Brain Injury Lawyers Serving Cincinnati & All of Ohio
Severe brain injuries are one of the worst personal injuries anyone can endure, no matter the cause. The term “brain injury” can refer to a wide range of conditions, from a mild concussion to an open head wound exposing the skull or brain tissue. Depending on the specific injury, symptoms may include headaches, confusion, nausea and dizziness, memory loss, and even personality changes. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) frequently require long-term treatment, sometimes in a dedicated facility, and that treatment can be incredibly costly. Working with an experienced brain injury lawyer in Cincinnati, OH can help you obtain any fair compensation you deserve.
Each year, approximately 2.9 million individuals suffer traumatic brain injuries, 56,000 of which cause death. Car accidents, falls, and sports/recreation injuries are some of the most frequent causes of TBIs and TBI deaths.
Not all brain injuries are caused by a direct blow to the head, and not all brain injuries are classified as severe. While some TBIs are the result of serious skull fractures, others come from closed head injuries, such as concussions. However, even a mild concussion can cause a person to experience cognitive, functional, and emotional problems, including:
- Difficulty performing basic tasks
- Memory loss
- Mood disorders
- Impairment of motor function
- Other disabilities
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury and you believe someone else may have been responsible, you may be entitled to compensation. Consult with our team of Cincinnati personal injury lawyers as soon as possible to examine your options and determine the best course of action. Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form now to get in touch with our Cincinnati brain injury lawyers.
CAUSES OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
There are a number of activities that can lead to brain injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls, being struck by or against an object, and motor vehicle accidents are the three most common causes of TBIs. These three incident types make up 70 percent of all TBIs.
Automobile accidents are the third-leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal TBIs. Despite a recent decrease in motor vehicle accident head injuries, they still remain the leading cause of TBI deaths for those 15-34 years old. Research also shows:
- 70 percent of injuries for this age group are vehicle occupants
- 12 percent of incidents involve motorcycle riders
- Approximately 8 percent involve pedestrians
Vehicle rollovers, ejections, and accidents where an occupant’s head strikes the windshield, interior of the vehicle, an object, or another passenger can cause head injuries that are immediately apparent. Whiplash can cause brain injuries that often go undetected. Burg Simpson’s brain injury attorneys in Cincinnati, OH are experienced in helping those with significant head injuries receive fair compensation for their injuries and losses.
Falls have replaced motor vehicle accidents as the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. They occur most frequently in the elderly and young children. Common, yet preventable, causes of fall-related TBIs include: Unsafe playground equipment, nursing home hazards, and dangerous stairs and walkways that lead to slips/trips, and falls.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
Sports and recreational activities can result in serious brain injuries. In the U.S., hundreds of thousands of sports-related traumatic brain injuries occur every year. In fact, the highest rate of TBIs from being struck by or against an object were actually sports and recreation injuries. As a result, high school athletes – football players in particular – are at a much greater risk for brain injury.
Bicycle crashes are another significant cause of recreation-related TBIs. According to the CDC, in 2010, 26,000 children and adolescents were treated for TBIs in emergency departments following a bike crash.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY?
There are two general types of head injuries: open head injuries with visible damage to the skull and closed injuries that show no signs of visible damage. An open injury simply means the skull has actually been fractured. This is often the result of a fall or the head’s impact with a hard object or surface. If you have suffered a head injury due to the negligence of others please call our brain injury lawyers in Cincinnati, Ohio at (513) 852-5600 for a free consultation.
A closed head injury does not involve a fracture, but can be just as serious because of swelling and potential blood clots. Closed head injuries are also risky because the true severity may not be immediately apparent, causing victims to delay seeking treatment. The most serious brain injuries can cause paralysis, loss of consciousness, and even death. Here are more details about some types of brain injuries:
- Concussion: An often mild but traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head or a violent shaking of the head and body.
- Contusion: A contusion is a bruise, or bleeding on the brain following localized trauma. Similar to concussions, contusions are usually the result of a blow to the head.
- Coup-contrecoup contusion: This is a bruise that occurs at both the site of the initial impact, as well as on the opposite side of the brain. It happens when the force against the head is strong enough to slam the brain against the opposite side of the skull, creating a second bruise.
- Diffuse axonal: This injury comes from a violent shake or strong rotation of the head, such as with shaken baby syndrome, or whiplash in a motor vehicle accident. More specifically, this injury is the result of the static brain being slow to follow the skull’s movement, tearing structures in the brain.
- Penetration: Just like it sounds, this is an injury from the impact of a bullet, knife, or any other sharp object that enters the brain, along with hair, skin, and bone. Ironically, slower moving objects may cause more damage because they tend to ricochet within the skull.
