Austin Brain Injury Attorney
Table of Contents
- Austin Brain Injury Attorney
- Understanding Brain Injuries and Their Causes
- Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Injury
- Why You Need an Austin Brain Injury Attorney
- What to Look for in an Austin Brain Injury Attorney
- How an Austin Brain Injury Attorney Can Help
- The Legal Process for Brain Injury Cases in Austin
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Brain Injury Cases in Austin
- Contacting an Austin Brain Injury Attorney
Austin Brain Injury Attorney
Few injuries can dramatically alter a person’s life quite like a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and many people who suffer TBIs can find that other people do not even recognize that they have been injured. People can suffer TBIs in a multitude of ways, with many kinds of accidents often being among the most common causes although simple falls or birth injuries may be other possible causes.
If you suffer a TBI in Texas, you will want to be quick to contact an experienced Austin brain injury attorney who can help you hold a negligent party accountable and recover all of the financial compensation you are entitled to. According to the National Library of Medicine, costs relating to TBI care could be as much as $401,808, and medical care costs for people with TBIs were $4,906 higher on average than costs for people without TBIs.
Understanding Brain Injuries and Their Causes
A brain injury is usually classified as either being traumatic or non-traumatic, and injuries are further classified as being either mild, moderate, or severe. Most brain injuries are the result of some kind of violent blow to a person’s head, although there can also be cases in which objects may penetrate brain tissue.
Common causes of TBIs include, but are not limited to:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Firearm-related injuries
- Sports injuries
- Explosive blasts
There are several kinds of TBIs, which include:
- Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI) — DAIs involve tearing of nerve fibers within the brain when it is injured as the brain shifts and rotates inside the skull. A DAI can result in a coma and injury to different parts of the brain. Many changes in the brain can be microscopic and not as evident on computed tomography (CT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
- Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) — Concussions are by far the most common kind of brain injury, and the good news is that most people can recover with simple rest.
- Contusion — Contusions are brain bruises or bleeding in the brain that is caused by some force to the head.
- Coup-Contrecoup Injury — A coup-contrecoup injury involves contusions to both the site of impact and on the opposite side of the brain.
- Second Impact Syndrome — Second impact syndrome is also known as “recurrent traumatic brain injury” and occurs when a person suffers a second TBI before the symptoms of the first TBI have healed. Second impact syndrome will be more likely to cause brain swelling and widespread damage.
- Abusive Head Trauma (Shaken Baby Syndrome) — Abusive head trauma is a violent criminal act causing TBI in young children.
- Locked-in Syndrome — Locked-in syndrome is a rare neurological condition involving a person who cannot physically move any part of their body besides their eyes.
- Open Head Injury — The open head injury or penetrating head injury involves the dura mater or outer layer of the meninges being breached.
- Closed Head Injury — A closed head injury is trauma to a person’s head not causing a break in the skull. A brain and soft tissue could still suffer damage by violent movement and lead to bleeding and swelling inside the head. A moderate or severe closed head injury may require emergency care, including supportive care, such as oxygen, IV fluids, and nutrition therapy.
Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Injury
The Mayo Clinic notes that mild TBIs can involve physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea or vomiting, fatigue or drowsiness, problems with speech, and dizziness or loss of balance. People could also experience sensory issues such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth, or changes in the ability to smell, as well as sensitivity to light or sound.
Cognitive, behavioral or mental symptoms could include loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes, no loss of consciousness but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented, memory or concentration problems, mood changes or mood swings, feeling depressed or anxious, difficulty sleeping, and sleeping more than usual.
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries could involve physical symptoms such as loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours, persistent headaches or headaches that worsen, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, clear fluids draining from the nose or ears, an inability to awaken from sleep, weakness or numbness in fingers and toes, and loss of coordination. Cognitive or mental symptoms may include profound confusion, agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior, slurred speech, and a coma and other disorders of consciousness.
When it comes to TBIs in children, the Mayo Clinic notes that symptoms with children may include changes in eating or nursing habits, unusual or easy irritability, persistent crying and inability to be consoled, changes in an ability to pay attention, changes in sleep habits, seizures, sad or depressed moods, drowsiness, and loss of interest in favorite toys or activities.
Why You Need an Austin Brain Injury Attorney
A TBI case can be much more complex than many other injury cases, as a lawyer cannot just add up medical bills to calculate the damages a person may be entitled to. Compensation in these cases can often be dictated by the issues surrounding a TBI and how it will impact a person’s ability to manage their daily affairs.
