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How Do I Know If I Need a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney?

Thursday, April 29, 2021

No one plans on sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI). If the unexpected happens and you or a loved one suffer a brain injury, however, it is critical to prepare for the process ahead. You may need to hire a traumatic brain injury attorney in Dallas if someone else’s careless or reckless actions caused your injury. Seeking the advice of a legal professional can ensure the protection of your rights at a critical time in your life.

What Caused Your Traumatic Brain Injury?

Not every traumatic brain injury gives the victim the right to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. In Texas, an injured victim will only have grounds to seek financial compensation if another person or party caused or contributed to the injury in question.

Some of the most common accidents that cause traumatic brain injuries and give the victim the right to file a lawsuit are:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Slip, trip and fall accidents
  • Ladder falls
  • Sports impacts
  • Physical assaults, abuse or violence
  • Explosions

These types of incidents are often preventable and stem from someone else’s negligence, such as a distracted driver or careless property owner. In personal injury law, negligence is the failure to apply an adequate amount of care based on the circumstances. If you believe someone else’s negligence caused your TBI, you may need an attorney to assist you with the claims process.

Do You Have a Complicated Case?

If you do have grounds to file a lawsuit in Texas, you could be eligible for financial compensation for your past and future medical expenses, physical therapy, medications, surgeries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to obtain a fair amount for a traumatic brain injury – especially a severe TBI that will result in long-term economic and noneconomic damages.

If your traumatic brain injury case involves any of the following complications, it is imperative to hire an attorney to help you navigate the legal process:

  • Long-term or permanent effects from a TBI
  • Ongoing medical care or rehabilitation
  • The inability to work
  • Multiple at-fault parties
  • A liability dispute between insurance companies
  • Lack of adequate insurance coverage
  • Wrongfully denied insurance claim

Obstacles during a brain injury claim can get in the way of your ability to obtain the financial compensation your family needs to pay for necessary medical care. Only a personal injury lawyer will have the knowledge, resources and experience to successfully handle these issues if they arise.

How Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Help?

Most personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. This means you will not pay a penny in attorney’s fees unless he or she obtains financial compensation for your damages. This can help you make a decision if you were hesitating based on the cost of an attorney.

If you are not sure whether you need a traumatic brain injury attorney to represent you during a claim, review all of the ways an attorney can help you during a claim. A TBI lawyer can:

  • Connect you to brain injury specialists in Dallas
  • Answer your legal questions
  • Investigate your accident
  • Collect and preserve key evidence
  • Obtain copies of medical records and police reports
  • File an insurance claim on your behalf
  • Negotiate for the compensation you deserve
  • Take your TBI case to trial, if necessary

Most importantly, a traumatic brain injury attorney in Dallas can give you the peace of mind you need to concentrate your attention on healing and recuperating. You can rest assured that your attorney is fighting for justice and maximum financial compensation on your behalf while you focus on medical treatments and rehabilitation.

For more information about how a traumatic brain injury attorney can help you, request a free consultation at The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C.

Posted by admin at 8:58 pm

What Are The Long-Term Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The brain is an all-important organ that is responsible for controlling voluntary and involuntary bodily functions. Most patients fully recover from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that cause short-term disruptions to the brain’s ability to properly function. Some, however, suffer severe TBIs with long-term effects that last for months, years or life.

The Long-Term Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Loss of Motor Skills

The brain controls the body’s motor system, mostly using the frontal lobes. It sends outputs for coordinating movements through the spinal cord to move specific muscles. If a certain part of the brain gets injured and can no longer function the way it should, this can affect the victim’s motor function and fine motor skills.

Some of the long-term physical effects of a traumatic brain injury may include difficulty walking, standing, jumping, holding heavy items, balancing, coordinating complex movements and writing. Although physical therapy and rehabilitation can help, with severe traumatic brain injuries, the impact on the victim’s motor skills can be permanent.

Sensory Effects

A TBI can impact the sensory and perceptual parts of the brain, leading to long-term changes in hearing, vision and sensation. A severe brain injury can result in hearing problems such as chronic tinnitus, diminished hearing or increased sensitivity to sounds. It can also cause long-term blurred vision, involuntary eye movements and loss of vision. Some patients also note trouble with touch, such as difficulty perceiving temperature and mixing up touch and pressure.

Cognitive Difficulties

Damage to any part of the brain can result in long-term cognitive challenges. Some patients are able to restore their cognitive abilities over time with exercises, treatments and therapies. Others, however, suffer long-lasting cognitive problems, such as:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty thinking or problem-solving
  • Trouble with math or reading
  • Problems with comprehension
  • Lack of attention span
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Problems with motivation
  • Impaired reasoning
  • Impaired empathy towards others

The cognitive effects of a traumatic brain injury can make it difficult or impossible for a victim to return to his or her normal life. The victim may have to receive training for a different type of career, for example, or may struggle in school.