- Shaken baby syndrome: This type of brain injury happens when someone violently shakes a baby or young child. The whiplash-like brain injury ruptures the blood vessels between the brain and skull. The resulting buildup of blood compresses brain tissues, while also increasing inflammation in the brain. Damages include seizure, lifelong disabilities, coma, and death. Symptoms and warning signs include irritability, irregular eating patterns, exhaustion, uneven breathing, dilated pupils, and vomiting.
- Second impact syndrome: Also known as recurrent traumatic brain injury, this is a second TBI before an earlier one has healed. The second injury is more likely to cause swelling and more serious damage.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY?
TBIs vary in cause and severity. Even a mild concussion sustained in a closed head injury can cause someone to suffer cognitive, functional, and emotional problems, making it imperative to conatct a brain injury lawyer in Cincinnati, OH as soon as possible if you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, symptoms can be delayed or immediate and include:
- A thin, water-like liquid (spinal fluid) leaking from the ears and/or nose
- Loss of consciousness (not necessarily in all cases)
- Dilated or irregular pupils
- Changes in vision, including blurred or double vision, sensitivity to bright light, loss of eye movement, blindness
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Respiratory failure
- Slow breathing rate, with increased blood pressure
- Comatose, or semi-comatose state
- Slow pulse
- Paralysis, weakness, lack of coordination
- Confusion or disorientation
- Ringing in the ears and changes in the ability to hear
- Difficulty thinking straight, memory issues, poor judgment, poor attention span, slowed thought-processing speed
- Inappropriate emotional responses, such as irritability, easily frustrated, inappropriate crying or laughing
- Difficulty speaking, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing
- Body numbness or tingling
- Loss of bowel control or bladder control
Milder brain injuries may not generate any of these symptoms and might require more extensive examination and analysis for diagnosis. A variety of imaging technologies, such as a CT scan or an MRI, can help diagnose the specifics of the brain injury. It’s also worth noting that the signs of any head trauma may not show up right away. Symptoms can take days or even weeks to develop or worsen. If you have suffered from a brain injury, contact our traumatic brain injury lawyers in Cincinnati before it’s too late!
WHAT ARE THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY?
Traumatic brain injuries affect everyone differently, but research suggests that TBI is associated with many negative effects that can last much later into life. Researchers found that premature death, declines in cognitive function, progressive dementia, Parkinsonism (any condition that causes a combination of movement abnormalities), and endocrine dysfunction, particularly hypopituitarism, are linked with moderate to severe head injuries. Many medical professionals consider TBI to be a chronic health condition that can have a long-term effect on overall health.
Some of the potential longer-term effects of TBI may include:
- Ocular- and visual-motor disturbances
- Cognitive deficits
- Post-concussive symptoms
- Social isolation
- Premature death
- Progressive dementia
- Diabetes insipidus
- Endocrine dysfunction
- Growth hormone insufficiency
LIFE AFTER TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Some traumatic brain injury patients will make a full recovery. Others may experience lifelong disabilities ranging from mild limitations to needing full-time care. Even those who go on to live an independent life could still suffer from a diminished earning capacity due to cognitive, emotional, or physical impairments or simply because of missed education and work experience during recovery. Our brain injury lawyers in Cincinnati can help you recoup lost wages, expenses, and earnings due to TBI’s that were the fault of another party.
Symptoms of traumatic brain injury do not always present themselves right away. In fact, they may not appear for several months or even years, and when they do, victims and their loved ones do not always make the connection with the initial head injury, which can make the experience of new symptoms much more confusing and frightening.
Generally speaking, it is incredibly difficult to predict the repercussions of TBI for someone later in life. According to doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center, variables include:
- The severity of the original injury
- The rate and extent of physiological recovery
- What functions were originally affected
- Available resources to assist in recovery
Some researchers have suggested the best way to improve the quality of life for a brain injury victim is to implement a “disease management” regimen similar to how someone may approach other chronic conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension. Additionally, early detection and treatment protocols could prevent or even reduce the chance of more serious future complications. The Cincinnati brain injury lawyers at Burg Simpson Ohio are here to help!
WHAT IS POST-CONCUSSION SYNDROME?
According to the Mayo Clinic, post-concussion syndrome is a complex disorder in which various symptoms, such as headaches and dizziness, last for weeks or potentially months after the injury that causes the concussion.
Concussions are typically caused by a blow to the head and are usually considered mild traumatic brain injuries. The injury does not necessarily include a loss of consciousness, and the risk of post-concussion syndrome does not appear to be associated with the severity of the original injury.
Post-concussion syndrome symptoms will become visible within the first week or two for most people. In most cases, symptoms fade within the first few months, but have the potential to linger for a year or more.
The most common post-concussion syndrome symptoms include:
- Loss of concentration and memory
- Noise and light sensitivity
Post-concussion headaches can vary and may feel like either a tension-type headache or a migraine. These could also be related to a neck injury that happened at the same time as the head injury.
