Brain injury contributes more to death and disability globally than any other traumatic incident. While the past decade has seen significant medical advances, laws, and policies remain stumbling blocks to treatment and care. According to the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA), there are an estimated 5.3 million Americans living today with a disability related to a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Traumatic Brain Injuries are often very serious and can have a prolonged and permanent impact on the person who was hurt. Something as simple as a mild concussion can lead to permanent impairment, resulting in brain surgery, extensive medical expenses, and lost time from work. Even though the effects of a concussion can sometimes be severe, most people completely recover in time. Unfortunately, in severe cases, a Traumatic Brain Injury can lead to a coma or even death.
Q: What legal options do I have after suffering a brain injury?
A: Your legal claim depends on the specific circumstances of the brain injury. Slip and fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents, intentional harm (such as fights), and other impacts usually come under the personal injury or premises liability umbrella. In some cases, there may be a separate criminal action.
Q: What are the effects of Traumatic Brain Injury?
A: TBI is an internal injury which can be hard to diagnose. But, with the advancement of medicine and knowledge, many medical experts can make some well-educated determinations about the patient's condition.
Q: Do I have to appear in court if I file a Traumatic Brain Injury lawsuit?
A: Fortunately, there are many circumstances where your lawsuit might be resolved before going to court. However, there are many times when you will need to be present in court so that you can obtain the full compensation you deserve.
Q: What are the common causes of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A: Some of the most common TBIs can be associated with car accidents, slips and falls, and sports injuries. However, there are many other circumstances in which you might suffer a TBI, such as anytime you sustain a jolt or a hit to your head.
Q: Can I receive workers' compensation if I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury while on the job?
A: Yes, if you or a loved one suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury while on the job, you can be eligible for workers' compensation. Oftentimes it depends on the details of your injury; that is why it is essential for you to seek a workers' compensation attorney so they can assess your injury and better help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Traumatic Brain Injury can occur and be diagnosed when a victim suffers head trauma or severe rotational forces which cause them to lose consciousness or be dazed and confused and suffer amnesia, headaches, or other symptoms. However, the real challenge in diagnosing TBI is to determine the nature, extent, severity, and prognosis of these injuries.
To help detect a TBI, you can have a CT and/or an MRI scan. As these tests are a widespread practice today for head injuries, they sometimes cannot detect all TBIs. They can, however, aid the medical providers in ruling out some of the severe possible brain injuries, such as bleeding.
With little to be done to reverse the damage already suffered, researchers are continuing to work every day in order to hopefully develop better and more efficient medical equipment with the goal of helping patients begin their road to recovery.
Traumatic brain injuries are proven to leave lasting effects, whether they become noticeable immediately or in the following years. Many people who suffer from a traumatic brain injury depending on the severity of the injury, usually have difficulties molding back into everyday life. Most of the noticeable problems include but are not limited to communication problems, emotional changes, sensory problems, and behavioral changes.
For short-term effects, an individual might experience vision changes, sudden migraines, difficulty balancing, and being able to concentrate. Fortunately, short-term effects normally only last up to 90 days, and on some occasions, people tend to recover within a week.
The long-term can be more daunting, and the effects ultimately rely on what part of the brain was damaged during the injury. If the front of your head, the frontal lobe, is damaged, an individual might have difficulties with problem-solving and planning. The left side of the brain, when it becomes damaged, can be very significant, being that it can directly cause problems with logic, speech, or simply collaborating sentences together. Lastly, an injury to the right side of the brain can result in problems with your vision and apraxia, which can seriously limit an individual from completing simple everyday tasks.
As you might have realized, having just one lasting effect can derail your personal life and your career. One of the hardest struggles for someone recovering from a TBI is returning to work. Fortunately, there are several employment rights that can help make the transition back to work after a TBI go more smoothly. One of which is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, it is required for employees to provide reasonable accommodations for an employee which include but are not limited to shorter work hours, more breaks during the work day, lighter workloads, and possibly even moving the employee into a new role which can be more accommodating for the individual.
