If you or a loved one has suffered a serious brain injury due to someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. To learn more about your rights, contact our Indianapolis traumatic brain injury lawyers at Wagner Reese. With more than 150+ years of combined experience, we are prepared to help you navigate the legal process.
Wagner Reese has been advocating for the rights of accident victims since 1997. Contact us today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule your FREE consultation.
Do I Have a Brain Injury Case?
When you work with an attorney at Wagner Reese, we will evaluate the unique circumstances surrounding your accident to determine if you have a case.
Several different factors will need to be evaluated, such as:
- Who was at fault for the accident
- The type and severity of your injuries
- Your estimated recovery time (if applicable)
- If the injury has affected your ability to work
- If the injury affects your family’s financial security
- If the injury has caused pain and suffering
With years of experience and proven results, our Indianapolis brain injury lawyers are here to help. Call Wagner Reese to get started on your case with a free consultation.
Maximizing Compensation for TBI Victims
Head and brain injuries can have serious long-term effects, many of which can be life-altering. Proving the effects of these injuries in court can often be difficult, but we utilize our specialized neuropsychological testing facilities to identify and treat brain injuries and gather the evidence we need to secure the largest amount of compensation possible.
Even relatively "mild" TBIs, like concussions, can result in temporary or permanent brain damage. Most brain injuries will require extensive medical attention, including immediate treatment and ongoing care. And, in many cases, victims of TBI will require lifelong medical assistance in the form of surgery, medication, and cognitive rehabilitation therapy.
This places an immense financial burden on brain-injured victims and their families, compounded by the fact that most victims are unable to return to work. And, of course, this is nothing to say of the severe physical and emotional weight of such an injury.
If you have suffered a TBI, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Projected lifetime medical costs
- Home care equipment
- Special needs services
- Lost income and/or wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
To learn more about how Wagner Reese can help you work to recover the maximum compensation you and your family are owed, contact our firm at (888) 204-8440.
How Do You Prove the Existence of a Brain Injury?
There are several ways in which medical and psychological professionals diagnose brain injuries. The method will depend on the nature and extent of the injury. Some examples of diagnostic tools include MRIs, CT scans, PET scans, and EEGs. In addition, these medical professionals may study a person’s behaviors, movements, and personality.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
The CDC states that a traumatic brain injury is caused by “a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” Symptoms can take time to manifest, so it is not always immediately apparent when someone has suffered a TBI. Treating a brain injury quickly is imperative for the victim’s long-term recovery.
Here are some facts and statistics about TBI in the United States:
- TBIs are a factor in over 30% of all injury-related deaths
- Almost 32% of TBI-related deaths are caused by vehicle accidents
- Over 35% of all traumatic brain injuries are caused by falls
- Nearly 75% of all TBIs are concussions or other types of mild brain injury
- Males are more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury than females
- Young adults and the elderly are at the highest risk for a TBI
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are more serious and more prevalent than most people know. In the U.S., more than 1.5 million TBIs occur each year and are associated with a significant number of deaths and permanent disabilities.
What Is an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)?
Acquired brain injuries (ABI) occur when the brain is harmed from inside the body, without the catalyst of an external force. This affects the brain on a cellular level, due to exertions of extreme pressures. ABIs are often caused by near-drowning events or childbirth injuries.
In both instances, the victim experiences a critical lack of oxygen. Hypoxia occurs when insufficient oxygen reaches the brain, and anoxia occurs when no oxygen reaches the brain.
Another example of ABI is exposure to toxic chemicals, with primary examples being lead poisoning and carbon monoxide poisoning. Lastly, brain injuries can result from infections, strokes, and tumors. Each of these can attack and affect the brain in different ways.
What Are The Most Common Types of Brain Injuries?
- Concussion: This is a closed-head injury caused by an impact or blow to the head that affects how the brain normally functions. A concussion can be recovered from quickly or may take days or weeks for the individual to return to normal. An individual that sustains a concussion may experience difficulty with thinking or concentrating, headaches, nausea, changes in their normal mood, and changes to their normal sleep habits.
- Contusion: A brain bruise from direct impact. Large contusions, often require surgery, especially when there is brain swelling.
- Coup-Contrecoup: A TBI where the impact was hard enough to jar the brain into shifting and creating contusions on both sides of the head.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI): Nerve tissue tears when the brain does not keep up with the movement of the skull. Diffuse axonal injuries are often caused by shaking or strong rotational forces. Shaken baby syndrome is the most recognized cause of this type of brain injury. Victims of a diffuse axonal injury typically lose consciousness.
- Penetration: An object, such as a nail or bullet, physically penetrates the head and brain.
What Are The Leading Causes of Brain Injuries?
