Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most severe injuries that you can experience, and in some cases, the damage may be permanent. If you or a family member have suffered a TBI in an accident, an Omaha traumatic brain injury lawyer could help.
Brain injuries can come from a variety of circumstances. They may be the result of severe blows to the head, like in severe car accidents or other incidents caused by negligence. Victims of these devastating injuries may file personal injury claims against the responsible parties. A detail-oriented catastrophic injury attorney could help you determine whether you can seek compensation for your injuries.
The attorneys at Berry Law have a unique experience with traumatic brain injuries and have helped hundreds of military Veterans fight for compensation for brain injuries incurred during military service. We use this experience and knowledge to help Omaha residents obtain compensation for TBIs from accidents that occurred in Nebraska.
What are Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries typically result from a physical blow to the head. The result is often impairment to cognitive abilities and bodily functions, the severity of which varies widely. Even mild TBIs or concussions can cause long-term damage, especially if you sustain repeated injuries similar to those that occur during contact sports. When this happens, you may be more likely to suffer from the impairment of cognitive abilities and bodily functions. The severity of the repeated accidents can impact how severe your cognitive or physical impairment becomes.
The prognosis for traumatic brain injuries also depends on how quickly you seek medical help and how you keep up with treatment. Only time can heal these injuries, and in some cases, the damage may be irreversible. TBIs can lead to permanent impairment, both cognitive and physical. In the most severe cases, you may require constant care.
Depending on the nature of the accident that led to the injuries, you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent person responsible. A brain injury lawyer in Omaha could help you fight for the compensation you are entitled to if you have suffered these devastating injuries after an accident.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
There are five general categories of traumatic brain injuries. While not every brain injury will fit neatly into a specific category, most brain injuries are classified as concussions, diffuse axonal injuries, coup-contrecoup injuries, contusions, and penetrating brain injuries.
A concussion occurs when a force impacts the head in a way that severely jolts the brain. This jolt damages the tissue in the brain. Concussions are not only the most common form of TBI, but they are also considered to be the least severe. That is not to say that a concussion will not have lasting consequences. Depending on the circumstances, a severe concussion could lead to permanent medical issues.
Diffuse Axonal Injuries
A diffuse axonal injury—more commonly referred to as DAI—is similar to a concussion in many ways. Like a concussion, a DAI results from a sharp impact to the head. This injury differs from a concussion in how the impact damages the brain. A DAI involves a blow severe enough to strain and tear the nerves that connect the brain to the spinal cord.
A coup-contrecoup injury is essentially two TBIs at once. With a coup-contrecoup injury, the brain suffers damage from an impact that causes the brain to accelerate across the skull, striking the other side. This second impact results in an injury to the other side of the brain.
Contusions are more commonly referred to as brain bruises. Despite the benign-sounding name, a bruise on the surface of the brain could be fatal if left untreated. Brain contusions involve injuries that cause bleeding beneath the surface of the brain. While a contusion could heal on its own, surgical intervention is often necessary.
Penetrating Brain Injuries
Unlike the other TBIs, penetrating brain injuries do not result from blunt force trauma. These injuries involve a penetrating wound that directly damages the brain itself. The most common example of a penetrating brain injury is a gunshot wound. Our seasoned attorneys can help you fight for compensation for the losses related to your specific type of brain trauma.
Signs and Symptoms of TBIs
While some TBIs are immediately apparent, others do not arise until hours, days, or weeks after an accident. As a result, you should be sure to seek medical attention following an accident or a blow to the head, even if you do not believe any injuries occurred.
Unfortunately, many people ignore the symptoms, and brain injuries often go undiagnosed for a long time. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Memory loss
- Inability to concentrate
- Visual disturbances
Many brain injuries go undiagnosed for some time, which often leads to the injuries becoming more severe. After seeking medical attention to verify the brain injury, it may be beneficial to speak with an experienced attorney from Berry Law.
Potential Compensation for TBI Claims in Omaha
Because traumatic brain injuries are such serious medical conditions, the amount of compensation you seek in a lawsuit or settlement should reflect the full scope of your injuries. In a legal claim, you can pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses are the monetary costs resulting from an injury. This type of loss includes any out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident. In a legal claim, you might pursue compensation for financial losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, or property damage. You and your attorney can establish the extent of your monetary losses by gathering documentary evidence such as bills, receipts, and invoices.
Non-economic losses are the emotional, psychological, and social losses you have experienced due to the accident. Pursuing compensation for non-economic losses can be difficult, as subjective losses are impossible to quantify. Some of the most common examples of this type of compensation include pain and suffering, disability, and loss of consortium.
The medical treatment required for most brain injuries can be costly. In addition to emergency medical care, you may require in-home care, long-term physical therapy, and prescription drugs for pain management. Consequently, medical expenses are generally the basis for any traumatic brain injury claim.
This treatment can vary depending on the symptoms you exhibit following the accident. Many TBI symptoms only manifest in the weeks or months that follow the injury, which can make diagnosing the condition difficult.
The longer it takes for you to get proper medical treatment, the worse your injury may become. Delayed discovery of the injury could significantly increase the amount of money you must spend on medical care in the future. When filing suit against the at-fault party, it is critical that you calculate all your past, current, and future medical expenses.
Lost Wages and Diminished Future Earnings
One of the hardest parts of coping with a traumatic brain injury is the potential loss of income that comes with it. Many people that suffer from TBIs are unable to return to work for weeks, months, or even longer. Fortunately, a successful personal injury lawsuit could recoup the lost earnings you faced due to your injury. You could use your employment records and past pay stubs to establish the amount of lost wages you are entitled to recover.
In some cases, you may not be able to return to the same job you held prior to the accident. You might be forced to take a job with a lower salary or stop working altogether. In situations such as these, you can seek compensation for your diminished future earning power.
Pain and Suffering
A common form of non-economic compensation sought following a TBI is physical pain and suffering. Traumatic brain injuries have the potential to cause severe short-term pain. Many TBIs also involve nerve damage that can lead to chronic nerve pain that lasts a lifetime.
Many traumatic brain injuries result in lasting health complications that are so severe that they require a lifetime of care. Ordinary tasks could suddenly become overwhelming for some people. Anything from daily household chores to transportation could suddenly be out of reach if you are dealing with a TBI. Working on a traumatic brain injury lawsuit with a skilled lawyer in Omaha can improve your chances of recovering compensation for all these past and future losses.
Statute of Limitations in Omaha Claims
All lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations, the regulation that governs the timeframe in which individuals must file their suits. Personal injury actions are additionally subject to a statute of limitations under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-207. Failure to file within the prescribed timeframe can result in an inability to pursue a personal injury claim. Avoid missing this deadline by speaking with a lawyer as soon as possible after suffering severe head trauma.
Call an Omaha Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
Treatment of traumatic brain injuries can be lengthy, costly, and ultimately unsuccessful. Your prognosis for a TBI may be uncertain, which can make your ability to return to work and your normal activities in the future unclear. An experienced Omaha traumatic brain injury lawyer could assess your circumstances and develop a strong injury claim on your behalf. Call Berry Law today for a free consultation to understand your rights and options.