Brain Injury Lawyers

Frankl Kominsky TBI Injury Attorneys

According to Florida Health, 176,007 people in Florida suffered from traumatic brain injuries in 2014. Out of those people, 3,852 people died due to brain injuries or in combination with other injuries and an additional 21,081 people were hospitalized.

Brain injuries, even those that are deemed mild, are serious injuries and can affect the way your brain and central nervous system works. A person who suffers a brain injury may have to face years of rehabilitation and ever-increasing medical costs.

At Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we understand that brain injuries can have a drastic effect on the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of the victim and their family. If a brain injury is a result of another person’s fault or negligence, you may be eligible to pursue a claim in order to seek fair and just compensation for your injuries. Contact the legal team at Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers for a case evaluation and guidance as to your legal options. We offer a free initial consultation.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow to the victim’s head or a sudden jolt to their body.

According to the Brain Association of America, a traumatic brain injury is not necessarily caused by a direct impact to the head. The brain can sustain injury if the body is suddenly accelerated, decelerated or suffers an abrupt change in direction, as happens in the case of a whiplash. That is because the brain is not rigidly attached to the skull and is surrounded by only a cushion of fluid. When your body moves suddenly, the brain is thrown against the walls of the skull and can sustain injury internally.

Objects that hit or penetrate the skull can also result in traumatic brain injuries.

Mild traumatic injury can affect your ability to function normally temporarily. However, more severe traumatic brain injuries can result in torn tissues, internal bleeding and bruising, which can result in long-lasting complications and even death.

Most Common Causes of Brain Trauma in Florida

Brain injuries can be caused by a wide range of accidents including traffic accidents and slips and falls. Here are the most common causes of brain injuries in Florida:

Car Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of brain trauma in the United States, reported the CDC. During a car accident, a person may be violently jerked back and forth and hit their head on the interior of the car or with free-flying objects.

People sitting in cars that are rear-ended may experience whiplash that can cause the brain to hit the skull at high speed, resulting in mild to moderate brain trauma. Spinal cord injuries can also occur.

If a car is hit from the front, the vehicle is stopped abruptly, causing its passengers to hurl forward into the windshield, dashboard or the front seats. This can result in external injury to the head as well as internal injury. Additionally, your face may also be injured.

If a car is hit from the side, the passengers may strike their head on the window or objects outside the car, resulting in lacerations and skull fractures. There is also a high chance of objects penetrating the head. This can be catastrophic to the victims.

Auto-Pedestrian Accidents

In 2018, over 9,200 auto-pedestrian crashes occurred in Florida resulting in 674 fatalities, as estimated by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The Sunshine State is considered to be the most dangerous state for pedestrians and its elderly population is particularly at risk of auto-pedestrian accidents.

Even though pedestrian accidents do not happen as frequently as car crashes, when they do happen, they are often severe and fatal. That’s because pedestrians on the road are completely vulnerable and when they are struck by a fast-moving heavy object like a car, they may hit their head on the vehicle or on the hard concrete road.

Depending on the severity of the accident, a brain injury may result in permanent disability and often death.

Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can result in severe brain trauma. Because of the absence of a protective metal framework, motorcycles are not completely secure and people who ride these vehicles are at a significant risk of injuries. Even wearing a helmet does not offer adequate protection if a motorcycle is violently hit by a car.

If the victim strikes their head on the pavement or an object like a lamp post or traffic signal, it can result in skull fracture which can cause fragments of the bone to cause severe harm to the soft brain tissues.

Sometimes the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury do not manifest until days after the accident. This is why it is extremely important for bike riders to always get themselves treated and checked for internal injuries by a qualified medical professional.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Falls are the leading causes of head injury and the CDC reports that falls account for more than 40 percent of all head injuries. This is followed by objects falling on a person’s head. A fall may occur due to slippery or wet floor, a defective ladder, a broken stair or platform railing, objects littered on the floor, cracked and uneven pavements, poorly designed childproof gate, and playground equipment that is unsupervised.

