Brain Injury Attorneys in Chicago
From mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBI), any given brain injury affects each person differently and can be caused by dozens of accidents. Some are fairly common and possibly harmless, but over time can cause serious, long-term damage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 2.87 million TBI emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and/or deaths in 2014. This is a serious issue that still requires more
Scientists are making new discoveries on brain injuries to this day. It can be one of the most life-altering injuries that a person can experience, since it governs your thoughts and behaviors all day and every day. Since the recent spike (largely due to film and sports) in attention paid to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, better known as CTE, the public is more aware of the dangers that brain injuries can pose. We will discuss them in further detail below.
At Agruss Law Firm, LLC, we have helped thousands of clients to seek justice and compensation for personal injuries, and you won’t owe us a penny for our services unless we win your case. If you or a loved one has suffered from any type of brain injury, contact our office today for a free consultation.
Causes of Brain Injuries
Different types of brain injuries can be caused by an endless amount of possibilities. What they come down to is a strong impact, force, shaking, or blow to the head, once or over time, which impairs brain physiology or function. The corresponding changes that can follow any given type of brain injury also vary wildly due to the brain’s complexity and how many aspects of it can be altered in different ways. However, some common and well-known causes of brain injuries include the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents – This is the most common cause of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths related to TBIs for people aged 15-34 years old, according to the CDC. A motor vehicle accident can cause brain injury due to the jolt from a collision, being ejected from the vehicle and hitting your head on the pavement, and a rogue object can even penetrate the skull and affect the brain.
- Falls – A slip and fall, trip and fall, or fall from a height can cause a person to land back on their head and suffer serious hemorrhaging, bruising, or fractures among other injuries.
- Sports – Brain injuries occur relatively often when it comes to sports. Concussions commonly occur, especially in high-contact sports such as football or martial arts, due to the danger of fast and strong contact with competitors. CTE is often cited as one of the worst injuries that a football player can experience due to its potential for long-term and extreme effects.
- Intentional self-harm – Some individuals with psychological disorders or depression may injure themselves in an attempt to take their own life or feel some type of physical pain. This is unfortunate on many levels, especially given the danger that the resulting brain injury can cause.
Common Types of Brain Injuries
- Concussion – A concussion is the most common type of brain injury and can occur with any mild or severe trauma to the head. One may lose consciousness, feel dizzy, nauseous, experience confusion, have a headache or even bleeding. They are classified as being either mild, moderate, or severe. A mild concussion would not make you lose consciousness and symptoms would last less than 15 minutes, whereas a severe concussion makes one lose consciousness from anywhere from 20 minutes to six hours.
- Skull fracture – A skull fracture can break the cranial bone and cause a concussion or physical damage to the brain from the fractured bone. This fracture may be linear (a crack), depressed (part is crushed), or basilar (cerebral spinal fluid leakage at the base of the brain). Depending on where the bone may damage the brain, different aspects of your normal functioning can be compromised.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – A TBI is a fairly general term encompassing a brain injury caused by a strong jolt to the head that disrupts the brain’s normal functioning. Its severity and corresponding treatment varies wildly. Symptoms can begin immediately, or they may appear over an extended period of time. It can cause psychological damage, but one has a better chance of recovery by immediately consulting a doctor.
- Hematoma or hemorrhage – A hematoma can be a blood clot outside of the brain’s blood vessels, while a hemorrhage is uncontrollable bleeding in or around the brain. Both of these can begin a pressure build up in the brain and cause permanent brain damage or death if not promptly treated.
Effects of Brain Injury
Brain injuries can cause countless different symptoms and effects in different areas of a victim’s life. Of course, more mild brain injuries such as a mild concussion or a mild linear skull fracture usually come with a headache, perhaps some nausea, and other small, temporary effects. These would require a consultation with a doctor, prescription of a treatment, and resuming one’s normal activities soon after.
Other, more extreme brain injuries can change a person’s life. The brain has various regions that control different aspects of a person’s everyday thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Depending on where a brain is most severely affected, the corresponding area will suffer, which may or may not outwardly show or affect one’s daily life. Generally speaking, a TBI is an appropriate example of a brain injury that varies in its effects depending on which area bore the brunt of the blow and subsequently is most damaged.
The frontal lobe, at the front of the brain, controls one’s reasoning, planning, emotions, personality, general movement, and some parts of speech. If this part of the brain is damaged, one may experience mood swings, altered emotions, impaired everyday judgement, loss of motivation, short attention span, irritability, or the inability to recognize the consequences of one’s actions.
The parietal lobe is behind the frontal lobe and at the top of the brain. This controls person’s sensory perception, body awareness, visual functions, and reading. Damage to the left side of the parietal lobe can impair one’s ability to read or comprehend words. Damage to the right side can cause a space-motor deficit, causing one to find it difficult to navigate through a new place.
The occipital lobe is in the back of the brain and acts as a visual processing center by analyzing and interpreting what we see. If this lobe is damaged, one may experience visual impairments or loss of vision, colorblindness, and hallucinations.
The temporal lobe is near the base of the brain and controls one’s hearing, memory, and speech. Temporal lobe damage can result in hearing loss, memory loss, impaired facial recognition, language comprehension, altered sexual behavior, and difficulty with organization.
Damages That Can Be Recovered
Clearly, brain injuries can have a devastating effect on a person’s life. If you were in an accident that you believe caused your brain injury, you deserve to get justice for yourself. After the accident, you should take photographs of any external injuries and keep any records of medical visits and/or treatments that you received. Speak to one of our attorneys about pursuing a claim for your injury, and we will handle the technical aspects of the case. We will speak to your doctors about gathering the appropriate documents, we will handle the insurance companies, and we will make sure that you are fairly compensated for what you have endured.
Medical costs for brain injuries are not cheap, and you can be compensated for those expenses in addition to other losses that you have experienced. Some damages that you can recover after a successful brain injury claim include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
If you or a loved one has suffered from a brain injury, contact our office today for a free consultation.
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