Trouble Communicating

If the part of the brain in charge of speech and language (the left hemisphere) gets injured, it can impact the victim’s ability to articulate ideas and correctly use language to communicate. The victim may also have physical trouble using the tongue and throat, leading to difficulty talking and swallowing. These issues can reduce a victim’s quality of life by blocking the ability to communicate.

Personality or Behavioral Changes

Many patients with serious brain injuries report changes in their moods, personalities and behaviors. This is because the limbic system of the brain governs emotions, thoughts and feelings. Changes to how the brain works after a serious injury can lead to long-term alterations in how the victim acts and behaves. The victim may be more prone to outbursts, anger or irritability after a TBI, for example.

Increased Risk of Certain Medical Conditions

Studies have shown that suffering a brain injury puts a patient at an increased risk of developing certain medical and mental health conditions later in life. Even if the victim appears to have fully recovered physically from the TBI, he or she can remain vulnerable to mental health disorders for decades. These may include:

  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Second-impact syndrome
  • Brain diseases
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)

It is not always possible to recover from a traumatic brain injury. Many victims experience long-lasting or chronic effects that significantly interfere with their lives. If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury in an accident in Dallas, do not hesitate to contact an attorney for legal advice on how to fight for justice and financial compensation.

Posted by admin at 8:54 pm

How a Traumatic Brain Injury Can Lead to Risks of Suicide

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Traumatic brain injuries and mental health have a close connection. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to many physical, emotional and behavioral changes in a survivor. These changes could cause an overall decrease in a survivor’s enjoyment and/or quality of life. A TBI may also cause conditions such as depression and anxiety. Together, these factors unique to TBIs could ultimately increase the risk of suicide.

TBIs and Suicide

 Multiple studies have shown a link between TBIs and suicidal thoughts and actions in survivors. Most of these studies identify the highest risk of suicide in the first six months after a brain injury. Daily struggles with symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and cognitive issues can drive some patients to suicide. The risk of suicide is around three times as high in the first six months after a TBI than afterward, according to some estimates. An extensive study in Denmark, however, focused on the long-term increases in the risk of suicide for people with TBIs.

 In the long term, a traumatic brain injury can alter the way the brain works, making it difficult for a survivor to do things he or she used to be able to do easily. These may include exercising, enjoying favorite activities, engaging in sports or hobbies, playing with kids, comprehending basic facts, and communicating with loved ones. A TBI can impact communication, comprehension, basic math skills, memory, motor skills and more. These changes can lead to depression in survivors, who may start to feel hopeless or frustrated about the future. Issues such as losing one’s job can exacerbate these feelings.

 A TBI can also impact a survivor’s emotions, leading to feelings the person may not have had before. These can include frustration, irritability, insensitivity, aggression, anger and sadness. Personality changes and issues such as mood swings and outbursts are also common. Overwhelming negative feelings on top of difficulties with day-to-day activities or an overall decrease in quality of living can increase the risk of suicide for someone with a brain injury. 

traumatic brain injury lead to suicide

Warning Signs of Suicide in a TBI Survivor

 If you have a loved one who survived a traumatic brain injury, keep the increased risk of suicide in mind. Watch for any potential warning signs of depression or suicidal thoughts. Life events such as divorce, substance abuse, unemployment, or depression diagnoses can make suicidal thoughts or actions even more likely. Detectable signs can mean a heightened risk of suicide in the following minutes or days. Act quickly to get your loved one help if you notice any red flags.

  • Making statements about suicide
  • Threatening self-harm
  • Seeking access or information to means of suicide
  • Talking about feelings of hopelessness
  • Withdrawing from social activities
  • Posting about suicide on social media
  • Purchasing a gun
  • Refusing to receive treatment for depression
  • Isolating oneself
  • Abusing alcohol and/or drugs
  • Displaying severe mood swings

 If you notice any potential signs of suicidal thoughts or behaviors in your loved one, take immediate action. Request assistance from a crisis hotline 24/7, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). Do not leave your loved one alone. Call 911 if you have an emergency. Tell a trusted friend or family member about what is happening. Encourage your loved one to talk about his or her feelings with a professional. Do not keep any promises to keep suicidal thoughts a secret. Offer support by being someone your loved one can talk to, setting up professional assistance, encouraging communication, and reassuring him or her that things will get better.

