Every year, around 1.7 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Traumatic brain injuries are often caused by an external blow to the head, such as a blow or jolt you may experience during motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, falls from heights, or sports activities. These head trauma injuries can also be caused by violent movement of the skull or even oxygen deprivation, which can occur as early as birth. Many traumatic brain injuries involve closed head trauma, but in some cases, an object can penetrate the skull and lodge itself in the brain. This type of penetrating head injury can disrupt normal brain function and even cause permanent brain damage.
Advanced age can be a risk factor for experiencing a severe traumatic brain injury. People aged 75 years and older account for approximately 32% of TBI-related hospitalizations and 28% of TBI-related deaths. Regardless of age, if you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation under the law.
How Much is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Case Worth?
Multiple factors are involved in calculating damages due to a traumatic brain injury. These can include the severity of your injury, its impact on your daily life, and several others. As a general estimate, the average settlement for traumatic brain injury lawsuits is a minimum of $100,000. There is no guarantee that your case will settle for such an amount, but an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer will help you get the best possible settlement for your case.
Do You Have a Case?
A successful traumatic brain injury lawsuit consists of multiple elements, including the plaintiff's claim that someone else's negligence or a defective product caused the brain injury; proof of the current symptoms the plaintiff is experiencing, and proof of enduring brain complications the plaintiff's brain injury will likely continue to cause in the future.
Your traumatic brain injury claim will most likely be based on one of two legal theories, which will dictate what evidence will be required to prove your case in court.
Filing a traumatic brain injury claim based on the legal theory of negligence requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that the defendant is legally at fault for the plaintiff's injury. For a negligence claim to be successful, you must prove all of the following:
- Under the law, the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care (to be reasonably careful).
- The defendant did not act with reasonable care toward the plaintiff.
- Depending on the circumstance, the defendant's actions (or inaction) caused the plaintiff's injury.
- The plaintiff suffered losses or injuries that are considered measurable under the law.
It can be a challenge to prove that the defendant's behavior caused your brain injury, so it is essential that you collect as much evidence as possible about your specific type of brain injury and the incident that caused it.
If you believe that a defective or dangerous product caused your traumatic brain injury, you may be able to sue the companies that manufactured and distributed the product. For example, if the airbag in your car did not deploy as it was supposed to during a vehicle accident, this may be a product liability claim.
The Symptoms That Affect Your Daily Living
Symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury may be similar to those of a severe head injury. It all depends on the severity of the damage to the brain, the location of the damage, and other factors. Traumatic brain injury symptoms are immediately evident after an accident or incident; others may not appear until days or weeks afterward. These symptoms may vary depending on whether you suffered a severe or mild injury.
Some common symptoms of traumatic brain injury can include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Speech problems
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Blurred vision and other sensory problems
- Sensitivity to sound or light
- Loss of consciousness
- Disorientation or confusion
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Depression or anxiety
- Sleep disturbances
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Clear fluids draining from the ears or nose
- Agitation or other unusual behavior
- Unresponsiveness or coma
The Long-Term Risks of Your Brain Trauma
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury can cause long-term or even permanent detrimental effects. These can manifest in unexpected life challenges that include physical or mental disabilities. Some sufferers may need to adapt to a new way of life or re-learn basic life skills such as driving, reading, walking, or speaking.
Below, we will detail a few common long-term, life-changing consequences of traumatic brain injury.
TBI can cause a variety of physical issues in the long term, including:
- Chronic pain
- Sleep disorders or disturbances
- Hormonal changes
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Paralysis, muscle stiffness, or uncontrolled movements
- Difficulty walking, talking, or swallowing
- Loss of fine motor skills
- Sensory effects include vision or hearing problems; issues with smell and taste; difficulty perceiving temperature, depth, movement, and positions of the limbs, etc.
Several long-term cognitive and mental difficulties can also result from traumatic brain injury, including:
- Challenges with attention, focus, and concentration
- Mood and behavior changes
- Cognitive impairment and memory loss
- Memory issues
- Executive function problems (including abstract thinking, determining right from wrong, etc.)
Speech and language effects
TBI can lead to problems with speech and language, which may include:
- Difficulty with language processing
- Aphasia (problems speaking, expressing ideas, understanding language, reading, and writing)
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty regulating volume or speed of speech
- Reading comprehension issues
Traumatic brain injury can also cause other, less quantifiable issues. For example, ongoing management of brain damage generally involves frequent imaging, such as MRI and CT scans, which can increase your risk of cancer and other future problems.
Contact Us to Seek Damages for Your Head Injury
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else's negligence or the use of a defective or dangerous product, contact us today.