TBI in the U.S. and account for 35 percent of those injuries. Falls cause 50 percent of the TBIs among children age 14 or younger and six of every 10 TBI cases among adults 65 years old and older.
Motor vehicle wrecks – Car accidents cause 17 percent of all TBI cases and are the leading cause of all TBI-related deaths (32 percent).
Struck by / against events – About 16.5 percent of TBI cases are caused by collisions with a moving or stationary object. For instance, a TBI may result from falling off of a ladder on a construction site or by being struck in the head by heavy machinery at work.
If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury, you know that it’s just that – traumatic. If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, wrongful conduct, or recklessness, you’re likely entitled to legal compensation. As a TBI victim you are looking at a lifetime of uniquely complex challenges that are likely to be invisible to the outside world. This can make your physical, emotional, and financial burden that much more difficult. Additionally, your claim will evolve over time – often in unpredictable ways – and it can easily become overwhelming. To add insult to injury, your health insurance provider very well may not give your best interests top priority and could push for a speedy settlement that doesn’t address your evolving physical, emotional, and financial needs.
Don’t despair. An experienced South Carolina law firm with expertise in TBI claims like yours can help. Your case matters and it’s imperative that you preserve your rights by retaining legal counsel that will determinedly fight for what’s rightfully yours. The right firm for your TBI case will have the resources to dig deep into the evidence and to legally justify your TBI claim’s full value.
The skilled legal counsel representing your TBI claim will need to work past the superficialities of your case and toward an ironclad presentation of the prevailing facts. This often includes running interference with your health insurance provider, but it means much more than that:
Your legal representation will work with experts to help cull out the salient medical facts that provide a reliable overview of your TBI claim and the resulting long-lasting deleterious effect on your life.
Your legal team will skillfully compile and create a comprehensive narrative of the evidence that relates to your unique TBI case, including photos, videos, witness statements, accident reports, police records, and whatever else is necessary.
Assessing your probable overall expenses and needs as you move forward with your life post-injury – to include a comprehensive account of expenses as they relate to your resulting need for medical care, healthcare, medical and daily-living assistance, and housing.
Any injury to the brain is devastating, life-altering, and not always obvious to the outside world. That’s why traumatic brain injuries are often referred to as invisible injuries or as the silent epidemic. If you’ve suffered a TBI, your life changed in that moment, but your injury may not be visible. The silent or invisible nature of TBIs can compound the seriousness of their psychologically damaging effects. Recovering from a TBI is often a lifelong event that will affect not only you but also your family, friends, loved ones, and caregivers. The emotional, physical, and financial strain can be overwhelming.
Seemingly minor brain traumas are often ignored to the detriment of everyone involved. Because such wounds can’t be seen does not mean that they can’t wreak a great deal of damage – especially if they’re left untreated. Even minor brain trauma can cause major health complications over time, and it’s time to get more vocal about this fact. In fact, survivors of TBIs are beginning to share their astonishing tales of injury, impact, and recovery for the benefit of all. These first-hand accounts allow us to better understand the nature of TBIs and to turn up the volume on their diagnosis and treatment.
Even sufferers of the most minor TBIs can experience lasting consequences. Your brain is in control of your body’s functioning, and even a minor TBI can mess with that – often in unpredictable ways. TBIs can affect your cognitive functioning, your speech and language skills, and your senses (including hearing and smell). Additionally, victims of TBIs are often afflicted with seizures that can become chronic. Beyond the physical consequences of a TBI are the long-term emotional and psychological consequences, which can be as – if not more – vexing. Oftentimes, sufferers are unable to control their emotions in the same way that they could pre-injury. Depression and social malaise that can lead to self-isolation are also real concerns.