Brain Injury Lawyer
Attorney Brian Smith and his team can represent injured victims and relatives of people who have died due to the negligence of doctors, hospitals or corporations, throughout the upstate including Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson. Our team works hard for every client and we understand that every injury is personal.
What Are the Major Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries are injuries to the brain that impair its normal ability to function and control bodily actions. Potentially being catastrophic, traumatic brain injuries tend to be lifelong in nature, requiring continued medical care. These unfortunate tragedies occur when the brain (or body) experiences intense jerking or other forms of blunt-force trauma.
There are numerous events that could result in traumatic brain injury and head injuries. The following list includes the most common causes:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle and bicycle accidents
- Slip-and-fall incidents
- Dog bite injuries
- Workplace accidents
Traumatic brain injuries are broken down into two classifications: open and closed. “Open” traumatic brain injuries refer to injuries that involve an object penetrating the skull and entering the brain. “Closed” traumatic brain injuries are those where there is no transcranial penetration.
Compensation for traumatic brain injuries and head injuries can come in several forms. An attorney would be able to analyze your individual case and determine the best course of action. Brain injuries and head injuries can cause huge expenses. The following are common expenses associated with traumatic brain injuries and head injuries that could be covered by compensation:
- Medical Bills—for anything from the initial emergency care to continuing life-support services to physical therapy;
- Medical Monitoring—for the necessary medical attention needed to monitor for future potential developments caused by the original injury;
- Pain and Suffering—for the short or long-term impairments that affect your ability to live life to the fullest;
- Lost Wages—for the income you lost due to your inability to work caused by the injury;
- Impairment of Earning Capacity—for the loss of potential income due to the inability to perform work related tasks;
- Lifestyle Changes—for the activities you can no longer enjoy due to complications from the injury;
- Future Damages—for the potential additional problems that will come up due to the original injury. For example, individuals who suffer a head injury resulting in permanent brain damage are more likely to develop clinical depression and Alzheimer’s disease;
- Life-Care—for the non-medical care needs that arise from a traumatic brain injury. Among others, this can include help with housework, driving, and assisting with communication;
- Punitive Damages—if the individual who caused your brain injury acted with recklessness, malice, or intent to do harm, additional compensation may be available.
Symptoms Associated With Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Loss of consciousness, ranging from a few seconds to several hours
- Disorientation or confusion (without a loss of consciousness)
- A persistent headache that grows increasingly worse
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping, sleeping more than usual or the inability to rouse from sleep
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Loss of coordination
- Dilation of the pupils
- Convulsions or seizures
- Numbness or weakness in the fingers and toes
- Clear fluids that drain from the nose or ears
Sensory, cognitive, & mental symptoms, including:
- Memory problems
- Sensitivity to light
- Ringing in ears
- Blurred vision
- Changes in ability to smell
- Bad taste in mouth
- Trouble concentrating
- Abrupt mood swings or changes
- Profound confusion
- Unusual behavior, including agitation or combativeness
- Slurred speech
Who May Be Liable For Causing Your Brain Or Head Injury?
The following are a few situations in which traumatic brain damage could occur, along with the potentially liable parties:
- An anesthesiologist who administered too much anesthesia that caused a brain injury, leaving a woman temporarily comatose and causing her permanent brain damage;
- A negligent employer who did not provide proper training in the safe handling of dangerous chemicals and toxic fumes, resulting in an accident that left the employee with an injury to the brain;
- A reckless driver who caused a traffic accident, resulting in a closed head injury and permanent brain damage for the innocent party involved;
- A frustrated child-care provider who shook a baby or small child, causing shaken baby syndrome and potentially other brain related injuries;
- A manufacturer of a pharmaceutical product that triggered a patient’s stroke, resulting in a brain injury;
- An apartment landlord or rental company that allowed lead paint chips to accumulate around the building(s), which a small child ingested, resulting in permanent brain damage and developmental delays (see Premises Liability);
- The municipal owners of a public swimming pool where a lifeguard failed to promptly rescue a drowning child, leading to a brain injury (see Swimming Pool Accidents);
- A school’s governing body after it failed to properly respond to incidents of bullying which culminated in a student being thrown to the classroom floor, where he suffered a closed head injury that caused brain damage; and
- An attending obstetrician who performed a cesarean-section delivery too late, causing brain damage to the infant.
Proving Injuries and Damages Can Be Challenging and Expensive
Traumatic brain injuries are inherently challenging cases. Although the cause of brain damage can sometimes be evident from physical harm to the brain’s tissue, many brain injuries are not easily identifiable, even with an X-ray or CAT-scan (computed axial tomography scan).
To show that a closed-head injury has caused a brain injury, a brain injury lawyer will often use anecdotal evidence by subpoenaing individuals who knew the victim beforehand and can testify to the differences in behavior following the closed-head injury. Often times, these witnesses are close friends or family, people more likely to notice the symptoms exhibited by the victim. In addition, your lawyer will arrange for the testimony of credentialed experts, some of whom may actually be treating the patient’s head injury. Expert witnesses your lawyer may use for brain injury-related cases include (but are not limited to):
- A neurologist—a medical doctor specializing in evaluating head injury victims and treating diseases and disorders of the spine, brain, muscles, and the nervous system as a whole;
- A neurophysiologist—an expert in the workings of the nervous system;
- A neuropsychologist—an expert skilled in both psychology and neuroscience, studying how brain function affects psychological processes and behavioral responses, both before and after a head injury;
- A respiratory therapist—a medical professional who evaluates how brain damage affects breathing capabilities;
- An occupational therapist—a medical professional who assists the head injury victim return to work and perform other daily tasks;
- A physical therapist—a medical professional who helps the brain injury victim recover lost and impaired physical function;
- A cognitive therapist—a medical professional who re-teaches forgotten skills to the person with a head injury; and
- A life-care planner—a professional who assists attorneys in determining the forms of assistance a head injury victim will likely need to achieve maximum functioning.
Brain injuries are traumatic experiences. The pain and suffering individuals and families feel are immense. Brian T. Smith Law can guide you through the complex legal system.