Any type of accident or injury involving the brain is a serious health concern. Brain injuries are among the most complicated injuries that a person can sustain. In many cases, you may face permanent brain damage, which could impact your life in any number of ways.
If you’ve recently sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a car accident, slip-and-fall, workplace injury, or some other type of personal injury, you should speak with an experienced McAllen traumatic brain injury attorney right away.
Depending on the circumstances and severity of your injury, you may be entitled to significant TBI compensation. The costs of treating a serious brain injury can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our traumatic brain injury lawyers can evaluate your case and discuss whether you are eligible to seek compensation for your medical bills and other expenses related to your injury.
Symptoms of Brain Trauma
If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, sporting accident, or another sudden impact, you should always be on the lookout for signs of potential traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Here are six signs to keep in mind.
- Loss of Consciousness
Someone who has had a traumatic brain injury may fall in and out of consciousness after their collision. Concussions often cause this specific symptom of brain injury.
- Persistent Headache
Headaches are unfortunately a common problem of everyday life. However, having persistent headaches after a traumatic accident or large fall can be a sign of something deeper going on. If persistent headaches continue or worsen over time, you should seek medical attention.
Confusion or disorientation following an injury or fall can point to a larger brain injury. People experiencing confusion may have trouble stinging together sentences or doing everyday tasks. If someone’s confusion does not get better with time, it could be a sign of brain damage.
- Memory Loss
If someone is experiencing memory loss that is associated with brain damage, it is likely to manifest as more than simply being a bit forgetful throughout a hectic day. It is more likely that their memory loss would be larger chunks of time or periods of “blackout” in their memories. Memory loss is a serious symptom of brain injury or damage.
- Slurring or Slow Speech
If someone who has just been in an accident or sports injury experiences slurred or slowing speech, it can be a symptom of brain damage from that incident. These speech anomalies can come in different forms, so it is important to pay attention to your friend’s speech to correctly ascertain what is happening.
- Mood Swings
Brain damage can change the way people interact with each other and the world, depending on the type and the severity of the injury. This is more than simply being emotional, this is drastic changes in a person’s behavior.
Symptoms will vary depending on the individual as well as the nature and severity of the brain injury. The effects of a traumatic brain injury are not always immediately apparent. For example, in recent years we have seen with professional football players that the cumulative effects of the brain trauma sustained during their playing careers don’t show until long after they have retired.
Any blow to the head can be extremely damaging, which is why it’s important for you to see a doctor as soon as possible if you have suffered a blow to the head in an accident.
Here are some of the symptoms of brain trauma, depending on the extent of the injury:
- Symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
- Ears ringing
- Temporary loss of sense of taste or smell
- Symptoms of a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury
- Losing consciousness temporarily
- Problems speaking
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Persistent headaches
- Dilated pupils
- Numbness in your arms or legs
- Loss of coordination and motor skills
- Suicidal thoughts
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, either alone or in combination, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. The sooner you seek care, the better the outcome of your treatment is likely to be.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
While traumatic brain injuries can happen under many circumstances, there are three fundamental causes for the injury itself:
- Blunt force—A hard blow to the head can cause the brain to bounce around inside the skull after impact, leading to bruising and bleeding on the brain. If there’s enough force, the brain can slam into one side of the skull and then ricochet into the other side, which is known as a coup-contrecoup injury. These kinds of traumatic brain injuries are serious.
- Penetration—If an object penetrates the skull, the open head wound can damage brain tissue and increase the risk of infection. Fragments of skull tissue destroyed by the object can also cause additional damage to brain tissue. Penetration can lead to severe bleeding in the brain.
- Shaking—Violent head-shaking can lead to serious brain injuries similar to those found in instances of blunt-force trauma. Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to traumatic brain injuries from being shaken because their necks have less strength. Shaken baby syndrome can involve serious or fatal brain injury.
Some of the most common accidents that can lead to a traumatic brain injury include:
- Slip-and-falls—Slipping on a wet surface is an easy way to hit your head hard enough to end up with a traumatic brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were about 2.9 million TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths nationwide in a recent year. The CDC added that more than 837,000 of those incidents involved children, and TBI contributed to the deaths of nearly 57,000 people. Falls also accounted for nearly half of TBI-related emergency room visits. Property owners can be held liable if they don’t fix or provide adequate warning of hazards such as slippery floors that can lead to falls and head injuries.
- Motor vehicle accidents—Auto accidents are one of the most common causes of TBI. CDC data show that 18.7 percent of all TBI-related deaths in a recent year were the result of motor-vehicle accidents. If you sustain a blow to the head in a car accident caused by another driver, you may have a right to hold the driver liable for negligence and demand compensation for your medical bills.
- Workplace accidents—Employers are required by state and federal law to keep their workers safe while they’re on the job. If the company cuts corners or doesn’t follow through on safety plans, they can put their employees in danger and be held liable for any resulting injuries. An employee injured in a workplace accident in McAllen may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if the business has workers’ compensation insurance. Texas does not require businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but many do. If the business does not have workers’ compensation, the injured worker may have a right to file a TBI injury lawsuit.
- Falling debris—Being struck by a falling object can cause a traumatic brain injury. This can happen at or around construction sites, on the job, even while visiting a neighbor’s home. Property owners and other individuals can be held liable if they acted negligently and their actions led to your injury caused by falling debris.
- Dangerous premises—Property owners can also be held liable for injuries if they don’t take proper precautions to keep visitors and tenants safe. Messy or haphazard working conditions, poor maintenance of stairs and other passageways, improper lighting, and other hazards can lead to brain injuries.
- Construction accidents—Construction sites present a number of hazards that can lead to a traumatic brain injury. A construction worker may fall and suffer a head injury if proper safety protocols are not enforced. A worker also may be hit in the head by a falling object such as a dropped tool.
Increased Attention to Brain Trauma
There’s been much more attention lately on brain trauma, both in the media and in the medical community. We know much more than we used to about how brain injuries occur and the long-term impacts they can have.
As we mentioned before, we’ve seen this play out with all of the news stories about current or former football players struggling with serious mental decline due to brain trauma they sustained in their careers. In many cases, this damage is irreversible and may get worse over time, leading to Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia, and other degenerative neurological disorders.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive for a TBI?
The types of compensation that you may recover in a traumatic brain injury case include:
- Compensation for current and future medical bills, including surgery, hospitalization, medications and rehabilitation
- Lost income resulting from missed work due to the injury
- Future lost income if your brain injury limits your earning capacity
- Compensation for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of companionship
A McAllen traumatic brain injury lawyer at Herrman & Herrman can review the details of your accident and discuss the kinds of damages you might be eligible to demand if you were to pursue a claim.
While there is no cap on compensation in most traumatic brain injury claims, there is a limited window of time in which you can file a claim. Texas has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, which includes claims related to traumatic brain injuries.
Contact a McAllen Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Today
A traumatic brain injury can leave you facing thousands of dollars in medical bills, permanent disability, even the loss of the ability to live and work independently. If you’re unable to work, how are you going to pay for any ongoing care you might need? What about the future income you may have lost?
While filing a traumatic brain injury claim may not be high on your list of priorities after your accident, you should speak with a knowledgeable McAllen injury attorney as soon as you can. The lawyers at Herrman & Herrman have deep ties to the McAllen community, and we put our focus where it belongs: Our clients.
We have attorneys and staff who are fluent in both Spanish and English and can discuss your legal question in the language you prefer to speak. You can also review some of our recent case results if you want to see our experience in representing other clients. We handle TBI injury claims on a contingency basis. That means you don’t pay us anything unless you receive compensation through a negotiated insurance settlement or a court award. If you don’t collect compensation, then we don’t either.
To get started, call our McAllen law office today at (361) 882-4357 for your free consultation.