Furthermore, since a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may necessitate a protracted period of hospitalization for medical stabilization, individuals may find themselves out of work for an extended period of time, beginning soon after the incident. Because a TBI often has long-term implications, individuals may continue to leave work periodically in the coming months or even years. That is why it is critical to be aware of your rights as an employee.
Another great tool for individuals or family members suffering from a medical emergency is The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA is a nationwide workplace rights law that permits employees to take leaves of absence for themselves or immediate family members who are being treated in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or other facilities and are unable to care for their own basic medical, hygienic, safety, or nutritional needs. FMLA also requires certain companies to keep job positions open for employees who take time off work when their presence would significantly help an immediate family member dealing with a serious health condition.
Workplace accidents can happen in a flash but have long-lasting effects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2019. As you might imagine, with more and more businesses hiring, that number will more than likely continue to rise.
If you have fallen and hit your head or if some other means caused you to have a head injury on the job, you can be eligible for workers' compensation. FindLaw defines workers' compensation as a system of compensation that allows employees who are injured at work to obtain payment for lost wages, medical costs, and occupational rehabilitation expenses without regard to their personal negligence or fault. If you believe that you have suffered a head injury due to an accident at work, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention. Once you have been cleared by a medical professional, then you can start the process of filing for workers' compensation.
Workers' compensation laws can be daunting and difficult to navigate for the everyday person. That is why no matter the injury you sustain at your workplace, whether it be a broken bone, a burn, or even a head injury, you need a workers' compensation attorney present to help you navigate the legal system and help gain the compensation you deserve. Here at The Cochran Firm, we have a dedicated team here to assist you along your path to recovery. There is no doubt that experiencing a workplace injury can be stressful not only on your body but on your mental and emotional state as well. Do not hesitate to contact us today for your no-obligation free consultation and get the justice you deserve.
Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 1996
During the Summer of 1996, Congress passed on a bipartisan basis the TBI Act of 1996. This Act brought to light the seriousness of TBI as a severe and preventable health concern. Only twenty-two days later did President Clinton sign this bill into law. For Congress, this law had two main objectives. One was to reduce the incidence of TBI, and the second was to help individuals who have suffered a TBI have better access to medical services.
Before this bill was signed into law, the public had little knowledge and understanding of the long-term effects of sustaining a TBI. This law allowed agencies to do research through grants to public and nonprofit organizations. Since the law's conception in 1996, the government has reauthorized the Act on four separate occasions, with the latest being the TBI Program Reauthorization Act of 2018. Additionally, in the mid-2000s, the government authorized the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institution of Health (NIH) to work alongside military agencies to report on TBI with veterans returning back to The United States after deployment and to gather information on how they adjusted back into civilian life. The goal was to understand better the magnitude of a TBI on soldiers returning home and to get them help from which they might benefit.
The majority of TBIs that occur every year are mild. Mild TBIs can be caused by a jolt or blow to the head. Unfortunately, most individuals do not seek medical help immediately after a mild TBI but seek help days or weeks after from their primary physicians. This can be very detrimental to the individual due to the fact there might be a more significant problem that might have needed attention right away.
A TBI is classified as moderate if the individual experiences some form of change in brain function after a trauma that lasts for more than a few minutes. Unlike mild TBI, there is a greater chance of death if you sustain a moderate TBI. If an individual is a survivor of a moderate TBI, expect long-term challenges with everyday life such as school, work, relationships, and old activities.
The most dangerous TBI is a severe TBI. A severe TBI can lead to extensive short and long-term challenges. The most common effects of a severe TBI are loss of motor function, changes in brain function, memory loss, and emotional changes such as depression, impulse control, anxiety, and more.
According to an article in the National Library of Medicine, even though violence and industrial accidents account for a large portion of TBIs worldwide, Road Traffic Accidents (RTA) are one of the leading factors with an estimated 60% burden when it comes to being affected by TBIs.