In the United States, there are four leading causes of traumatic brain injuries: falls, auto accidents, impact (struck by an object), and assault. Almost one in five brain injuries result from other causes, but more than half are caused by falls and auto accidents.
Common causes of TBI include:
- Workplace accidents
- Medical errors
- Motorcycle accidents
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Assault and/or violence
- Gunshot wounds
Brain Injuries Caused By Whiplash
One of the myths about TBI is that you must be struck on the head or knocked unconscious to suffer one. What many people fail to realize is that a serious brain injury can also result from one of the most common types of car accident injuries: whiplash.
Whiplash occurs when a rapid acceleration or deceleration jerks the head forward and then back, which can cause the brain to strike one side of the skull. This is how coup-contrecoup injuries are suffered. In extreme incidents, an axonal tear can also occur.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms of a TBI?
With brain injuries, symptoms vary widely based on the severity of the injury. A mild TBI is when the victim loses consciousness or suffers disorientation for less than 30 minutes. Symptoms can go overlooked, especially with concussions. They are still dangerous, as 15% of victims are affected for over a year following the accident. Brain injuries can affect more than just the physical function of a person; emotional changes can also occur.
Common symptoms of traumatic brain injury include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Memory loss
- Depression or irritability
- Mood swings
- Change in personality
- Vision problems
- Speech impairment
With severe TBI, speech problems, as well as reading, writing, and listening comprehension problems, are much more common. The physical symptoms are more readily apparent and far less likely to be overlooked. Emotions can be exacerbated or deadened.
Length of recovery time varies widely, but the rehab process is often slow, as it can be weeks or months before the victim is back to normal. Sadly, in more severe cases of traumatic brain injury, victims may never fully return to their previous state.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, long-term effects can include:
- Loss of motor control
- Loss of intellectual capacity
- Permanent change in personality
If you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of a brain injury, contact your doctor immediately, then reach out to an Indianapolis TBI attorney at Wagner Reese for the experienced representation you deserve.
Concussions Can Have Lasting Effects
Concussions are the most well-known TBI in America because of its prevalence in sports at all levels. The National Football League is currently facing an image crisis, as new evidence continues to come out linking the concussions sustained over the course of a career to a degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
But NFL players are not the only ones at risk. Concussions among high school athletes are on the rise but many say the statistics are low as many cases still go unreported.
This is extremely risky because one danger of even mild concussions is second impact syndrome. If another concussion is sustained before the first one is healed, rapid brain swelling could be the result. This is extremely dangerous and can prove to be fatal.
When recovering from a concussion:
- Listen to your doctor. He or she may prohibit you from driving and you may have to miss work, but it is all for your protection and recuperation.
- Rest your brain.
- Avoid fast movements.
- Avoid excessive exposure to light or sound.
- Don’t play sports or do strenuous physical labor.
- Take it slow. Give yourself time to fully heal or you could exacerbate your condition.
What Are Common Symptoms of Concussion?
The common early symptoms of concussion are headache, vertigo, nausea, and dizziness. Common later symptoms are anxiety, depression, chronic headaches, poor sleep, personality changes, depression, and intolerance to loud noises or bright lights.
What Is Brain Swelling and What Causes It?
Brain swelling and bruising may occur following a violent force to the skull. In these events, the brain will “bounce” off the inside of the skull. This can cause nerve shearing as well as the swelling and bruising of nerve tissue. The swelling can create pressure inside of the head, which may, in turn, lead to compression of vital blood vessels.
Disabilities & Impairment Associated with TBI
TBI can cause a wide range of long-lasting effects, impairments, and disabilities, depending on the location and severity of the injury. For example, a person may have altered muscle coordination, altered sensation, memory problems, or even major personality changes.
A severe head injury may affect a person’s ability to work, learn, and function.
Physical effects may include decreased mobility and coordination, difficulty talking and communicating, severe headaches, and difficulty with sensation. Possible behavioral effects include personality changes, depression, short attention span, and memory problems.
Dementia Caused by TBI
Dementia is a prolonged and permanent decline in cognitive function. People who have suffered a TBI are more likely to be diagnosed with dementia. Dementia has a debilitating impact on a person’s mental and social health.
Symptoms of dementia include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Erratic behavior
- Decline in thinking ability
- Insomnia and fatigue
High Stakes Require Representation of the Highest Caliber
With years of experience handling brain injury cases, the team at Wagner Reese understands the nuances required to succeed in complex brain injury cases. Our brain injury attorneys in Indiana can help restore the balance of power, providing you the legal support and advice you need so that you can focus on your own health and healing.
Connect with us by submitting our online form, and our attorneys will review your information and respond promptly. If you wish to speak directly with us, please call (888) 204-8440.