Your Legal Rights as Someone With a TBI

 If you or a family member sustained a traumatic brain injury in a preventable accident in Texas, consider your legal rights while you seek treatments for your physical and emotional injuries. The person who caused your accident may be legally responsible for your TBI and related treatments – including psychological care and therapies. A defendant may be liable for your emotional distress, mental anguish and lost quality of life as well as your economic damages. Contact a Dallas brain injury lawyer for advice about a TBI lawsuit and emotional distress.

Posted by admin at 5:00 pm

What Is the Difference Between a Concussion and a TBI?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have numerous detrimental effects. Though each injury is unique, a person with a TBI may experience emotional disturbances, changes in cognition, memory loss, insomnia, and other symptoms. It can be difficult to understand the differences in the types of TBI, which may go by different names. Learn the varying degrees of TBI and what to expect from each condition.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is one of the mildest types of TBI. It results from an external force, such as blow or bump to the head. Concussions may also arise from falls or other outside trauma. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the most common causes of concussions are falls, motor vehicle accidents, playing recreational sports, and violent crime.

A concussion usually results from the brain making contact with your skull. A doctor may describe a concussion as a mild TBI, because it’s usually not life-threatening. Still, concussions vary widely in severity and may lead to long-term complications, especially if the victim suffers multiple concussions or does not receive appropriate treatment.

Concussions can present a variety of symptoms and warning signs, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Disorientation or mental confusion
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Inability to concentrate

Treatment for a concussion generally involves resting the brain. This means no driving, reading, playing sports, or even watching TV. With appropriate treatment, a concussion will typically resolve within a few days and the victim can resume normal activity with a doctor’s approval.

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Other types of brain injuries fall under the realm of TBI, with classifications of mild, moderate, or severe. In general, a TBI is any injury to the brain caused by an external force, such as a blow to the head or a violent shaking motion. A TBI can greatly affect a victim’s capacity to learn, think, and control his or her emotions.

A TBI is an acquired injury (meaning not present at birth) that creates a partial or complete impairment or functional disability. The effects may be physical, cognitive, or social. A person who suffers a TBI may have trouble with:

  • Emotional regulation
  • Thinking
  • Judgment
  • Language
  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Problem solving
  • Information processing
  • Speech
  • Sensory perception

TBIs may arise from car accidents, falls, or other forms of trauma. In children, TBIs may occur from abuse, such as shaken baby syndrome.

Symptoms of TBI

The symptoms of a TBI may vary significantly depending on the nature of the injury and the area of the brain involved. A person with a diagnosed TBI may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Cognitive symptoms such as difficulty speaking, mental confusion, an inability to concentrate, difficulty recognizing everyday items, or amnesia
  • Whole body symptoms such as loss of balance, dizziness, fatigue, or fainting
  • Behavioral symptoms such as inappropriate reactions to stimuli, aggression, lack of emotional regulation, repetition of words without purpose
  • Mood changes such as anxiety, apathy, or anger
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Sensory issues such as sensitivity to sound or light
  • Eye changes such as dilated pupils, uneven pupils, or dark circles under the eyes
  • Miscellaneous symptoms such as headache, bleeding, blurred vision, depression, seizures, or ringing in the ears

A concussion and a TBI may be terms people use interchangeably, but they have notable differences. A concussion is a form of TBI, and a mild one at that. Moderate or severe TBI can greatly affect a victim’s quality of life, often permanently. The effects of a concussion, on the other hand, are generally temporary. Concussions and TBI are similar in that they represent serious medical conditions that require appropriate care and follow-up treatment.

Posted by admin at 9:59 pm

Can a Concussion Impact Driving Ability?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A concussion can have detrimental effects that last for days, even weeks following the initial injury. Concussion victims often complain of a number of symptoms, from dizziness and mental confusion to headaches and sensitivity to light. It seems reasonable to assume that a concussion could affect your ability to drive. Learn how a concussion affects your brain, and the types of activity you should avoid while your body heals.

How Does a Concussion Affect Driving?

To appropriately understand how a concussion could affect your driving ability, it’s essential to know what a concussion is. This mild form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when your brain hits the tough bone of your skull. Normally, your brain floats in your skull, protected by cerebral spinal fluid. However, an outside force, or trauma, can cause your brain to sustain damage when it hits your skull.

A concussion can occur while participating in any number of activities, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies car accidents, falls, and sports-related events as the most common causes of concussions. If you have a concussion, you may complain of one or many of the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Sensitivity to light
  • A blackout
  • Emotional disturbances

In the hours, days, or weeks following a blow to the head, you may experience any of these side effects. Most often, a person diagnosed with a concussion experiences dizziness, nausea, confusion, and difficulty focusing. These symptoms typically persist for 48 hours with a mild concussion, but a more severe trauma could lead to a longer recovery time.

