Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is one of the most damaging injuries a person can sustain, and unfortunately, more common than most people realize. Traumatic brain injuries don’t just damage the ability to live a normal day-to-day life.
The medical expenses involved in treating a victim of even a mild TBI can be staggering, draining the finances of families who are already suffering. Long-term physical and mental changes that are disabling are not uncommon, and a victim’s quality of life can be profoundly affected. He or she may be unable to function or work normally.
Although TBI causes and outcomes vary, many head injury survivors deal with problems that change their lives and the lives of those around them forever. Survivors often struggle with physical, cognitive, emotional, communicative, and psychological impairments, and require years of costly rehabilitation and assistance.
The brain injury lawyer team at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. can help you hold the people responsible for your head injury accountable. Read on for more information about the types of brain injuries we can help you with, and how we can help.
What Is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, is an injury that arises typically after a particularly violent, sudden, impact to the head. Head injuries are classified as ‘open’ or ‘closed,’ depending on the type of injury.
An open injury occurs when the skull has been fractured from a fall, collision, or another incident where the head comes into violent contact with a hard object.
A closed head injury does not involve an open wound or fracture, but can be just as serious due to the possibility of brain swelling and blood clots in the skull. It’s a common misconception that TBI occurs only when a person suffers a direct blow to the head and loses consciousness (such as in a car accident).
Traumatic Brain Injuries are classified as “mild” “moderate” or “severe” Do not be mistaken, even a mild traumatic brain injury can be disabling. Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries and can be caused by a minor bump on the head. They can be difficult to diagnose when they don’t involve unconsciousness.
Concussions are usually not life-threatening and victims may recover from a concussion within a few days to a week or side effects may linger for a lifetime.
Moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries are always serious and will likely require major medical intervention and have permanent effects. Victims of moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries face a long recovery period and heavy financial burdens. Our team of traumatic brain injury lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you need to work toward recovery.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
TBI Signs and Symptoms
If you or someone you love have suffered a head injury, look for these symptoms:
- Persistent headache
- Coordination problems
- Memory loss
- Difficulty sleeping
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred or double vision
- Change in temperament or personality
Longer-Term Problems After TBI
- Some of the longer-term problems that occur when someone suffers a TBI include:
- Cognitive Deficits — Short- or long-term memory loss, word-finding problems, shortened attention span, problem solving and judgment deficits, loss of space and time perception
- Behavioral/Psychological — Mood swings, agitation, irritability, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, decreased motivation, isolation and problems in social settings
- Perceptual and Sensory Defects — Loss or change of sensation of taste, smell, hearing, touch, and vision
- Motor Sensory Complications — Weakness, full or partial paralysis, poor balance and coordination, spasticity, reduced endurance, tremors, problems swallowing, seizures
- Language and Communication Problems — Difficulty speaking, writing, reading, planning, and communicating
- Functional Complications — Difficulty with daily activities such as bathing and dressing, organizational problems, executive function (making decisions)
- Traumatic Epilepsy — anywhere from 2 to 5% of TBI victims experience seizures
- Loss of life
If you suspect a person has suffered any type of brain injury, you should:
- Make sure he/she is stable and safe
- Look for a scalp wound; if present, apply a cloth and pressure to the wound
- Give the victim something cold to hold against the wound
- Is the victim alert, coherent and responsive?
- Look for dizziness or nausea, loss of memory, headaches, and confusion
- Seek immediate help if symptoms worsen, such as increased drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, headaches, vomiting, double vision, difficulty walking or speaking
- Seek immediate emergency care if the victim is unresponsive or has a deteriorating level of responsiveness, leaking blood or watery fluid from the nose or ears, or unequal pupil size
- If you believe the person is paralyzed, non-responsive, or has a neck injury, you should not move them, as this could worsen their situation. Call emergency care immediately if this is the case.
Types of Accidents Our Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help With
There is a myriad of accidents that can cause brain injuries, including the following common incidents:
Accidents on the Road
Whether a victim is driving a car, riding a motorcycle or bicycle, walking on the side of the road as a pedestrian, or riding in a truck, the impact of a roadway accident can lead to brain injuries. It doesn’t take much blunt force against the head to cause even a mild traumatic brain injury. In fact, severe whiplash is a common cause of TBI.
Regardless of what type of road accident you are in, our head injury lawyers can investigate the incident and put together a strong injury claim for compensation.
Skiing and snowboarding accidents frequently lead to head injuries.
Falling while descending the mountain at high speed can cause severe head injuries. Even with a helmet on, you can suffer a brain injury because of the speeds involved in skiing or snowboarding.
Our team of brain injury lawyers is equipped to help injured skiers and snowboarders recover compensation after a brain injury suffered on the slopes.
Slips, trips, and falls frequently result in serious head and brain injuries. Falling objects can likewise leave you with a debilitating injury. When these types of incidents occur, the owner of the property where the accident happened may be responsible for your injuries.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
For any legal claim you might have to file, you should always keep in mind the relevant statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations function to limit the amount of time a given party has to file a claim based on a given incident.
The basic statute of limitations for filing a brain injury action in Colorado is the same one that applies to other personal injury claims. This statute allows two years from the date of the injury to file your claim. If you do not discover the injury immediately, however, the time limit only starts to run on the day that you discover the injury.
If your brain injury arose out of a car accident, a different time limit applies. The time limit for injuries arising out of automobile accidents is three years from the date of the injury.
It is important to note that there are a few exceptions to these statutes that can extend the time limit. Many of these rules have fairly complex requirements. As a result, it is best to consult with an attorney about your case’s statute of limitations as soon as possible. Your lawyer may find an applicable exception that gives you more time.
How Can a Brain Injury Attorney Help Me?
An attorney who is experienced in representing victims of traumatic brain injury can help in many ways. Because of the potentially life-changing problems that occur with a traumatic brain injury, a skilled and knowledgeable brain injury attorney can assist victims with finding good medical care, connect them with recovery and counseling groups, coordinate with experts to help develop a life care plan and economic analysis that will determine the value of your claim.
The sooner TBI symptoms are detected, the faster your physicians and brain injury attorney can begin getting you the medical care and compensation you need.
Call Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. Today!
If you are considering filing a brain injury claim in the Boulder area, give us a call. The statute of limitations creates urgency for you to start the claims process as soon as possible. You deserve an ally in your fight to protect your rights—let us be that ally. We will work to resolve your claim to your satisfaction, whether that is achieved by settlement or taking your case to trial. Call Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. today.