Head injuries are among the most devastating events anyone can suffer. The reason for this is that a head injury can lead not only to substantial physical trauma, but permanent and disabling cognitive and emotional issues. Victims of head trauma often have substantial medical costs that will continue over a life time. In addition, services such as physical, emotional and occupational therapy might be necessary to enable the victim to live his life independently and return to work, if this is even possible. These kinds of therapy are extremely expensive and insurance normally only covers a limited amount of the cost.
When someone is diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) it can be emotionally and financially devastating to the injured person and his loved ones. The emotional, cognitive and physical difficulties that accompany TBIs often leave the victim severely disabled. The process of healing from a brain injury can take a very long time, if recovery is even possible. Speaking with a catastrophic injury attorney can help you better understand your legal options in terms of compensation. Share your story with one of Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys’ Philadelphia traumatic brain injury lawyers today and find out how we may be able to help you.
What is a Head Injury?
A head injury is any trauma to the head. A hit to the head might result in just an external scratch or wound, but it also might result in traumatic brain injury (TBI.) When we were young, if we hit our heads, we were often told to shake it off and move on, especially if we didn’t pass out. Now we understand that even a mild head injury can have a long-lasting or permanent impact. You do not need to lose consciousness to suffer a head or brain injury. One area in which head injuries have become big news is in sports. The NFL is getting a lot of attention over lawsuits relating to brain damage, but parents need to be aware of the potential long lasting problems from their children playing sports starting in elementary school and going through college.
Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
Even a small hit to the head can cause a TBI. Sometimes, it is not clear right away that the victim has suffered a traumatic brain injury. As a result, if you suffered a head injury or experienced a sudden whipping back and forth of the head (known as whiplash) and are suffering from any of the following symptoms, it is important to get to the hospital right away.
- Loss of balance or dizziness
- Vomiting or seizures
- Memory loss or lapses
- Slurred speech
- Bright light sensitivity
- Loss of consciousness
Medical expenses can exceed expectations due to the many required tests for diagnosing the amount of brain damage the victim suffered. The severity of the situation may require skull, neck, and spinal x-rays along with a CT scan. Once someone is diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, he will require substantial therapy and treatment to help with his recovery, if recovery is possible. Occupational therapists can be a big help for those who have suffered a TBI. If you are experiencing any of these traumatic brain injury symptoms, seek medical attention, then contact a lawyer in Philadelphia.
Recovering from a Head Injury
If you suffer a minor head injury, chances are good that you will fully recover. However, do not assume that a minor bump means a minor head injury. Whether a brain injury is minor or major really depends on the symptoms and amount of damage. It is not always possible to tell from the initial event how serious the damage will be.
Common Causes of TBIs
The most common cause of a TBI is a traffic accident. Frequently, if you are in a car accident, you will be asked if you hit your head or blacked out. The problem with this question is it fails to recognize that a rapid whipping of the head back and forth, as in whiplash, can cause brain injury as the brain hits the skull. Any time your brain is suddenly moved in your skull, you might have suffered a brain injury. Depending on the amount of force and how your brain hit, you could have suffered a TBI.
In children, traumatic brain injuries are normally caused by car accidents, but a baby can suffer a brain injury prior to, during or after birth if it is deprived of oxygen or handled too roughly by the medical staff. When your baby is born, it will receive an APGAR score. If the score is low and remains low, there should be concern that your child has suffered a brain injury. That brain injury can lead to cerebral palsy or other issues for your child. Many of the difficulties your child might experience as a result of a brain injury as a baby might not appear until later in life. Brain injury is the leading cause of long term disability in children and adolescents.
Another cause of brain injury is a serious fall. Any time you fall from 6 feet or above, or hit your head hard, such as on the street if you slip and fall, you can suffer a traumatic brain injury. A common place we see serious brain injuries involves falls on construction sites. An employee who falls at work and suffers a TBI qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits. Those who fall at a business or home might qualify for compensation if the fall is due to someone else’s negligence.
Strokes can also cause serious brain injures. If you suffer from a stroke, chances are you will experience a TBI. As a result, it is crucial that anyone having a stroke get to the hospital as quickly as possible. Failure to treat a stroke quickly can result in greater damage than the victim would have had and is sometimes medical malpractice.
Any time someone hits his head or has his brain move in his skull to the point where the brain hits the skull, a brain injury is possible. Always see a doctor or go to the hospital when you suffer any kind of head injury. Depending on the cause of your traumatic brain injury, an attorney in Philadelphia could determine what your legal options may be.
Go to the Doctor or Hospital
With any hit to the head, it is important that you get checked out as soon as possible. Sometimes, a person will seem fine immediately after the impact, but will become very ill later. This is because, in a very severe injury, the brain might swell. If the brain swells it begins to press against the skull. It is the pressing against the skull that often causes a substantial amount of secondary damage to the brain beyond the initial injury. It is especially important to go to the ER if you lose consciousness after any hit to the head or when your head is rapidly thrown forward and backward.
If you suffer a serious brain injury, chances for recover vary greatly. The most recovery will occur within the first six months to one year after the event. As a result, proper medical care and therapy are crucial during this time period. Additional recovery can occur throughout the person’s life. The more serious the injury, the greater the damage to the brain, the more the TBI will impact the person’s life going forward.
Contact a Philadelphia Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney for Help
Head injuries often require expensive treatment. In addition to the initial medical costs, serious damage to the brain will require assessment and therapy to help the person move forward with his life. Often, the therapy and medical care will be a lifetime requirement. In addition, the home may require modification so that the victim can move around without falling, cook and perform other tasks. These modifications are also quite expensive.
Treatment and proper care for traumatic brain injuries is extremely expensive but crucial for your loved one’s ability to cope. These staggering costs can have a serious impact on your family. As a result, it is important to have an experienced brain injury lawyer on your side to fight for the compensation to which you are entitled if someone else’s negligence caused your loved one’s injury. Contact Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys’ Philadelphia traumatic brain injury lawyers for help.