Over 15 percent of head injuries also occur when something falls on or strikes the head of a person. Some common instances are supermarket items falling from overstocked shelves, objects thrown or fallen from upper stories of a building, furniture toppling over, and tools and equipment falling through scaffolding.

Types of Brain Trauma

There are several different traumatic brain injuries that can be caused by traffic accidents and slip and fall accidents. They are explained below:

Concussion

A concussion is a head injury that is deemed to be mild and temporary. However, when we say “mild” in relation to brain injuries, it just means the level of brain damage. All injuries to the brain are severe and can carry long term consequences for the victim.

A victim may feel like they are recovering from a concussion, but they may then suffer from serious complications like epilepsy, loss of memory, poor attention, vertigo, and nausea. Worse, if a person suffers from repeated concussions, it may cause chronic progressive brain disease. A second impact concussion is also marked by rapid swelling of the brain which can be fatal.

Some of the most vulnerable victims are athletes in high contact sports like soccer and football, as well as workers in high-risk industries and people who are involved in more than one car crash.

A concussion may seem irrelevant to the victim and he may not even seek any medical attention for it at all; however, it must never be ignored. Post-concussion syndromes can greatly prevent a person from doing their daily chores and interfere with their job functions.

Contusion

A contusion occurs when an object strikes the skull with tremendous force and speed resulting in bruising or bleeding of the brain. In a traffic accident, contusions can occur when a person’s head hits the windshield or an object outside of the car.

Contusions occur in the brain tissue under the site which was hit. These injuries are also accompanied by swelling of the brain (edema) and release of toxins that further exacerbate the swelling. High-risk surgeries are required to reduce the pressure, which is often fatal or can result in permanent brain damage.

Symptoms of contusions depend on the area on which the injury was sustained and the severity of the damage. Some common symptoms of a contused patient include cognitive and behavioral changes, difficulty remembering, numbness or tingling sensation in the affected areas, reduced balance and coordination, slurred speech, difficulty in talking and finding it hard to concentrate.

Coup-Contrecoup

A coup-contrecoup occurs when both sides of the brain sustain damage. This type of injury occurs when the brain is jerked suddenly to one side of the head due to an impact, slams against the skull, and then bounces back to slam on the other side of the skull. Coup-contrecoup injuries are often seen in rollover crash victims.

Some of the most common symptoms of coup-contrecoup injuries include swelling and bleeding of the brain, skull fractures, headaches, dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, seizures, unconsciousness, fatigue, short-term amnesia or memory issues, mood disturbance, slurred speech, sensitivity to light and sound and ringing in the ears.

Diffuse Axonal Injury

Diffuse axonal injury is caused by the sudden rotation or shaking of the head that causes the brain structure to tear. This type of injury occurs when a vehicle jerks to a stop during a car crash. The skull keeps moving forward because of inertia but the brain, suspended in its fluid, is unable to move as fast. As a result, it can cause tearing of the brain tissues.

This type of injury is common in high-crash car accidents.

The symptoms of a diffuse axonal injury include headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, and in many cases, loss of consciousness as the injury disrupts the ability of the neurons to transmit messages. In severe cases, diffuse axonal injury can also lead to death.

Penetration

A penetrating brain injury occurs when an object pierces through your skull into the brain. These injuries can occur during car accidents when glass shards from broken windows enter the head or when objects inside the vehicle become deadly projectiles.

Penetrating head injuries also occur as a result of stabbing to gunshot wounds.

These penetrating injuries can have very serious complications like heavy blood loss, bleeding from the nose and ears, seizures, loss of sensation or paralysis of the limbs, breathing difficulties, loss of control of bladder and bowel function, loss of consciousness and coma. Often penetrating brain injuries can lead to death.

Hematoma or Blood Clot

A hematoma is the clotting of blood in the head and is characterized by a pronounced swelling between the skull and the brain. Sometimes, the bleeding and clot occurs inside of the brain. This may lead to epidural hematoma or acute subdural hematoma.

An epidural hematoma is a bleed inside the brain which can occur if a person involved in a motorcycle crash hits the side of the head or the temple on the pavement. If not treated quickly, this injury can be fatal. A lot of times, epidural hematoma is missed because the signs are not exhibited until later.

