Traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases can be challenging for victims and their attorneys because TBI signs and symptoms vary widely from person to person. Some symptoms might show up right away, while others may not appear until several days or weeks after the brain injury. To further complicate things, some brain injuries show up in diagnostic tests like MRIs, while others are difficult to detect despite causing serious symptoms.
If your case involves a traumatic brain injury, you will need extensive medical evidence and expert testimony to prove the cause and extent of your injuries. At Phelan Petty, we have built a reputation for our cutting-edge approach to brain injuries. Our lawyers use their extensive medical, technical, and legal knowledge to get victims the compensation and accountability they deserve.
To learn more about our innovative approach to TBIs and your legal options, request a free consultation or keep reading.
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What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Sometimes, the most significant roadblock in a TBI case is the diagnosis itself. Not all brain injuries are detectable through diagnostic tests such as MRIs or CT scans, and sometimes the only way to detect a TBI is to recognize the signs. Traumatic brain injuries occur when the brain is subjected to forces like acceleration and deceleration. These forces can cause blood vessels, nerves, and tissues to rip, tear, and swell—causing life-changing damage.
Although TBIs can occur when the skull is punctured, they are more commonly closed-head injuries, where the skull remains intact. Many TBIs occur without the head coming into contact with an object; a violent jolt to the head can propel the brain into the skull.
The severity of your TBI can vary dramatically, depending on the mechanism involved, the location of your injury, and many other factors. Here are some terms you may hear in connection with your TBI:
- Concussion: Also known as a mild TBI or mTBI, concussion may involve most symptoms of brain injury, including headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears, memory problems and confusion.
- Coup-contrecoup injuries: Forces cause your brain to crash into your skull repeatedly, damaging multiple areas of your brain. Think of a typical whiplash injury from a motor vehicle crash where your head is thrown violently backward into the headrest and then forward toward the steering wheel. When you head stops abruptly, your brain keeps moving until it crashes into your skull.
- Diffuse axonal injuries (DAI):Microscopic bundles of your nerves, called axons, can stretch and tear in your brain—which can lead to dramatic limitations and even death.
- Hematoma and edema: Blood and fluid pool in your skull and can cause life-threatening swelling of the brain. This is why emergency rooms should perform CT scans of the brain in certain cases to determine whether the pressure in the skull should be relieved by cranial surgery.
A brain scan may not always identify subtle but life-changing brain injuries. To protect yourself, you should know the signs and symptoms of a brain injury and when to seek help.
Signs and Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
The signs and symptoms of head injuries can range from mild to severe, and temporary to permanent, depending on many factors. Signs and symptoms of TBIs may include memory loss, mood changes, headaches, fatigue, concentration problems, balance issues, sensitivity to light and sound, alteration of sense of smell, sleep disturbance, and nausea.
Technical names for some symptoms include:
Abulia: A “lack of initiative,” including the inability to make decisions, provide long or detailed responses to questions, or react quickly.
- Anosognosia: The victim is unable to recognize or understand their impairments.
- Aphasia: An inability to speak or understand language.
- Ataxia: A loss of full control of bodily movements.
- Dysarthria: Difficulty pronouncing words.
- Dysphasia:Impaired speech and comprehension of speech.
- Emotional Lability: Mood swings that occur rapidly and without apparent reason.
- Seizure: Uncontrolled movements and convulsions of the body due to the discharge of nerve energy.
- Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS): A group of common signs including:
- Loss of consciousness
- Hypersensitivity to light or sound
- Blurred or double vision
- Ringing ears
- Anxiety and depression
- Post-Traumatic Amnesia (PTA): An inability to recall day-to-day events after an injury.
Depending on your array of symptoms, your medical team may include neurologists, surgeons, physical and occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, and many other providers.
You Need a TBI Lawyer Who Can Hold At-Fault Parties Accountable
TBIs are common during car, motorcycle and truck crashes, falls at nursing homes and hospitals, and assaults. Unfortunately, insurance companies frequently dispute TBI claims, arguing that:
- The crash did not cause your injuries
- You are not as disabled as you claim
- Recommended medical care is not reasonable or necessary
The insurer may send you to a one-time physical or psychological exam, in an attempt to build a case against you—or hire a private investigator to monitor your every move.
To combat these tactics, you will need a sophisticated lawyer who understands the medicine behind TBIs and Virginia’s laws equally. Our attorneys work with world-class experts, investigators, and consultants so that we can handle cases that would overwhelm many personal injury law firms. Traumatic brain injury claims require cutting-edge investigative methods and legal techniques, and we deliver.
Client Success Story: After a car accident resulted in a brain injury, Dawn turned to Phelan Petty for help.
Phelan Petty: We Have the Resources and Experience to Handle Complex Brain Injury Cases
At Phelan Petty, we give our clients the full attention they deserve, and devote ourselves to a limited number of complex brain injury cases each year. This ensures that we can help the victims who need our expertise the most.
Have you or a loved one been the victim of a traumatic brain injury? Contact our experienced attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your case. Call today at 866-249-3164 or complete our online contact form to get started.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.