Falls are the top cause of TBI in the U.S. and are responsible for more than a third of all traumatic brain injuries. Traffic collisions are the number two cause of TBI (about 17 percent), and intentional assaults account for about 11 percent of all traumatic brain injuries.
Explosions are responsible for most traumatic brain injuries suffered by active-duty military personnel, and sports injuries are primarily responsible for the rising numbers of traumatic brain injuries sustained by young people ages eight through nineteen.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 5.3 million people in the United States currently live with a TBI-related disability.
HOW DO TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES AFFECT VICTIMS?
Every brain injury is unique. The way that someone is affected by a TBI will also be unique.
Most TBI victims will have difficulty concentrating and focusing. They will struggle with memory, emotions, and sleep difficulties. A TBI victim may lose his or her ability to drive, to hold a job, or to be an effective parent.
Some traumatic brain injury victims recover quickly and completely. For others, recovery will take months or years, and some TBI victims never fully recover.
WHAT CAN BE THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF A BRAIN INJURY?
Traumatic brain injuries may affect parts of the brain that govern the emotions, and some TBI victims may manifest occasional and unexpected emotional outbursts.
Many victims who have experienced trauma to the brain will suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, or other psychological conditions.
WHAT CAN BE THE PHYSICAL IMPACT OF A BRAIN INJURY?
A traumatic brain injury is also likely to impair a victim’s physical abilities. A TBI victim can struggle with mobility and may need a walker, cane, or wheelchair temporarily or permanently.
TBI victims also frequently struggle with hearing and vision difficulties. Again, these problems can be short-term, long-term, or permanent, depending on the patient and the severity and extent of the brain injury.
What other conditions can be caused by a traumatic injury to the brain?
Persons with a TBI may experience epilepsy and seizures. Epilepsy and seizures can sometimes be managed with medications, and a patient’s caretakers should be trained regarding how to handle a seizure.
If the part of the brain that governs language is damaged, a TBI victim may suffer aphasia, a condition that makes it difficult to speak or to understand speech and writing.
HOW CAN TBI PATIENTS COVER THEIR MEDICAL EXPENSES?
Most TBI victims will look to health insurance for help with their medical expenses, and some will qualify for Social Security disability payments.
But when a permanent disability is the result of a traumatic brain injury, the medical costs over a lifetime may be more than insurance or Social Security will provide.
The estimated annual cost of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. is $75 billion. The Brain Injury Association of America reports that these are the typical costs for a TBI patient:
• as much as $1,000 per day for outpatient therapy
• as much as $2,500 per day for residential facility rehabilitation
• as much as $8,000 per day for hospital-based rehabilitation
Medical costs can be substantial, but when a traumatic brain injury is caused by another person’s negligence, that victim has the right under Texas law to full reimbursement from the negligent party. If the brain injury was a result of a defective product, a team of mass tort lawyers may be able to help.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS IF YOU ARE INJURED BY NEGLIGENCE?
If you sustain a traumatic brain injury in south Texas because someone else was negligent in a traffic accident or in any other accident scenario, discuss your rights and options – which may include a personal injury lawsuit – with an Edinburg brain injury attorney.
Of course, any legal action arising from a TBI will hinge on the particulars of how the brain injury happened. Traffic crashes, slip-and-fall injuries, and intentional violence frequently trigger personal injury and premises liability claims.
Birth-related brain injuries can generate medical malpractice claims when liability falls on the doctor and hospital staffers for performing below the accepted, reasonable standard of care.
A TBI that permanently and negatively impacts someone’s life may qualify that person for a substantial damage award – but that will depend on how the injury occurred.
The most severe traumatic brain injuries will require years of medical treatment, therapy, and counseling. The costs for that kind of care are far beyond the financial capacity of most victims.
HOW CAN AN INJURY LAWYER HELP?
But a successful personal injury lawsuit can provide TBI victims and their families with the resources they need and deserve. Here in Texas, if you sustain a brain injury because another person was negligent, speak at once to a brain injury attorney.
With very narrow exceptions, the statute of limitations is two years for personal injury cases in Texas: that is, two years from the injury date, the date of the injury’s “discovery,” or the date when the injury should have been discovered.
That is critically important for brain injury patients because a brain injury is not always immediately apparent or detectable.
HOW QUICKLY SHOULD YOU SEEK AN ATTORNEY’S ADVICE?
Do not wait two years. If you’ve been seriously injured because another person was negligent, put an experienced personal injury lawyer on your case at once.
Most personal injury lawyers in Texas provide a free initial consultation and case review, so TBI victims lose nothing – and may have much to gain – by scheduling a consultation with a personal injury attorney.
If you have sustained a traumatic brain injury in Texas, you must get the medical and legal help you need – without delay. A qualified injury lawyer will fight aggressively for the compensation you need. Compensation is your right if you’ve been injured by negligence, and the law is on your side.
By Chris Brasure
Brasure Law Firm, PLLC was founded by Chris Brasure in 2006. His legal accomplishments are diverse and numerous. He is a fellow with the Texas Bar Foundation, was a delegate in the American Bar Association House of Delegates and holds a BA in political science and speech communication from Baylor University. He then went on to obtain his law degree from Baylor University Law School. Chris believes that education is absolutely critical to one’s success, so his firm now offers The Brasure Law Firm Scholarship to give back to the community and to help students who are seeking to pursue a higher education.