Pascoe Law FirmTraumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
Principal office located in Friendswood, Texas.
Available to service League City, Webster, Pearland, Galveston, and the surrounding areas within Texas.
Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
An injury to the brain is the most uniquely debilitating accidental injury a person can suffer. Individuals who survive traumatic brain injury (TBI) often must endure a long, anguished, and expensive recovery, and will rarely ever be the same. Many people suffer some form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) when they are involved in falls, car crashes and other types of accidents. The injury can affect the way a person thinks, moves about and controls his or her emotions. Many people with TBI need extensive medical treatment. Often, they can no longer work or live their lives as they did before the accident. The experienced personal injury attorney at the Pascoe Law Firm realize the impact that TBI has on the lives of victims and their families. If someone else’s negligence caused you or a loved one to suffer a serious brain injury, we want to help you hold the party (or parties) who caused the injury accountable and pursue the compensation that you deserve.
What is a Traumatic Brain injury or TBI?
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, there are two types of brain injury: Acquired brain injury (ABI), which is caused by internal factors such as a lack of oxygen, and traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is caused by external factors. Typically, TBI occurs when a person:
- Strikes an object or gets struck by an object
- Suffers a sudden, violent jolt or shaking
- Gets struck by an object that penetrates the skull.
Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Prevents Normal Function
A trauma to the brain, damages the brain’s structure and prevents it from functioning in a normal way. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that TBI can affect the way a person:
- Thinks (memory and reasoning)
- Experiences sensations (such as touch, taste, and smell)
- Communicates with others (speaking and understanding)
- Controls his or her emotions (as well as social interactions).
While some people can recover from TBI and return to normal lives, many others never regain normal functioning in the brain. They may require ongoing care and treatment as well as assistance with basic living tasks. They may suffer from traumatic brain injury symptoms years later.
Common Types of Traumatic Brain Injury
Contusion: A bruise on the brain typically occurs when a person’s head suffers a direct impact. The swelling, or brain herniation, associated with a contusion is dangerous. The injury may require surgical intervention in order to release pressure and keep oxygen flow to the brain at a safe level.
Coup-contrecoup: A coup-contrecoup describes a serious contusion that forms at the impact site in addition to the opposite side of the brain. This is often the result of the brain’s movement during impact, causing it to slam against the inside of the skull on the opposite side of the head. A contusion against the opposite side of the brain is the result. It can impair memory, coordination, swallowing, balance, muscular abilities, and sensation.
Concussion: Repeated concussions may lead to dementia or a degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Concussion is the most common TBI. Although it is generally considered less serious than other types of brain injury, the long-term effects are not fully understood, and if left untreated concussion can have severe consequences. Even a mild concussion can develop into a serious medical condition causing significant lifelong impairments or problems. For instance, it doubles a person’s risk of developing epilepsy over the next five years, and may lead to a stroke if a blood clot forms in the brain.
Concussion usually happens when an impact to the skull causes blood vessels in the brain to expand while damaging cranial nerves. In many cases, the victim does not lose consciousness but is instead dazed by the impact. Both open-head and closed-head injuries can produce a concussion. Concussions can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- A direct blow to the head sustained in a fall or other accident, or playing sports
- Violent head shaking
- Whiplash trauma such as that experienced in auto accidents
While most minor concussions heal with rest and over-the-counter medications without producing long-term effects, patients still must be medically monitored for signs of complications such as slurred speech or worsening headache. Concussions are often misdiagnosed because the condition does not always show up on a CT scan or other diagnostic imaging test. There may not be swelling, brain bleeding, or skull fracture present at the site of impact. However, blood clots can easily form in the brain, causing a stroke or fatal outcome. In many circumstances, it may take months to years for a concussion to heal completely.
A diffuse axonal injury can cause extensive tearing of the brain’s nerve tissue, releasing chemicals that disrupt regular brain function and communication. This severe disturbance often produces permanent or temporary widespread damage to the brain, coma, and at times death. Victims often present numerous functional impairments based on where the tears (shearing) occurred.
Identifying and Treating Brain Injuries
Symptons of a Mild TBI
If you are involved in any type of accident or otherwise suffer a blow to the head, you should get medical attention as soon as possible. It is especially important if you show any brain damage symptoms. Those signs and symptoms will depend on the extent of damage to the brain. One of the most critical developments in the field of brain injury treatment is the ability to quickly diagnose brain trauma in order to implement treatment as soon as possible. A person with mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. Other symptoms of mild TBI include:
- Blurred vision or tired eyes
- Ringing in the ears
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Fatigue or lethargy
- A change in sleep patterns
- Behavioral or mood changes
- Trouble with memory, concentration, attention and/or thinking.
Identifying Moderate to Sever TBI
A person with a moderate or severe TBI may show the above symptoms as well as:
- A headache that gets worse or does not go away
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- An inability to awaken from sleep
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in the extremities
- Loss of coordination and increased confusion
- Restlessness or agitation.
If your child is involved in an accident, you should look for the above symptoms as well as any changes in mood or behavior such as uncontrollable crying or loss of interest in toys or activities. You should also look for any changes in the child’s eating and sleeping habits.
Treatment and Costs Associated with A Traumatic Brain Injury
A person who has suffered TBI may require medical care that includes:
- Emergency medical treatment
- X-rays, MRIs or CT scans
- Intensive care
- Lengthy convalescence
- Use of assistive devices
- Ongoing care and counseling.
Typically, an interdisciplinary team of professionals will provide brain damage treatment for a patient with severe TBI, including a primary care physician, neurologist, surgeon, physical therapist, and psychologist. The patient may receive treatment at a trauma hospital and be moved later to a specialized clinic as part of the traumatic brain injury recovery process.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
Motor Vehicle Accidents: A person may suffer TBI when slamming into an object upon impact in a crash or from getting thrown from the car, truck, motorcycle, or bicycle and hitting the ground. Brain injury is a highly common injury when a motor vehicle driver strikes a pedestrian. A car wreck can have devastating consequences, often changing the victim’s life forever in the blink of an eye. This is especially true if the victim is involved in an accident with a truck or a driver who is distracted or under the influence. The Centers for Disease Control has concluded that auto accidents account for more TBIs in people from 15 to 44 years of age than any other type of accident.Slip and Falls: Falls can occur when negligent property owners allow dangerous conditions to exist on their property, including spilled liquids, ice and snow, torn or frayed carpeting, broken stairs, uneven flooring, broken rails, or poor lighting. Fall injuries are a particular concern in Illinois nursing homes.
Falls from Heights: Falls from heights such as roofs, ladders, and scaffolding often lead to brain injuries. Getting struck by tools and equipment and getting into collisions with forklifts, trucks, or other motor vehicles at construction or industrial sites can also cause TBI.