Corpus Christi Brain Injury Law Firm
Brain injuries are serious, debilitating, and often deadly. Over 150 people die each day in the United States from a brain injury. Many brain injuries result from the impact of a severe car accident, hard fall, or sports injury. But they can also occur in more minor accidents and incidents, even if the person injured does not sustain a blow to the head.
That is why you must seek appropriate emergency and follow-up medical care whenever you sustain any accidental injury. Brain injuries, in particular, may not exhibit immediate symptoms that you can recognize, but a trained medical professional can spot telltale signs of brain injuries with diagnostic testing and examination. The sooner you seek medical help for a potential brain injury, the higher the likelihood that your doctor can take steps to minimize its severity.
In this blog post, we discuss the potentially life-altering conditions a brain injury can inflict. To learn more about your legal rights after you sustain a brain injury, contact an experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Corpus Christi.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can result from violent trauma, such as a blow to the head or a penetrating injury, and from health conditions that cause damage to brain tissue. Between 50 and 70 percent of all brain injuries annuallyresult from motor vehicle accidents. Other common causes of brain injuries include:
- Sports injuries
- Gunshot wounds
- Infectious disease
- Lack of oxygen to the brain (e.g. from drowning or choking)
- Medical errors
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
Brain trauma symptoms vary greatly. They can appear immediately or they may not be obvious for months. Doctors break down injury symptoms into the following categories:
- Blurred vision
- Loss of vision
- Loss of motor coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- Sleep disturbances
- Short term memory loss
- Poor concentration
- Difficulty reasoning
- Difficulty speaking or understanding language
- Changes in appetite
- Personality changes
- Mood swings
While these are some common brain injury symptoms, they are not the only symptoms that can arise. The brain controls all of the body’s major life systems. It is the center of what we consider the “self.” An injury to any part of the brain has the potential to disrupt a person’s life and wellbeing in an almost unlimited number of ways.
Symptoms of brain injuries may also evolve as the brain heals and adapts to an injury, or as an injury has successive long-term effects on brain tissue. Some symptoms are episodic, such as temporary feelings of weakness on one side of the body, or an intermittent inability to form words. Other symptoms are permanent.
The unpredictability and seeming randomness of brain injury is part of what makes it so difficult for victims and their loved ones. Often, brain injury sufferers have good days and bad days. And, while good days are a happy occasion, they can also cause distress when they prove to be fleeting.
Brain Injury Myths
Though brain injuries are an extremely common occurrence (perhaps more common than we even realize), numerous myths surround them that sometimes prevent people from seeking appropriate treatment. Here are some of the most persistent misconceptions about brain injuries.
MYTH: You Can Only Get a Brain Injury From Hitting Your Head
You do not have to hit your head to sustain a brain injury. While a blow to the head is a common cause of brain injury, other causes do not require a violent impact. For example, merely sustaining a severe jolt, even if your head does not collide with anything, can “rattle” your brain in your skull and cause brain damage. Other “non-violent” causes of brain injury include losing oxygen flow to the brain, such as when drowning, or a stroke. True bottom line: never assume that just because you didn’t sustain an impact to your head, you can’t have a brain injury.
MYTH: Negative Scans Mean No Injury
Just because you have an MRI or a CT scan that doesn’t show an injury right away, does not mean you are out of the woods. Your brain could sustain microscopic damage that brain scans can miss if they lack sufficient resolution. Instead, your doctor may have to rely on evaluations of you over time to be able to diagnose certain brain injuries. True bottom line: keep those doctor appointments until your doctor clears you.
MYTH: You Will Recover Quickly
Many people think brain injuries don’t take much time to recover and for you to get back to normal. This is not true. Just because you can’t see the injury doesn’t mean it isn’t serious. Some brain injury symptoms are extremely subtle and hard to detect. This requires the keen eye of a trained physician to ensure your brain and you are healthy.
Types of Brain Injuries
Over five million people in the United States are currently living with brain injuries. So a brain injury doesn’t mean your life is over. You may have to adjust your lifestyle but you can still live your life. However, living with different types of brain injuries requires a different approach.
