Any sort of accident that results in a personal injury can be devastating – especially when it involves the brain. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) will oftentimes lead to a lifetime of debilitation – or even worse. It could happen due to a slip and fall injury, an automobile wreck, or due to any number of various reasons.
The attorneys at Sand Law LLC will be ready to help if you or a loved one suffered neurological issues due to a personal injury accident caused by someone else’s negligence. If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 651-291-7263 or use our online contact form.
Traumatic Brain Injury and Nerve Damage: What Causes These Injuries?
No matter what type of accident leads to a TBI, it’s a horrible injury. You may have been riding a motorcycle and been struck by a motorist who was answering a text. You might have slipped and struck your head because a grocery store employee failed to clean a spill in a timely manner. Whenever someone hits their head, the results can be devastating.
Specifically, when a person’s head hits a hard surface, their brain hits the inside of the skull. This, in turn, can lead to nerve fibers tearing and starting to bleed. When an impact is hard enough, that can result in a skull fracture. Tiny pieces of the skull can also tear brain tissue.
Types of Neurological Damage a Traumatic Brain Injury Can Cause
A TBI can be mild, or it can be severe. Mild injuries will typically heal over time. However, severe injuries can result in the need for extensive – and incredibly expensive – treatment that can last for decades. These are just a few of the effects a TBI can cause.
- Cognitive problems – A TBI can make it hard for a victim to remember even basic things, and make solving the simplest problems seem almost impossible. TBI victims will oftentimes have issues with judgment and may have an extremely short attention span.
- Movement issues – TBIs can rob a victim of their ability to balance themselves, and also lead to severe coordination issues. A person may find it hard to plan their movements, may experience weakness or paralysis, and may even have difficulty swallowing.
- Sensory and perception issues – When someone suffers a TBI, they may lose their ability to see, taste, touch, hear or smell. In some instances, they’ll lose sensation in certain areas of the body. In other cases, victims will experience hypersensitivity. They may even have a hard time being able to tell where their limbs are on their body.
- Communication problems – TBI victims will often find it hard to not only speak, but also to understand when others are speaking to them. They may also experience difficulty finding the right words to express themselves. Difficulty reading, writing and working with numbers is also very common.
- Functional problems – It can be extremely hard for someone with a TBI to function normally on an everyday basis. Simple things, such as paying bills, going shopping, or even dressing or bathing can suddenly become very difficult.
Expenses Related to Treating a Traumatic Brain Injury
More than a million people in the U.S. alone suffer a TBI each year. When a TBI is particularly severe, the costs can run $1,000 a day just for rehabilitation. Other expenses include initial medical treatment and hospitalization, caregivers, ongoing medical care and many, many others. The average TBI can cost around $151,000 in the first year.
In some instances, a person will not survive a TBI. When this happens, the costs can be even higher. Expenses include ventilation, extended hospital stays, and advanced treatments used in an effort to help the brain heal.
Can You Receive Compensation for Neurological Issues After a Car Accident?
The answer to this question is a definitive, “Yes.” However, there is a chance you or your loved one could be considered to be partly to blame for the accident. Minnesota is what is known as a “comparative fault” state. This simply means that if both the injured victim and the other driver are both found to share responsibility, that will affect the amount of compensation the victim will be able to obtain.
Say, for instance, you suffer a TBI after being in a collision with another driver. Then say the total amount of damages are $500,000. If you are found to have been 40% responsible for the accident, then you’ll only be eligible for 60% of the damages – or $300,000. You have to be found less than 50% to blame for an accident to be able to receive any compensation.
There are two main forms of damages you can pursue if you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another party. These are known as “economic” and “non-economic” damages. Here is a brief look at each.
These are tangible expenses you incur as a direct result of the injury. They include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, replacement services and more. Replacement services are services you have to pay for that you would typically be able to do on your own if you weren’t injured. They could include things like getting rides, taking care of your children, and others.
Non-economic damages are subjective. Many accident victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, after suffering a TBI. They relive the day of the accident over and over again, suffering severe mental anguish as a result. Others may experience post-concussion syndrome, or PCS. This can lead to issues such as difficulty sleeping, dizziness and anxiety. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, may be available to those who have to deal with these conditions.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me Win My Case?
In order to have the best possible chance of obtaining the most compensation possible, you’ll need the help of an experienced attorney. Your attorney will gather the evidence needed to strengthen your case, and will also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.