Corpus Christi Brain Injury Attorneys
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.
Corpus Christi Brain Injury FAQ
More than 2.8 million people suffer from a brain injury every single year in the United States. These injuries can range from minor concussions to more serious and deadly traumatic brain injuries. On average, roughly 155 people lose their lives every day due to brain injuries. Those who do survive may suffer from serious disability and impairment for the rest of their lives.
The brain is complex, and any injury that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain can have serious consequences. Depending on the severity and location of the injury, survivors may have difficulty talking, walking, or even performing their daily care. They may experience mood swings or even personality changes after a brain injury.
This can adversely affect their entire lives and prevent them from working, enjoying active lifestyles, and maintaining relationships. These issues can even affect their families and loved ones significantly, as many shuffle their lives around to provide care.
Sadly, incidences of brain injuries are on the rise. In just about ten years, traumatic brain injuries increased by 54 percent.
This is in large part due to several factors, including, but not limited to:
- Increase in awareness about brain injuries
- Increase in distracted driving
- Repealed universal motorcycle helmet laws in many states
No matter how your brain injury occurs, one thing is certain: a brain injury is unpredictable. Even seemingly minor brain injuries can result in a lifetime of care and disability. Likewise, individuals with traumatic and nearly fatal brain injuries can also make a full recovery. Due to the unpredictable nature of these injuries and the long-term disability you may endure, it is important to learn all you can about the uphill road you may face.
Brain Injury Frequently Asked Questions
If you suffered a brain injury or you are a caregiver for a loved one who suffered a brain injury, you may have many questions. It is important to get the answers to those questions, so you can explore all of your medical and legal options.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about brain injuries.
Brain injuries are one of the most common causes of disability and death in both children and adults. They range in severity depending on the type of accident, the forces involved in the collision, and the location of the injury. However, any bump, bruise, or blow to the head can result in damage to the brain and its structures.
Annually, more than 2.8 million people seek help in emergency rooms because of a brain injury. These injuries result in more than 288,000 hospitalizations and 57,000 deaths every year. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 5.3 million people currently live with some form of TBI-related disability in the United States.
What are the different types of brain injuries?
There are numerous types of brain injuries. These injuries depend largely on the type of accident, the force endured, and the location of the damage.
Some of the most common types of brain injuries include:
Concussion. A concussion is an injury to the head that can cause a loss of consciousness or alertness. These are generally milder forms of brain injuries, however, symptoms can become chronic even if treated quickly. Sports athletes and car accident victims often suffer from concussions. When the head hits a stationary or hard object, such as another helmet or a steering wheel, the delicate tissues of the brain can sustain damage.
Skull fractures. When the head suffers a hard blow, the skull can break, resulting in a fracture. These fractures can impress down into the brain tissue or they can cause swelling in the brain and head. A basilar skull fracture is one of the most serious fractures. It involves a break in the bone at the base of the skull.
Intracranial hematoma (ICH). When the brain suffers an injury, dangerous and deadly blood clots can develop. These clots can further restrict oxygen to the brain, causing even more severe hypoxic injuries.
There are multiple types of ICH or blood clots in the brain, however, some of the most common intracranial hematomas include:
- Epidural hematoma. This type of hematoma happens when a blood clot forms beneath the skull. This often results from a skull fracture.
- Subdural hematoma. This occurs when a clot forms between the skull and the dura outside of the brain itself. This can result from a tear to the veins or from a cut due to a skull fracture.
- Contusion hematoma. This type of injury is a bruise to the brain itself. When the part of the brain that suffers injury becomes bruised, it can begin to bleed and swell. This bleeding inside the brain often results in high pressure and the loss of oxygen to the vital parts of the brain that are responsible for motor functioning, breathing, and more.
- Diffuse axonal hematoma. This is caused by the brain shaking back and forth and is typically the result of a car accident. When the brain shakes back and forth, bleeding can occur inside the brain. This type of injury often results in a coma and in many cases death.
What are the symptoms of a brain injury?
Each brain injury survivor may experience different symptoms depending on the severity and location of the injury.
However, in general, brain injuries will result in some of the following symptoms:
- Sensitivity to noise and light
- Balance and coordination issues
- Walking difficulties
- Weakness in extremities
- Memory and concentration problems
- Irritability and confusion
- Severe headache
- Loss of short-term memory
- Slurred speech
- Pain skin
- Seizures and convulsions
- Ringing in ears
- Clear fluid draining from ears or nose
- Loss of consciousness
What types of accidents cause brain injuries?
Any forceful event can cause a brain injury.
However, some of the more common causes of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Sports accidents
- Recreational accidents
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Assault or violence
- Child abuse
Can a concussion cause permanent brain damage?
