Brain injuries are some of the most severe injuries that can happen to someone, and they almost always have permanent side-effects. If you suffered a brain injury or head trauma in Georgia from someone else’s negligence, you could be owed compensation for your medical bills, as well as pain & suffering. It’s important to contact an experienced Atlanta brain injury lawyer at Butler Wooten & Peak, LLP to help fight for the damages that you deserve.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any form of acute trauma to the brain. A TBI can affect virtually every aspect of an individual, from personality to motor function. Injuries to the brain can impair mental ability temporary or permanently. TBIs are common in car accidents, falls, sports injuries, and acts of violence such as stabbings or gunshot wounds. In all these instances, a negligent party may be liable to pay for the victim’s damages. TBIs are catastrophic injuries that deserve attention from experienced attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia like those at Butler Wooten & Peak, LLP.
In law, you’ll often find the terms “brain injury” and “head injury” used interchangeably. However, one can have a head injury without suffering a brain injury. Trauma to the head can affect the skull without harming the brain. If the brain strikes the inside of the skull, it can lead to swelling or bleeding in what is called a “closed head injury.” This means the skull and scalp are closed, but the brain has sustained injury. An “open head injury” means the skull is open, as would be the case in a puncture wound. Brain injuries can take many shapes and forms, but some of the most common are as follows:
Concussions are the most common type of brain injury. They can be mild to severe depending on the impact. Concussions often stem from sudden blows or jolts to the head and brain. When the brain strikes against the side of the skull or shakes within the skull, it can cause a concussion. Concussions can cause lifelong conditions, although most do not.
A brain contusion is another word for a bruise or bleeding under the tissues of the brain. These are similar to concussions and can arise from an impact on the brain. Brain contusions typically stop bleeding on their own but may require surgical removal if not. The extent of damage from a contusion depends on the severity of the injury.
This injury also involves the brain moving too quickly in the skull but is more serious than a concussion. The brain moves so violently within the skull that the brain stem can’t keep up, leading to tears. Tears in the brain stem can damage and destroy the brain’s connection to the body, causing permanent damage or even death.
There are also coup & contrecoup brain injuries, penetrating injuries, and acquired brain injuries. Acquired brain injuries don’t necessarily come from external force, but may be caused by issues such as lack of oxygen to the brain (anoxia). Not enough oxygen to the brain from drowning, choking, or suffocation can lead to permanent damage.
The odds of sustaining a traumatic brain injury at some point in life are higher than most people realize. Every day, 153 people pass away from brain-injury-related causes in the United States. Traumatic brain injuries cause about 30% of all injury-related deaths. Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (47%), followed by struck-by object (15%), and motor vehicle accidents (14%). You may not realize it right away if you suffer a traumatic brain injury; however, the following symptoms could point to one:
Any unusual feelings or behaviors in the days and weeks following a bump or blow to the head could mean a brain injury. Pay special attention to how you or a loved one feels and acts after a head injury. Brain injuries can sometimes have delayed symptoms, which victims don’t notice until days after the fact. Therefore, it’s important to always visit a doctor after hitting your head, even if you don’t notice any symptoms. You could have hidden bleeding or swelling in your brain that only medical scans can diagnose.
No two TBIs are alike. They can result in myriad symptoms or no symptoms at all – at least not at first. Brain injuries can lead to cognitive impairment, memory loss, problems sleeping, behavioral changes, nausea, dizziness, confusion, coma, and death. While severe TBIs can disable the victim for life, even minor TBIs such as concussions may cause a permanently lowered quality of life for an individual. TBIs can lead to wrongful death if it results in swelling, lack of oxygen, or bleeding in the brain. TBIs can kill the victim right away or result in coma and severe permanent brain damage.
Our law firm always recommends that TBI victims explore their legal opportunities with a team of attorneys. TBIs are not minor injuries that one can shrug off or forget. They are catastrophic and often life-altering injuries. For this reason, TBI victims need to thoroughly explore all available options for financial recovery. For example, if the injurious incident occurred in the workplace, it may be possible to file a workers’ comp and a personal injury claim in Atlanta. The law allows this double filing if a third party caused your injuries, such as a product manufacturer.
