Traumatic brain injury is defined by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS) as a form of acquired brain injury when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. Examples of sudden trauma that can cause this kind of injury are: hitting an object with the head suddenly and violently or when a foreign object penetrates the skull and injures the brain. Both instances can be caused by a personal injury occurrence, such as auto accidents, construction site accidents, or medical malpractice. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of such an occurrence, an experienced personal injury attorney at CAIL Law Firm will help you find justice and obtain the compensatory damages you deserve.
In our experience as brain injury attorneys, we know that this kind of trauma leaves long-lasting effects on your life. You may not be able to resume your enjoyment of life and maybe limited in your ability to work and earn wages. You may need long-term medical care, assistive devices, or modifications to your home to accommodate your needs. We are by your side in this difficult time and we will fight on your behalf to win the fair settlement you deserve from the responsible parties.
The Most Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Brain injury victims report a wide range of accidents and occurrences that led to their getting hurt. In many cases, the respective occurrence can be qualified as a personal injury, making the person eligible to file an injury claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
In the experience of our injury law firm, most of our clients were victims of:
- a drunk driver or distracted driver
- hospital malpractice (including battery of client in nursing homes)
- construction site accidents
- slip and fall accidents
- dangerous work environments
- sports activities
- unsafe property conditions.
While some people need immediate medical attention following such an accident, others do not realize that they suffered brain damage. Walking away from any such accidents is never recommended for two reasons. One, you may have an invisible injury (such as whiplash leading to swelling of the brain tissues) that will start showing symptoms a few days later, when your condition grows worse.
Two, insurance adjusters representing the fault party will claim that you did not suffer a severe head injury in that respective accident as you claim since you were able to walk away. Instead, they will claim that you suffered the accident injuries in a separate incident, at a later date.
Moreover, according to the contributory negligence rule applicable in the Commonwealth of Virginia, failure to seek medical treatment in order to mitigate your damages may be interpreted by insurance companies as being partly at fault for the damages you suffered. Thus, you would be barred from seeking accident settlements for your financial losses and other economic and non-economic damages.
Understanding the Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury
As we stated above, auto accident victims (and other personal injury victims) may suffer additional damage if they do not seek emergency care immediately. The main problem is that medical science is still unable to reverse the initial effects of physical trauma to the brain. All they can do is try to limit the damage from progressing.
Thus, doctors recognize two types of traumatic brain injury:
- primary brain damage – the actual physical damage to neurons and brain tissue
- secondary brain damage – intracranial bleeding and swelling of the tissue, blocking blood flow and depriving the brain of oxygen, which leads to very serious consequences, including death.
However, in most cases, even common injuries associated with brain injury accidents cannot be ignored. According to WebMD, they create symptoms such as:
- loss of balance
- blurry vision
- loss of consciousness
- ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
- constant drowsiness
- slurred speech
Also, the NINDS states that almost half of severe brain injury sufferers require surgery to remove or repair ruptured blood vessels in the brain. Therefore, all traumatic brain injury lawyers have one advice for everyone who suffered this kind of physical injury: always call 9-1-1 and seek medical attention or ask someone else to do it for you.
How to Obtain a Fair Settlement after a Traumatic Brain Injury Accident
If you were the victim of negligent drivers, negligent employers, or property owners, you have the right to receive financial compensation to cover your losses according to personal injury law. You can do this in two ways: by settling with the fault party’s insurance company or by suing the responsible person.
In both cases, you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to analyze your case and give you pertinent legal advice. As stated earlier in this article, the Commonwealth of Virginia applies the contributory negligence principle, meaning that you do not have the right to seek compensation if you were even 1% at fault for the accident that caused your trauma. The accident lawyer can give you the answer after learning all the facts and studying the available evidence.
Document the Circumstances of the Accident
After seeking medical attention, as far as your condition permits it, take photos and videos of your injuries and of the accident scene. You should also call the law enforcement. The police officer will prepare a report that will be very useful to your legal team at a later date. Together with your own evidence and witness testimonies, an attorney with extensive experience will be able to establish who is responsible for your accident.
Do Not Accept the Insurance Adjusters’ Offer
One of the most frequently used insurance company tactics is to send an adjuster to make you an offer immediately after your accident. In most cases, this happens while you are still in hospital, under powerful medication. You are vulnerable and are in no position to make an informed decision.
Do not accept to talk to the insurance adjuster, beyond informing them that your legal counsel will soon be in touch. It is the only way of ensuring that you will get the fair compensation you deserve,
Do Not Wait Too Long to Hire Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
Recovering from a traumatic brain injury takes a lot of time, even if you only suffered mild to average brain damage. However, you cannot wait until you are fully recovered or reach the point of maximum medical improvement to start the legal procedures to file brain injury claims. According to medical experts, the average timeline for recovery after brain injury is:
- 3-6 months: relearning basic functions, such as walking, speaking, and gross motor skills
- 1 year: the patient is still enrolled in occupational therapy sessions, and finding out whether they may need life care services in the future
- 2 years: the patient adjusts to life with or without care, the ability to work (or lack of it), and continuing physical and speech therapies.
The statute of limitations (period of time) for taking legal action in personal injury claims is 2 (two) years in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Thus, you cannot wait until you have finally come to terms with your future quality of life. You should retain a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to start the injury claims process on your behalf.
At CAIL Law Firm, you will always find a compassionate and experienced Norfolk traumatic brain injury lawyer who will listen to you, analyze your case and fight for your justice. We don’t collect fees until we win your financial settlement, so call us now: 1-800-HURT-123!
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