While most people are relieved to learn that they only suffered a concussion, in reality, these injuries are not always mild. Concussions can turn into chronic injuries that result in a lifetime of pain and suffering, even when they receive early treatment. In fact, about 20 percent of all concussion survivors may suffer from post-concussion syndrome. When they do, they can experience debilitating symptoms six weeks to months after the initial injury.
The more concussions you suffer, the more likely you are to experience long-term and chronic effects. This is because your brain needs time to adequately heal. For this reason, medical doctors and safety experts caution parents and coaches against sending athletes back on the field too soon after a concussion.
How are brain injuries diagnosed?
When an accident occurs, you might recognize the signs and symptoms of a brain injury quickly. More severe brain injuries are easy to recognize. After all, when an accident victim is knocked unconscious, paramedics are quick to assess them and take them to the emergency room.
However, it is not always easy to recognize signs of more minor brain injuries. Even worse, many brain injuries worsen as time progresses, and the bleeding and swelling increase. For that reason, individuals who suffer a blow to the head should seek medical help immediately, even if they do not believe they have a head injury.
When you enter the emergency room after a blow or injury to the head, doctors will immediately examine you carefully for signs of a brain injury.
To do this, they will perform a series of tests, including:
- CT scan
- Blood work
- Other diagnostic imaging
How do doctors determine the severity of traumatic brain injuries?
The Glasgow Coma Scale is one of the ways doctors determine the severity of traumatic brain injuries. Doctors evaluate patients based on eye-opening abilities, verbal responsiveness, and motor responsiveness.
They then give each patient a score that correlates with the severity of their brain injury.
- Mild brain injury. Loss of consciousness for less than 30 minutes and a Glasgow Coma Scale score between 13 and 15.
- Moderate brain injury. Loss of consciousness for between 30 minutes and 24 hours and a Glasgow Coma Scale score between 9 and 12.
- Severe brain injury. Loss of consciousness for more than 24 hours and a Glasgow Coma Scale score between 3 and 8.
These categories of traumatic brain damage only refer to the initial presentation of symptoms, however, not to long-term outcomes. A “mild” brain injury can cause lifelong effects, while symptoms from a severe one could clear up rather quickly. The unpredictable nature of traumatic brain injuries means that you need to follow through on care, keep track of your symptoms, and contact our Corpus Christi brain injury lawyers for help paying your bills.
Who is to blame after a traumatic brain injury?
After you suffer a traumatic brain injury, you will undoubtedly want to know who is to blame. If a negligent driver or entity caused your accident, then they will also bear liability for your injuries. However, a proper investigation may uncover multiple parties to blame for your accident including the city or town responsible for maintaining the roads or the bar that served the intoxicated driver.
For this reason, speak to an experienced brain injury lawyer immediately after your accident. Your lawyer will need to investigate your accident carefully to identify all responsible parties. Your lawyer can then build a strong case for you that is designed to help you collect the maximum compensation.
How much will my brain injury cost?
Brain injuries are some of the most expensive injuries a person can suffer. The CDC estimates that the national expense of a TBI, including direct and indirect medical costs, is $76.5 billion. Per person, this equals roughly $3 million per person for an injury suffered. This does not always include the costs associated with loss of earnings or lost wages. Even worse, estimates show that up to 53 percent of people who experience homelessness also have a brain injury. As you can see, the long-term consequences of these injuries can last a lifetime.
What kinds of compensation can I receive after a brain injury?
After suffering a brain injury, you can file a lawsuit against the negligent party to seek compensation for the damages you suffered.
Some of those damages may include:
- Medical care
- Long-term care
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Lost wages
- Loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Mental health counseling
Not every accident victim will receive all of the above forms of compensation. However, with a lawyer on your side, you can rest assured knowing that you will obtain money to help you put your life back on track after a serious brain injury.
Is there a time limit for filing a brain injury lawsuit?
Every state limits the amount of time an injured accident victim has to file a lawsuit. For example, in the state of Texas, injured accident survivors only have 2 years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. This statute of limitations means that if you miss this deadline, you can no longer file a future claim seeking compensation.
For this reason, it is important to act quickly after an accident. When you suffer a traumatic brain injury, the last thing on your mind might be filing a lawsuit. However, you might need extensive compensation to help pay your medical bills and expenses. As such, it is important to review your legal options with an experienced and skilled brain injury lawyer as soon as you can.
Your lawyer can help you understand your injuries and the legal deadlines you might face. Then, while you focus on your rehabilitation and recovery, your lawyer can build your case and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
After a brain injury, you deserve to have a legal team fighting for you and your future. Call us today for more information.
Contact Our Brain Injury Lawyers Today
When you’re working hard to recover from your brain injury, the last thing you need on your plate is worrying about legal issues and how you’re going to pay your bills. That’s what we’re here to do. Let us deal with the legal complexities so you can put your full effort into making a complete recovery. We’ll work aggressively to maximize your recovery and make sure you don’t have to pay your medical expenses out of pocket.
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