Navigating the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury is a complex, emotionally taxing journey. No two cases are identical, but they all share one thing in common: the imperative need for compassionate and informed legal guidance. When lives are turned upside down due to this type of injury, it is important to know your legal rights, naturally besides making sure that you receive excellent medical care.
What Exactly Is A Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a sudden, external, physical assault damages the brain. It is one of the most common causes of disability and death in adults. TBI is a broad term that describes various injuries that happen to the brain. The damage can be focal (confined to one area of the brain) or diffuse (happens in more than one area of the brain). The severity of a brain injury can range from a mild concussion to a severe injury that results in coma or death. Symptoms of TBI can be categorized as:
- Mild: Brief loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, blurry vision, mood changes, memory problems.
- Moderate & Severe: Extended loss of consciousness, chronic headaches, repeated vomiting, seizures, inability to wake up, pupil dilation, slurred speech, numbness or weakness in fingers and toes, lack of coordination.
- Potential Complications: TBIs can result in cognitive, sensory, and physical impairments. There is also the potential for problems communicating, emotional and behavioral changes, and degenerative brain diseases (for example, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease).
Steps to Take to Demonstrate a TBI From a Car Accident
Proving a TBI can be challenging, but there are several steps and types of evidence that might help support your claim:
- Medical Records: Not only is this crucial for health and safety, but medical records created immediately after the accident can serve as evidence. You should maintain comprehensive medical records that include doctor’s reports; MRIs, CT scans, and any other relevant tests that can show brain injury; medical bills; as well as documentation of ongoing treatments, therapy, or rehabilitation.
- Expert Testimony: Consult a neurologist or another medical expert specializing in traumatic brain injuries. Their testimony can help explain the nature and extent of the injury, as well as how it was caused by the accident.
- Accident Reconstruction: Hiring an accident reconstruction expert can be useful in cases where the cause of the accident or the force of impact is disputed.
- Witness Statements: Collect statements from any witnesses present during the accident. They can help in describing the accident and the events following the accident, which might be crucial in linking the TBI to the event.
- Photos and Videos: Capture pictures and videos of the accident scene, vehicle damages, and any visible injuries. This can help in demonstrating how severe the collision was.
- Document Symptoms: Traumatic brain injuries can have various symptoms, both physical and cognitive. Maintaining a diary or log of daily symptoms can be beneficial. This can include headaches, memory problems, mood swings, dizziness, or any other TBI symptoms.
- Demonstrate Impact on Daily Life: Collect evidence to demonstrate how the TBI has affected daily activities, work, and quality of life. This can include testimonies from family, friends, and coworkers, as well as records of missed workdays or reduced work capacity.
- Economic and Non-Economic Damages: Document all the expenses related to the injury, such as medical bills, lost wages, and future care costs. Also, consider non-economic damages like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment in one’s everyday life.
- Helmet or Seatbelt Usage: In Texas, the defense might attempt to argue comparative negligence. If you were not wearing a seatbelt (or helmet, if on a motorcycle) and this contributed to the injury, it could affect the amount of compensation. However, not wearing a seatbelt may not prevent recovery; it just might reduce the proportion of the damages.
It is important to engage a personal injury attorney experienced in handling traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases. They can help in gathering evidence, consulting the right experts, and making a complete determination as to the merits of your case. Contact Ceja Law Firm, PLLC today to schedule your complimentary initial consultation. Our dedicated team is ready to advocate for your rights.