Brain injuries, including mild concussions and traumatic brain injuries, can cause significant pain, suffering, and financial damages. When another person or party is responsible for the cause of the brain injury, that party may be held liable for injuries, losses, and damages under Michigan’s personal injury laws. However, brain injury cases can be extraordinarily complex because of the extent of the future damages and the various legal causes of action that might apply in a brain injury case. Therefore, it is beneficial to consult with an experienced attorney who routinely handles brain injury cases before discussing your claim with an insurance adjuster or accepting a settlement for your claim.
You deserve to have an attorney who has the knowledge and experience necessary to handle a brain injury claim. Contact The Clark Law Office at 517-347-6900 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Michigan brain injury lawyers.
How Do Brain Injuries Occur?
A brain injury can be caused as a result of several different types of personal injury accidents. Common causes of brain injuries include:
Car and truck accidents
Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
Dog attacks and dog bites
Nursing home abuse and falls
Defective products (product liability)
Slips and falls (premises liability)
Recreational and sports injuries
In many cases, a person may not realize he or she suffered a brain injury after an accident. Some mild brain injuries may not present symptoms immediately after an accident or injury. Furthermore, because a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur without any outward sign of trauma, accident victims should seek medical attention after an injury to decrease the risk of permanent brain damage and other life-altering conditions that can be caused as a complication of a brain injury.
Symptoms of Brain Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injury
It is a brain injury myth that you must lose consciousness to suffer a service brain injury. Many brain injury victims do not lose consciousness or are only unconscious for a few minutes. The lack of losing consciousness is not an indication of the severity of a brain injury. You could suffer a TBI without ever blacking out or being unconscious.
Mild brain injuries and traumatic brain injuries share some common symptoms such as:
Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes, but this is not necessary for a brain injury
Vomiting or nausea
Problems with speech, vision, or hearing
Loss of balance or dizziness
Drowsiness or fatigue
Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
Mood swings or changes
Concentration or memory problems, confusion, or disorientation
Depression and anxiety
However, when the brain injury is moderate or traumatic, many of these symptoms increase in severity. For example, a loss of consciousness may last several hours. Headaches are persistent, and the pain is worse. You may have repeated bouts of nausea or vomiting. Confusion, sensory problems, and emotional problems are more profound.
In addition, a TBI victim may also experience seizures, convulsions, and weakness/numbness in the toes and fingers. Also, a TBI victim may slip into a coma or be unable to awaken from sleep without much difficulty.
Brain Injury Symptoms in Children
Parents and caregivers should be aware that the symptoms of brain injuries and TBIs in children may be different from adult symptoms. In addition to the above symptoms, parents and caregivers should watch the child for signs of:
Changes in nursing or eating habits
Loss of interest in activities the child enjoyed before to the injury
Inability to be consoled or persistent crying
Easily or unusually irritable
Change in the ability to pay attention
Change in sleeping habits
Remember, signs and symptoms of a TBI or brain injury may not appear immediately after an injury. The symptoms of a brain injury may appear hours or days after an accident or the symptoms may grow increasingly more severe with time. The best way to protect your health and decrease the chance of serious complications from a brain injury is to consult a doctor immediately after an accident.
How Do Brain Injuries Occur?
A brain injury can occur in several ways. One of the most common types of brain injuries is a closed head injury. In this type of injury, the head is struck by an object, or the head strikes an object causing damage to the skull and/or the brain. Closed head injuries can be very difficult to diagnose because there may not be any outward sign of trauma.
A penetrating head injury occurs when an object penetrates the skull to enter the brain. The damage caused by a penetrating head injury can cause severe damage, but the damage is usually localized to the area where the object penetrates the skull. A closed head injury can cause damage in several areas of the brain.
It is important to remember that the head does not need to be struck to cause a brain injury. When the head or neck is jerked violently from side to side or back and forth, the brain can “bounce” around within the skull. As the delicate brain tissues strike the hard skull, the tissues can be damaged. This type of brain injury can result in multiple areas of damage.
How Are Brain Injuries Diagnosed?
Doctors have a variety of diagnostic tools to diagnose a closed head injury. When an accident victim is taken to the hospital, the medical staff usually performs a 15-point test known as the Glasgow Coma Scale. The test helps doctors assess the initial severity of a brain injury by checking the patient’s abilities and sensory responses.
In addition to the Glasgow Coma Scale, the physician may use imaging tests, including a CT scan or MRI, to diagnose a brain injury. If the brain tissue swells causing pressure inside the skull, a doctor may also use a probe inserted into the skull to monitor the pressure.
Long-Term Impacts and Costs of Traumatic Brain Injury
In many cases, victims of mild brain injuries recover fully from their injuries. However, a mild brain injury can cause some impairment, in addition to significant medical bills and lost wages. Victims of TBI may suffer lifelong disabilities that require ongoing medical care and personal care. For some victims, a TBI may prevent them from returning to work or performing daily tasks necessary to care for themselves and their family members.
Because the brain is a highly complex organ, treating brain injuries requires a highly specialized and skilled medical professional. Therefore, the cost of treating brain injuries can be astronomic. Some of the financial costs associated with brain injuries include:
Costly and repetitive diagnostic tests
Multiple, complex surgical procedures
Ongoing physical therapy, occupational therapy, vocational therapy, mental health care, and psychological therapy
Expensive medications and medical equipment
Ongoing personal care and medical care
Loss of income and diminished earning capacity
Other out-of-pocket expenses related to care and recovery
The above costs can quickly reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, victims deserve to be compensated for their non-economic damages including:
Mental anguish, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression
Permanent impairments and disability
Disfigurement and scarring
Loss of enjoyment of life
Contact a Michigan Brain Injury Attorney for Help
Our Okemos brain injury attorneys can help you file an injury claim seeking compensation for damages related to a brain injury. We understand that a monetary judgment will not erase the pain and suffering; however, compensation can help pay for ongoing care and reimburse you for loss of income and other financial losses. Please contact The Clark Law Office at 517-347-6900 to schedule a free legal consultation with a Michigan brain injury attorney. It is important for you to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An insurance adjuster may attempt to rush you to settle your claim. Settling your brain injury claim without consulting with an attorney is not in your best interest!