The human brain is an astounding organ, and controls virtually every process within the human body. From complex thoughts and emotions to often-overlooked processes like muscle function, temperature regulation, and vision, your brain is truly the supercomputer of your body.
Traumatic brain injury can alter many of those functions, leaving you without the full capacities you once enjoyed. There is a great deal of variation in brain injuries, and the avenues of legal compensation for brain injury victims is also complex. Working with skilled and experienced brain injury lawyers is the best way to get the compensation your family needs to move forward.
What is a brain injury?
A brain injury, also called traumatic brain injury, is any injury that alters the function of the brain. Some types of mild traumatic brain injury create temporary symptoms, and the brain is able to fully recover. In more severe brain injury cases, function can be impaired for extensive periods of time or even indefinitely.
Brain injuries are caused by many different things. Some of the more common causes include:
- Car accidents
- Sports injuries
- Violent crimes
- Explosive blasts or combat injuries
- Birth injuries
While some brain injuries are the clear result of a single traumatic event, others are not as obvious, and can be difficult to diagnose.
How do I know if I have a brain injury case?
The law allows for recourse when a brain injury is sustained due to the negligent acts of another party. Determining negligence is not always a straightforward process, however. A skilled personal injury attorney knows how to examine the details of your circumstances to learn if another party bears responsibility for your injuries.
When an injury occurs as a result of drunk driving or a violent crime, the issue of whether the driver or perpetrator is to blame is relatively easy to determine. However, when a brain injury occurs after someone trips and falls on a poorly maintained sidewalk or when a newborn suffers a brain injury as a result of a difficult delivery process, the issue of responsibility and negligence become far more complex.
What are some symptoms of brain injuries?
Not all brain injuries present clear symptoms, which is why these types of cases can be so complex. Some of the signs that a brain injury might be present include:
- Loss of coordination
- Convulsions or seizures
- Sensations of weakness or numbness in fingers or toes
- Clear fluids draining from ears or nose
- Persistent headaches or headaches that worsen over time
- Difficulty awakening from sleep
- Slurred speech
- Changes in mood
As you can see, symptoms of brain injury can look like many other medical conditions and are not always readily apparent. If you or a loved one suffers any form of head trauma, seeking immediate medical attention is the best way to know if you’ve sustained a brain injury. Prompt treatment can also improve your outcome.
What kinds of damages are common in brain injury cases?
The law allows individuals and families to seek compensation, or damages, for problems that result from a brain injury. While medical expenses are often the most obvious financial burden placed on individuals and families, there are many other types of damages that apply.
Brain injury personal injury cases often focus on the medical expenses that accompany these types of injuries. Beyond the medical bills for treating the initial injury, patients also often incur expenses related to physical therapy and rehabilitation services to help them recover the highest degree of mobility, function, and autonomy possible. In some cases, long-term care expenses are a factor, whether the patient remains living at home or in a skilled care facility.
Pain and suffering is also a factor in many brain injury cases. Placing a value on intangibles is challenging, but experienced attorneys understand how to structure this part of a settlement or case. Loss of consortium is a similar issue and focuses on the losses that a spouse experiences when his or her partner sustains a brain injury.
Loss of income is also part of the process of determining a proper settlement amount. Your attorney works to determine how the brain injury altered the victim’s earning potential, and how much that individual might have earned over the rest of their expected time in the workforce.
Georgia also allows for punitive damages. Unlike the abovementioned damages that seek to compensate for losses, punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and to act to deter others from making similar choices in the future.
When should I contact an attorney about a brain injury case?
Once you’ve sought the appropriate medical attention after your injury, securing your legal rights should be the next priority. Meeting with skilled brain injury lawyers helps you and your family get the information you need to decide if a brain injury lawsuit is the right course of action.
Be prepared to share the details of your circumstances, and to make note of the advice you receive during your consultation. You’ll learn more about your next steps, the possible outcomes, and what you can do to strengthen your case and work toward a fair and favorable outcome.
Of course, not every set of circumstances meet the legal criteria for a brain injury case. However, by meeting with an experienced legal team, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you did everything in your power to explore all avenues of legal recourse for you and your family.