If you suffered a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to recover compensation for your financial and personal losses through a personal injury claim. Traumatic brain injury cases tend to be complex because of the long recovery times and expenses. However, a qualified traumatic brain injury attorney can help you determine how best to pursue a successful TBI claim.
The Dothan brain injury lawyers at Stokes Stemle, LLC have the skills and resources to thoroughly investigate the incident that caused your injury, gather evidence to prove your claim, document the losses you suffered, and seek a fair settlement on your behalf.
We’re here to help you understand the steps you can take to protect your rights following a serious injury. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case review.
What Are Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most common causes of disability and death for adults. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) describe a wide variety of injuries to the brain. The severity can range from mild to severe. A mild TBI may only temporarily damage your brain cells. However, severe TBIs can cause long-term damage and disabilities. TBIs are often caused by a sudden, violent blow to the head that damages the brain.
What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries?
TBIs can have any number of different causes. They are often caused by another person’s negligence. Some of the most common traumatic brain injury causes are as follows:
- Motor vehicle accidents – Traffic-related accidents are a common cause of TBIs. TBIs can occur when a driver or passenger bangs their head against the dashboard or a window. A motorcyclist or cyclist can also suffer a TBI, particularly if they’re not wearing a helmet. Negligent drivers can even put pedestrians at risk.
- Slips and falls – According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention data, falls account for almost half of all TBI-related hospitalizations. Slips and falls frequently occur due to someone else’s negligence. If a person falls and injures themself on someone else’s premises, the property owner could be liable. Elderly individuals are particularly vulnerable to slip and fall injuries, which is why assisted living facilities must take extra care to ensure that the property is safe from slip hazards.
- Sports-related activities – Sports and recreational events can sometimes result in TBIs, especially high-impact sports like football and baseball. Children and teens are particularly affected. If an athlete isn’t provided with adequate safety equipment, such as a helmet, the individuals in charge of the team or event could be liable.
- Medical malpractice – Physicians and other medical professionals are sometimes negligent and fail to provide their usual standard of care. Negligent medical providers may not notice that you sustained a brain injury or may misdiagnose it. In other cases, physicians and other healthcare professionals may inadvertently cause a TBI. For example, if a nurse or doctor is negligent during childbirth, the newborn could suffer a brain injury.
- Workplace accidents – TBIs can also occur due to accidents on the job. For instance, construction workers regularly encounter potential slip hazards at work sites. Workers who fall from great heights or are injured by falling objects can also suffer TBIs.
If your brain injury was the result of another person’s carelessness or misconduct, you might be able to bring a civil TBI lawsuit against that individual. A seasoned TBI lawyer can help you determine liability and pursue compensation for your expenses and losses.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBIs can cause many symptoms, both physical and psychological. Depending on the severity of your injury, these symptoms may go away with time. Other symptoms can be long-term or even permanent.
Some common symptoms of mild TBIs include the following:
- Slurred speech
- Light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Brief loss of consciousness
- Disorientation and confusion
- Inability to sleep
- Depression and anxiety
- Problems with concentration, reasoning, and memory
- Personality changes and mood swings
Some common symptoms that occur in moderate to severe TBIs include:
- A headache that won’t go away
- Loss of consciousness for an extended period, from minutes to hours
- Inability to wake up
- Lack of coordination
- Weakness or numbness in extremities
- Vomiting and nausea
- Extreme confusion
- Slurred speech
- Aggressive behavior and agitation
Mild TBIs may result in only short-term symptoms, which can generally be treated with rest at home. More serious TBIs may cause skull fractures, brain bleeding, hematomas, and long-term physical damage to the brain.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
The two primary types of TBIs are penetrating and closed brain:
- Penetrating brain injuries – Penetrating TBIs occur when an object pierces the brain. The object penetrates the skull and causes damage to the brain.
- Closed-brain injuries – In a closed-brain injury, the skull is not penetrated. Instead, the injury occurs as the brain jerks violently back and forth inside the skull. This can result in torn brain tissue and blood vessels.
TBIs also vary by severity, such as the following:
- Mild concussion (mTBI) – A concussion is a mild form of brain injury. They can cause brief periods of dazedness or unconsciousness, usually for only 30 minutes or less. These symptoms typically resolve themselves within a few days.
- Moderate TBI – Unconsciousness from a moderate TBI normally will not last longer than a day. Other symptoms, such as confusion, may continue for a week.
- Severe TBI – Severe TBIs can cause unconsciousness for over a day. Symptoms can be long-term and can even cause permanent disability.
Compensation Available in Alabama TBI Lawsuits
If someone caused your TBI through their negligence or misconduct, they may be liable for the different types of losses you suffer as a result. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might be able to claim compensation for the following:
- Present and future medical expenses related to treating your TBI, including hospital bills, surgery costs, prescription medication expenses, and more
- Rehabilitative care in the future
- Long-term home care costs, if necessary
- Lost income, if you aren’t able to return to work for some time after sustaining your TBI
- Lost earning capacity, if your TBI results in a temporary or permanent disability and you cannot carry out all of your normal job duties anymore
- Pain and suffering caused by the accident, including physical pain, emotional anguish, mental distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Punitive damages, in rare cases
A traumatic brain injury lawyer can help you document your expenses, quantify your non-financial losses, and determine the value of your TBI lawsuit.
Contact Our Skilled Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers in Dothan, AL Today
Contact the Dothan TBI attorneys at Stokes Stemle, LLC today to discuss your traumatic brain injury case and review your legal options. If you suffered a TBI because of another person or entity’s negligence, our team can leverage their experience and resources to help you build a strong case for compensation and hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions. Call us today for a free, no-risk consultation.