Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer in Austin, TX
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most serious injuries that someone can suffer in a car crash. A TBI can change the life of the victim and the victim’s family forever.
The Texas car accident attorneys at The Bob Richardson Law Firm are devoted to assisting TBI victims and their families to ensure that they receive the maximum compensation they deserve for their injuries. Contact us today for a free case evaluation by calling (800) 880-5100 or fill out our online contact form.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a TBI as a “bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” The severity of TBIs can vary greatly. Characterized by a “brief change in mental state,” the most common example of a mild TBI is when an individual is knocked unconscious as a result of being hit in the head or falling and striking the head on a hard object. Although even a mild TBI is a serious injury, a moderate to severe TBI can be extremely serious, even life-threatening.
With a severe TBI, the brain is either directly injured by an object that penetrates the skull (referred to as a penetrating TBI) or is injured when a blow or strike to the head is hard enough to slam the brain against the inside of the skull (referred to as a closed TBI).
According to the CDC, more than 4,600 TBIs occur each day in the United States, meaning that over 1.7 million people suffer some form of TBI each year. While many of those injuries are mild to moderate TBIs, every five minutes someone dies as a result of a severe TBI in America. During that same five-minute time period, someone else becomes permanently disabled from a TBI.
Approximately 1.4 million emergency room visits each year are the result of a TBI, with 275,000 of those resulting in hospitalization. CDC statistics indicate that TBI is a contributing factor in 1 in 3 injury-related deaths in the U.S. each year.
Causes & Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
According to the CDC, falls are the most common cause of TBIs. Car accidents are the second most common cause of a TBI, representing just over 17 percent of all TBIs each year. Car accident TBIs are responsible for almost a third of all fatal TBIs in the U.S. each year. The reasons for the increased risk of a fatal TBI in car accidents are complex. However, the sheer force exerted in a car crash is usually a significant factor in the increased risk of a victim suffering a fatal TBI in a collision.
The symptoms experienced by a TBI victim may differ depending on the degree of injury the brain experiences. The symptoms of a TBI often do not appear immediately after the accident. This can be very dangerous for a victim who is unaware that he or she has suffered a TBI because the situation can worsen if not diagnosed and treated promptly.
Even a mild TBI can become life-threatening if the brain begins to swell or bleed. Because of the potentially serious nature of a TBI, the victim of a car accident should always have a thorough medical examination immediately following the crash to rule out the possibility of a TBI.
Some common signs and symptoms of a TBI include:
- Blurred vision
- Loss of memory
- Sleep problems
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance problems
- Loss of consciousness
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Sad or emotional state
- Tired eyes
Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury
The immediate goal when a TBI is suspected is to contain the injury and prevent further damage. Once damage to the brain has occurred, there is no way to reverse it. If left untreated, a TBI can cause the brain to swell inside the skull, causing further irreversible damage and even leading to death if the pressure becomes too great. In some cases, surgery is required to relieve pressure caused by swelling or bleeding of the brain.
After the initial injury is stabilized and further damage prevented, treatment usually focuses on various types of therapy, as well as social and emotional support for the victim and the victim’s family.
For a victim who suffered a mild TBI, a full recovery is possible. For a victim who suffered a moderate to severe TBI, however, the effects of the TBI will likely be lifelong because there is no way to reverse the damage done to the brain.
The lingering effects of a TBI will depend, to a large degree, on the extent of the damage sustained by the brain and the area of the brain that was most affected. Some victims may experience changes in behavior and mood after a TBI. Others will notice an inability to control motor skills or may experience a feeling of being off-balance. The senses are frequently affected, either by a dulling or a heightening. A victim’s short-term and/or long-term memory may be affected by a TBI as well. As a general rule, the more severe the injury, the more a victim’s memory suffers.
For the victim of a severe TBI, life will never be the same again. He or she will likely need around-the-clock care for life. The cost of that care is estimated to exceed $4 million in 2013 dollars. A victim who requires a stay in a rehabilitative care facility can expect to pay $1,000 a day or more. These figures do not include the emotional cost to the victim and his or her family, or the reduction in the victims earning ability.
Compensation for Traumatic Brain Injuries in Texas Car Accidents
The experienced Texas personal injury lawyers at The Bob Richardson Law Firm can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for a car accident that results in TBI. This could include payments for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages.
Contact the car accident lawyers at The Bob Richardson Law Firm today for a free consultation. Call us now toll free at (800) 880-5100 or use our online contact form. For more than 30 years, we have helped car accident victims in Austin, Waco and surrounding Texas communities. Let us put our experience to work for you.