Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury
We see individuals and families struggle to cope with previously unimaginable circumstances. Whether the cause was a driver speeding through a residential area, a professional skimping on repair work, or even a doctor making a careless error, our clients are paying a steep price for another person's negligent or otherwise wrongful actions. Some of the hardest cases we see involve traumatic brain injury, a form of injury that changes the lives of the injured party and his or her loved ones forever.
An Overview of the Consequences & Costs of TBI
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one of the many research centers that make up the National Institutes of Health, explains that traumatic brain injury ("TBI") is a form of acquired brain injury that stems from a sudden trauma. This trauma can involve the head forcefully hitting an object (ex. colliding with the road after a car accident or being hit during an assault) or an object penetrating the skull and entering the brain.
In the immediate aftermath, symptoms of a relatively "mild" TBI may include a headache, dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision, impaired memory, or trouble with concentration or other thought processes. A more moderate or severe case may also involve an unrelenting headache, vomiting/nausea, slurred speech, speech problems, poor coordination, or confusion. The initial trauma can, but does not always, cause a loss of consciousness.
Although the initial damage to the brain is usually irreversible, medical attention is critical to preventing future injury. Often, surgery is needed. Long-term consequences vary widely and may include problems with communication, impaired cognition (i.e. thinking and reasoning skills), sensory processing issues, and/or mental health problems such as severe depression, personality changes, or socially inappropriate behavior. Patients often require ongoing therapy and individualized rehabilitation plans. Severe TBI can leave a patient in a chronic vegetative state.
To speak plainly, brain injury is incredibly costly. Initial and on-going medical costs can be staggering. Patients may face radical changes in lifestyle such as going from an active and independent wage-earner to needing a round-the-clock caregiver and requiring assistance with the most basic tasks of everyday living. Beyond the economic costs, TBI can cause both physical pain and emotional suffering. Family members may share in both the economic and emotional consequences.
Advocating for Patients and Families Coping with TBI
When a TBI is the result of another person's wrongdoing or negligence, the injured person (and, in some cases, his/her immediate family members) may be entitled to money damages. As a Northwest Florida brain injury lawyer, Attorney Pittman understands the complexities of these cases. In some cases, the injured person may be unable to be an effective advocate for him/herself. Often, a family member is left with the sudden task of being a caregiver and also an advocate.
We promise to always act with compassion and work with the individualized needs of each client.
We help victims recover monetary compensation through the civil law system. We also encourage patients and families dealing with TBI to seek out counseling and other forms of emotional and social support. One starting point for finding support is the Brain Injury Association of Florida.
See Related Blog Posts: