Have you been the victim of a traumatic brain injury in Atlanta, GA? Contact the personal injury lawyers at Hasner Law, PC for help. You may be entitled to financial compensation to help cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our skilled brain injury attorneys will fight to get you the results you deserve. We offer a free consultation, so call to schedule yours today.
Brain Injuries are a Serious Medical Condition
Suffering a brain injury is a serious medical condition that can require long-term treatment. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injuries are one of the most common causes of death and disability in the United States.
By the numbers, more than 3.5 million people sustain a brain injury each year. Of these, 2.5 million suffer a traumatic brain injury. Further, there are 280,000 cases of hospitalization, and 50,000 individuals die from the injury. It is estimated that over 5 million people in America have a brain injury-related disability.
As you might expect, brain injuries are caused by trauma to the head. This leads to damage to the skull or brain and can be the result of a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Brain injuries can be mild in nature, which are often referred to as concussions, or be severe. Severe traumatic brain injuries may have permanent symptoms.
Types of Brain Injuries
Brain injury is actually a fairly broad term. There are a lot of different conditions and injuries that can be classified under its umbrella. These include:
- Open brain injuries: meaning the brain has been penetrated by an outside object
- Closed brain injuries: meaning another blow to the head that does not involve penetration
- Acceleration injuries: when the brain slams against the skull due to a sudden stop, like whiplash following a car or trucking accident
- Lacerations: meaning tears in brain tissue
- Skull fractures: a break in the bone of the skull
- Hypoxia: meaning a lack of oxygen to the brain
- Ischemia: meaning insufficient blood flow to the brain
- Cerebral edema: swelling of the brain
- Meningitis: an infection of the brain
- Toxic injury: exposure to harmful chemicals or carbon monoxide that reaches the brain
At Hasner Law, PC we represent clients who have sustained a wide range of brain injuries. Give us a call to learn more about how we might be able to help you fight for the money you deserve.
Causes of Brain Injury
Note that brain trauma can occur in a variety of situations. Common scenarios where we see these types of injuries are:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Accidents at construction sites
- Medical malpractice cases, and
- Harm resulting from defective products.
Now, the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries is falling. This accounts for nearly half of all head injuries. The next most common cause of brain trauma is car accidents. This accounts for roughly one-fifth of hospital visits for brain injuries.
Keep in mind that if someone was at fault for causing your brain injury, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. To be successful in these types of personal injury cases, you must show that the person acted negligently and that his or her negligence led to your injury. Negligence means that the person failed to act reasonably under the circumstances. An example would be an intoxicated driver that caused a vehicle collision.
Signs and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
It’s important that you seek medical attention right away following a blow to the head. This is particularly true if you have any signs of traumatic brain injury. These signs and symptoms would include:
- Memory impairment, and/or
- A period of unconsciousness.
Note that injuries to the brain are not always immediately apparent. In fact, sometimes it can take days or even weeks after the accident for symptoms to appear. With that in mind, in addition to the symptoms mentioned above, there are additional signs to watch out for.
These include any of the following:
- Increased pain in the head or neck
- Changes in mood (irritability, increased anxiety, depression)
- Insomnia or increased fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating or communicating, or
- Issues with memory.
Also, keep in mind that some individuals are more susceptible than others to serious traumatic brain injury. Specifically, children and people over 75 years of age are at an increased risk of developing symptoms.
Long-Term Treatment for Brain Injuries
Bear in mind that brain injuries are complicated to treat. They often involve seeing specialists and developing long-term care plans. This may include multiple and complex surgical procedures. Depending on the availability of medical care where you live and your health insurance plan, receiving the appropriate care may require significant costs and travel.
The types of care you will benefit from can vary, but treatment options often include:
- Physical therapy: to build back strength, coordination, and flexibility that may have suffered as a result of the accident
- Speech therapy: if your communication skills were impacted
- Occupation therapy: to relearn how to do basic tasks like bathing and getting dressed
- Cognitive therapy: to improve memory, attention, and learning skills (this is one of the most common types of therapy needed for people with traumatic brain injury)
- Mental health treatment: including visits to a psychologist
- Vocational counseling: to help you get back to work
- Medications: including anti-anxiety and antidepressants, anticoagulants to prevent blood clots, muscle relaxants to reduce spasms, and anticonvulsants to prevent seizures
Generally speaking, the faster you can see a doctor after a head injury, the more likely you are to fully recover. Nonetheless, some types of brain trauma lead to permanent symptoms.
Brain Injury Victims are Entitled to Compensation
Now, if someone is to blame for your injury, you may be entitled to compensation in the form of money damages. These amounts can cover one or more of the following:
Medical expenses: this would include costs related to emergency room visits and ongoing treatment, such as rehabilitation, physical therapy, speech therapy, and prescription drugs. In fact, any medical care that you need to properly treat your injury would fall under this category.
Lost wages: these are amounts to cover you during periods where you missed work due to the injury. It would also apply if you are no longer able to work at all or can only return to your job in some diminished capacity (such as light duty). Compensation would include payments representing the loss of your future earning capacity.
Pain and suffering: includes damages that are above and beyond your medical expenses and lost wages. In fact, you can be compensated for the emotional impact and lifestyle changes that resulted from your injury. Note that pain and suffering amounts are not an exact dollar figure and are often negotiated during settlement talks or determined by a jury after a trial.
Punitive damages: these amounts apply in cases where the behavior of the person responsible went far beyond ordinary negligence. Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and may be an option if the individual either intentionally or recklessly harmed you. There is also no specific dollar amount for these types of damages, and they can get quite large depending on how egregious the person’s actions were.
Note that if the brain injury leads to the death of the victim, his or her family members may bring what is known as a wrongful death action. These claims allow a surviving spouse or children to receive compensation for medical expenses paid before the victim passed away, funeral/burial expenses, and lost wages the deceased person would have earned. There are also intangible benefits that can be part of the damage award, such as loss of care and companionship.
Workers’ Compensation May Be Available for a Brain Injury
When a brain injury occurs on the job, special rules apply. In these situations, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation, which provides money for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost income. Workers’ comp is a type of insurance that most employers in Georgia are required to carry.
Workers’ compensation is considered no-fault. This means that, unlike personal injury lawsuits, you can collect benefits even if no one was negligent in causing your injuries. However, keep in mind that you are more limited in the type of compensation you can receive.
Specifically, you are not allowed to receive punitive damages or amounts that represent pain and suffering. In cases where a victim is killed while on the job, that person’s spouse or other surviving dependents can instead receive the workers’ comp benefits.
Contact an Atlanta Brain Injury Lawyer and Get the Results You Deserve
At Hasner law, our Atlanta personal injury attorneys have extensive experience with brain injury cases. We understand the emotional toll these matters can take on a family. We will evaluate your injury, and investigate the accident and people involved to determine whether you have a potential claim.
Our Atlanta brain injury attorneys will work hard to ensure that you receive all of the benefits you are entitled to, including medical expenses (both present and future), lost income, as well as intangible losses.
Our team knows how to negotiate with insurance companies, and can get you the settlement you deserve. If necessary, we will also bring your case to trial. If you are suffering a brain injury, seek legal advice as soon as possible. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.