Speaking with our attorneys can introduce you to ways of winning the level of compensation your serious injury actually deserves. Our team knows how to fight aggressively for our clients during settlement negotiations with big insurance companies or in trial in front of a jury, if necessary. We will take whatever action we believe is necessary and justified to maximize your damage recovery.
Brain injuries abide by the Glasgow Coma Scale in terms of severity. This scale rates the injury from 1 to 15, with one being the most severe and 15 the least. Mild traumatic brain injuries receive scores of 13 to 15 and may involve a brief loss of consciousness and normal brain scans. Moderate injuries can receive scores of nine to 12 and can result in impairments that may be permanently disabling. Severe brain injuries are any number smaller than nine on the scale and are the most life-threatening. For the most part, survivors with level one to eight brain injuries never return to pre-injury status.
It is impossible to gauge an individual’s prognosis based only on the type and severity of brain injury. These injuries are unique from person to person. No two brain injuries are the same. Two people with the same type of brain injury could experience different symptoms. Some people may recover from brain injuries, while others will not. Progress in mental state may be possible with rehabilitation and therapies, but there are no guarantees. In elderly people, brain injuries increase the risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s always important to see a doctor immediately after an accident involving your head or brain, to get prompt treatment and optimize your odds of recovery.
The chances of someone surviving a brain injury depend on the level of the injury’s severity. Brain injuries on the Glasgow Coma Scale from nine to 15 are generally not life-threatening, although moderate injuries can be permanently disabling to the survivor. Brain injuries that score less than nine on the Glasgow Coma Scale have a higher chance of being fatal to the victim. The amount of time the person is in a coma can also affect survival rates.
Although every brain injury is unique, research suggests that those who have level three or four after 24 hours have about an 87% chance of being fatal or the victim staying in a vegetative state. Patients with brain injuries from five to seven on the scale have a 53% of dying. The chances of survival increase the higher on the scale the injury is in the first 24 hours. Those with an injury at eight to 10 on the scale have a 73% survival rate, while 11 to 15 comes with a 93% chance of survival.
Negligent and reckless individuals and entities have caused millions of traumatic brain injuries over the years. Distracted drivers, careless product manufacturers, negligent property owners – all these parties run the risk of causing or contributing to someone else’s permanent brain injury. If you have reason to believe that someone should be legally responsible for your TBI-related costs, the first thing you should do after seeking medical attention is to contact our attorneys.
Brain injuries are often catastrophic, meaning they have lasting or permanent effects on the victims. Generally, catastrophic injuries qualify for greater compensation than more minor injuries. This is because they impact the victim more severely and are more expensive to treat. The amount you might receive in a brain injury settlement will depend on the extent of the injury, its impact on your life, your prognosis for recovery, and the defendant’s actions, in addition to many other factors.
First, your attorney will calculate your economic losses relating to the accident and injury. These include your medical costs, property damage repairs, and lost wages. Economic damage awards are typically straightforward and easy to calculate. It is the non-economic, or general, damages that are more difficult to put a number on. Non-economic damages for brain injuries can include cognitive disabilities, lost quality of life, lost earning capacity, emotional distress, physical pain, and psychological damage.
It is up to you and your attorney to convince a jury of the extent of your pain and suffering to maximize your compensation award. This may take hiring experts or physicians to testify as to the extent of the damages, as well as describing how your life changed after your accident. Testimonies from friends and family members who knew you before and after may also help express the severity of your damages. Contact us for a free case evaluation for more information about the value of your claim.
Our Atlanta Brain Injury lawyers can help you understand which legal theory serves as the basis of your TBI case. Most center on the theory of negligence – one or more parties breached duties of care to you, resulting in your injury. In some cases, TBI lawsuits come from product liability doctrines, or premises liability. The first step in fighting for compensation is determining the elements of your individual case and building the required evidence from there. Our law firm has the resources to help you with the web of legal processes involved in a TBI claim. Give us a call in Atlanta today to schedule a case evaluation, free of charge. (404) 321-1700