Approximately 150,000 Georgians are living with permanent disabilities caused by traumatic brain injuries. Yet only 20 percent of survivors are able to afford the rehabilitation they need due to the high cost of medical care, lack of insurance coverage, and other problems.
The Athens brain injury attorneys at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC don’t want you to go without the money you need for treatment if someone else caused your brain injury. Schedule a free consultation to learn your legal options and how our experienced lawyers can help.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
Every traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious one. Partly, that’s because no doctor can make guarantees about a full recovery. It’s also because brain injuries can have lasting effects on the people who suffer them.
Common causes of brain injury include:
- Slip and falls
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Struck by/against objects
- Construction accidents
- Sports and recreational accidents
- Assaults and abuse
- Explosive blasts, especially among military service members
People can suffer brain injuries in accidents without any jolt or bump to their heads. For this reason, you should always see a doctor as soon as possible after the incident to rule out any undetected injuries.
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
No matter whether a brain injury is mild or severe, they share many common symptoms, such as:
- Loss of consciousness (from seconds to minutes in a mild injury, or hours in severe cases)
- Memory, information processing, and concentration problems
- Blurred vision
- Dilated pupils
- Difficulty with balance and muscle coordination
- Numbness or tingling in limbs
- Personality changes, mood swings, anxiety, and depression
A person with a catastrophic TBI may experience those symptoms, but to a much greater degree. Severe TBIs can also result in:
- Permanent memory loss/inability to make and retain new memories
- Judgment problems
- Long-term speech/language deficits
- Visual impairment
- Sensory changes, such as sensitivity to light, sound, and temperature
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of sensation in extremities
- Agitation, combativeness, and depression
- Persistent vegetative state
- Post-traumatic dementia
While many people are able to recover from mild brain injuries like concussions, other TBIs are completely incapacitating. Due to this, many families experience significant financial hardships. A successful traumatic brain injury claim can provide compensation to help relieve those burdens for victims and caregivers.
Head Injuries vs. TBIs
Not all head injuries qualify as brain injuries. A head injury is trauma that happens to the skull, scalp, or protective layers covering the brain. A TBI is damage to the brain itself.
Any type of blow, bump, or shake of the head can cause a brain injury. Brain injuries can also be caused when outside objects, such as flying debris or bullets, pierce the skull and travel into the brain.
A TBI may be:
- Closed: The skull is not opened.
- Open: Also called a penetrating injury, open TBIs occur when the skull or scalp is impaled from outside.
Brain injuries are further classified as:
- Concussions: The most common form of TBI, a concussion happens when something hits your head or a shift in momentum knocks the brain into the skull. Contrary to what many people think, a concussion can have long-term consequences.
- Contusion: A contusion is caused by bruising or bleeding on the brain. Large contusions may need to be treated with surgery to avoid large-scale brain damage.
- Coup-contrecoup: When a violent force slams into one side of the head, the impact can be hard enough to shift the brain to the other side of the skull. This can cause a coup-contrecoup injury, or contusions on both sides of the head.
- Diffuse axonal injury: These types of injuries happen from a severe shaking of the brain. The shaking “shears” the axons within the brain, resulting in immediate loss of consciousness and lesions over a widespread area. Diffuse axonal injuries often happen in accidents such as falls and car crashes.
Because the brain is the body’s “communications center,” damage to any region can have lifelong effects, even with mild trauma.
Compensation in a Georgia Brain Injury Case
People with severe TBIs often face a long road to recovery. Researchers estimate that the lifetime cost of care for TBI victims ranges from anywhere between $85,000 to $3 million. Even those with milder forms of brain injury face expenses that number in the tens of thousands of dollars.
In Georgia, compensation can include money for:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Caregiving costs
- Cost of assistive medical devices, such as wheelchairs
- Home modifications if renovations are needed to accommodate new disabilities
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
If you’ve been hurt, you can rely on the skilled traumatic brain injury lawyers at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC to push for full and fair compensation for your losses.
Evidence Necessary in a Brain Injury Claim
Georgia law requires accident victims to show that another party’s recklessness caused their injuries. This is called proving negligence.
Brain injury and head injury cases are complex from both medical and legal perspectives. Although no injury is exactly the same, brain injuries are especially unique. No one, not even a victim’s treating physician, can state with 100 percent certainty how much recovery is possible. Some go as far as to simply say, “The brain is a mystery.”
An Athens brain injury attorney at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC can work with medical consultants, rehabilitation and vocational specialists, and financial planners to show the ultimate impact that the brain injury has had (and is expected to have) on your life. You can count on insurance companies and defense lawyers to challenge your claim, so testimony from outside professionals has considerable weight to support your case.
A successful claim will also include evidence showing the other damages you have sustained, including your medical bills, lost income, and other less tangible losses, such as pain and suffering. With nearly 40 years of combined experience, our lawyers know what it takes to build a solid brain injury claim.
Get Experience and Compassion on Your Side
For more information on how Adamson & Cleveland, LLC can help with your traumatic brain injury case, call or contact our Athens law office today.