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Can You Sue for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

Any time a person is hit on the head falls so their head hits a solid object, or is shaken in such a way that their head moves rapidly back and forth, there is a risk of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). When such an injury occurs, the brain can twist or crash around in the skull, which can cause tissue damage and chemical changes. A TBI can also cause the brain to bounce around inside the skull in a way that causes the brain to swell or become bruised or bloodied, which can also cause damage.

Moderate to severe TBI can cause life-altering symptoms, including memory loss, changes in personality and cognitive function, sleep disturbances, and more. Severe TBI leads to death in about 22 percent of patients and only 26 percent of patients recover fully from a moderate to severe injury. However, mild traumatic brain injuries are still serious and require medical attention. Those who have sustained a mild concussion can still seek financial recovery if their injuries were caused by negligence.

What Constitutes a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?

The main difference between moderate and mild TBIs is that mild injuries and concussions are not considered life-threatening. They can still, however, produce a range of serious and life-altering symptoms, including:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems, including blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue and “brain fog” that makes it hard to concentrate
  • Sensitivity to noise and light
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Balance problems

These symptoms can affect a patient’s ability to work, study, and live their life. Symptoms can go away within ten days to three months, but in some cases can persist for over a year. Treatment is available to help manage such symptoms.

How Does a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Commonly Happen?

Concussions and mild traumatic brain injury can happen much the same way as a severe TBI can. The main difference is the force of the impact, but any time there is a blow to the head or a person’s body is shaken violently, there is a risk of concussion. Common causes for concussions and mild TBIs include:

  • Sports injuries
  • Workplace accidents
  • Car and truck accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Assault
  • Falls, including slip and fall incidents

Often, it is not immediately apparent whether a TBI is mild or severe; even severe TBIs may not produce symptoms right away. For this reason, if you have suffered any head injury or fall where you have hurt your head, it is important to consult with a doctor immediately. Treat the situation as a potential medical emergency, because it may be. A doctor can run imaging tests to determine whether there is bleeding or swelling in the brain. He or she can also evaluate cognitive function, memory, vision, and other potential issues which can occur with any TBI, allowing for prompt medical treatment if you need it.

What’s The Recovery Like?

Since every injury is different, it is important to consult with a doctor about a treatment plan and to follow recommendations. Typically, in the first 24 hours after a concussion, you will be asked to avoid any medications which can cause bleeding and you may be closely monitored in case your situation changes. For the first few days, you may be asked to avoid any physical or mental exertion and to rest as fully as possible.

Symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury can last more than a few days. At that stage, your doctor may suggest medications and pain management if you need it. As symptoms ease, you may be cleared to gradually return to your regular activities. However, if symptoms worsen or new symptoms arise, it is important to alert your physician immediately.

Some patients develop post-concussion syndrome, though research is still needed to determine why some patients develop the condition and some do not. With post-concussion syndrome, symptoms can persist for months or even over a year, requiring patients to get ongoing pain management and care.

Long-term, a mild brain injury can also increase a patient’s risk of complications. One study of athletes found that players with concussions had a 50 percent heightened risk of subsequent concussions. Another study concluded that not only do concussions increase the risk of later head injury, but they also may lead to slower recovery times. Some researchers have also found that concussions may increase the risk of mental health conditions, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease in patients.

Since every patient experience is different, physical recovery and the costs of a concussion can vary widely. Some studies have shown that a mild TBI can cost $27,260 to $32,760. Patients with a very mild concussion may pay only a few thousand dollars while someone with post-concussion syndrome may pay considerably more.

In addition to the medical costs of a concussion, patients need to consider the incidental costs of their injury. Because of their concussion, patients may lose income because they cannot work, for example, or they may need to hire in-home support as they recover. This, too, can increase costs. If you have suffered a concussion and would like an accurate estimate of how much your injury may cost, you may wish to consult with a traumatic brain injury lawyer.

How Do You Know When You Have a Case on Your Hands?

If your traumatic brain injury was caused by someone’s actions or by negligence, you may have a claim. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to determine whether negligence played a role in your injury. Whether you have suffered a TBI in a sports practice, car accident, workplace injury, fall, or any incident, you may wish to consult with a traumatic brain injury lawyer. Experienced personal injury lawyers with a focus on traumatic brain injuries have the resources and the knowledge to determine liable parties and can help you determine if you have a case.

What’s The Process Like If You Decide to Sue?

If you do have a claim and decide to seek financial recovery, you may work with your traumatic brain injury lawyer to file a claim. The process involves multiple steps, and your attorney can take care of many of these stages in a lawsuit:

  • Filing the lawsuit so the defendants are informed of the claim and can respond
  • Discovery, a process during which each side gathers and exchanges facts and evidence related to the case
  • Negotiation and mediation
  • A trial, if no agreement can be reached

At any point during the process, the lawsuit process can be stopped if all parties reach an agreement about financial recovery. The defendants may make an offer, and the plaintiff can review the offer with their attorney and respond. Since both negotiations and a potential trial can be part of the process, working with a traumatic brain injury lawyer experienced in both litigation and negotiations is important.

How Can FVF Help?

FVF is different. Our goal is to help clients secure financial recovery, but our primary focus is on people, not just cases. Our values-driven law firm is committed to educating and powering clients first. In no-pressure, no-cost consultations, we help clients understand their potential case and the laws that can affect their claim. This paves the way for clients to make informed decisions and to stay in the driver’s seat of their case.

If you are looking for brain injury claims attorneys with more than 80 years of combined experience as well as integrity, contact FVF for a free, honest consultation. We would love to answer your questions and help you sort out your options.

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FVF

Fogelman & Von Flatern is a personal injury law firm that believes it matters why we practice law: to make sure good people in unfair circumstances who want reasonable options are taken seriously, especially by their attorney. We value transparency, compassion, and justice, and we strive to embody that in our practice. At FVF, you can trust that you've got the best people on your case, for the right reasons.

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