During a car accident, you will be susceptible to many injuries caused by the sudden movement of the vehicle, which might include your head hitting the steering wheel or door glass. However, most TBIs are caused by whiplash, which can cause your brain to shift and hit the inside of your skull, causing a concussion that results in temporary unconsciousness or confusion. There are additional brain injury risks associated with car accidents, such as a penetrating TBI, which is when a foreign object infiltrates your skull and brain tissue.
No matter what type of vehicle you were in during the accident, our attorneys at The Cochran Firm are here to help you gain the compensation you deserve. Suppose you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident and have reason to believe that the accident caused a Traumatic Brain Injury; you must first seek medical assistance. Once you have been cleared from a medical facility, you will need to speak with one of our dedicated and experienced auto accident attorneys. Contact The Cochran Firm today at 1-800-THE-FIRM. Our 24/ 7 call center is here to assist you.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, most studies suggest that once brain cells are destroyed or damaged, for the most part, they do not regenerate. However, recovery after brain injury can take place, especially in younger people, as, in some cases, other areas of the brain make up for the injured tissue. In other cases, the brain learns to reroute information and function around the damaged areas. The precise amount of healing is unpredictable at the point of injury and may not be known for months or even years. Each brain damage and healing rate is unique. In circumstances where Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is present, recovery after a serious brain injury sometimes includes a lengthy or lifelong process of treatment and rehabilitation that may go unnoticed for many years.
Significant attention has recently been drawn to the potential link between head trauma and the development of neurodegenerative disease, known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), as defined by the Mayo Clinic, is a term used to describe brain degeneration caused by repeated head traumas and can only be discovered after studying parts of the brain during an autopsy.
CTE is most commonly found in athletes, such as football players and boxers and in certain situations can be discovered in soldiers who are in contact with explosive blasts. Contrary to belief, CTE is not just repeated concussions; it can develop over time with small repeated blows to the head that do not necessarily result in concussions. So, even if you do not participate in these activities, there is still an excellent chance that you can develop CTE.
However, not everyone who has suffered a brain injury or has been subjected to repeated head strikes develops CTE. In fact, research has yet to demonstrate how many or which people subjected to repetitive injuries would develop this disorder. Unfortunately, CTE can not be detected while the individual is alive except on rare occasions where the individual is at a high risk of exposure. Additionally, there is no cure for CTE, but researchers are currently in the process of developing a diagnostic to catch early signs of CTE.
Hospitals are supposed to be places of healing. They are where you go when you are hurt or sick, and you need the aid of well-educated, highly trained, trusted professionals. You might only consider that the only way you can have a Traumatic Brain Injury is by suffering a large blow to the head, which is mostly true. However, there are other situations that can happen that can lead to a Traumatic Brain Injury, one being Medical Malpractice.
Medical Malpractice, as defined by NOLO, is any time that a patient is harmed by a doctor or any other medical professional who fails to competently perform their medical duties. Some of the most common medical errors that can result in a TBI are but are not limited to the following; misdiagnosis of a head injury, anesthesia errors, abuse (commonly in nursing homes), or tissue or blood infections.
At the Cochran Firm, the leadership of our Medical Malpractice section and many of its section members are Board Certified in Medical Malpractice. All of our medical malpractice attorneys have the experience and expertise to help you screen and prosecute your medical malpractice case. And we often bring a team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys from several of our office locations to handle our cases at no additional charge to our clients.
If you've suffered a devastating brain injury as a result of a medical professional's error, you should speak to our medical malpractice attorneys immediately. Please contact The Cochran Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Our experienced Brain Injury attorneys have the resources to hire the top neuroradiologists (brain radiologists), neuropsychologists, and neurologists who are trained in diagnosing and treating TBIs. Understanding TBI medicine is the key to effectively explaining it to the jury, and our team prides itself on teaching every detail to the jury.
And our results have been well documented and demonstrated both in the courtroom and at settlement conferences. Our team has produced verdicts and settlements in TBI cases totaling over $50,000,000 in the last seven years alone. Let us help you get the diagnosis and care you need to recover all of the amounts you are entitled to from this devastating injury. If you or a loved one has suffered from a terrible brain injury, you should speak to our personal injury attorneys immediately. Please contact The Cochran Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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