The brain is incredibly fragile and suspended in fluid within the skull. The skull and fluid (which acts like a shock absorber) are designed to protect the brain from injury. However, these natural safety measures are sometimes insufficient to prevent mild to severe brain injuries.
Mild brain injuries, like a concussion, are not serious if treatment is sought as soon as possible. However, even the mildest injury to the brain can quickly result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The effects of a TBI are life-changing and can have long-term consequences or even be permanent.
If a brain injury has been caused by an accident, you may have legal recourse to seek compensation from the person responsible for the accident and therefore your injury. The Macon brain injury lawyers at Bethune Law Firm are here to provide skilled legal representation in these types of claims.
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What Are The Different Types Of Traumatic Brain Injury And Common Causes?
There are many different types of brain injuries that can result from a variety of different events. Medically, brain injuries are placed into one of the following 7 categories:
Open injuries where the skull has been breached and the brain penetrated. A bullet wound or object that has entered the brain are examples of these types of TBI. Open injuries most often have noticeable trauma to the skull or brain.
Closed injuries where the skull has been injured and penetrated but the brain is not damaged as a result. These types of TBI commonly occur as a result of car accidents or falls.
Deceleration injuries where the head is impacted hard enough for the brain to collide with the skull, often repeatedly. These types of injuries are commonly referred to as a concussion and can be mild to severe. Even a mild concussion can become serious if not treated. Car accidents are falls are the leading causes of concussive brain injuries. Closed injuries are not noticeable and can often only be diagnosed with the use of an MRI or CT scan.
Injuries that are chemical or toxic and result from hazardous substances such as carbon monoxide, pesticides, lead and so on penetrating the brain. These brain injuries occur as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals or hazardous substances. The effects of chemicals on the brain can go unnoticed for an extended period of time and an MRI scan, CT scan, blood, and other tests are required to confirm the injury as well as the cause.
Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen to the brain and can occur as the result of a heart attack, stroke, drowning, suffocation, etc. The symptoms of hypoxia are often only noticeable by a trained medical professional.
Medical diseases or conditions such as strokes, tumors or infection of the brain tissue. MRI scans, CT scans, and other tests are required to diagnose diseases or health conditions that result in traumatic injuries that are caused by medical reasons.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Traumatic Brain Injury?
It is critical to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a brain injury in order to seek treatment as soon as possible. Brain injuries that are not treated quickly can deteriorate and the consequences may be more severe. The following are some of the most common symptoms of brain injuries:
- Extreme tiredness or fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Repetitive or persistent headaches
- Dizziness or faintness
- Trouble remembering or memory loss
- Mood swings and emotional outbursts
- Difficulty with balance
- Light or noise sensitivity
- Difficulty performing basic daily tasks
If you notice any of these symptoms after a car accident or receiving a blow to the head, seek medical attention immediately.
Why Is It Important To See A Doctor After A Head Injury?
Head injuries are often not immediately noticeable unless there is apparent damage to the skull or brain (open injuries). The signs and symptoms of a brain injury may also be delayed or misconstrued. It is therefore critical to consult a medical doctor as soon as possible after an impact to the skull or car accident to determine if a brain injury has occurred.
It is also important to see a doctor to assess the extent of the injury and treat it accordingly. Brain injuries that are left untreated will get worse and result in more severe long-term consequences.
Why Should I Hire a Macon Brain Injury Lawyer?
Medical expenses, loss of income due to the inability to work, and emotional distress are all direct consequences of a traumatic brain injury. If the injury resulted from a car accident, fall or blow to the head from a falling object, you may have legal recourse to claim compensation for these losses.
A personal injury lawyer specializing in TBI cases will investigate your case, determine who is liable, and assess the types of losses you experienced and the amount that you can claim. Lawyers are expert negotiators and will attempt to reach a settlement with the liable party to spare you the cost, time and stress of a trial in court.
Should the liable party not settle or offer insufficient compensation for your losses, your lawyer will prepare and present your case in court. You are more likely to receive a favorable outcome and fair compensation with a lawyer by your side.
Can Insurance Companies Obtain My Past Medical Records?
In most personal injury cases, an insurance company will pay compensation for your claims. In the case of a car accident, the liable party’s car insurance provider will pay. In the case of a slip & fall injury, the property owner’s insurance will pay. These types of insurance are called liability insurance.
These insurance companies need to access your medical records so that they can establish how much they need to pay for your medical bills. They also use this information to corroborate that you did in fact sustain the injuries that you are claiming for.
However, insurers do not have an inherent right to access private and confidential medical records. They may only do so if you have signed a release of the information. You don’t have to sign the release. If you don’t sign, it is however unlikely that your claim will be paid.
Speak to a lawyer at Bethune Law Firm to find out if signing the release of your medical records is in your best interests.
What Happens If An Insurance Company Refuses To Pay Medical Bills?
Insurers are notorious for looking for any reason they can find to refuse to pay claims. The law does however provide protection against this. If your insurer or the insurance provider of a liable party refuses to pay your medical bills, you need to contact a lawyer.
Personal injury lawyers know all the tricks that insurance companies employ to refuse to pay claims and are experienced at using the law to their advantage to force them to pay. Often, just one letter from a lawyer can persuade an insurer to pay up.
What Compensation Can I Receive for a Brain Injury?
Claims for losses incurred as a result of a traumatic brain injury can include the following:
Past medical bills include emergency care, doctor’s consultations, procedures and surgeries, medication and any other treatments or therapies that were performed. Remember to keep all your medical bills, reports and doctor’s notes as proof of the financial loss that you incurred.
Medical expenses that may arise in the future. Ongoing care both in and out of hospital are often necessary for an extended period of time after a traumatic brain injury. Home care or care at a rehabilitation facility may also be required after being released from hospital. Physical, occupational, speech and other types of therapies are important to aid recovery.
Loss of wages and income that result from time off work during recovery or the loss of employment as a result of the brain injury. Future loss of income may also form part of the claim.
Non-economic damages that cannot be assigned an exact monetary value such as pain & suffering and emotional distress. These types of claims can also be awarded where the injury prevents the injured party from partaking in activities they may have enjoyed before the injury. TBI victims and their dependents or loved ones can also claim for loss of consortium.
Punitive damages may be awarded in the event that the liable party is found to have been willful or malicious in their behavior in causing the injury.
Review Your Legal Options With Our Attorneys
A traumatic brain injury can be a devastating, life-changing event. The recovery process is often long and challenging for both the victim and their families. Financial losses exacerbate the problem exponentially. Let the expert brain injury lawyers at Bethune Law Firm in Macon, Georgia take care of ensuring that you receive fair compensation for your losses so that you can focus on your recovery. Call Bethune Law Firm on 1-800-INJURED to schedule a consultation to assess your TBI case today.