San Antonio Brain Injury Attorney
Brain injuries are particularly difficult to diagnosis and determine a course of treatment. Accordingly, it is important that victims of brain injuries hire attorneys that understand the intricacies and difficulties associated with brain injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild,” i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. The majority of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBI.
Brain injuries are very serious injuries that can have long term and life-changing consequences.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (or “TBI”) occurs when an external force, such as a fall or impact with an object, injures the brain. The CDC gives context to traumatic brain injuries by making the following points:
- Each year many people are killed or permanently disabled by brain injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries contribute to 1/3 of all injury-related deaths in the United States;
- Almost 2,000,000 suffer a traumatic brain injury in the US each year;
- It is estimated that almost 80 billion dollars are spent annually treating traumatic brain injuries.
Brain injuries are somewhat common in the U.S., but that does not make them any less frightening. Finding out you or a loved one has a brain injury can lead to many questions and concerns. A brain injury lawyer can help you through this difficult time.
Benefits of Hiring a Brain Injury Lawyer
A lawyer can ensure no one infringes upon your rights during the claims process. If an insurance company tries to take advantage of your vulnerable situation by offering you less than your injuries demand, a lawyer can negotiate for a higher and fairer compensatory award on your behalf. If settlement negotiations fail, a lawyer can help you go up against the at-fault party in court in San Antonio.
A law firm will have the personnel and resources to determine the identity of the liable party, conduct negotiations, handle legal processes and otherwise take care of your case while you focus on recovering from your TBI or looking after your loved one.
Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Every TBI is unique. How a TBI could affect a person depends on many factors, including the severity of the brain injury, the part of the brain injured, and the victim’s age and previous health status. Many traumatic brain injuries, however, share common symptoms that could give the victim or surrounding bystanders cause to suspect a TBI. If you notice any potential signs of a brain injury, see a doctor immediately.
- Blurred vision
- Cognitive changes
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
- Nausea or vomiting
- Ringing in the ears
- Trouble sleeping
At a hospital, a doctor can rely on physical examinations, x-rays or CT scans to help diagnose a traumatic brain injury. Recommended treatments may include rest or pain relievers for moderate injuries or surgeries and rehabilitation for serious injuries. The outlook for recovery and how long the brain may take to heal will depend on the individual case.
How Is Fault Proven in a Traumatic Brain Injury Case?
The four main elements required to prove fault in most personal injury claims are duty, breach, causation and damages. To obtain compensation for a TBI, your attorney will need to establish these elements based on a preponderance of evidence – a burden of proof that requires showing something is more likely to be true than not true. In a traumatic brain injury case, proof of fault can come in the form of many types of evidence. They may vary depending on the type of accident that caused the TBI.
- Evidence from the scene of the accident
- Eyewitness testimony
- Police reports
- Photographs or video footage
- Accident reports
- Maintenance logs
- Medical records
- Brain scans and x-rays
- Testimony from brain injury experts
- Accident reconstruction
It will be up to you or your attorney to prove that you suffered real damages in an accident, that the defendant caused those damages through an act of negligence or recklessness, and that the defendant owed you a duty of care at the time of your injury. Some cases will have a lighter burden of proof. A strict product liability claim, for example, does not impose the burden to prove negligence. Speak to one of our brain injury lawyers about your particular TBI case for more information.
How is a Brain Injury Considered by a Jury in a Lawsuit?
When a claimant brings a tort lawsuit, they must prove liability and damages. These two elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence to a jury. Along with proving liability, a litigant must prove their damages and the jury is responsible for assigning a monetary number to each element of damages. The type of injury or damages will be considered by a jury when they award damages.
Considering the levels of brain injuries and long-term effects associated therewith, it is sometimes difficult to prove these elements to a jury in a brain injury lawsuit. Our San Antonio brain injury attorneys have handled many cases involving brain injuries and understand the difficulties associated with proving damages.
How are TBIs Treated?
When someone suffers a traumatic brain injury, it is very important that a person seeks medical care quickly. Bleeding or swelling of the brain as a result of the injury may occur and requires immediate medical attention. In terms of typical treatments for brain injuries, the Mayo Clinic categorizes the typical treatments for brain injuries to medication, surgery, and rehabilitation. The treatments associated with brain injures, however, depend on a case by case analysis by trained professional. Always listen to your doctor to determine the best course of treatment if you have suffered a brain injury.
What are the Levels of Severity for Brain Injuries?
TBIs are categorized into three categories – mild, moderate and severe. The level of severity is determined based on the Glascow Coma Scale (or “GCS”). The scale range is generally from 3-15. A GCS score of 13-15 is considered mild, 9-12 is considered moderate, and 3-8 is considered severe. Not all brain injuries are obvious. Not all brain injuries manifest into similar symptoms. The San Antonio brain injury lawyers at Hill Law Firm have seen a variety of symptoms associated with brain injuries and understand the complexities associated with proving brain injuries to juries.
Long-Term Damages From a Traumatic Brain Injury
Although the prognosis is often positive for recovering from a minor TBI, such as a concussion, more severe traumatic brain injuries can cause lifelong damages. Since the brain is unique in each individual, some people could suffer long-term symptoms even from a seemingly minor brain injury.
Potential long-term effects of a TBI include memory loss, cognitive challenges, trouble talking or moving, difficulty sleeping, attention deficits, depression, anxiety, poor time management or multitasking skills, personality changes, aggression, sensory changes, and degenerative brain diseases. A TBI could permanently affect a patient physically, emotionally and cognitively.
It is especially important to reach out to a lawyer if you or your loved one will suffer lifelong symptoms from a brain injury.
Contact An Experienced San Antonio Brain Injury Lawyer
Our firm has worked on countless cases involving brain injuries from falls, automobile accidents, impacts, drownings, violent attacks, and medical mistakes. The clients represented by Hill Law Firm attorneys with these horrible injuries ranged in age from 16 months to 56 years of age. Each one had a unique brain injury that required special attention.
Considering traumatic brain Injury symptoms can range from mood changes, slightly lower performance, to full-blown loss of ability to walk, talk, or communicate, our San Antonio personal injury attorneys always try to employ the latest medical technology and testing to prove brain injuries through objective medical data, testing, and imaging.
If you or someone you know has suffered from a traumatic brain injury and would like a free legal consultation, call our office today.