When Can I Drive Following a Concussion?

If doctors have diagnosed you with a concussion, don’t get behind the wheel unless it’s safe to do so. You will likely receive discharge instructions from your health care provider that detail what precautions to take and when you can safely get behind the wheel. It’s essential to follow these instructions carefully.

Driving may seem like second nature to many, but it involves complex brain activity. For example, you must be cognitively aware of your surroundings and be prepared to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a crash. You must also have good hand-eye coordination to manipulate the wheel and complete basic driving maneuvers. A traumatic brain injury like a concussion can interfere with these abilities, so it’s best to avoid driving until a doctor gives you the green light.

Finally, your doctors will likely tell you to rest your brain, so it can heal. Depending on the severity of the injury, your providers may advise against reading, being out in the sun, or even watching TV, as it causes strain to your healing mind. Partaking in an activity such as driving can pose a danger to other drivers on the road, and it could hamper your recovery.

Take Care of Yourself After a Concussion

A concussion might not seem like a major injury, but any blow to the head requires careful attention. If you don’t take care of yourself, you could make your symptoms much worse or cause longer-lasting damage. A concussion, though on a milder scale, is still a traumatic brain injury. Follow your discharge orders and rest until a doctor gives you permission to resume your normal activities. Avoid driving while you recover, as you pose a danger to yourself and others.

Because of the nature of the injury, a concussion can affect your driving ability. It’s best to avoid any mentally engaging activities, including driving, until you feel well again. If you have any further questions or concerns, speak to your health care provider.

Posted by admin at 9:54 pm

What Is the Difference Between a Concussion and a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Brain injuries devastate families in ways more severe than almost any other type of injury one can suffer. The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C., has been helping Texans in the Dallas area find relief after suffering brain injuries of all kinds. Concussions and traumatic brain injuries can leave the victims and their families with expensive medical bills and long rehabilitation that require time missed from work. Our attorneys have seen the effects of these injuries and know your case deserves meticulous attention and care for you to receive the benefits you are entitled to.

Sorting Out the Confusion

A traumatic brain injury is an injury that results in physical trauma to the brain. This usually comes from a blow to the head, or even an object penetrating the skull. The brain is a complex organ and damage to any part of it can have unpredictable results. Changes in personality or violent mood swings can result, as well as loss of concentration, and difficulties with memory retention and formation. Brain injury also can result in more serious damage, such as loss of motor skills and impairment of even basic functions such as feeding oneself or taking care of personal hygiene.

There is a range of injuries that can occur to the brain. Milder injuries may affect fewer tasks and cause fewer impairments for the victim of the injury. They also may heal within a few months and leave fewer lasting problems. More serious injuries, on the other hand, may result in severe physical or mental impairment.

Concussion as a Traumatic Brain Injury

A concussion is a milder form of a brain injury. This does not mean a concussion is not a serious injury; however, it may be less serious than other forms of traumatic brain injury.

Concussions can result in a number of serious symptoms including:

  • Bad headaches, including migraines
  • A fog of confusion that leaves victims unable to easily or clearly comprehend events going on around them
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating or problems with memory
  • Irritability and changes in personality
  • Heightened sensitivity to light and noise

These symptoms may be mild compared with more severe brain injuries, but they are often debilitating for victims. Concussion sufferers are also four to six times more likely to suffer another concussion in the future.

Brain Injury by the Numbers

The prevalence of traumatic brain injury nationwide, including concussions, is far too common. More than 900,000 traumatic brain injuries occur each year, and a number of these injuries happen in Texas (injured parties reported 23,000 traumatic brain injuries in Texas each year). This represents tens of thousands of people that brain injury impacts each year.

Falls are the most common source of these injuries including slip-and-falls suffered in a store or on a sidewalk; falls from scaffolds or ladders in the workplace; or trips over obstructions or damaged flooring on stairs. When an adult falls even from just standing height, the results are often injury to the brain.

The next most common source of brain injuries are motor vehicle accidents. Modern vehicles have sophisticated safety devices, but this has not prevented all injuries related to crashes. In Texas, approximately 7,200 hospitalizations for brain injuries result from motor vehicle accidents, and more than 9% of these injuries are fatal.

Traumatic Brain Injury Compared to Concussions

Concussions are one of the milder forms of traumatic brain injuries, but victims still suffer physical and mental effects. Traumatic brain injuries are common, and those who suffer them as a result of an accident may have many months of medical treatment and rehabilitation to recover from their injuries. Severe traumatic brain injuries may require years of treatment, and victims may never fully regain the mental and physical abilities they had before their injury.

Posted by admin at 10:30 pm