St. Louis Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
More Than $50 Million Recovered for Injured Missourians
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are one of the most serious types of injury. TBIs often occur after a jolt, blow, bump, crash, or other head injury that causes damage to the brain. Traumatic brain injuries are responsible for countless deaths, hospitalizations, and disabilities each year in the United States; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 52,000 people die annually from TBIs. In addition, the CDC reports that TBIs are responsible for 275,000 hospitalizations each year.
If you or someone you love suffered a TBI in an accident or traumatic event, and you have reason to believe someone else was at fault, contact The Dixon Injury Firm. Our St. Louis traumatic brain injury lawyers can investigate your claim and determine whether you have grounds for a personal injury case. We understand the serious nature of these types of catastrophic injuries and are ready to fight for the fair recovery you are owed. To date, our firm has secured more than $50 million on behalf of injured individuals and the families of those wrongfully killed throughout Missouri.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries are any injury to the brain caused by an accident or violent event involving direct trauma to the head and/or brain. TBIs can range from mild to moderate to severe. A mild traumatic brain injury is better known as a concussion. A concussion causes the brain to bounce around or twist within the skull, possibly hitting against the inside of the skull. This can create chemical changes in the brain by stretching and damaging brain cells. Doctors are still learning exactly how to define a concussion, as well as how to know when a patient has fully recovered.
Brain Injury Facts & Statistics
Traumatic brain injuries account for about 30% of injury-related deaths in America. According to data from the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death from brain injuries. This varies by age group. For example, in children aged four and under, assault was the leading cause of brain injury death, as it accounted for 44% of cases. For children age 5 to 14, however, motor vehicle crashes accounted for 47% of brain injury deaths. That number shrinks as the population gets older; in older groups, self-inflicted injuries and fall-related brain injuries become more common.
Here are some traumatic brain injury statistics compiled from government research, neuroscientists, and consumer safety studies:
- Millions of Americans suffer head and brain injuries each year. Most of these injuries are relatively minor because the skull typically provides adequate protection for the brain. Symptoms of minor brain injuries usually (but not always) fade on their own.
- Car accidents and truck accidents are the leading cause of all head injuries, followed by sports accidents and falls.
- Traffic accidents account for almost half of the approximately 500,000 head injuries serious enough to require hospitalization every year. Altogether, traumatic brain injuries cause around one third of all injury deaths in America.
- Scientific evidence shows that brain damage can be caused by head injuries even when there has been no loss of consciousness. The result of these injuries can not only be physical disability but emotional, intellectual, and social trauma.
Traumatic Brain Injury Classifications
Traumatic brain injury is typically classified as mild, moderate, or severe. Physicians use assessment tools, such as the Glasgow Coma Scale and Ranchos Los Amigos Scale, to measure the severity of the injury.
Below, we’ve outlined brain injury classifications in greater detail:
- Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A mild TBI may be diagnosed if a victim remains conscious or loses consciousness briefly after a blow or jolt to the brain. The victim may also experience dizziness, headache, confusion, lightheadedness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, lethargy, irritability, mood changes, or fatigue.
- Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury: Symptoms of a moderate TBI are similar to those of a mild traumatic brain injury but are more intense and longer lasting. These symptoms include loss of consciousness lasting 20 minutes to 6 hours.
- Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: When an individual suffers a severe TBI, he or she is unconscious for more than six hours, and immediate lifesaving measures are required.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Common causes of TBI include:
- Car accidents
- Truck and tractor-trailer accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Other motor vehicle crashes
- Sports injuries
- Chemical/toxic exposure injuries
- Lack of oxygen (hypoxia)
- Open head injury
- Closed head injury
- Birth injuries
The above causes of brain injuries are accompanied by a broad range of disabilities and symptoms. Victims will require immediate and, in many cases, ongoing treatment and care.
Call (314) 208-2808 today to schedule your free initial consultation with The Dixon Injury Firm.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
There are various types of traumatic brain injuries and head injuries. These are classified in several different ways.
Generally speaking, head injuries are typically classified as:
- Open Head Injuries: These occur when an object fractures or penetrates the skull. In a car crash, for example, an open head injury could occur when a driver or passenger goes through the windshield or when a foreign object penetrates the skull.
- Closed Head Injuries: This type of head injury can occur when an accident or object causes a strong blow to the head but the skull does not break. In the case of a car accident, this could happen to a driver or passenger who hits the steering wheel or another component of the car.
If you suffer from either type of head injury, there is a very serious possibility of long-term brain damage. Immediate diagnosis and treatment are vital to this type of injury.
Additionally, there are numerous different types of traumatic brain injury, including but not limited to:
- Concussion: Concussions are the most common and minor form of TBI. However, concussions can still have serious and lasting effects. If you believe you or someone else suffered a concussion, be sure to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
- Depressed Skull Fracture: Because the skull is the first major line of defense for the brain from the external environment, it is also prone to injury. Any crack or breaks on the skull can lead to serious brain damage or infection.
