What exactly is a traumatic brain injury?
A traumatic brain injury is caused by a sudden, violent blow to the head or by an object, such as a sharp piece of metal that pierces the skull, entering the brain tissue. TBIs range in severity from mild to severe.
A mild TBI, often called a concussion, represents the least severe brain injury. Common symptoms include headaches, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, and difficulty concentrating. There may also be a brief loss of consciousness and transient memory loss concerning the events surrounding the incident.
Most people recover fully from mild TBIs, but some may experience persistent post-concussive symptoms, including fatigue, insomnia, and mood changes.
A moderate TBI tends to result in more lasting and significant damage to the brain. Symptoms may resemble those of a mild TBI but tend to be more prolonged and severe. These can include chronic headaches, persistent confusion, and ongoing memory issues.
A moderate TBI can lead to physical challenges like difficulty speaking or coordination problems, cognitive impairments such as difficulties with attention or problem-solving, and emotional or behavioral changes like depression, anxiety, and irritability. These effects could last several months or become permanent, affecting the individual’s ability to return to their previous lifestyle.
Severe TBIs are the most extreme form of brain injury and involve prolonged unconsciousness, coma, or extensive memory loss following the injury. Personality changes are also common, with individuals potentially becoming more aggressive or impulsive or displaying a lack of empathy or social tact.
Severe TBIs often lead to long-term physical disabilities, such as paralysis, loss of sensation, or problems with coordination and balance. These injuries are life-altering and require intensive, ongoing rehabilitation and care.
How much does it cost to hire a brain injury lawyer in St. Louis?
The majority of brain injury lawyers work under what’s called a contingency fee agreement. In this arrangement, their legal fees are only applicable if they secure a victory in your case. This approach ensures that legal assistance is accessible, regardless of your financial situation, as your traumatic brain injury lawyer in St. Louis only gets paid if you do.
What should I do after suffering a brain injury?
Immediately following a brain injury, the steps taken are crucial in determining the patient’s chance of survival, not to mention the likelihood that they will be able to pursue compensation for their losses. Here are some vital steps to follow after a brain injury.
1. Seek immediate medical attention
Even if the injury seems minor, it’s important not to underestimate potential damage. Brain injuries can have delayed symptoms that may not manifest immediately but can cause serious damage later.
2. Follow the doctor’s advice and take off work if you need
The recovery process from a brain injury can be long and grueling. You must listen carefully to your healthcare provider’s recommendations regarding rest, medication regimen, physical therapy exercises, and follow-up appointments.
3. Find care or support for your dependants’ needs
If you’re a caregiver or have dependents, a brain injury can significantly disrupt your ability to provide for them. It’s important to acknowledge this and take steps to ensure their care and support during your recovery period.
This might involve arranging alternative care solutions, such as enlisting the help of other family members, hiring a temporary caregiver, or using community resources and services. Taking this step not only ensures your dependents are well cared for, but it also removes additional stressors that could impede your recovery.
4. Consult an attorney
If your injury was due to someone else’s negligence, whether a car accident caused by a reckless driver, a fall due to poorly maintained premises, or a workplace incident due to insufficient safety measures, it’s vital to consult a brain injury lawyer in St. Louis.
Why hire a brain injury lawyer in St. Louis?
Navigating a brain injury claim without legal guidance can be challenging and overwhelming. Skilled St Louis brain injury lawyers with experience in brain injuries can help you understand your rights, guide you through the complex legal processes, and advocate for your interests.
How long do I have to file a claim?
Missouri has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. You have a limited time to file a lawsuit after the injury occurs, so acting quickly and speaking with a brain injury lawyer in St. Louis is essential.
What types of damages may I receive?
In the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, initiating a lawsuit might be the furthest thing from your mind. However, seeking legal action can be crucial for securing your future well-being when the injury was due to someone else’s negligence. When you file such a lawsuit, the court often compensates for the wide-ranging impacts of your injury, typically classified as economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages compensate for quantifiable financial losses directly attributable to the injury. This category encompasses several areas.
These include the immediate costs of emergency care, hospital stays, surgeries, and any other necessary medical procedures. They cover ongoing treatment and rehabilitation expenses, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy. Costs for necessary medication, assistive devices, or home modifications to accommodate new disabilities also fall under this category.
Brain injuries often require significant time off work for recovery, leading to lost income. In severe cases, victims may be unable to return to their previous job or any job at all. Economic damages aim to compensate for these lost wages and any loss in earning capacity, providing financial stability in these trying times.
Cost of future care
Brain injuries can have long-term or permanent effects, necessitating lifelong support and care. The costs for future care, such as nursing support, further therapies, and ongoing medication, can be significant and often include economic damages.