SEIZURES & TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Brain injuries often lead to seizures, which occur because of abnormal electrical activity in the brain that can take the form of strange body movements, such as stiffening or shaking, unresponsiveness, staring, chewing, lip smacking, or fumbling movements. Other indicators are strange smells, sounds, feelings, tastes, or visual images, and sudden weariness or dizziness.
Seizures are common after a TBI, happening to as many as 10 percent of victims who required hospitalization for a head injury. Most seizures will occur within the first several days or weeks after a TBI, but some may take months or years to emerge. Certain factors that can contribute to the likelihood of seizures are high fevers, lack of sleep/extreme fatigue, drug and alcohol use, or any other chemical changes in the body.
Additionally, different brain injury types are more likely to lead to seizures than others. Nearly two-thirds of brain injuries caused by bullet wounds lead to seizures. On the other end of the spectrum, only 20 percent of people with closed head injuries suffer from seizures.
Medication may be effective in treating seizures for 70-80 percent of victims, allowing them to return to most activities. However, seizures can create lifelong safety issues, limiting employability and enjoyment of life. Many people with seizures can never drive or go swimming without supervision and remain at constant risk of further injury. Burg Simpson’s Cincinnati brain injury lawyers can help you and your loved ones if you have suffered at the negligence of another.
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY & PERSONALITY OR BEHAVIOR CHANGES
TBIs can lead to a number of behavioral or emotional changes. Depression, outburst of unprovoked anger, a loss of inhibitions, or uncontrollable impulses to cry can occur after traumatic brain injuries and can result in frightening episodes. These can lead to dangerous consequences including violent criminal behavior or even self-harm or suicide. Often symptoms will not start to appear until long after the initial injury and it may depend where in the brain the injury occurred.
For example, someone with damage to the frontal lobe, which governs personality and impulse control, can suffer from uncontrollable outbursts, even after recovery. Or they may emerge from recovery with what experts call a “flat affect,” which is a muted or emotionless demeanor.
Specific behaviors that may emerge as a result of a TBI include:
- Verbal and/or physical outbursts
- Poor judgment and disinhibition
- Impulsive behavior
- Rigidity and inflexibility
- Risky behavior
- Lack of empathy
- Lack of motivation or initiative
- Depression and/or anxiety
DAMAGE COMPENSATION FOR OHIO AND KENTUCKY TBI VICTIMS
Traumatic brain injuries often are the result of the negligence or recklessness of others. TBI victims may be entitled to compensation from the responsible parties or their insurance companies for the following:
- Economic losses, including past and future medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, and out-of-pocket costs.
- Non-economic losses, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental and emotional distress, inconvenience.
- Permanent impairment and/or disfigurement
- Loss of consortium by an affected spouse
Obtaining compensation for a brain injury can be challenging. Insurance companies are often skeptical of traumatic brain injury claims and do not put a high value on them, despite the pain and suffering victims may experience. Part of the reason is that closed head TBIs are difficult to “see” and prove because of the lack of visible, objective physical injuries that can be shown to a jury. Brain imaging, such as CT scans, MRIs, PET scans, and SPECT scans can be useful for diagnosing and proving brain injury claims. Neuropsychological testing may be necessary or recommended for identifying cognitive difficulties and deficits. Experienced brain injury lawyers use expert testimony, evidence, and legal strategies to try to obtain the compensation TBI victims deserve.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE SUFFERED A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY?
The most important thing you can do is take care of yourself or your loved ones and obtain the necessary medical treatment. But if you or a family member have suffered a traumatic brain injury because of someone else, it is critical that you immediately contact a Cincinnati brain injury lawyer experienced in handling concussions, closed head injuries, and other traumatic brain injury cases. It can be a confusing and emotional time. Time may already be running out to file a claim. You need someone on your side to make sure your rights are protected.
Because these injuries are not always immediately apparent and effects may take days, weeks, or even months to emerge, it’s crucial to keep and maintain meticulous medical records if you suspect a brain injury. It is also highly recommended that you contact a Cincinnati personal injury attorney because navigating the paperwork and requirements for determining damages and compensation for brain injuries is complex, especially if you’re still in recovery.
CONTACT BURG SIMPSON NOW
Burg Simpson is dedicated to helping injured people with traumatic brain injuries seek compensation. Our experienced Cincinnati brain injury lawyers have helped many people suffering from severe injuries – including traumatic brain injuries – rebuild their lives. Our lawyers have the experience and resources to help injury victims navigate the many legal complexities that surround brain injuries, including accident and medical investigation, insurance claims, settlement negotiations, and litigation against those who will not take responsibility. Call us at (513) 852-5600 or fill out a FREE case evaluation form to get started with your claim today.