A traumatic brain injury (TBI) often results from a blow or jolt to the head, such as in a slip and fall accident, an act of violence, or an auto accident. Millions of people sustain TBIs each year, which can range from mild to severe. In fact, every year, over 1.37 million people receive emergency treatment for brain injuries; 275,000 are hospitalized for their TBIs; and 52,000 people die from TBI-related injuries, according to Brainline.org.
Brain injury victims should seek out the best in care to improve the chances of successful treatment. And, because the damages can be extensive with TBIs, they should also look into their legal options for financial recovery.
How TBIs Affect Patients
Because the brain is the body’s central processor, damage to any of its structures can cause a host of short- and long-term effects. Relatively minor damage, like a mild concussion, may only cause relatively mild, temporary effects such as confusion, headaches, nausea, and mood swings; although even mild TBIs can lead to long-term and potentially fatal consequences if not diagnosed and treated properly by a doctor.
Moderate to severe TBIs, on the other hand, can cause significant changes in cognition, language, sensation, and emotions. Some of the common effects of a serious TBI can include the following:
- Memory loss
- Problems with communication and expression
- Inability to reason or learn new concepts
- Loss of balance, coordination
- Frequent dizziness and headaches
- Changes in vision
- Social anxiety and socially inappropriate behaviors
- Emotional issues, such as depression, outbursts of anger, aggression, and suicidal thoughts
- Changes in touch, smell, and taste sensations
Plus, people with TBIs may be more at risk for developing other issues later on, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Above and beyond the physical and emotional effects, brain injuries also impact other areas of victims’ lives, including their career, finances, family life, independence, and overall sense of happiness and purpose.
Can I recover damages for my brain injuries?
A serious brain injury can put a family into a financial crisis. Treatment for brain injuries can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention the fact that a person with a TBI may be unable to work in the same capacity anymore and may require expensive long-term care. This is why it is vital for victims or their family members to investigate their recovery options.
If the victim sustained the TBI in an accident that someone else caused or contributed to, then the victim can seek compensation for damages from the at-fault party. For example, if the victim was hurt when a beam fell on his head in a building, he can probably file a claim or lawsuit against the building owner.
In order to have justification for filling a personal injury claim or lawsuit, you will need to be able to prove certain elements. These include:
- Duty of care (the defendant had a duty to ensure your safety)
- Breach of duty (the defendant acted in a negligent or careless way and breached his duty)
- Causation (the defendant’s negligence was the cause of the TBI)
- Damages (you suffered damages, such as those noted above, because of your injuries)
Your attorney will be able to determine if your accident qualifies for compensation and help you collect the evidence necessary to prove your case.
How do I prove the value of my damages?
If you qualify to file an injury claim or lawsuit, you will also need to prove the value of your damages so that you receive appropriate compensation. Brain injury victims can recover a wide range of economic and non-economic damages, including those for medical bills, lost wages, disability, emotional damages, pain and suffering, and the effect of the injury on their family and future. It is important to account for both short- and long-term damages, as a TBI can cause both. Evidence such as medical reports, diagnostics, and expert witness testimonies can help support your demand for compensation.