Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Serving Royal Palm Beach
It goes without saying that some of the most severe and devastating injuries that can be suffered are injuries that involve brain damage. When discussing a brain injury accident in Royal Palm Beach, we could be talking about a catastrophic occurrence that may affect an individual for the rest of their lives. While this may entail complete loss of mental functionality, there are also many other types of brain injuries that can leave the victim with varying degrees of debilitating issues, ranging from the minor to the severe. It’s also true that brain trauma may also lead to an eventual fatality. Brain injuries (also known as TBI – “traumatic brain injury”) can be the result of; a motor vehicle accident, drowning, falls and a number of other injuries that involve a person’s cranial area or have created a situation in which there is a lack of sufficient oxygen needed to support proper brain function.
But, one of the most problematic issues with brain injury has to do with the fact that the injury is not always immediately detectable. For example, what appears to be a mild head injury, that goes untreated, may be disguising a small skull fracture. This fracture can eventually become a more serious event that ends up placing pressure on the brain and subsequently causing it injury. These types of injuries don’t have to happen in some major motor vehicle crash, either. They can happen in situations that involve a simple fall from a bicycle or a slow-moving auto accident. Because even an initially small brain injury can eventually become far more serious, then it’s safe to day that there really isn’t anything such as a “minor” brain injury. All brain injuries need to be treated with the same care and diligence. But, unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
In the U.S., statistics show that serious medical conditions that have resulted from brain trauma affect 1.6 million Americans per year. Out of these occurrences, there will also be approximately 65,000 individuals who will suffer long-term/permanent disabilities as a result of those injuries.How can a smaller brain traumatic injury be diagnosed?
When conditions have arisen in which a medical determination needs to be made regarding the presence of a brain injury, certain conditions need to be met in order for it to be classified under the medical term MTBI (Minor Traumatic Brain Injury). The necessary conditions include:
- No memory exists of the time that the actual accident took place
- Obvious confusion and disorientation is evident
- Neurological disorder are evident, but are not considered to be debilitating
- A 13+ Glasgow Coma Scale (CGS) score
The only positive thing regarding an MTBI is the fact that the prognosis for recovery is pretty good. Even so, the recovery times may vary widely, due to the types of injury, the health condition of the victim and other factors. Also, there is always the possibility that the victim may never recover.What are the specific symptoms associated with brain trauma?
While there are many different symptoms that may be associated with a brain injury, some of the most common (both cognitive and physical) are:
- Uncharacteristic aggression (cognitive)
- Varying mood changes (cognitive)
- Chronic depression (cognitive)
- Complete amnesia (cognitive)
- Long and short term memory problems (cognitive)
- Unable to concentrate (cognitive)
- Becoming disoriented (cognitive)
- Loss of vision (physical)
- Chronic headaches (physical)
- Blurred vision (physical)
There may also be changes in appetite and overall demeanor.Are the only causes of brain injuries impacts to the head or suffocation?
When it comes to brain injuries, folks in Royal Palm Beach tend to have a few misconceptions regarding this type of problem. For example, many believe that a blow to the head or a lack of oxygen can be responsible for these types of traumas. However, there was a surprise in store for the medical field when a study was conducted by Michael Freeman, Ph.D and Ezriel Kornel, M.D., F.A.C.S. (as reported in this Press Release). This study concluded that approximately 20% of injuries to the brain are actually caused by whiplash! These cases of whiplash are generally the result of an automotive accident. Called a Chiari Malformation, here a small part of the victim’s brain has been forced to protrude from the base of their skull as the whiplash occurred. This happened as a result of the person’s brain being slammed along the skull’s inside walls. Another, difficult to detect brain trauma injury can come from diffuse axonal injuries.
It should be noted that these types of (hidden) injuries from a Royal Palm Beach brain injury accident have, successfully eluded some physicians and brain injury attorneys in the past. One of the main reasons for this happening is the fact that these types of accidents can result from vehicle accidents that are low-impact and the victim hasn’t been rendered unconscious or there was no head impact at all. Therefore, this situation may be classified as a “minor accident” with no significant injuries. This is the main reason why it’s important that if you or someone you love, sustained any form of whiplash, be examined by a qualified physician who specializes in brain trauma.What are some myths that are associated with brain injury recovery?
