Brain injuries are often catastrophic. The devastating effects they have on a person and their family may be far-reaching, permanent, and sometimes fatal. And when brain injuries are caused by the negligence of another party, brain injury attorneys seek justice on behalf of a person whose life was completely altered by a preventable accident. If you are considering filing a personal injury claim against the party responsible for causing someone in your family to suffer a traumatic brain injury, contact an experienced Danville brain injury lawyer from Stapp Law, LLC. We advocate for victims and their families in Danville, PA and Montour County.
What Are the Most Common Types of Brain Injuries?
Brain injuries are classified into two broad categories: traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired (or non-traumatic) brain injury.
A traumatic brain injury is caused by external impact. When the head is struck, knocked, or suffers any kind of outside force, personal injuries of a serious nature can result. Blood vessels and cranial nerves may be damaged, and bleeding may occur. Traumatic brain injuries can range in severity. The most acute TBIs sustained in an accident can lead to catastrophic brain damage or even wrongful death. Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) may result in an injury like a concussion that can affect a person’s mental and physical abilities for a few days or weeks.
Acquired brain injuries (non-traumatic injuries) are ones that are not caused by external force. These injuries may be sustained due to issues like a lack of oxygen to the brain, inhaling toxins like poisonous chemicals, or nearly drowning. Tumors, viruses, and strokes can also cause acquired brain injuries. These types of injuries may cause permanent and irreversible damage, especially when sustained at birth or at a young age.
No matter what kind of brain injury you or a family member suffered, there are legal actions that can be taken when the injury-causing accident resulted from someone else’s wrongdoing. If the negligence of another person or party led to your or a loved one’s brain injuries in Montour County, a Danville brain injury lawyer from Stapp Law, LLC can help you seek damages. Financial recovery is an important part of overall recovery following a devastating accident.
Medical Terms to Know About Brain Injuries
While not a complete list, the following terms are ones used when discussing some of the more common types of brain injuries. If you suffered an accident, it’s important to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible. After receiving emergency treatment, schedule an appointment with a primary care physician (PCP) for a more thorough examination.
- Closed Head Injury. The skull is not penetrated, and damage may cover a wide area of the brain. Often the result of sports injuries or slip and fall accidents.
- Open Head Injury. A sharp object penetrates the skull and damages a specific area (focal damage). May occur in automobile accidents, especially if a motorcyclist is not wearing a helmet.
- Concussion. A mild head injury in which the brain shakes back and forth inside the skull and sustains damage. May result in loss of consciousness and up to 4 weeks of symptoms.
- Stroke. When the brain is injured by a disruption in blood flow. Requires emergency treatment.
- Brain (or Cerebral) Aneurysm. An artery or blood vessel in the brain swells and bulges due to weakened walls.
- Coma. Reduced consciousness or complete unconsciousness from which the patient cannot be awakened. Measured by depth on the Glasgow coma scale (3-15), evaluating eye opening, verbal responses, and motor responses.
- Brain Hemorrhage. Bleeding in or around the brain. Can be caused by stroke, tumor, aneurysm, or a traumatic accident such as a car accident.
- Hypoxic Brain Injury. Injury resulting from a lack of oxygen to the brain that can cause irreversible damage. May be the result of medical malpractice, a birth injury, near drowning, smoke inhalation, or a drug overdose.
When a person suffers a brain injury, their life is impacted in many ways. It often requires a large team of medical professionals to help a victim of head injury recover the ability to perform everyday functions on their own. Specialists in different fields can help an injured individual regain abilities in various areas of their life and change lifestyle habits to best aid recuperation.
The medical team will work with the patient and their family to set and reach achievable short and long-term goals for recovery. At the same time, you and your family may be communicating with a brain injury lawyer. The Danville brain injury attorneys from our firm make sure that we remain in communication with our clients’ medical care teams so we have full and complete information about how to best represent you.
Professionals and healthcare workers who may be involved in a TBI patient’s recovery include:
- Physical therapists
- Rehabilitation nurses
- Occupational therapists
- Speech and language therapists
- Social workers and case managers
- Vocational counselors
What Are Symptoms of a TBI?
There were 60,611 TBI-related deaths in the United States in 2019. Car accidents cause more accidental traumatic brain injuries each year than any other kind of accident. Untreated brain injuries can cause severe and even permanent damage. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the following symptoms after an accident, contact your primary care physician or a neurologist, or dial 911 in emergency situations:
- Loss of consciousness
- Cognitive impairments like confusion, memory loss, or difficulty solving problems
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Changes in personality or behavior
- Slurred speech
- Loss of taste or smell
- Loss of hearing
- Changes in sleep patterns (insomnia or sleeping too much)
- Blurred vision or total or partial blindness
Depending on the type of brain injury a person sustained, different forms of therapy may be necessary to facilitate recovery. Brain injury victims may require surgery, and physical and cognitive therapy for an extended time period following the surgical procedure. Many people need ongoing support, counseling, and rehabilitation for years after a catastrophic accident. Knowing the symptoms of a TBI is important. The sooner an injury can be identified, the sooner treatment to address a life-altering condition can begin.
What Groups of People Are at Greatest Risk of a TBI?
Any individual can be the victim of a traumatic brain injury. Research has shown that certain groups of people may be more likely to suffer a TBI, based on lifestyle, environmental, and other factors. Males, in general, are more likely to suffer traumatic brain injury than females. Male individuals are more than two times as likely to be hospitalized, and three times as likely to die, than female individuals. A person’s life experiences, living conditions, occupations, and age may play a role in the probability that they will be diagnosed with a TBI in their lifetime. The groups most at risk for suffering a TBI include:
- People aged 75 and over, especially older adults at high risk of falling
- Farming communities and people who live in rural areas
- Veterans and military service members
- Survivors of domestic violence
- People whose jobs are physically demanding, like skilled laborers and construction workers
- People who have been incarcerated or are in correctional facilities
Regardless of what kind of accident caused your head injury, a Danville brain injury lawyer from Stapp Law, LLC is available to offer you and your family experienced legal advice in Montour County and central Pennsylvania. We understand that a brain injury has an extensive impact on a family’s life. People who suffer TBIs often lose their ability to walk, speak, work, drive a car, and partake in the activities they enjoy. A family struggling to care for an injured loved one should not also be forced to wonder how they will pay for the immense medical expenses incurred through someone else’s negligence.
If your family has been impacted by a brain injury and are not sure what steps to take next, reach out to our office at Stapp Law, LLC. We can work with your schedule to set up a free consultation with a Danville brain injury lawyer. We always provide knowledgeable, compassionate, and honest advice about your legal options after an injury.