A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most catastrophic injuries a person can suffer. If you sustain a traumatic brain injury in an accident because someone else was negligent, schedule a meeting at once to discuss your right to compensation with an Indiana personal injury lawyer.
Each year in the U.S., over 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries are reported. Brain injuries are also linked to approximately 52,000 fatalities annually in the U.S. Those most at risk for TBI are children under age five, teenagers from 15 to 19, and adults age 65 and older.
Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S., responsible for approximately a third of such injuries. Traffic collisions cause about eighteen percent of traumatic brain injuries, and criminal assaults cause roughly eleven percent.
What are the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury? How will an Indiana TBI attorney help a victim fight for and recover damages? If you’ll keep reading, these questions will be answered, and you will also learn more about your rights as an injured victim of negligence in Indiana.
What Are the Several Kinds of Brain Injuries?
Medical texts identify two categories of brain injuries: acquired and traumatic. Acquired brain injuries are caused by oxygen deprivation. When the blood flow to the brain is blocked by a burst blood vessel or a blood clot, brain cells are starved for the oxygen they need and start to die.
There are several types of traumatic brain injuries:
- A contusion is the result of a blow or jolt to the head that causes the brain to bleed.
- A concussion is caused by a blow to the head or to the body, by a fall, or by another injury that jars or shakes the brain.
- A penetrative brain injury occurs when the skull is penetrated by an object that enters the brain.
- A diffuse axonal injury is caused by shaking or spinning the brain, tearing tissues and brain structures.
- Coup-contrecoup contusions happen when a blow or jolt crashes the brain into the other side of the skull and creates a second contusion.
What Are the Effects of TBI?
Signs or symptoms of TBI may or may not appear at once. Some signs may not appear until days or weeks after the accident that caused the injury. A potential brain injury cannot be ignored, so an accident victim should be examined for TBI after any blow or impact to the head or body.
A traumatic brain injury can have long-term, wide-ranging, psychological and physical effects. Most traumatic brain injury victims struggle with concentrating and focusing, with their emotions, and with their memories. They may also struggle with fatigue and sleep disorders.
Researchers warn that the risk for epilepsy is particularly high immediately after a brain injury and can last more than a decade – even after a mild brain injury.
Other disorders associated with TBI are early-onset Parkinson’s and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Traumatic brain injuries also frequently impair a victim’s physical abilities. TBI patients may have hearing and vision trouble and may require a cane, walker, or wheelchair.
What is a TBI Victim’s Recourse?
Traffic crashes, slip-and-fall accidents, and criminal assaults regularly trigger premises liability and personal injury lawsuits in Indiana. A brain injury sustained during a surgical procedure or during the delivery of a child may generate a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A traumatic brain injury victim may lose his or her ability to work full-time or at all. If another person’s negligence or intentional behavior is the reason you have suffered a brain injury, the law in Indiana entitles you to compensation for your TBI-related:
- pending and projected future medical expenses
- lost wages and projected future lost earnings
- personal pain and suffering
- other losses and damages
To say that high-quality, long-term treatment for TBI victims is costly is an understatement, and sometimes, a traumatic brain injury is permanently disabling.
Few families can afford the surgeries, treatment, therapy, and related expenses that are required over a lifetime for a traumatic brain injury patient, but a successful injury lawsuit should provide the resources that TBI victims and their loved ones need.
When Should You Speak to a TBI Attorney?
Generally, Indiana’s statute of limitations for filing a TBI claim is two years after the date or the discovery of the injury. It can be as early as 6 months. Some brain injuries can be latent or hard-to-detect, so as mentioned previously, accident victims should be examined for TBI after any impact or blow to the head or body.
Do not wait two years to speak with an Indiana traumatic brain injury attorney. If you decide to move forward with legal action, your attorney should be able to examine the evidence while it’s still fresh and to speak with any witnesses before their memories fade.
If you suffer a traumatic brain injury in an accident because another person was negligent, or if someone injured you intentionally, have an Indiana personal injury attorney explain your legal rights and options as quickly as possible.
How Are Most Personal Injury Cases Handled?
Overwhelmingly, most personal injury cases in Indiana are settled out-of-court, so most victims never have to make a courtroom appearance. However, if the party that injured you (or that party’s insurance company) refuses to settle, your attorney will take your lawsuit to trial.
At a personal injury trial, you (the “plaintiff”) and your attorney must prove that the party that injured you (the “defendant”) did so by behaving negligently – or intentionally – in a way that directly resulted in your traumatic brain injury.
What Will Justice Cost?
It costs injury victims nothing to launch the legal process. Your first meeting with an Indiana personal injury lawyer is provided with no cost or obligation, and if you move forward with legal action, you pay no attorney’s fee until your attorney recovers compensation on your behalf.
Do not be intimidated by the court system or by the idea of filing a lawsuit. If you or someone you love is a traumatic brain injury victim, compensation is your right, and so is the help of a good lawyer.
If you or someone you love sustains a traumatic brain injury, get that help at once. If another person is responsible for your injury, and you can prove it, the law will be on your side.