We have all seen the incredible advantages that have come about as a result of modern medical technology over the past few years. One of the advantages that we now have is the fact that we are now able to detect tiny physical injuries that remained undetected, in the past. Some of the most significant advancements have to do with our ability to locate previously undetectable microscopic brain lesions. This fact has greatly assisted attorneys when it comes to rebutting a claim that an accident victim has suffered no brain damage due to an MRI that was given. It’s since been demonstrated that MRIs are not infallible and that other brain injury detection analysis methods can be valid. Here, it can be shown that functional impairment still exists despite a negative MRI result.
Another argument that might be made by an insurance company is that TBI patients make full recoveries. This is presented in order to make light of the seriousness of a TBI. But, it can be shown that some brain injuries can be subtle enough to prevent the victim from returning to their previous life. For example, chronic memory loss, due to a TBI, can prevent someone from returning to work. In addition, as mentioned earlier, some brain injuries may never heal. In more than one report, it has been stated that:
“At one year after injury, 10-15% of mild TBI patients have not recovered. Many are more symptomatic than even immediately after the injury. Some have had persistence of one particularly troubling symptom usually headache, neck pain or dizziness. Most have persistence and even worsening of the entire symptom complex. Both groups are at a high risk of permanent symptomatic persistent post-concussive syndrome.”What are “concussions (concussive brain injuries)?
When it comes to traumatic brain injuries, the most common type is called a “concussion”. These generally occur when the skull has experienced violent shaking or there has been a significant blow to the head. The result of this form of injury can be post-concussion syndrome. This can be an exceptionally serious issue that can last for an extended period of time (from months to over a year). Symptoms include:
- On-going mood swings
- Concentration problems
- Chronic depression
- Loss of memory
- Problematic sleep
- Chronic dizziness
- Chronic headaches.
When all is said and done, it’s easy to see that a concussion is not an injury that should be taken lightly. The sad part is when these injuries are not recognized for how serious they actually are.What can I do if I have sustained a brain injury-related accident?
When it comes to any type of personal injury, the first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you take care of your own health. In this case, it means that you will want to seek the best medical care that you can. This includes an evaluation by a qualified TBI physician who can detect even smaller injuries to the brain, such as those that may occur in whiplash incidents.
Make sure that you keep all copies of the medical records and set up a follow up appointment to see if any changes have occurred. Keep all of these records, as well as any medical bills and a personal observation journal in a single “accident file” in your home. At that point, you may wish to set up a free initial appointment with a brain injury attorney, serving Royal Palm Beach, in order to determine what your options are.
If a brain injury has occurred, it may be possible to file a lawsuit in order to recover the financial restitution that you rightfully deserve. This can be true in cases in which the negligence of another party has resulted in the accident in which you have been injured. In cases such as these, the term “negligence” is used to express the failure of a party to utilize “reasonable care” and that lack of obligation fulfill has led to the accident in which injury has resulted. These situations need to include proof that:
- The accident victim was owed a “duty of care”
- That duty of care was subsequently breached
- The breach resulted a specified accident
- Damages have resulted from that specific accident
One example of this would involve a motorist who was driving over the speed limit that was stipulated in the Royal Palm Beach area in which they were driving. Florida Statute 316.183 The act of speeding would constitute the breach of care. If an accident, resulting in injuries that occurred from this act of speeding, then the speeding motorist can be held liable for any related damages that your insurance wasn’t able to cover.
You may discover that the defendant’s attorney will attempt to stipulate that you, as the victim, were also responsible for part of the injuries that you suffered. This may be due to not wearing seat belts, etc. In Royal Palm Beach (as well as the rest of the state), the court can take this into consideration and decide that the defendant is only responsible for a certain percentage of the damages (Florida Statute 768.81).
Also, you should take into consideration that there are statutes of limitations regarding filing a lawsuit. For a personal injury lawsuit, you generally have 4 years from the time of the accident, except in rare circumstances. For a wrongful death lawsuit, the time period is just 2 years.Enlist an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
Deaths and injuries from a brain injury accident can be the result of catastrophic car crashes and other types of accidents which may occur in Royal Palm Beach at any given time. In addition, it’s important to understand that while major, devastating accidents are often a factor, there are also many times when this isn’t the situation. There have been a number of cases in which a relatively minor accident has resulted in a brain injury. Therefore, if you are involved in an accident where you sustained injuries to your head, it is advised that you seek medical care and the advice of a brain injury accident personal injury attorney.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident where you suspect a brain injury, discuss your case with a Brain Accident Personal Injury Attorney Serving Royal Palm Beach Today! Turn to Frankl & Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call 561-800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.