Traumatic brain injuries, or “TBIs,” are extremely serious injuries that often occur after serious head trauma. They can interfere with the way the brain normally functions and cause a host of serious symptoms and complications that can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to work, go to school, or even engage in everyday tasks. Often, TBIs are considered to be catastrophic injuries due to the neurological and functional impairments that can result.
I’ve been asked can TBI victims recover compensation? The answer is often yes but is based on establishing liability or fault for an accident as I’ve discussed on this site many times.
Traumatic brain injuries are generally categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. A concussion is an example of a common mild TBI. However, despite a “mild” categorization, all degrees of traumatic brain injuries are serious and anyone who suffers head trauma should seek immediate medical attention.
What are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The symptoms of a TBI depend largely on the severity of the injury and where the injury occurred in the brain. Different parts of the brain are responsible for different functions, so the effects of an injury can vary significantly from patient to patient.
Some of the symptoms associated with head trauma and a mild traumatic brain injury include:
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Memory problems
- Sleep issues
- Ringing in the ears
Symptoms can persist for days or weeks, and victims are often instructed to rest and use caution to prevent further head trauma. As evidenced by recent lawsuits involving the National Football League (NFL) and National Hockey League (NHL), suffering multiple concussions can have extremely serious long-term effects, such as early-onset dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, as well as a complicated and often fatal condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
The symptoms of a moderate TBI are often similar to those of a mild TBI, though they last for several months or longer. Often, moderate TBI victims need rehabilitative therapy to help them overcome the effects of the injury. People with moderate brain injuries often undergo extensive medical monitoring during their recovery process.
Severe TBIs can cause substantially more serious issues, and victims often experience a prolonged period of unconsciousness or coma. Severe TBI patients may spend time in the intensive care unit (ICU) and weeks in the hospital or a brain injury center. In addition to unconsciousness, a severe TBI may be evidenced by clear fluid draining from the nose or ears, memory loss, slurred speech or the loss of verbal communication abilities, and more.
In the days immediately following a severe brain injury, medical professionals will likely be closely monitoring a patient’s intracranial pressure. Swelling of the brain and hemorrhaging in the skull can both put excessive pressure on the brain, causing additional serious damage. In some situations, a surgeon will need to implant an intracranial pressure monitor inside the patient’s skull or even remove part of their skull to relieve the pressure and make room for swelling. Excessive pressure is only one of many complications that can occur after a severe TBI.
All too often, patients with severe TBIs suffer permanent and life-changing impairments. Again, the type of impairments will depend on the location of the injury, and may include one or more of the following:
- Cognitive impairments – Trouble with communication, processing, following directions, completing basic tasks, learning new things, memory, and more.
- Physical impairments – TBIs can result in problems with balance, coordination, speech, and sensory abilities.
- Behavioral impairments – Some TBI victims experience difficulty controlling their emotions, angry outbursts, and even major changes in their personalities.
Many of these impairments can change the course of a victim’s life, as they may have trouble in school, have to switch jobs, or have to relearn how to engage in basic everyday tasks and self-care.
What Kinds of Accidents Can Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Virtually any type of accident that can cause head trauma can result in a brain injury. That said, they often occur in:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Sports accidents
Importantly, TBIs can occur in the absence of any external object coming into contact with the head if the head shakes violently enough to make the brain hit against the side of the skull, as can occur in a serious car accident.
Can TBI Victims Recover Compensation?
Under Illinois law, if someone else’s negligence caused your TBI, you are likely entitled to compensation for your injuries. Negligence occurs when a person fails to use the degree of care that would ordinarily be used by a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances. Some examples of negligence that could result in a TBI include:
- Defective manufacture or design of recreational equipment
- Distracted driving
- Traffic violations
- Failing to mitigate slip and fall hazards on a commercial property
- Impaired driving
- Careless playground design
It can be difficult to identify and prove when someone else should be liable for your accident, but an experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your situation and advise you of your rights.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Recover Compensation after TBI?
So, can TBI victims recover compensation? Yes they can. But, if you suffered a TBI, is highly advisable that you retain a lawyer to represent you after a TBI.
Insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind and will do everything they can to settle your case for as little as possible. Unless you have significant experience litigating TBI cases, it’s hard to know what your case is actually worth, so proceeding without counsel puts you at risk of accepting a settlement offer that does not adequately compensate you for your losses. The most effective way to ensure that you get the full value of your claim is to retain an attorney as soon as you can after an accident.
Contact Chicago Legal Group Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Glenview Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury in a preventable accident, you should discuss your case with an attorney as soon as you can. TBI victims are often able to recover significant compensation for their accident-related losses, including their lost income, medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and lost quality of life. To schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney, call Chicago legal group today at 847-305-4105 or contact us online.