Virginia traumatic brain Injury attorneys
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a phenomenon doctors are learning more and more about, and what they’re discovering is disturbing. What’s equally disturbing is how much we don’t know about this type of injury. A TBI is often invisible and hard to prove in a legal case: as attorneys, we have to show the jury how you were before the injury and how you are now. We might use high school report cards or testimony from co-workers.
More than any other organ in the human body, our brain defines who we are. It determines our personalities, our aptitudes, who we choose as friends, and with whom we have successful relationships. It’s sad to think that a blow to the head has the potential to erase who we are and replace us with a person our friends and family haven’t met.
No one starts out with a TBI; it is acquired through injury. If that injury was brought about by another party’s negligence, compensation is owed to the victim.
If you or a loved one suffers from TBI, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Filing a claim can be complicated, however; and doing so without a lawyer can easily lead to your missing out on tens of thousands of dollars in your settlement. To find out more about your rights and options, and receive excellent legal advice, contact the experienced team at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Call (804) 413-6777 for a free consultation.
TBI and its link to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) have gotten a lot of press coverage in the last few years, because of soldiers wounded by IEDs (improvised explosive devices), the early dementia of ex-athletes such as hockey star Stan Makita, and the suicides of former NFL players Dave Duerson and Junior Seau.
While much is still unknown about the long-term effects of brain injuries, doctors have identified certain symptoms that indicate someone has suffered a TBI. If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms after a head injury, see a physician immediately.
- Chronic headache
- Trouble concentrating
- Memory loss
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of coordination
- Sensitivity to light
Blows to the head are the most common cause of TBI. While the brain is protected by the thick skull, it is not safe from harm when the head suffers trauma. The brain moves around inside the skull. So hitting your head against an object, or experiencing whiplash, during which your head is whipped back and forth, causes your brain to slam into the sides of the skull, leading to bruising and bleeding.
Common accidents during which you may experience this kind of trauma to the brain include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bike accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Swimming pool falls or near-drownings
- Assaults due to negligent security
Other causes of TBI exist as well, including deceleration injuries (diffuse axonal injury), toxic chemicals (lead, carbon monoxide, insecticides), lack of oxygen, brain tumors, infections (encephalitis, meningitis), and stroke. Whatever the cause may be, TBIs can lead to serious consequences that may last the rest of your life.
That brain is responsible for controlling all functions of the body. It keeps the heart pumping, the lungs breathing, and the limbs moving. When you suffer brain damage, many different functions of your body may be interrupted. You could suddenly begin to suffer from hearing loss or vision loss. You could lose the ability to move parts of your body, such as your arms or legs. This could leave you partially paralyzed, meaning you could need assistance from a walker or wheelchair for the rest of your life. All of these results could have serious implications for your ability to work and earn a living.
Serious brain damage can also affect your ability to think clearly. Your thoughts can become muddled or hazy, and it may take you a long time to grasp a concept that may have once been easy for you. Similarly, your memory could be affected. You may find yourself struggling to recall events from your past, or even things that happened a few minutes ago. This kind of cognitive disability can severely impact your ability to work, as well as to live an independent life.
The brain is complex, and your life can be affected in countless ways when it is injured. Some conditions may get better through proper treatment and physical therapy, but that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Even then, you aren’t guaranteed that you will ever fully recover from brain damage. A brain injury can leave you in immense medical debt, out of work, and seemingly without options.
A brain injury can affect every aspect of a person’s life. If your TBI can be linked to the negligence of another party, you can seek compensation for your losses. While a personal injury claim may not be your first thought after such a serious accident, it should certainly be considered as soon as possible. In Virginia, the statute of limitations on personal injury claims is two years. While that may sound like a long time, recovering from a brain injury can take years itself and require a great deal of focus and energy. Your deadline for filing a claim may come sooner than you realize.
What economic damages can I recover?
If you do file a claim within the time limit, you can recover compensation for two categories of damages. The first is economic damages, which includes all losses that are financial. In other words, if you lost money due to your accident, chances are you can recover compensation for it. Some common examples include:
- Past, present and future medical bills
- Lost wages from missed work
- Loss of career or earning potential
- Costs of therapy and rehabilitation
- Costs of assistive equipment
- Household and vehicle modification (wheelchair ramps, lifts, etc.)
- Cost of in-home care (nurses, etc.)
What non-economic damages can I recover?
When it comes to an injury as devastating as TBI, financial loss isn’t the only hardship you will experience. That’s where non-economic damages come in. This category allows you to receive compensation for losses that are not monetary. Some common non-economic damages are:
- Mental trauma
- Emotional duress
- Permanent disability
- Damages for loss of joy of life
- Pain and suffering
Similarly, if your loved one suffered a head injury and lost his or her life, then you can file a claim against the responsible party to recover proper compensation. This kind of claim is called a wrongful death claim, and many of the recoverable damages are similar to the recoverable damages in a personal injury claim. But no matter which type of claim you file, you are unlikely to get a large enough settlement, unless you work with an experienced Virginia attorney.
A brain injury affects more than just the victim -- it affects the victim’s friends and entire family as well. A victim can go from being the primary breadwinner for a family to being a dependent. Such a sudden change can have a financially catastrophic impact on you and your loved ones. Filing a claim is the best way to make sure that your family can continue to live comfortably while you recover.
That’s why you should call GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys today. It is free to meet with us. We consider it a calling to help people and their loved ones who are dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophic TBI. Call us at (804) 413-6777 for your free case evaluation. We will share with you all of your legal options so that you can choose the right path forward for you and your family.
- After a crash, watch out for these symptoms of brain injury
- One veteran’s story: A heroic recovery from traumatic brain injury
- Brain Basics: Know Your Brain - NIH
- Brain Injury Association of America
- Traumatic Brain Injury - MedlinePlus
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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.