A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur when a bump, blow, jolt, or other impact causes damage to the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014 there were approximately 2.87 million TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States:
- 837,000 of the 2.87 million TBI patients were children.
- TBI contributed to the deaths of 56,800 people, including 2,529 children.
- TBI was diagnosed in approximately 288,000 hospitalizations, including over 23,000 among children, either alone or combined with other injuries.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A TBI can be minor, severe, or fatal. Concussion are the mildest types of TBI, with symptoms that can include headache, neck pain, nausea, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness, and fatigue. People with moderate or severe TBI may also experience:
- A worsening headache or a headache that does not go away.
- Repeated vomiting or nausea.
- Convulsions or seizures.
- Inability to awaken from sleep.
- Slurred speech.
- Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs.
- Dilated pupils.
It’s important to note that TBI symptoms don’t manifest immediately. Some symptoms may not appear until days or weeks after the injury.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Healthcare professionals use neurological exams and imaging tests to assess the presence and scope of a TBI. Serious injuries require emergency treatment and generally one or more courses of rehabilitation. A patient’s treatment and outcome depend on the severity of the injury, and many TBIs cause permanent changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, and emotions, along with physical difficulties and limitations. The worst injuries can lead to permanent brain damage or death.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
In 2014, falls were the leading cause of TBI, accounting for 48 percent of all TBI-related emergency department visits. Being struck by or against an object was the second leading cause, comprising 17 percent of all TBI-related ER visits in the U.S.
Falls and motor vehicle crashes were the first and second leading causes of all TBI-related hospitalizations (52 percent and 20 percent, respectively). Serious traumatic brain injuries may result from multi-car crashes, pedestrian-vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents, and motorcycle accidents.
TBI is also associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and combat-related injuries, putting military personnel at higher risk. TBIs can also occur because of workplace injuries, slip-and-fall accidents, sports accidents, and more.
Can I Recover Damages for a TBI?
Often, when a person suffers harm, the law may hold another party accountable. A personal injury attorney can help identify the people or companies that might be liable for your injuries and obtain compensation for your damages.
Reimbursement for economic damages can include out-of-pocket expenses like:
- Medical bills.
- Lost wages.
- Car repairs.
- Future medical expenses.
- Transportation costs to and from medical treatments.
- Costs of retrofitting or modifying your home to accommodate mobility issues.
- Other expenses related to the accident.
TBI victims may also be able to recover certain noneconomic damages to compensate them for the other ways their lives are affected by a TBI, including:
- Pain and suffering.
- Disability or loss of mobility.
- Loss of companionship.
- Other types of loss or reduction in quality of life-related to the accident.
Ohio law generally limits recovery of noneconomic damages to $250,000 or three times your claimed economic damages, whichever is greater, up to $350,000 for each plaintiff and $500,000 for each occurrence.
Where another party’s egregious act or omission causes a TBI, you may be able to recover punitive or “exemplary” damages. These awards are meant to make an example of that party and discourage such behavior. To obtain exemplary damages, one must bring clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party acted with a conscious disregard for the rights and safety of another person, creating a greater probability of causing substantial harm.
When a TBI victim dies, the surviving spouse or dependents may file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation for loss of companionship and support, and funeral expenses.
Dedicated Personal Injury Trial Lawyers
If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI caused by another person’s or company’s negligence or intentional act, know that help is available and that you’re not alone. The attorneys at Obral, Silk & Associates, LLC will seek justice and recover compensation for the physical and emotional injuries and the TBI’s devastating impact on your life.
We will help you properly evaluate your claim, including obtaining expert opinions and assessing the long-term effects your injuries will have on your income and overall quality of life. We can advise you of your legal options and what to expect during every part of the process.
You need a team of fighters behind you to stand up to the insurance companies, relentlessly pursue the parties at fault for your injuries or loss, and recover the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with the attorneys at Obral, Silk & Associates, LLC today – we won’t settle for less.