Concussions are the most common type of brain injury. While concussions are often caused by a direct impact to the skull, whiplash, or violent head shaking can cause them. Concussion victims do not necessarily get better quickly, or at all, so do not avoid seeing the doctor. If you’re dizzy, irritable, depressed, anxious, or have sudden headaches, see a doctor right away, as these are telltale signs of a concussion.
A contusion is a direct impact to the skull which results in bruising or even bleeding in the brain. Depending on the severity of your injury, a contusion may require surgery. Contusion symptoms are similar to a concussion but also include swelling of the brain. This is a serious injury requiring immediate medical attention. Do not ignore the symptoms thinking it will get better on its own.
This injury is caused when the impact to your skull is so strong that it injures your brain twice. The first injury happens when your brain strikes your skull and the second injury is caused when your brain bounces off your skull and hits the opposite side of your skull. Not only does this cause injury to multiple parts of your brain, it is also difficult to diagnose properly.
This type of injury is usually the result of a car accident or other severe shaking of the head and is when the brain lags behind the movement of the skull, tearing parts of the brain. This type of injury can cause serious problems and even death. Most victims lose consciousness at the time of the accident.
Steps to Take After a Brain Injury
After a brain injury, the steps you take can play an important part in your ability to recover for your injuries. Taking swift action will help to make sure you get better as quickly as possible.
- Call 911. No matter if you slipped and fell or you were involved in a serious car accident, calling 911 will allow a medical professional to see you and provide immediate medical attention. This ensures your head injury is addressed right after your accident. Besides that, the police will create an accident report, documenting what happened. While they may not assign fault, having an objective report from the police will help collect damages for your injuries.
- See a doctor. You should see a doctor as quickly as possible after your accident to assess your head injury. Your doctor may need several sessions to fully evaluate you as some brain injury symptoms don’t show up right away and take time to properly diagnose.
- Take pictures. Taking pictures of the accident scene and your injuries will help to show how your injury happened and your injuries. If you are unable to take pictures, ask a witness or trusted person to take pictures for you.
- Keep a journal. Keeping a journal helps to make sure you don’t forget anything. As you improve, you may not remember all of the hard work and the suffering you encountered on your road to recovery. In your journal, write daily and describe the steps you’re taking to get better, the roadblocks you encounter, and how you’re feeling. Keep detailed records of your daily progress, or lack thereof.
The last step on your road to recovery is to speak with a trusted Texas brain injury lawyer. As you’re taking steps to improve after your brain injury, you may be out of work and wondering how you’re going to pay your medical bills and your rehabilitation costs. That’s where a seasoned and skilled brain injury lawyer can help reduce your stress and focus on your recovery.
Damages to Fight For
As you are working hard to recover from your brain injury, you need someone working just as hard to help maximize your recovery. You didn’t cause your injury so you shouldn’t be on the hook for any of the costs to get better. And that’s our goal—we aggressively fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation you need so you can focus completely on your recovery.
When you work with us, we’ll fight hard to get you compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Medical expenses
- Home rehab costs
- In-home medical care costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
Don’t discount your injuries. In fact, you may not know the full extent of your injuries for some time. This is why it’s important to be cautious of insurance company settlement offers.
Soon after your injury, the insurance company of the negligent party will contact you and offer you a quick settlement offer. They know you’re out of work and desperate for cash to pay your medical bills. What they won’t tell you is that the offer they’re presenting to you is a low ball offer which likely won’t cover your future medical expenses. This means you could end up paying out of pocket for an injury you didn’t cause.
We don’t want to see you in this tragic situation. Be extremely cautious of any quick settlement offers. The best way to ensure you don’t get taken advantage of is to speak with an experienced brain injury lawyer in Texas. We can review the settlement offer and make sure it covers what you need it to cover.
We’ll work to create an accurate estimate of your future expenses so you don’t end up having to pay for any of them. We’ll negotiate with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement that maximizes your recovery.
While it’s true that most personal injury claims settle out of court, we won’t settle unless it’s right for you and your specific needs. If the insurance company isn’t willing to provide a reasonable settlement, then we’re fully prepared to take your case all the way to trial. We do all of this at no cost to you. We are the solution you’re looking for.