What is are Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries are common in all types of accidents. Any time the head makes an impact or gets violently shaken, there is a risk for TBI. Traumatic brain injuries are equally common among all adult age groups, and children can experience these dangerous injuries in car crashes, sports collisions, and other accidents as well.
While there are many types of traumatic brain injuries, concussions are by far the most common. While concussions were once considered “minor” injuries, new scientific evidence points to a variety of potentially serious and long-term effects. With the potential for exorbitant medical bills, missed time from work, and a variety of other financial and non-financial losses, all types of brain injuries need to be taken extremely seriously. Once you have seen a doctor, your next step should be to discuss your legal rights with an experienced attorney.
“Your Local Attorneys” for TBI Claims in Volusia and Flagler Counties
At Rue & Ziffra Law Offices, we provide aggressive and compassionate legal representation for individuals and families struggling with the effects of traumatic brain injuries. We have been serving our local community in Volusia and Flagler Counties since 1976; and today, our experienced attorneys can meet with you throughout the Central Florida and Space Coast regions. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a concussion or other form of TBI as a result of a traumatic accident, we want to help you. We want to make sure you receive the expert medical care you need, and we want to make sure you win the financial compensation you deserve.
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Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
With over 180 years of combined experience in personal injury insurance settlements and litigation, our attorneys are well-equipped to handle cases involving all types of accidents and all types of TBI.
A concussion is an injury caused by a jolt or impact that causes the brain to bounce off of the inside of the skull. This physical bouncing causes bruising and can potentially damage the brain cells – causing a variety of short-term and long-term effects. While concussions may be classified as “mild” brain injuries when compared to other forms of TBI, they are still very serious and need to be treated accordingly.
Contusions are bruises that result in swelling of the brain. When blood vessels are damaged in an accident, this can result in bleeding inside of the brain. This is what creates a swollen bruise. In some cases, an impact to the head will cause a contusion on one side of the brain. In more-serious accidents, victims will experience contusions on opposite sides of the brain (known as a “coup-contrecoup” injury).
Diffuse Anoxal Injuries
A diffuse anoxal injury is a type of widespread brain trauma that typically requires extensive treatment and prolonged rehabilitation. When the head snaps forward, backward or to one side quickly during an impact, the brain moves more slowly, and this can cause tearing of the structures that hold the brain in place. This, in turn, disrupts the brain’s chemical processes and can disrupt the brain’s communication with the nervous system and other parts of the body.
A hematoma occurs when blood collects in brain tissue, typically as the result of a severe shaking, impact, or collision. Hematomas are characterized by the location in the brain where they occur:
- Epidural hematoma – Blood collects in the area between the skull and the outermost membrane protecting the brain (known as the dura mater).
- Intracerebral hematoma – Blood collects inside the brain itself.
- Subarachnoid hematoma – Blood collects between the arachnoid and pia mater, which are the two inner membranes between the dura mater and the brain.
- Subdural hematoma – Blood collects between the dura and arachnoid mater.
Hypoxic and Anoxic Brain Injuries
With a hypoxic brain injury, the brain receives less than its normal amount of oxygen. Since the brain needs oxygen in order to function properly, this can cause immediate dysfunction – and can potentially result in permanent damage. With an anoxic brain injury, the brain’s oxygen supply is cut off entirely.
Open Brain Injuries
The injuries listed above are broadly classified as “closed” brain injuries, meaning that the brain is damaged without penetration of the skull. When the skull is fractured or penetrated by a projectile or sharp object, this is referred to as an “open” brain injury. For obvious reasons, open brain injuries are extremely dangerous and can be life-threatening.
Q: What are the long-term effects of concussions?
While some patients can fully recover from the effects of their concussions, many will experience long-term (or even permanent) effects from their traumatic brain injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognize four types of long-term effects from concussions:
- Thinking – Memory loss and impaired ability to reason
- Sensation – Loss of sight (usually partial) and balance
- Language – Difficulty with communication, expressing thoughts, and understanding others
- Emotion – Mental disorders including anxiety and depression
Some accident victims will also experience a condition known as post-concussion syndrome (PCS). With PCS, the symptoms of a concussion – which typically subside in a matter of weeks – can last for months or years. These include symptoms such as:
- Difficulty concentrating
Q: How common are concussions due to vehicle collisions, sports collisions, and other accidents?
Concussions are very common. As scientists and medical researchers continue to learn more about concussions, we are beginning to better understand just how common these injuries really are. According to research, 40% of the 300,000 annual hospital visits for sports-related TBI involve concussions, and emergency room visits for treatment of concussions have risen sharply over the past several years.
Q: When can someone seek financial compensation for a traumatic brain injury?
All types of traumatic brain injuries have the potential to support claims for financial compensation. If someone else, a business, or a dangerous or defective product may have caused your injury, we strongly encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys. Some of the most-common types of accident cases we handle on behalf of individuals diagnosed with TBI include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Dangerous and defective product accidents
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Workplace accidents
Learn more about your rights after an accident resulting in TBI.
Q: What compensation is available to victims of traumatic brain injuries in Florida?
If you have a personal injury claim as a result of your traumatic brain injury, you can seek compensation for all of the losses you suffer as a result of your TBI. This includes current and future losses, and it includes all forms of financial and non-financial harm. In a typical case, the types of compensation available will include:
- Medical bills
- Prescription and medical device costs
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost earnings and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of companionship, consortium, and enjoyment of life
Calculating your losses from a traumatic brain injury isn’t easy. It requires a thorough understanding of the long-term impacts of your injury as well as in-depth knowledge of the law. When you choose Rue & Ziffra Law Offices to represent you, we will work with you, your doctors and our trusted medical and economic experts to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Q: What are my options if I don’t have a personal injury claim?
If, after conducting a thorough investigation, we do not believe that you can reasonably pursue a fault-based claim against a third party, we will help you pursue the various other sources of compensation you may have available. This may mean filing a claim for long-term disability or Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. We have extensive experience with all types of disability claims, and we can handle the application process for you while you focus on your treatment and recovery.
Q: Where can I learn more about the effects of concussions and other forms of TBI?
For more information about concussions and other forms of TBI – including symptoms, data, and statistics – you can visit the CDC’s Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion website. You can also contact us for a free and confidential consultation. Our attorneys will be happy to help you understand your situation, and we can help you make informed decisions about protecting your legal rights.
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If you would like to schedule a free consultation, please call (386) 788-7700 or request an appointment online. You can reach us 24/7, and if you send us your contact information we will be in touch as soon as possible.