Every year nearly two million Americans sustain traumatic brain injuries due to accidents involving high impact. Of these cases, from 75,000-100,000 result in death, and over 500,000 incur injuries severe enough to require hospitalization. Our Miami personal injury law firm deals most commonly with these injuries in car accident and slip-and-fall claims. Most victims of high-impact accidents who have suffered traumatic brain injuries are under the impression that they fully understand the extent of their injuries, or lack thereof. However, it is very important to handle these claims properly and understand the scope of the injury before it is too late and the case has already reached a settlement.
DETERMINING THE SEVERITY OF THE INJURY
The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) was developed to allow medical professionals the ability to quantify brain injuries in acute-trauma patients. This scale is based on an assessment of visual, verbal, and motor responsiveness. The GCS generally provides an accurate indicator of long-term prognosis, particularly in cases of severe brain injury.
Brain injuries are typically categorized as either mild, moderate, or severe. The injury is considered mild if the loss of consciousness lasts less than 30 minutes. While only 15% of brain injuries reported annually are considered mild, victims can suffer well over a year from side effects.
Signs of a mild injury:
- Problems with coordination
- Excessive sleep or depression
- Changes in mood, violent outbursts
- Difficulty formulating thoughts or sentences, memory loss
- Sensory issues (loss of smell, bad taste in mouth, sensitivity to lights or sound, etc.)
Victims who have experienced moderate to severe brain injuries often lose consciousness for more than an hour.
Signs of a moderate to severe injury:
- Clear fluid that drains from either the nose or ears
- Dilated pupils (one or both eyes)
- Habitual bouts of nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty speaking or walking, confusion
- Irritability, combative behavior
One of the reasons why severe brain-injury claims are a bit more complex is the delayed onset of symptoms; consequently, many of these injuries are misdiagnosed and untreated. Depending on the severity of the accident suffered, symptoms may not be apparent until several days or even weeks following the time of the accident. We advise that you strictly seek medical treatment as soon as possible immediately after the accident, or when you experience any unusual physical or behavioral changes. Your physician or medical provider may run a thorough series of neurological tests or a brain-imaging scan using an MRI machine.
WHAT TO KNOW WHEN FILING YOUR CLAIM
If you believe that you may have sustained a brain injury, it is important to seek immediate medical treatment, maintain all medical records, and document the progression of your pain and suffering by keeping a day-to-day diary. We recommend that you consult with an experienced brain injury lawyer, who will help analyze the details of your case and determine the level of negligence involved as well as provide further insight into whether a settlement can be reached, or if filing your injury claim is even the best option for you. When determining the monetary value and potential compensation for your case, your attorney must take the following factors into consideration: cost of medical visits, lost wages, reduced quality of life, as well as pain and suffering.
SUFFERING FROM A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI)
If you have been involved in an accident that has resulted in a traumatic brain injury, we recommend that you contact an experienced personal-injury accident lawyer immediately, so that a detailed investigation can be performed. Our personal injury law firm located in Miami offers free initial legal consultations via telephone at 1-866-597-4529, email at [email protected], or SKYPE. Let our 50 years of combined legal experience help you get the compensation you deserve.