A brain injury can disrupt your life in many ways and, in some situations, completely and permanently change the rest of your life. These are costly injuries, both financially and mentally. When a brain injury is caused due to another’s negligence, it is important to discuss your rights with a Tulsa personal injury attorney.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most debilitating and devastating injuries a person can suffer. In the clinical and legal world, they are considered catastrophic injuries, much like the loss of a limb, paralysis, etc., and justifiably so. According to research, traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of disability for people ages 1-44, and an average of 2.5 million TBIs are suffered each year.
Of those 2.5 million TBIs, around 50,000 result in death, and 80,000 end up causing permanent disability. The long-term to lifelong costs of a brain injury can include ongoing medical treatment, cognitive and physical impairments, lost earning abilities, and more. A TBI typically occurs when force is applied to the brain, either through direct force from an impact with an object, or through the brain’s rapid deceleration in an abrupt stop (often seen in a violent car collision). While every impact to the head won’t necessarily cause a TBI, just because an impact isn’t obviously severe doesn’t mean that a person won’t suffer from a TBI.
TBI’s require a clinical diagnosis: An standard MRI, CT scan, etc. often won’t detect it. Beyond a doctor’s clinical assessment, additional testing and evaluation is usually necessary.
If someone else caused your brain injury, that party should be responsible for any losses that flow from that injury. Below, learn more about the common causes of TBIs, and how a Tulsa personal injury attorney can hold the responsible parties accountable.
The CDC estimates that around 3 million Americans suffer non-fatal injuries in motor vehicle accidents each year. Many of these injuries stem from head trauma, and they can include concussions and moderate to severe TBIs. An occupant of a vehicle involved in a car wreck, for example, is vulnerable to suffering closed head injuries in a crash from hitting the steering wheel, windshield, or any objects that could penetrate the windshield.
Such injuries often aren’t the most visibly apparent, but they still diffuse throughout the brain and cause serious lingering trauma. If you’ve suffered head trauma in an accident, even if you don’t immediately experience some of the symptoms common with a TBI, it is important to seek medical attention for precaution’s sake.
Falls are another common cause of TBIs, and slips and falls can occur anytime or anywhere. They account for 28 percent of all TBIs and can also result in an agonizing skull fracture or internal bleeding. Common risk areas include slippery or wet flooring, uneven steps, and cluttered floors.
While such slips and falls are sometimes unavoidable and simply just stem from you losing your own footing, property owners are legally obligated to uphold certain safety standards. If their aisles are cluttered, construction areas are not zoned off, or they failed to put up a wet floor sign (among other hazards), the business could be liable for your injury-related losses.
Another leading cause of TBI is sporting accidents, which can result in serious head injuries. More and more awareness has been raised about the high risks of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and other conditions in high contact sports like football, hockey, or martial arts, but such serious brain damage can result from low contact sports as well.
A stray fly ball could hit someone, a gymnastics beam could break, or bikers could fall. In many cases, you can’t file a claim for sports-related brain injuries, as there’s an assumption that some level of physical injury risk is to be expected. However, some sports-related brain injuries result from gross negligence, including defective equipment, negligent field conditions, failure to provide medical care, or intentional acts by other players. These might all be grounds for a personal injury claim.
While traumatic brain injuries commonly result from negligence, they can also be afflicted in intentional acts of violence. Domestic violence, gunshot wounds, and assault or battery are all common forms of violence that can leave behind lasting effects of brain injuries. In this instance, you should always take civil action to recover for your losses in addition to any criminal charges that might be issued.
Wandres Law handles a wide variety of cases across the greater Tulsa metro area. Our Tulsa personal injury lawyers work with clients with catastrophic injuries, including TBIs. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a free case evaluation.