Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) often lead to drastic and permanent changes, whether you were the victim or are serving as the caregiver for an injured family member. Besides dealing with the symptoms of the injury, you can expect extensive medical bills from the accident and for long-term future care. If you are dealing with a TBI, it's important to understand how the injury may impact your life going forward, who bears legal responsibility, and what you can do to work towards financial recovery.
How Brain Injuries Commonly Occur in Philadelphia Accidents
Brain damage can occur when the head directly hits an object, like in cases of falling on a hard surface, but it can also take place even when the skull doesn’t come into physical contact with anything. The force of sudden, violent movement—such as in a vehicle collision at high speed—may cause bruising or tearing even if your head doesn’t strike the steering wheel or pavement. TBIs are frequently suffered in:
- Car and truck accidents
- Medical malpractice cases
- Motorcycle crashes
- SEPTA bus and trolley injuries
- Slip and falls
- Swimming pool partial drowning incidents
- Workplace accidents
Any of these accidents may result in either a penetrating injury, where the skull is fractured and the brain itself is bruised or cut, or a “closed” head injury when the skull remains intact. The latter type can be just as dangerous, however, as you may not be immediately aware a brain injury occurred.
Coup-contrecoup brain injuries, for instance, happen when the brain strikes one or both sides of the skull due to a sudden stop or change in direction, while a diffuse axonal injury takes place when that movement causes stretching or tearing of brain tissue. Severe damage can additionally occur when the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen, such as in a drowning incident.
Possible Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries and Next Steps to Take
Either closed or penetrating brain injuries may come with a range of detrimental effects, which can differ radically depending on what type of accident you had and which part of the brain was impacted. Due to the brain’s importance in every aspect of the human body, TBI victims may experience multiple symptoms affecting many areas of their life. Possible repercussions of a traumatic brain injury include:
- Dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and loss of consciousness
- Cognitive difficulties, including language and reading problems, difficulty concentrating, and slowed thought processes
- Emotional issues like depression, angry outbursts, difficulty responding appropriately in social situations, and lack of impulse control
- Memory loss and problems forming new memories
- Vision reduction, from skewed depth perception to complete blindness
Always seek medical attention as soon as possible after any head injury, even if you didn’t lose consciousness or suffer an obvious skull fracture. Traumatic brain injury symptoms don’t always begin directly after an accident. Closed head injuries, concussions, and internal bleeding in particular aren’t always visibly apparent. Seeing a doctor directly after the accident also initiates a paper trail on your injuries that is important to hold the at-fault party responsible.
After getting medical assistance, your next priority should be contacting a personal injury attorney to start the process of seeking damages for the injury. Those damages aren’t always just for the direct medical costs from the initial accident, which can be financially devastating on their own. Compensation for your injury may also include other expenses like:
- Loss of wages from missed work while recovering
- Lost future earning potential
- Ongoing medical costs like surgeries, therapy, and rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Reduction in quality of life
Recovering compensation for a TBI will hinge on having your attorney thoroughly investigate the incident to determine who is most at fault and legally liable for your costs. That person may not always be obvious. The negligent party could be a parts manufacturer who produced a faulty vehicle component, a trucking company with insufficient training practices, a government organization like SEPTA, or the owner of a grocery store where a slip and fall occurred.
Having a skilled personal injury attorney in your corner is necessary whether you are dealing with an insurance company or filing a personal injury lawsuit. Your legal representative can assist in gathering and presenting all the relevant evidence, as well as ensuring all of your present and future costs are properly accounted for in a settlement.
What Should I Do After Suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury in Pennsylvania?
You already have enough on your plate when dealing with the effects of a traumatic brain injury. Don’t go through the financial recovery process on your own. Talk to an experienced lawyer who will fight for your legal rights and help you recover everything you are owed. Get in touch to set up a free consultation so we can hear about your case and find the best way to help you move forward.