A brain injury can be devastating. According to CDC statistics, brain injuries are also shockingly commonplace. For example, CDC data shows over 223,000 traumatic brain injury (TBI) hospitalizations in 2018 and over 60,000 TBI-related deaths the following year. That same data also suggests that certain groups of people are at higher risk for experiencing a TBI.
These groups include; racial and ethnic minorities, military service members, people experiencing homelessness, incarcerated persons, survivors of domestic abuse, and people living in rural areas. Elders constitute the highest number of hospitalizations and deaths.
Whether you fall into one of these categories or not, if you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury because of the actions or negligence of another, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact one of the experienced Bucks County Personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices Of Samuel Fishman today to discuss your legal rights.
Common Causes of Brain Injury in Bucks County
Any incident that results in a blow to the head or a sudden jolt of the body can result in a brain injury. However, the most common situations giving rise to a brain injury include:
- Falls. By a wide margin, falls are the most common cause of brain injury, especially among the elderly.
- Automobile accidents. Unsurprisingly, moving vehicle accidents are a common cause of traumatic brain injury.
- Bicycle accidents. Of all sporting and recreational activities, cycling causes the largest number of injuries to the brain.
- Swimming accidents. This can result from diving into shallow water, colliding with another swimmer, slipping on the perimeter of the pool, or temporary drowning.
- Surgery. Anytime you receive anesthesia, you run the risk of depriving the brain of oxygen. When the brain is completely deprived of oxygen, the resulting injury is referred to as an anoxic brain injury, whereas a partially restricted flow of oxygen can result in a hypoxic brain injury. Either can leave permanent damage.
- Sports injury. Contact and collision sports such as football, boxing, and wrestling can lead to traumatic brain injury.
- Child abuse. Child abuse, specifically shaken baby syndrome, is an unfortunately common cause of traumatic brain injury in children.
- Criminal violence. Assaults and batteries, including gunshot wounds, can result in serious traumatic brain injury.
Symptoms of Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury refers to a broad category of injuries to the head that result in damage to the brain. TBI can is often divided into two categories:
- Closed head injury. Medical professionals refer to a closed head injury as one caused by blunt force trauma to the head.
- Penetrating head injury. A penetrating head injury is one that involves a puncture to the skull or cranium, such as a bullet wound.
Symptoms of traumatic brain injury run the gamut from mild to severe. While some symptoms are apparent at the time of injury, others only become readily apparent over time. Symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury can include:
- Brief loss of consciousness
- Mild, temporary confusion
- Blurred vision
- Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
- Disruption of sleep patterns
- Slight behavioral or emotional changes
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Bad taste in the mouth
When a traumatic brain injury is more severe, the aforementioned symptoms are common, usually in conjunction with the following:
- Persistent headache
- Prolonged nausea
- Extensive vomiting
- Pupillary dilation
- Inability to wake from sleep
- Slurred speech
- Weakness, numbness, or tingling in the extremities
- Loss of coordination
- Profound confusion
- Extreme restlessness, agitation, or aggressiveness
Traumatic Brain Injury can only be accurately diagnosed by a medical professional.
Am I Entitled to Compensation for My Traumatic Brain Injury?
Regardless of the exact nature of your injury, the determination as to whether you are entitled to recover financial compensation requires a difficult assessment of the totality of the facts and circumstances. Generally, however, you can bring a claim for damages if your injuries were caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts of another person. Recoverable damages may include:
- Past and future medical costs. The medical costs associated with treating a traumatic brain injury can be astronomical. These can include emergency treatment following an accident, numerous doctor and specialist visits, diagnostic tests, hospitalizations, surgery, and medications. Severe injuries can require assistive devices such as wheelchairs or long-term care in a nursing home.
- Rehabilitation. Many traumatic brain injuries require various forms of rehabilitation including treatment from physiatrists (rehab physicians), occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, social workers, and vocational counselors.
- Lost wages. Depending upon the injury, you may be out of work during your recovery period, or even unable to return to work at all. In cases of partial recovery, you may be unable to perform the types of work you did before and have to change careers. All of this can result in a significant loss of wages and a reduction in earning capacity
- Home modification costs. If you suffer a permanent disability due to your traumatic brain injury, you may have to expend a significant outlay of money on making your home accessible by installing ramps, handrails, wider doors, and other modifications.
- Non-economic damages. In addition to financial damages, you may be entitled to recover compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, and other similar claims.
- Punitive damages. In some rare cases, usually, where there was intentional harm, reckless disregard, or gross negligence, a court may award punitive damages to punish the defendant for such behavior.
Contact Bucks County Brain Injury Lawyer at Law Offices of Samuel Fishman
If you are looking for legal advice regarding brain injury in Bucks County, PA, please contact the experienced lawyers at The Law Offices of Samuel Fishman today. Call us at (215) 464-4600 and fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation and get help as soon as possible.