Each year, Traumatic Brain Injuries send nearly three million Americans to hospital emergency rooms. Almost a third of these victims are children. Many other people seek treatment for Acquired Brain Injuries which spring from conditions like heart disease.
Head injuries are degenerative. Without prompt and proper treatment, initial symptoms, such as nausea and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) give way to more severe symtoms, such as chronic severe headaches and personality changes. Eventually, TBIs cause dementia-like symptoms. These injuries also cause or contribute to roughly 50,000 American fatalities per year.
Furthermore, TBIs are permanent. Someday soon, doctors may be able to use stem cells and other advanced methods to reverse brain injuries. But for the foreseeable future, managing the symptoms is the only available option.
Due to the nature and severity of these injuries, Brainerd, MN accident lawyers may be able to obtain substantial compensation for these victims. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, as well as noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
What Causes TBIs?
Car crashes cause most of the TBIs in Minnesota. These incidents combine all three major brain injury causes, which are:
- Trauma Wounds: Even the most advanced restraint systems can only absorb a certain amount of force. So, occupants’ heads often slam into solid objects, especially during high-speed crashes. Furthermore, when vehicles crash and stop suddenly, small objects inside the passenger area, such as cell phones, keep moving at the same speed. In other words, these objects become high-speed missiles that frequently hit victims’ heads.
- Violent Motion: Brains do not fit snugly inside skulls. Rather, the skull is like a water tank that suspends the brain in cerebrospinal fluid. So, the sudden motion of a car wreck causes the brain to repeatedly slam against the inside of the skull.
- Loud Noise: Witnesses often say that car crashes sound like explosions. These sudden loud noises create shock waves that disrupt brain functions. So, even if the victim suffers no serious trauma injuries, a car crash victim probably has a brain injury.
Vehicle collision TBIs are very difficult to diagnose, largely because not all head injury victims have the same symptoms. As a result, doctors often misdiagnose brain injury symptoms as shock or soreness from the accident or even early-onset dementia.
To obtain compensation in car crash claims, Brainerd, MN accident lawyers usually rely on ordinary negligence or negligence per se. Ordinary negligence is a lack of reasonable care, and negligence per se is a violation of a safety statute.
Alcohol is a good illustration of the difference between these two concepts. If the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was legally intoxicated, the negligence per se doctrine usually applies. Generally, tortfeasors who violate safety laws and cause accidents are responsible for damages as a matter of law.
But, drivers are impaired before they are intoxicated. In fact, alcohol impairment begins with the first drink. In these cases, Brainerd, MN accident lawyers may use circumstantial evidence to establish a lack of care. Such evidence includes erratic driving, bloodshot eyes, and an odor of alcohol.
Additionally, the tortfeasor may not be the only party responsible for car crash damages. Some common vicarious liability theories include respondeat superior employer liability, dram shop alcohol provider liability, and negligent entrustment owner liability.
Other major TBI causes include falls and assaults. These incidents often involve two of the three aforementioned brain injury causes. Property owners are usually responsible for fall and assault-related injuries, if the owners knew about the hazardous condition and the owner owed a legal duty to the victim.
How Do Brainerd, MN Accident Lawyers Help VIctims Recover?
To reduce brain injury symptoms, most doctors use a combination of surgery and therapy. Surgery keeps the injury from getting worse. Doctors can stop brain bleeding and reduce brain swelling. Physical therapy usually improves brain injury symptoms, but the road is long and winding.
Brain injury therapy is quite unlike broken bone or other physical therapy. Brain injury therapists must train uninjured areas of the brain to assume lost functions. As a result, progress comes in fits and starts.
Brainerd, MN accident lawyers play a critical role in this process. If victims show no physical therapy progress for a few months, or even a few weeks, stingy insurance companies often try to cut off funding. If that happens, the victim may never fully recover.
So, attorneys do not just advocate for victims in the courtroom, as outlined above. Brainerd, MN accident lawyers also help ensure that victims remain in physical therapy until they reach MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement).
Connect with a Tough Attorney
Serious brain injury victims need aggressive representation throughout the process. For a free consultation with an experienced Brainerd, MN accident lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. Home and hospital visits are available.