Brain injuries have a huge impact on people’s lives, even though they can be very hard to detect and assess. A person who suffered a blow to the head might not know they suffered a brain injury because the symptoms might not show up right away. Different people suffer many different types of symptoms, including subtle changes in memory, speech, concentration, light sensitivity, sleep, appetite, balance, coordination and even personality. Also, the same impact to the head might cause a temporary mild concussion in one person and a permanently debilitating brain injury to another. And a traumatic brain injury might cause serious impairments even where an MRI shows nothing wrong. It can take up to a year after suffering a blow to the head to know what the long-term impact will be.
The attorneys at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer understand the unique needs of brain injury survivors and can effectively represent those who have suffered these injuries. It is crucial for people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries to work with lawyers who possess a combination of legal and medical knowledge to represent them. People who have suffered traumatic brain injuries need lawyers who understand that only specific types of medical professionals have the right training and expertise needed to properly assess them, and to help them to recover. These include neurologists, neuropsychologists, cognitive therapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists. Similarly, people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries in accidents should choose attorneys who have training and experience working with brain injury victims and their families.
Understanding brain injuries
Traumatic brain injuries occur when a sudden impact or blow injures the brain. These injuries can range in severity from a mild concussion to a severe injury that results in permanent disability or death. The injuries can impact a specific lobe of the brain or the entire brain. They can result in minor impairment to life-changing, permanent disabilities that affect a person’s ability to walk, talk, care for himself or herself, and more.
When someone suffers a traumatic brain injury, the injury may have a lasting impact on both the victim and the victim’s family. The family members of people who have suffered severe traumatic brain injuries need attorneys who understand the challenges that they face in addition to the challenges faced by the victim. When the negligent or intentional actions of others cause brain injuries, the victims and their families deserve to recover compensation for the losses that they have suffered.
Common causes of traumatic brain injuries
Each year across the U.S., almost 2 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries that require them to go to emergency departments. Brain injuries occur when someone suffers a sudden blow to the head or when something penetrates the skull. Approximately 75% of traumatic brain injuries are mild, including concussions. However, traumatic brain injuries are a leading cause of disability and death in the United States. When traumatic brain injuries occur because of the negligent or intentional actions of others, the victims or their families may be entitled to file tort lawsuits against the responsible parties. Some common causes of traumatic brain injuries include the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Recreation and sports
- Workplace accidents
- Product defects
- Medical errors
Motor vehicle accidents that are caused by the negligence of a driver can result in TBIs (traumatic brain injuries). In addition to the occupants of cars, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists who are struck by vehicles may suffer severe TBIs. Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer has represented many people who suffered TBIs in motor vehicle accidents, including a man who was wearing a helmet while riding a scooter through an intersection with the green light and was struck by a car driver who turned directly in front of him.
Falls are among the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. The owners and operators of properties have duties of care to keep their premises in reasonably safe conditions and to warn about hazards that exist to people who are lawfully present. For example, a grocery store that fails to clean up a slippery spill on the floor for an extended period may be liable if a customer slips, falls, and suffers a traumatic brain injury. Landlords also have a duty to make sure the apartments and houses they rent are safe. One Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer client suffered a TBI when she fell down a flight of steps and struck her head on the pavement when the iron handrail she depended on broke loose at the top because it had rusted through.
Hospitals that negligently fail to supervise their patients and nursing homes that negligently fail to supervise residents may be liable when someone slips and falls in their facility. Hospitals also may be held liable for malpractice if they fail to follow the standards of care in treating patients with TBIs. One Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer client, who had a mild brain injury from which he was expected to recover, suffered massive brain damage when the nursing staff at a hospital failed to follow the neurosurgeon’s strict instructions to make sure he did not drink any water.
Many people who participate in sports and other recreational activities suffer brain injuries each year. The most common type of injury is a concussion. Administrators, schools, trainers, and coaches may be liable if they fail to manage the brain injury properly, fail to provide the proper safety gear, or allow athletes with concussions to continue playing. They may also be held liable if they fail to ensure that athletes’ brain injuries are assessed and managed by qualified people.
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