It takes a great deal of effort, money, and time to handle a traumatic brain injury (TBI) appropriately, so brain injury victims and their families often feel indisputable financial pressures. The Rochester attorneys who handle lawsuits related to brain injuries can help.
An experienced Rochester personal injury attorney can offer sound legal advice to New York brain injury victims and their families. If you were injured by another person’s negligence, your attorney will work to help you win compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
If necessary, an experienced injury attorney will work with accident reconstruction specialists and medical experts to compile the testimony and evidence that a traumatic brain injury victim will need for a personal injury claim to prevail.
How Many People Suffer From a Traumatic Brain Injury?
All brain injuries are unique. The brain is vulnerable to several types of injuries. It depends on the type and amount of force that impacts the head. Any injury to the brain may affect just one area of the brain, various areas, or the entire brain.
Every year, more than 1.5 million persons in the United States suffer a traumatic brain injury. Most victims are treated at a hospital and released, but 50,000 die each year because of a traumatic brain injury, and about 125,000 are permanently disabled.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that more than three million people in the United States are disabled permanently due to a traumatic brain injury.
How Are Brain Injuries Defined and Categorized?
Brain injuries are classified by type and by the level of severity. Several types of traumatic brain injuries include:
- coup-contrecoup injuries
- diffuse axonal injuries
- penetration of the brain by a foreign object
While every injury is unique, the severity and extent of a brain injury will place that injury at one of three brain injury severity levels: mild, moderate, or severe.
How Are Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries Identified and Defined?
A mild traumatic brain injury is the diagnosis only if someone becomes confused, dazed, or loses consciousness after a blow to the head. If the functioning of the brain is altered in any way by a blow to the head, the brain injury is defined as a concussion.
Loss of consciousness does not have to happen, but a brief loss of consciousness – a few minutes at the most – also indicates a mild concussion. Brain scans may not indicate anything out of the ordinary after a mild concussion has been sustained.
However, a mild concussion – a common injury in traffic accidents and sports – can cause long-term medical difficulties. A second or subsequent mild traumatic brain injury can cause cumulative neurological and cognitive effects, so repeated mild TBIs must be avoided.
How Are Moderate TBI’s Identified and Defined?
Most moderate traumatic brain injuries are a result of head injuries that, while not minor, are not severe either. Moderate brain injuries are often caused by a violent shaking of the head or a non-penetrating blow to the head.
Some persons can take that kind of a blow without being injured, but for most victims, a hard blow or violent headshaking will cause a moderate brain injury that may trigger lifelong medical problems.
How Do Moderate Traumatic Brain Injuries Happen?
Moderate traumatic brain injuries happen when:
- There is a loss of consciousness lasting from several minutes to several hours.
- Mental confusion lasts for several days or weeks.
- Cognitive, behavioral, and/or physical impairment lingers for months – or permanently.
For the most part, the victims of a moderate traumatic brain injury either successfully recover – with appropriate treatment – or learn how to compensate for their difficulties.
How Are Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries Identified and Defined?
Severe brain injuries usually happen when the head receives a powerful jolt or blow or when an object actually penetrates the skull. Severe brain injuries are always life-threatening, and a severe brain injury survivor may be impaired or disabled for the rest of his or her life.
Heroic measures are usually required to treat a severe traumatic brain injury. The treatment for a severe brain injury may require lengthy hospitalization and years of rehabilitation. Most victims do not return to their pre-injury medical status.
What Else Should You Know About Traumatic Brain Injuries?
What are the symptoms of TBI? A traumatic brain injury may affect a victim’s thinking ability, memory, and ability to speak. Even a mild traumatic brain injury may trigger emotional and/or behavioral difficulties. Nausea, sleep and eating disorders, and vision problems are common.
A traumatic brain injury may also cause epilepsy, and it will heighten the risk for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and a number of other disorders of the brain.
The groups at the highest risk for a traumatic brain injury include toddlers under the age of four, teenagers who are ages 15 to 19, and adults who are 65 and older. Males sustain about two-thirds of all traumatic brain injuries. Military service heightens the risk for a traumatic brain injury.
Falls are the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries and are responsible for about one-third of these injuries. Traffic crashes are responsible for more than 17 percent of all traumatic brain injuries, and assaults cause about 11 percent of these injuries.
When Should You Contact a Rochester Personal Injury Lawyer?
Traumatic brain injury victims and their loved ones frequently face serious financial pressures. When a brain injury is caused by another person’s negligence, the victim (or the victim’s family) must seek a personal injury attorney’s help.
In the state of New York, the injured victims of negligence are entitled under the law to complete compensation for all current and future medical care and for all other injury-related losses.
How Does an Attorney Help a TBI Victim?
Rochester attorneys who have personal injury experience can offer legal advice and guidance to TBI victims. A personal injury attorney can explain how the law applies in your own case and can provide traumatic brain injury patients with more details about their rights and options.
Personal injury trials are not rare in the Rochester area, but most personal injury cases are resolved in private, out-of-court negotiations. Usually, a brain injury victim will not even need to appear in a courtroom.
If you suffer a brain injury in this state, seek medical attention at once. If someone else’s negligence caused that injury, take advantage your rights. Arrange at once to meet with a reliable personal injury lawyer. Every negligence victim has the right to a go