- Contusion: A brain contusion is a specific area of the brain where there are damaged brain tissues and ruptured blood vessels. A brain contusion happens when a part of the brain is damaged due to a skull fracture or from the sudden impact of an accident.
- Hematoma: When a major blood vessel is affected or damaged due to an impact, it can lead to bleeding into or around the brain tissue. A hematoma can either be epidural (between skull and dura), subdural (between dura and arachnoid membrane), or intracerebral (within the brain).
- Anoxia/Hypoxia: The absence of or decreased blood supply to the brain due to disrupted blood vessels can lead to brain damage. It can mostly be observed in persons with open wounds or significant blood loss. Brain anoxia can lead to death in just a few minutes.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brian Injuries
Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries can either be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the type and severity of the injury. Aside from evident concussion, open wounds, or hematoma, there are many other symptoms that can be observed. These symptoms are relevant most especially when the brain damage is gradually worsening.
Major symptoms of TBI include:
- Disorientation with unwillingness to be examined or moved, expletive talking, and irritability if disturbed
- Silent, disinterested, sluggish mental state (abulia) with blank facial expression alternating with irascibility
- A reduced ability of the general senses or mild generalized weakness on one side of the body
- Confusion and inattention, poor performance on simple mental tasks, and fluctuating or slightly flawed orientation
- Repetitive vomiting, frequent involuntary eye movements, drowsiness, and inability to balance
- Diabetes insipidus or excessive thirst and excreting, as well as severely diluted urine even when the person isn’t drinking many fluids
TBIs of this degree are often complicated or worsened by drug or liquor intake, and clinically inapparent spine injury may also be present.
Results in the neurological examination can determine what part of the brain is affected. Confirmation of traumatic brain injury can be done using imaging tests such as x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.
What Is the Value of a TBI Injury Claim?
Estimating the value of compensation due to a TBI survivor is complicated. Traumatic brain injury cases are different from most other types of personal injury claims. TBIs are medically complex injuries and aren’t always immediately diagnosed. Most of the time, it’s unclear what the long-term impact of a TBI will be. In some cases, symptoms will improve or resolve completely while other times, a traumatic brain injury can result in lasting cognitive problems, memory issues, vision problems, seizures, or other permanent changes. Some TBIs can require expensive surgeries and life-long medical treatment.
Additionally, some TBI survivors suffer permanent changes in personality, emotional stability, and intellect. These issues can have a profound effect on their lives and may require them to change professions or even completely stop working.
When your TBI was caused by someone else’s negligent behavior, you deserve to receive compensation that will afford you the best medical treatment possible for years to come. If you’re filing a TBI lawsuit, it’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer who has experience in TBI cases and can accurately estimate the worth of a TBI claim.
Why Hire a Traumatic Brian Injury Attorney?
Traumatic brain injuries require extensive medical care, and victims are often left with severe disabilities that require long-term and intensive therapy and treatment. This can become incredibly costly over the course of the victim’s lifetime, especially if he or she is unable to return to work and earn a living.
If your traumatic brain injury was caused by another person or party’s negligence, the negligent party is responsible for compensating you for your damage. These damages might include past and future medical care, past and present lost wages, pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, and any other losses resulting from the negligent conduct.
It is important for you and your family to know your rights following a traumatic brain injury. One of these rights is the right to take legal action and seek fair compensation for your losses when your injury (or your loved one’s injury) was caused by someone else’s careless, reckless, or wrongful conduct. However, filing a claim is complicated and you could encounter difficulties in recovering the full amount you are entitled to receive. It’s best to work with an experienced attorney who understands how the process works and who can help you negotiate with the involved insurance company.
Brain Injury Prevention
There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of suffering a traumatic
brain injury. Below are just some recommendations to better protect yourself
When driving, obey traffic regulations at all times. Wear a seatbelt when riding in car and wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or motorcycle to reduce the possibility of acquiring a TBI. Use a child safety seat or booster seat for children to help reduce their risk.
When engaging in physical activities, such as sports, wear proper safety gear, such as helmets, and know your limits. Always use caution and avoid risky behaviors that could lead to a fall or other injurious accident.
Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment & Care
Treatment and management of the diverse symptoms of TBI require the identification and treatment of persistent headache, depression, insomnia, irritability, and lightheadedness. Medical consult and prescribed medications must be given immediately to prevent further harm.
Contact The Dixon Injury Firm Today
If you’ve suffered a TBI, one of your immediate concerns is probably the cost of your medical treatment. Even if you have your own health insurance, you may still have to pay a deductible or may need treatments that your insurance won’t cover. It can be extremely stressful to deal with mounting medical bills while recovering from a head injury, and if you’re contacted by the other party’s insurance company, you may be quick to accept a settlement offer that’s far less than what you’re entitled to.
This is why it’s important to contact a St. Louis traumatic brain injury lawyer, like those at The Dixon Injury Firm, as soon as possible following a head injury. We can fight for your rights and protect your best interests to help ensure you receive maximum compensation for your losses. Our team is available 24/7 to assist you, and we do not charge any attorneys’ fees unless/until we recover compensation for you.