Traumatic Brain Injuries in Personal Injury Cases
Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident or a slip and fall, one of the most life-shattering injuries you may suffer is a traumatic brain injury, or a TBI. There are different types of TBIs, which can vary in severity.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injury
TBIs are divided into open and closed, or whether or not the skull was broken, fractured, or penetrated. Open TBIs include skull fractures and bullet wounds, but only account for 1-2% of TBIs. Closed TBIs include concussions, hemorrhages and hematomas, contusions, and other secondary injuries. Concussions are the most common type of TBI.
Symptoms of a Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
You should be concerned about a TBI after an accident if you experience symptoms like vomiting, dizziness, headaches, blurry vision, difficulties sleeping and concentrating, and issues with your hearing or vision. You should pay extra attention if you briefly lost consciousness after the accident. You should seek medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect that you have suffered a TBI.
Symptoms of a Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries
If you have a more severe TBI, you may still see some or all of the symptoms of a mild TBI. You may also see symptoms like seizures, increased aggression, numbness in your extremities, slurred speech, extremely deep sleep that you have difficulty waking from, and convulsions. You may also see the symptoms of a mild TBI become more severe, frequent, and persistent. If you have already seen a doctor that has given you a clean bill of health, you should return or see a new doctor if these symptoms appear.
If you have recently had a concussion before suffering another concussion in an accident, you may be susceptible to a condition known as second impact syndrome (SIS). SIS causes rapid brain swelling and has a much higher fatality rate than a standard concussion. If you have recently suffered a concussion, you should seek medical attention after an accident regardless of if you feel symptoms because SIS can be caused by even a minor second impact.
Damages for Traumatic Brain Injuries
For all types of personal injury cases, you will be able to recover costs like medical expenses, property damages, and missed time from work. Out of the 1.7 million Americans who suffer a traumatic brain injury each year, 70,000 of them become permanently disabled. If you are settling a personal injury claim with a permanent TBI, you need to include future medical expenses and care in your award, as well as loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, etc.
If the defendant acts especially reprehensibly and your case proceeds to trial, you may be able to recover a different type of damages: punitive damages. Punitive damages can only be awarded by a jury at trial- you will never get punitive damages in a settlement agreement. Because punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant, they will be based on how much needs to be charged to actually negatively impact the defendant.
Why You Should Hire an Attorney
After being in an accident and suffering a brain injury, dealing with a personal injury claim can be especially difficult. Symptoms like confusion and irritability will make negotiating a settlement more stressful in general. Having an attorney to advocate for you can also make sure that the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of your vulnerability after an accident. An attorney will also take care of all communications with opposing counsel and the court so that you can focus on recovering from your injury. An attorney will probably be able to negotiate a much higher settlement award than you would be able to do yourself.
At My AZ Lawyers, we know that every last dollar counts when making ends meet after an accident. That’s why while other personal injury attorneys may charge fees of 33% of your case or more, we keep our fees at a reasonable 25 percent. Eight percent might not sound like much, but if your case is worth $100,000, that means you would get to keep $8,000 more. You deserve to keep as much of your award as possible, our Arizona Personal Injury Attorneys make up for the pain and stress the accident caused, and to save for future care and medical costs. As soon as you can after an accident, call our firm to get started with your free consultation.