As one of the largest and most complex organs in the human body, the areas of the brain work together to direct our body’s internal functions and integrates sensory impulses and information to let us form thoughts, perceptions, and memories. In the event someone is in a severe accident and their brain is damaged, the consequences can be severe. When someone else is to blame for an accident, a Cincinnati brain injury lawyer can help the victim recover compensation for their injuries and losses.
At Bey & Associates, LLC, our attorneys represent individuals in Cincinnati and the surrounding areas of Ohio when they’ve been wrongfully injured. We have extensive experiences helping victims recover their monetary losses, so they have the chance to recover physically and mentally.
Personal Injury Claims and Brain Injuries in Ohio
Our firm handles a variety of brain injury claims. No matter how your injury happened, if you believe negligence played a role, we can look into your situation to determine if you have a valid personal injury claim. Some of the most common claims we see involve the following types of accidents:
- Traffic Collisions. When two vehicles are traveling, especially at high speeds, and they collide, all of those involved are at risk of sustaining a brain injury. In the event a person’s head collides with the windshield, a passenger window, or an object in the car, they will need to be evaluated for head trauma. The severity of the injury is often worse when the accident involves a tractor-trailer or a motorcyclist.
- Work Accidents. Industries like construction, retail, and agriculture are inherently more dangerous than other industries. As such, workers need to take extra precautions when it comes to operating equipment and wearing the right safety gear. In the event a worker falls or gets hit in the head, they could sustain a brain injury.
- Slip and Falls. Slip and fall accidents are most common among older individuals—especially when they live alone or are neglected in nursing home facilities. When someone falls, they could hit their head on a nearby object and sustain significant trauma.
- Medical Malpractice. Brain injuries related to medical malpractice often have to do with oxygen deprivation. In the event a patient’s oxygen isn’t monitored properly during surgery or a procedure, they could sustain permanent brain damage.
- Sporting Accidents. Sports like football or hockey that involve heavy physical contact have the potential to result in head injuries. Even with protective equipment like helmets, a player can still sustain severe head trauma. There are also significant risks and consequences associated with repeated sports-related brain injuries.
If you do not see your accident discussed above, you can still reach out to us. We have experience with all types of claims, and we’re prepared to take yours on next.
Types and Levels of Brain Injuries
When an accident results in a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it’s imperative the victim gets medical attention immediately. When a patient is evaluated for a brain injury, the attending physician will conduct tests to determine the type and degree of the injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, doctors may be able to stabilize the patient and allow the brain to begin healing itself.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries are the result of trauma. Most brain injury claims are filed on the basis of a TBI. Common TBIs include concussions, contusions, coup-contrecoups, diffuse anoxals, and penetration.
Concussions are the most common brain injury and are generally the easiest to manage and recover from. Concussions are caused by a direct blow to the head or violent shaking—both of which can easily happen in a car accident. The person may or may not experience a brief loss of consciousness, pain, light sensitivity, and mood swings, and it can take weeks to months for the injury to heal.
A contusion is essentially a bruise on the brain. When the bleeding is significant, larger contusions need to be removed via surgery. While a contusion typically only impacts the part of the brain that was directly hit, a coup-contrecoup happens when the site of the impact and the complete opposite side of the brain are bruised. This means that the force of the impact was strong enough to contuse the site of impact and move the brain hard enough into the opposite side of the skull to cause another bruise.
If an accident causes strong shaking or rotation of the head, the brain structures can tear—which is known as diffuse axonal. Extensively damaged nerve tissue throughout the brain can result in life-long complications or death. Some patients experience widespread brain damage or coma.
Penetration injuries, the majority of which are the result of firearms, are the most fatal brain injury. When an object travels as a low rate of speed through the skull, it can ricochet with the skull and cause significant damage. In the event an object enters the skull, goes through the brain, and exits the skull, brain tissue may be sheared, stretched, or ruptured.
Acquired Brain Injury
In opposition to traumatic brain injuries, acquired brain injuries (ABI) are the result of events like strokes, tumors, anoxia, hypoxia, toxins, near-drownings, and other conditions not caused by an external force.
Anoxia and hypoxia are both related to a lack of oxygen. Anoxia occurs when the brain doesn’t receive any oxygen and the brain cells begin to die. Hypoxia occurs when the brain receives some, but not enough oxygen.
Personal injury claims can be filed for acquired brain injury if negligence resulted in the harm. For example, a doctor can be held accountable if they were negligent and a baby sustained a brain injury during both because they suffered from a lack of oxygen.
Glasgow Coma Scale
Brain injuries are categorized using the Glasglow Coma Scale, which separates them into three categories: mild, moderate, and severe. The scale outlines common symptoms associated with each degree of severity, as well as potential outcomes.
A mild traumatic brain injury usually results in a brief loss of consciousness or no loss of consciousness. Often times, testing or scans of the brain appear normal—like with a minor concussion, for example. Minor brain injuries are only diagnosed when there is a change in the mental status at the time of injury.
A moderate brain injury results in loss of consciousness for a few minutes up to a few hours. A person may experience confusion for days or weeks, and any physical, cognitive, or behavioral changes and impairments can last for months or a lifetime. Fortunately, patients with moderate brain injuries usually make a good recovery or learn to compensate for any challenges.
As the most life-threatening, severe traumatic brain injuries are often the result of crushing blows or penetrating wounds. Brain tissue can be crushed, ripped, or sheared. While a severe brain injury can happen inside the skull, the majority are open head injuries. They typically result in a wide range of short- or long-term changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, and emotions.
Legal Rights and Options for Brain Injury Victims in Cincinnati
Personal injury claims can be a challenge to file and win without the right legal counsel by your side. Fortunately, our Cincinnati attorneys understand how to handle brain injury claims and are prepared to guide you through the process.
To successfully file a claim, we’ll collect evidence that proves how the other party was negligent. This will involve medical records, expert witness testimony, proof of lost wages, and photographs from the accident scene, if applicable.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to recover both economic and noneconomic compensation. Economic compensation, which is based on real monetary values, can cover medical bills, lost wages, and property loss. Noneconomic damages, which are based on more subjective losses, help cover pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium in the event of the passing of a spouse.
It’s important to note that personal injury claims are subject to statutes of limitations. A statute of limitations establishes the timeframe any one person has to file a claim. There are different deadlines depending on the case, but most personal injury cases are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This means that an accident victim has two years from the date of the incident that caused their brain injury to bring a claim forward. In the event the deadline passes, the victim will no longer be eligible for recovery.
Learn More From Bey & Associates, LLC
No matter what your circumstances, you deserve the chance to recover from what you were wrongfully put through. When you work with Cincinnati brain injury lawyer from Bey & Associates, LLC, we’ll help you pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries and suffering. In the event you’ve lost a loved one from a brain injury and believe negligence played a role in their accident, we can help you file a wrongful death claim.
The sooner you get in touch with us after our accident, the better your chances are of maximizing your recovery. Once you contact us, we’ll schedule a free consultation to discuss the merits of your case and what your best options are to secure your future.