An acute subdural hematoma is a very serious traumatic brain injury which involves the rupture of several blood vessels in the brain. Most of the time, people with acute subdural hematoma die.

Symptoms of a Brain Injury

Brain injuries are particularly complicated since symptoms are often not exhibited early on. A person who has had a severe trauma to the head may be able to pick himself up, shake his head, and walk home without any signs he was seriously hurt. However, this does not mean the brain was not damaged.

A lot of time people who suffer from brain injury suffer from physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms.

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms can be many and varied and they may or may not be exhibited during the time of the accident. Chronic pain may be one of the major difficulties, since the brain may have trouble processing signals correctly and misinterpret them as pain. Other symptoms include headache, dizziness, nausea, loss of vision, paralysis of the limbs, bleeding from the nose and ears, loss of bowel and bladder function, breathing difficulties, changes in appetite and more.

Cognitive Symptoms

Cognitive symptoms include disorientation, poor concentration, fatigue, insomnia, short term memory loss and post-traumatic amnesia. People who sustain mild brain damage may recover their full memory after a while. However, people with moderate to severe damage may experience partial or total permanent retrograde amnesia. Some people may also suffer from early onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Syndrome.

Emotional Symptoms

Emotional symptoms of people with brain trauma include personality and behavioral changes, like depression, anxiety, irritability, agitation, mood swings, physical and verbal outbursts, lack of empathy, dis-inhibition, poor judgment, intolerance, egocentricity, negativity and impulsive and self-destructive behavior.

The Cost of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain surgery is typically covered by health insurance and includes 10-50 percent or more in copays and coinsurance. Patients who do not have health insurance will need to deal with average costs of $50,000 to $150,000 of medical treatment, according to CostHelper Health, though depending on the severity of the injury actual costs can even run into millions.

Additionally, people who suffer from traumatic brain injuries often cannot return to their older jobs and are left unemployed, which is the reason for the 60 percent unemployment rate of adults two years after sustaining a brain trauma. This further exacerbates the financial hardships for a brain injury victim.

Major Factors in Brain Injury Cases

If you suffer from brain injury, you may hold the at-fault party accountable. Most personal injury claims are based on the theory of negligence. The elements of negligence are listed below:

Duty of Care: This refers to an individual’s responsibility to exercise a reasonable level of care so as to not cause harm to others. For example, car drivers have a duty to be sober and clear-headed and respect traffic rules, while property owners have a duty to maintain their property so that it is safe for visitors and invitees.

Breach of Duty: An individual is deemed negligent if they violated their duty of care. For example, a car driver may breach his duty of care if he is engaged in reckless driving, speeding or is driving under the influence. A store owner may be in breach of duty if he allows spilled liquid to remain in the aisle, causing injury.

Causation: The plaintiff may be able to show a link between the breach of duty by another and the injury sustained by him.

Damage: A plaintiff may be liable to compensation if the injury sustained by him resulted in economic or non-economic damages.

Hiring a Brain Injury Attorney

Brain injuries can be devastating not just to the victim but to their entire family. Even without the high fatality rate, brain injury can result in incapacitating conditions which can stop a person from living their lives the way they used to before the accident and diminish their quality of life.

If you have suffered a brain injury due to a fault of another person, the legal team at Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers strive to help establish the defendant’s liability and pursue the fair and just compensation you deserve.

You may be able to recover your medical treatment, cost of rehabilitation, special home accommodations and equipment in case of disability, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.

At Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we have a combined experience of 40 years in protecting victims of personal injuries. We have successfully helped over 8,000 clients and have recovered $75 million in out-of-court settlements and verdict compensation, for the victims and their families.

Free Consultation with Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers

Our experienced attorneys serving Florida are available for free consultation. We will review your case and help determine whether you are eligible to file a claim for compensation and damages.

Our lawyers offer free case reviews and also take on your case on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t have to pay us anything unless we recover your damages for you, so that you can spend your time healing.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers are available to visit you at home or in hospital. To schedule an appointment with us, call us at 561-800-8000 or 954-800-8000.

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