Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injury, commonly referred to as “TBI”, is a medical term used to describe damage to the brain caused by trauma or force to the head. TBI can be caused by the head striking an object, the head whiplashing back and forth causing the brain to come into contract with the skull (“coup/countercoup injury”), or an object piercing the brain.
The degree of a traumatic brain injury (mild, moderate, severe) is characterized by the severity of the symptoms caused by the injury. Symptoms of TBI may include headache, dizziness, short term memory loss, blurry vision, tired eyes, ringing in the ears, fatigue, depression, poor impulse control, and behavioral changes. The symptoms of most mild traumatic brain injuries subside within days or weeks of the original date of injury. However, about ten to fifteen percent of mild TBI patients do not recover within a year of the injury, and many of these patients who do not recover within a year are at significant risk for experiencing permanent TBI symptoms.
Most mild TBI injuries are not capable of being detected on CT or MRI scans. Emergency room doctors often misdiagnose these injuries as “closed head injury”, “head trauma” “post concussive syndrome” etc. and do not make an initial proper referral to a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of TBI. Often times traumatic brain injuries are initially misdiagnosed and go undetected for a long period of time. As TBI symptoms continue to linger and the patient then begins treatment with a qualified doctor, then an accurate diagnosis can be made.
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury is much easier to detect and diagnose at an early stage. Patients who have suffered a moderate to severe TBI require immediate medical attention and may need surgery to reverse initial brain damage caused by trauma, prevent further injury and stabilize the patient.
Many traumatic brain injury survivors, even victims of “minor” traumatic brain injury, require long term, skilled rehabilitation. Many will require costly future medical care and in severe cases may need around the clock nursing care at a residential treatment facility. This treatment can be very expensive and not all of it may be covered by health insurance.
There are many resources available to TBI survivors and their families to help cope with the day to day struggles caused by TBI. Some of the resources available include:
- The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts
- Neuro-Rehab Management, Inc.
- Northeastern University Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Center
Carney Law firm has represented many victims of traumatic brain injuries, ranging from mild to severe TBI. We have successfully recovered money on behalf of those who suffered traumatic brain injury as a result of motor vehicle accidents, construction site accidents, workplace accident, accidents caused by negligent maintenance of one’s property, negligent security, negligent service of alcohol, illegal service of alcohol to minors, defective products, professional and amateur sports (including interscholastic athletics such as football, soccer, hockey, lacrosse and other contact sports).
Lawsuits involving traumatic brain injury, especially mild TBI, are complex cases and should only be handled by attorneys who have prior experience doing so. Because mild TBI does not show up on CT or MRI scans, and the victim appears to look normal, defense lawyers try to minimize payouts on claims by asserting that there is nothing wrong with the plaintiff and will even try to label a victim as a malingerer (i.e. faker). TBI is what is referred to in the medical community as an “invisible” injury. Those who victims seek to hold responsible for the harm cause by TBI will certainly dedicate their vast resources to exploiting the invisible nature of the injury to attempt to downplay the symptoms that a TBI victim is experiencing in an effort to reduce their payout on the claim.
Proving the extent and damages caused by a traumatic brain injury requires skilled attorney representation capable of demonstrating the profound impact that this injury has had on the victim and their family’s lives. Our attorneys have handled cases for traumatic brain injury victims which required the retention of some of the country’s leading experts on traumatic brain injuries, including those who are actively involved in forcing the National Football League to accept responsibility for the harm caused by concussions to their players. Our firm has the resources available to retain these necessary experts who will explain the causes and effects of TBI on the lives of TBI victims. Because mild forms of TBI are not detectable on traditional testing methods utilized by hospitals and doctors (CT and MRI), we often retain experts who will perform more detailed testing capable to detecting this injury, such as Diffuse Tensor Imaging (“DTI”) or comprehensive neuropsychological testing.The Carney Law Firm Difference
Our attorneys pride themselves on the individual attention and close relationships we form with our clients and their families. This not only keeps our clients satisfied, but allows us to understand exactly what TBI victims and their families are going through so that we can convey this to defendants, insurance companies, their lawyers, and if necessary, a jury.
As with all of the third party negligence cases that our firm handles, although our goal is to obtain fair and full compensation as soon as possible, we prepare each case from the initial client interview as if it were going to be tried in front of a jury. It is our belief that defendants and their insurance companies will only offer full and fair compensation if they are convinced that the attorney handling the case is capable of obtaining a substantial jury verdict in their client’s favor.
If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys about traumatic brain injury and what legal remedies might be available to victims of TBI and their family members, please contact us immediately. All of our client consultations are free of charge, and we are willing to travel to meet TBI survivors and their family members at their convenience in situations where the consequences of the injury make it inconvenient for them to travel to our office.