While economic damages cover measurable financial losses, non-economic damages are awarded for more intangible impacts of the injury. Although these losses are more challenging to quantify, they are no less real for victims of brain injuries.
Pain and suffering
This compensation acknowledges the physical pain and discomfort the victim has endured and may continue to endure due to the injury.
Traumatic brain injuries can have severe psychological impacts, including stress, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Non-economic damages aim to compensate for this emotional turmoil.
Loss of enjoyment of life
If the injury has limited your ability to enjoy activities you previously participated in or has diminished your overall quality of life, you may be compensated for this loss.
Loss of consortium
In legal terms, consortium refers to the benefits of a family relationship, such as companionship, affection, comfort, and sexual relations. If the brain injury negatively impacts your relationship with your spouse or family, you may be awarded damages for this loss.
How to find the right lawyer for your needs
Choosing the right brain injury attorney in St. Louis is crucial. They should have experience in brain injury cases, a successful track record, and a strategy tailored to your unique situation.
Common causes of brain injury
Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are all too common, resulting from various incidents that lead to sudden impacts on the head. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 223,000 TBI-related hospitalizations in 2019 and nearly 70,000 TBI-related deaths in 2021. Understanding the causes of these injuries is a crucial part of prevention efforts and pursuing compensation in personal injury cases.
Motor vehicle accidents
Motor vehicle accidents, including collisions involving cars, motorcycles, trucks, and even bicycles, cause traumatic brain injuries. When high-speed vehicles crash, the forces involved can easily result in severe impacts to the head, either from hitting the vehicle’s interior or being thrown from the vehicle itself.
Additionally, motorcyclists and cyclists are particularly at risk, as a crash can result in significant head trauma even with helmets. Whiplash, a common injury in car accidents, can also cause brain injuries due to the sudden movement of the brain inside the skull.
Falls are another major contributor to brain injuries. These can happen in various scenarios: an older adult might fall at home, a worker might tumble from a height at a construction site, or a customer might slip on a wet floor in a store. In each case, a hard impact on the head can result in a traumatic brain injury.
Violent assaults, including those involving firearms, knives, and blunt force trauma, are a disturbingly common cause of TBIs. Blows to the head with a hard object, gunshot wounds, or violent shaking can all lead to significant brain injuries. The victims of these assaults can suffer from various injuries, including brain contusions, skull fractures, penetrating injuries, and more.
Parties who may be liable for your injury
In cases of traumatic brain injuries, establishing liability is a critical step in the legal process. Determining who is responsible for the injury can be a complex task, as multiple parties could be at fault depending on the circumstances of the incident. Below, we delve into some parties who could be liable in a brain injury case.
When a brain injury results from a motor vehicle accident, the driver at fault could be held liable for the injury. This could be due to reckless behavior such as speeding, driving under the influence, disregarding traffic signals, or distracted driving. Their negligence could lead to a severe accident causing traumatic brain injury to another party involved.
Property or business owner
In the case of falls leading to brain injuries, property or business owners can be held accountable if the accident was due to their failure to maintain safe premises. This can include a wide range of scenarios, such as a store owner failing to clean up a spill, leading to a slip and fall incident, or a homeowner neglecting to repair a broken step, leading to a visitor’s fall.
Construction company, contractor, or equipment manufacturer
Workplace accidents, particularly on construction sites, can also lead to traumatic brain injuries. Here, several parties could be liable. If the employer failed to provide adequate safety measures, they could be held accountable for the injuries. Similarly, a contractor who didn’t follow safety protocols or an equipment manufacturer that produced defective safety gear could be liable.
Medical malpractice is another area where liability can come into play in brain injury cases. If a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or nurse, fails to provide the standard level of care, resulting in a brain injury, they could be held accountable. This can happen in various situations, such as surgical errors, misdiagnoses, failure to diagnose, or medication errors.
How our St. Louis brain injury attorneys prove negligence
Our attorneys possess a wealth of expertise in consolidating robust evidence for your case. This involves meticulous procedures such as interviewing witnesses and engaging with medical professionals and accident reconstruction experts. Through these methods, we aim to construct a compelling case that effectively demonstrates negligence.
Why hire Langdon & Emison?
At Langdon & Emison, we specialize in brain injury cases and are dedicated to providing compassionate, effective representation to help you recover the compensation you deserve. From understanding the nuances of your case to advocating for your rights, an experienced St. Louis brain injury attorney from Langdon & Emison can help guide you through the complex legal process, giving you the space to focus on your recovery. We will fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our St. Louis brain injury lawyers are here to help
When you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll it takes. At Langdon & Emison, our St. Louis personal injury lawyers are here to guide you through this challenging time and fight for justice on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation and to find out how we can help you with your case.