Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Lawyer in Washington DC
Personal Injury Attorney Seeking Justice for Those Suffering from Serious Brain Injuries Throughout the Washington Metro
Each year in the United States, 2 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Of those, 500,000 suffer some form of disability, and about 80,000 are left with significant, irreversible, long-term impairment, according to the Center for Brain Injury and Repair, University of Pennsylvania.
Our law firm is privileged to work with a board-certified physician who will assist you in understanding the full scope of your injury. He will also help to explain the treatment chosen by your doctors for the recovery of your health and wellbeing.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury results from an impact, rather than from a degenerative disease. When an external physical force affects the head or neck – such as in a vehicle accident, serious fall or other sudden forceful impact – the brain may be suddenly jolted within the skull, damaging it. In some cases, pieces of bone or a foreign object pierces the brain.
The Brain Injury Association of America has adopted the following definition of traumatic brain injury: “TBI is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force.”
A TBI often has serious or permanent physical and mental consequences. In many cases, the victim’s life will be forever changed.
Types of TBI
Although traumatic brain injuries are traditionally divided into one of the three levels, based on the seriousness of the injury (mild, moderate or severe), these classifications can be misleading, since the symptoms of a mild brain injury may be devastating and extremely debilitating for both the victim and the victim’s family and friends.
Some of the most common types of TBI include:
- Concussion – A concussion is not a minor injury. In many cases, the victim suffers from various symptoms for many months, years or even a lifetime, depending on the severity of the injury. A concussion may occur when there is a direct blow to the skull, violent shaking or from the force of whiplash in a car accident. Concussions are common sports injuries for both children and adults. A victim may experience unconsciousness or be dazed by the blow. At the point of impact, the blood vessels in the brain may be stretched and nerves within the cranium can be damaged. There may be permanent or temporary damage, including blood clots formed by the impact. Clots are frequently fatal.
- Contusions – A contusion is a bruise or bleeding of the brain that comes about through a direct impact to the head, such as in cases of bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, slips and falls, construction accidents and other types of incidents. These injuries often require surgery to attempt to correct.
- Coup and contrecoup TBI – A coup brain injury occurs on the side of the head that receives the direct blow, while a contrecoup injury happens on the other side of the head when the brain slams into the inside of the skull. Some TBIs involve both coup and contrecoup injuries when the brain violently moves back and forth within the skull.
- Diffuse axonal TBI – These are shaking or rotation injuries, often taking place in car accidents. There is tearing of the nerve tissue of the brain, which permanently disrupts the communication and chemical processes that are necessary for normal brain function. These injuries frequently lead to long-term coma, brain damage or death. The location of the impact will greatly affect the level of impairment for the victim.
- Penetrating TBI– Objects entering the skull often lead to a high level of brain damage, as there is shearing or stretching of the brain tissue. These cases are often the result of gunshot wounds or pieces of bone piercing the skull after a violent blow.
Signs, Symptoms and Consequences of TBI
A person may not immediately know that there has been a brain injury, particularly in cases in which there is no outward sign of injury. Any time the head is involved in an accident, it is extremely important to get a full medical assessment, even if there are no immediate symptoms of a brain injury.
Closed-head injuries can be fatal if not treated quickly. As the brain bleeds and swells, it can lead to stroke and severe impairments or sudden death. There are many serious consequences that result from a brain injury, which may include:
- Loss of voluntary or involuntary motor functions.
- Loss of reasoning and thinking abilities.
- Memory loss.
- Sensory loss, such as sight, speech or hearing.
- Emotional disabilities, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.
- Speech impairment.
- Communication difficulties.
- Changes in personality.
- Loss of physical abilities.
Living with a Traumatic Brain Injury
There are many challenges to living with TBI, both for the victim and the family. The degree of the injury will affect the ongoing consequences to the injured person, and the need for long-term nursing care and other services.
Victims who achieve some level of recovery may still have many challenges. The brain is a delicate and little-understood organ. While one person could recover fully from a brain injury, another may have permanent damage. Medical professionals are very hesitant to offer a specific prognosis.
Long-term care often involves a team of professionals who specialize in the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial aspects of rehabilitation. The aftermath of a TBI can be emotionally and financially arduous for the patient and his or her loved ones.
The leading causes of traumatic brain injury are motor vehicle accidents. As we know, many motor vehicle accidents are caused by the negligence of another driver. If any form of negligence was the cause of a TBI, the victim may be entitled to recover for all current and future medical costs, pain, suffering, loss of current and future earnings, loss of enjoyment of life, and in some (but rare) cases, punitive damages. Families of the victim may also be entitled to be compensated if forced to care for their loved one.
If you have suffered a TBI, or have a family member or loved one with TBI, it is vital that you get legal representation to help you recover compensation from the party responsible for your accident.
Legal Help for TBI Victims
It is important to consult with an attorney regarding a traumatic brain injury. The Abelson Law Firm is ready to investigate the facts in your case and determine whether you have a right to just and fair compensation.
At The Abelson Law Firm, you can expect the highest level of personal service, compassion and legal skill. Contact us today for more information in a free consultation. We are ready to help you seek justice.
- Brain Injury Alliance – Types and Levels of Brain Injury
- Brain Injury Association of America – About Brain Injury