When the head is struck hard — during a fall or during an impact, for example — the tissue of the brain can bounce and jiggle. If the brain bounces off the sides of the skull, it can get damaged and can even bruise or bleed, sometimes swelling and pushing up against the inside of the skull and creating further damage.
When this type of injury occurs, it is known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is different from a brain injury someone is born with, or an injury sustained during a stroke or another event where the brain is deprived of oxygen. While some people recover fully from a TBI, it is also one of the leading causes of serious, permanent injury in our country.
How Do Brain Injuries Commonly Happen?
Brain injuries can happen for many reasons, but car accidents are among the top causes of brain trauma. In a collision involving a motorcycle, truck, or car, typically the vehicle is traveling at a high speed and stops suddenly, causing the occupants of the car or truck to lurch forward, potentially hitting their head. While airbags can disrupt the forward movement in a car accident, it is not always enough to prevent injury.
In a car or truck accident, brain injuries can also happen if objects inside the car become projectiles. If someone has a laptop or other item in the vehicle, this can become airborne during an accident and cause serious injury if it hits a vehicle’s occupant in the head. In motorcycle accidents, being thrown from the bike is a common cause of head injuries, especially if a rider’s helmet falls off and direct impact is made with the roadway.
In addition to car accidents, head injuries are common in workplaces and are frequent sports injuries. They can also be caused by falls, assaults, and by any incident where a person’s head impacts against a solid surface.
How Severe Can Their Impact Be?
According to the CDC, there are an average of 610 hospitalizations and 166 fatalities per day across the country related to traumatic brain injury. This amounts to more than 220,000 hospitalizations and over 60,000 deaths per year. These numbers, stark as they are, only tell part of the story. Brain injuries can be one of the most difficult injuries to sustain because their consequences can be so far-ranging and serious. People living with a serious brain injury may experience:
- Changes in personality
- Memory loss
- Swallowing disorders
- Mobility issues, including unintentional movement or tremors
- Paralysis or weakness on part of the body
- Sleep changes, which can lead to severe fatigue
- Speech disorders
- Loss of cognitive function
- Dizziness and difficulty with balance and coordination
- Difficulty with speech or understanding speech
- Sensory impairment
- Confusion and difficulty focusing
Someone living with severe TBI may be unable to care for themselves and may need to be in an assisted living facility for the rest of their lives. Even someone with a less severe injury may need months of rehabilitation and may find their symptoms impact their ability to do their job or to maintain relationships. Cognitive and memory issues can also make individuals vulnerable to fraud and to scams.
New research offers new promise to TBI survivors, but innovative treatments are very expensive. Many patients who are recovering from a brain injury can face financial challenges, since the cost of assisted living, rehabilitation, surgeries, medications, and other treatments can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars if an injury is long-term. Patients with severe TBI may not be able to return to work and may face challenges in securing the insurance money and revenue needed for medical care.
How Can Finding a Good Brain Injury Lawyer Help?
If you have suffered a brain injury due to a car accident, traffic collision, or through any preventable incident, look for an experienced brain injury lawyer. Houston injury attorneys who work with TBI patients can help you determine whether negligence may have played a part in your injury and whether you qualify for a legal claim.
Contacting an experienced brain injury attorney in Houston means you have someone acting in your best interest. An experienced attorney can review your insurance policies and may be able to negotiate with insurers. A lawyer can also pursue claims against any liable parties, not only to hold them accountable but also to seek compensation so you can pay for the medical care you will need. Without an attorney, you may have limited resources for getting the compensation you need. With an experienced attorney, you have a professional by your side, working to pursue any viable avenues for compensation.
What’s The Process Typically Like Once Someone Retains an Attorney?
Once you have retained a brain injury lawyer, your attorney will secure evidence and will work to file a claim, if that’s what you decide to do. Once the claim is filed, the other parties named will have a chance to respond to the claim.
During the discovery process, evidence will be gathered and shared by all parties. As part of discovery, you may need to be interviewed by the other side, which can be especially challenging for anyone who is living with a TBI and has had memory or cognitive function impaired. Your attorney will work to safeguard you and will help you prepare for any meetings.
At any point during the claim, all parties may reach a settlement. If this does not occur, the case will go before a judge or jury, which may decide the outcome of the case.
What Kind of Recovery Might Be Available?
For plaintiffs assisted by a brain injury attorney, Houston courts and settlements can vary widely. Some plaintiffs recover thousands of dollars while some recover millions of dollars. The severity of the injury, and the expected future costs, may play a significant role in the recovery possible. An injury that will require someone to have around-the-clock care may be worth more than an injury that allows a patient to still hold onto a job.
Beyond injury severity, the facts of the case and even the experience of the attorneys involved can impact recovery. If you’re curious how much your claim may be worth, consult with a brain injury lawyer. An experienced Houston or local personal injury attorney who has worked with similar cases cannot make any guarantees but may be able to provide a range of what a similar claim may be worth.
How Can Johnson Garcia Help?
If you need a brain injury lawyer, Houston has many options, but several things make Johnson Garcia Law stand out. We take on a variety of injury cases, so we have experience with both brain injury and car accident claims. In fact, we have more than thirty years of combined experience and have recovered over $100 million for our clients.
We’re dedicated to working with those who are in need, including those who have suffered life-altering injuries. We understand that experiencing a traumatic brain injury is upsetting enough. In a friendly and approachable atmosphere, we’re here to help with 24/7 availability as well as Saturday and evening appointment slots. Our law firm has English and Spanish speakers, and we offer contingency billing that helps you to not worry about fees unless we win.
Take a look at our track record to see the results we have gotten for our clients and read about what clients have experienced when working with us. To find out more, contact us for a free consultation.