Having brain damage can impact your entire life, as your brain is your body’s “control center.” A head injury can lead to memory loss and difficulty in making decisions. Your sense of taste and smell can change. Some people with brain damage have difficulty with their spatial perception, which is being able to tell how far apart objects are from one another.
As a result, you may be unable to work or take care of your family. You might need help with everyday tasks like housekeeping or managing money. This all comes at a cost, and medical bills can add up quickly. If your brain damage was the result of someone else’s action or negligence, you may be able to sue for damages. This is called a brain damage lawsuit. Situations, where another party is responsible for your injury, can include an assault, a workplace injury, a car accident, or medical malpractice.
When talking about brain damage lawsuits, it’s helpful to understand the different types of brain injuries.
Types of Brain Damage: Non-Traumatic & Traumatic Injuries
Brain injuries are classified into two types: non-traumatic and traumatic. Be aware that in this context, “traumatic” is a medical term used by doctors. It does not have the same meaning as our everyday use of the word “traumatic.”
Non-traumatic brain injuries happen due to internal situations within the body. A seizure, stroke, blood clot, or lack of oxygen can cause a non-traumatic brain injury.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) happen when an outside force injures the brain. A TBI can be the result of any injury or blow to the head.
Traumatic brain injuries are further classified as “mild,” “moderate,” or “severe.” Again, these are also words that doctors use to diagnose your injury, based on what they observe and your symptoms. In reality, there may be nothing “mild” about living with a traumatic brain injury. Any brain injury can still result in permanent brain damage.
Head Injury Myths
Unfortunately, there are several myths surrounding brain injuries and brain damage. One is that a person must be unconscious or “knocked out” immediately after the injury to have brain damage. Whether or not you lose consciousness is not necessarily an indication of brain damage. In addition, visible head injuries may not be a good indication, either. A visible injury, like a cut that needs stitches or a swollen bump, may result in no brain damage. Meanwhile, what appeared to be a just slight “bump on the head” can result in brain damage.
Is Brain Damage Permanent?
Brain damage is usually defined as the destruction of brain cells. Your brain is a complex organ. Healing brain tissue is not the same as healing a broken bone. How brain damage affects a person depends on what part of the brain was injured and the severity of the injury. In many cases, brain damage and its effects on the body are permanent.
No two cases of brain damage are alike. In severe cases, a person with brain damage may be in a coma and need around the clock care. Others might be conscious, but need help with everyday activities like eating, dressing, or showering. Some people are physically the same after their injury but have trouble balancing their checkbook or focusing on a task. A person can have brain damage and still look “okay” or “normal.”
Diagnosing Brain Damage
Sometimes after a head injury, a CT scan and/or an MRI is performed. These tests help doctors decide on your immediate treatment. However, these initial tests may not be able to determine if brain damage is permanent. And in some cases, particularly when there are no visible injuries or immediate symptoms, no diagnostic tests are run. You may have been told to just “go home and rest.”
Further evaluation, both by your doctor and other healthcare providers, may be necessary. For example, a neuropsychologist can assess things like your memory, judgment, emotions, and thinking. A physical therapist can help with your coordination and any balance issues. There may be other health professionals that can be brought in to diagnose the full extent of your brain damage.
Brain Injury Legal Help
Brain damage affects not only you but your family members and friends. Brain damage interferes with your ability to work, spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy your life. You may be at a loss because you’re having trouble having doctors taking you seriously. Maybe you have symptoms that are difficult to “prove” in a doctor’s office, such as short term memory or sleeping problems.
While no amount of money can take away a brain injury, you may be able to recover costs associated with impairments, pain and suffering, and medical bills. Meeting with an experienced head injury lawyer is the first step in starting a brain injury lawsuit.
Choosing a Brain Injury Lawyer
Choosing the right brain injury lawyer for your case is important. You want to find an attorney who is compassionate to your situation, understands how complex brain damage is, and will fight aggressively for you.
It’s important to find a personal injury lawyer who is available. Anyone suffering from a brain injury has time constraints. Your day is filled with appointments and quite possibly, feeling ill or resting. When choosing a brain injury lawyer, consider the following questions. “Are they available outside of 9 to 5 hours? Are there multiple ways to contact the firm, including online messaging and chat? Do I have to travel to their office? How many brain damage lawsuits have they handled? Are they a member of any professional TBI organization?”
At The Joel Bieber Firm, we think finding legal help should be easy. That’s why we come to you if needed, wherever you are: at home, the hospital, or a rehabilitation facility. Or, you can come to any of our four locations if you’d like: Richmond and Virginia Beach, VA; Greenville, SC; and Charleston, WV.
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury that led to brain damage, contact us.