According to the CDC in 2013 there were 2.8 million hospital visits related to traumatic brain injuries. Brain injuries contribute to about 50,000 deaths each year and is diagnosed in hospitals 282,000 times.
There are many things that can cause a traumatic brain injury and the severity of the injuries varies greatly.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury is a blow to the head that causes damage to the brain. The severity of the blow, the type of impact, and where on the head the person was strike can all play a factor in the severity of the injury. Some head injuries only cause temporary symptoms like concussions, but others can cause lifelong disabilities and even death.
There are also injuries to the head that are not categorized as traumatic and this would include injuries not caused by a hit to the person. An example of a non-traumatic brain injury would be an injury caused during brain surgery.
What Are the Symptoms
After any impact to the head it is important to be aware of how a person is acting and feeling to see if medical attention is necessary. When in doubt always seek medical aid.
Symptoms that suggest a brain injury and the person should go to the emergency room include:
- A persistent headache
- A lack of balance
- Feeling weak
- Vomiting or being very nauseas
- Slurring speech
And the more severe symptoms that require an immediate trip to the emergency room include:
- Being extremely tired or not waking up
- Different size pupils
- Seizures or convulsions
- Is confused and don’t know where they are
- Becomes angry and agitated or unusual behavior
- Loses consciousness
In the case of young children any blow to the head should be met with a precautionary visit to the doctor, especially if the child will not stop crying or won’t eat.
What Causes a Traumatic Brain Injury
The primary causes of traumatic brain injuries are:
- Being struck by an object
- Car accidents
- Intentional Self-Inflicted Injuries
Fall victims are more often older and younger people. The majority of deaths related to brain injuries in people over 65 were caused by falls. The majority of brain injury deaths for people in the middle age range was self-harm. Car accidents were the leading cause of death of people under 25 but over 4. And for very small children assault was the leading cause of brain injury related deaths.
When to Seek Compensation
A brain injury could cause a significant change in a person for the rest of their life. The medical bills, loss of expected income, and loss of enjoying certain aspects of life can incur some very high expenses.
If a traumatic brain injury was caused by the negligence or intentional harm of another person, a company, or a poorly maintained premises compensation is definitely in the cards. In order to get the full compensation for the injuries it is important to consult a lawyer.
When defending against a claim of negligence the insurance company or person responsible is often equipped with a large legal team at their disposal and deep pockets to defend themselves. To get the maximum amount of compensation that will attempt to make you whole again it is important to get help from a lawyer who has been in this situation before and knows what to do to get a fair judgement or a quick settlement.
Below are some examples of traumatic brain injury related cases in California.
Traumatic Brain Injury Cases
Marshall v. Los Angeles County
The plaintiff was at a juvenile facility when a riot broke out. He was attacked by other wards of the facility and suffered a traumatic brain injury amongst many other injuries. The suit claimed that the facility didn't have adequate staff to prevent the attack. The defendant agreed to settle the plaintiff's claims.
KATZ v. CVS PHARMACY INC.
The plaintiff was at the CVS Pharmacy when an employee struck her with a cart and she fell and hit her head on a shelf. The plaintiff sifered a traumatic brain injury along with other injuries. The defendant admitted negligence but did not believe she hit her head during the fall and the injury wsn't serious. The jury found otherwise and sided with the plaintiff.
Nguyen v. Lowe's Companies Inc.
The plaintiff was at a Lowe's store attempting to buy a floor model gazebo. An employee for the company was helping to dissassemble the gazebo and caused two steel beams to fall on the plaintiff's head causing a traumatic brain injury. The defendant denied liability but the jury decided in favor of the plaintiff.