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. Surgical accidents can also occur when the surgeon isn’t careful. If they use a tool improperly, they could cause a brain injury.
- 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 axonals, 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.
The Consequences of a Brain Injury
When you sustain a brain injury, the location of the injury can determine how it affects you. Let’s look at what the areas of the brain control and how an injury can impede its functions.
Parts of the Cortex
The outer layer of the brain is called the cortex, which is divided into four regions: the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, parietal lobe, and occipital lobe.
If the frontal lobe is injured, then you may experience issues with problem-solving and movement. This part of the brain is also in charge of the personality and emotions. Injuries here could cause changes to mood.
The temporal lobe deals with hearing, language, and reading. Speech, perception of sound, and issues with understanding language can occur.
The parietal lobe controls attention, senses, and language as well. Injuries can cause issues with writing and mathematics.
The occipital lobe is located in the back of the brain and is less likely to be injured. However, if this part of the brain sustains trauma, issues with vision and perception can occur.
Treating a Brain Injury
If you have sustained a brain injury, you need to get medical treatment. Some people may think that because they have a minor injury, everything will heal on its own or they may not feel symptoms of an injury. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re healthy.
A brain injury can cause issues weeks, months, and even years after the injury. The person may feel symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.
When people are feeling painful symptoms long after their brain injury, they may not realize it’s connected to that injury. They may try to push through the pain or ignore it and wait for it to get better on its own. However, this can often make the brain injury worse.
If a brain injury worsens, it will likely take longer to heal. This can mean dealing with more severe symptoms, extensive treatment, and a longer time away from work. You may also need to relearn how to do basic daily tasks and activities like cooking or getting dressed.
Waiting for treatment can also affect the compensation you recover. If you didn’t seek medical attention and your injury got worse, then you may not receive compensation to fully cover the costs of your medical treatment because you didn’t see a doctor right after the injury occurred.
When you have to pay for the care out of pocket, you may be put in a financially difficult situation. After any time you sustain brain trauma, get to a doctor for a medical evaluation. Then, you can seek representation from a skilled Cincinnati brain injury lawyer.
Returning to Work After a Brain Injury
Depending on the severity of the brain injury, you may make a full recovery and be able to return to work. It’s imperative to take precautions and speak with your doctor before going back to work.
Unfortunately, missing work can be extremely stressful. It may prompt people to return to work before they’re ready. But this can result in reinjuring themselves or making the injury worse.
When you go back to work, it’s important to clear it with your doctor first. You should also communicate with your employer so you can go over your options when going back to work. While you will likely want to get back to normal as quickly as possible, this may not be the best for you. You may want to see if you can work from home or have a condensed schedule like coming in a few days a week along with shorter hours.
As you work, it’s important to take breaks and evaluate how you’re feeling. If you are struggling or feel pain, you should inform your employer and call your doctor immediately.
Recovering from a brain injury takes time. While it may be frustrating to not be able to work like you used to, taking a gradual approach to returning to work will allow you to not put too much stress and strain on yourself.
While you’re dealing with the hurdles of balancing your recovery and work, your lawyer will be fighting for you to recover full and fair compensation for your injuries. When you need to treat an injury and take time off work, your medical expenses and days away from work can weigh on you. With the compensation you deserve, you won’t have to worry about taking care of your financial responsibilities. Our brain injury lawyers are here for you.
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.