An attorney can help you by working with medical experts who will be able to vouch for the severity of your TBI and assist in proving how damaging your injury actually is. Insurance companies handling TBI cases will frequently try to offer people lump-sum settlements to resolve their cases, but you should always refuse your first offer from any insurer because it almost assuredly a lowball figure that is nowhere near what you are actually entitled to.
You will want to be sure you are working with a lawyer who has experience handling TBI cases because they will know how to step in and negotiate a far more fair and full settlement to your case. If an insurance company is unwilling to provide adequate compensation, then an attorney can file a lawsuit to take your case to court.
What to Look for in an Austin Brain Injury Attorney
A lawyer’s experience is inevitably the first thing most people should focus on when considering legal representation, as a person will want to work with an attorney who has previously handled TBI cases. When a lawyer does have previous experience with TBIs, you can ask them how much they recovered for those clients.
People will also want to work with an attorney who can advise them on when they can return to work and how going back to their jobs could impact their compensation claims. It will also be beneficial to work with a lawyer who has a good understanding of your local court system and may have a better idea of how a judge will view your case.
Always look into reviews on Google or other legal websites to get an idea of how previous clients view an attorney. While negative reviews can be enlightening in some cases, they may also need to be taken with a grain of salt since it is possible the competitors may have created fraudulent reviews.
See who else works at a law firm and make sure that you understand how a lawyer will communicate with their clients. Some attorneys may provide their personal phone numbers to accept calls at any time.
Try to get an understanding of what kind of caseload a lawyer is dealing with so you can know exactly how you will fit into their plans. Finally, you are going to want to make sure that you agree with the payment model, as The Patel Firm will represent you on a contingency fee basis so you will pay nothing up front and you will pay nothing at all if we cannot win or settle your case.
How an Austin Brain Injury Attorney Can Help
The first major benefit of hiring a lawyer for your TBI case is that they can perform their own independent investigation into the accident that caused your TBI and then determine which party is liable. The investigation will be critical to your case because an attorney will know how to preserve key items of evidence.
A lawyer will also be beneficial in determining the possible damages in your case, as many people have no idea how much their cases are actually worth. When you are working with a skilled attorney, they should be able to know exactly how much they will be seeking.
The Legal Process for Brain Injury Cases in Austin
When a person suffers a TBI in Texas, the first step in the process after determining possible damages will be to send a demand letter to the insurance company for the negligent party. Many insurers simply disregard demand letters, but some companies may make counter-offers that are usually not worth considering.
A demand letter will usually prompt settlement negotiations, and both sides could negotiate for several months. While insurance companies generally prefer to settle cases rather than bearing the high costs of going to trial, there are cases in which settlements prove to be elusive.
People may have to file lawsuits in such cases and then go to court to try and prove another party caused a person’s TBI by a preponderance of the evidence. In some cases, filing lawsuits may be enough to compel an insurance company to settle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Brain Injury Cases in Austin
How is brain injury severity determined?
The Glasgow Coma Scale is used to rate brain injury severity, and determines how responsive a person is to behavioral measures. The GCS measures the following functions:
Eye Opening (E)
- 4 = spontaneous
- 3 = to sound
- 2 = to pressure
- 1 = none
- NT = not testable
Verbal Response (V)
- 5 = orientated
- 4 = confused
- 3 = words, but not coherent
- 2 = sounds, but no words
- 1 = none
- NT = not testable
Motor Response (M)
- 6 = obeys command
- 5 = localizing
- 4 = normal flexion
- 3 = abnormal flexion
- 2 = extension
- 1 = none
- NT = not testable
Individual elements as well as the sum of the score are documented numerically, for example as E2V4M6. They can also be added together for a total Coma Score, so E2 V4 M6 becomes GCS 12.
TBIs are typically classified as follows:
- Severe: GCS 8 or less
- Moderate: GCS 9-12
- Mild: GCS 13-15
Contacting an Austin Brain Injury Attorney
Did you suffer a TBI in any kind of accident in Austin or a surrounding area of Texas? You will want to be sure that you speak to The Patel Firm as soon as possible.
Our firm knows how challenging and frightening it can be for people to be dealing with TBIs, but we will work closely with you throughout your case so you can be confident that you are receiving all of the necessary care. You can call (512)-883-5171 or contact us online to receive a free consultation with our Austin brain injury attorney.
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