Coping with a traumatic brain injury (also known as a TBI) is an uphill battle. Approximately half of people diagnosed with a TBI will continue to decline after initial treatment. This makes dealing with a long-term brain injury a bleak necessity for many. Victims of brain and head injuries sacrifice their time, careers, and money to tend to their injuries, often with no guarantee of being able to recover their losses.
Despite the harsh consequences of TBIs, insurance companies are still often reluctant to pay reasonable settlements to those victims whose brain injury was caused by the negligence of another. The attorneys of Abels & Annes are dedicated to challenging these lowball offers or denials so that our clients will have the maximum support they need to move forward.
If you or a loved one has sustained a TBI due to the negligence of another, speak to a personal injury attorney at Abels & Annes. More than likely, there are numerous forms of compensation available to you. A free consultation will give you a clearer understanding of your rights and options.
Brain Injury Statistics
The mortality rate for TBIs is only .03 percent. However, so many survivors live a life full of challenges. An estimated 13.5 million people in the United States have a TBI-related disability.
The most common cognitive impairment is memory loss. But brain injuries can lead to a whole host of other problems. TBIs frequently lead to emotional instability (close to 66% of TBI patients suffer from depression within seven years of developing their injuries). Other common symptoms of TBI include:
- Headaches and migraines
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Visual difficulties
- Post-traumatic epilepsy
- Emotional and cognitive problems
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.
Mild TBI Symptoms
A mild TBI usually resolves in one week to three months. However, it can take over a year to recover in some cases. In addition to memory loss, symptoms can include headaches and dizziness. Mild TBIs can go undetected because they don’t appear on brain imaging results, unlike moderate and severe TBIs.
Moderate TBI Symptoms
Moderate TBIs develop after 30 minutes to six hours of unconsciousness. They can lead to sensory issues, including the loss of vision and hearing. Difficulty with concentrating and understanding language are also possibilities. Physical symptoms like chronic pain may develop.
Severe TBI Symptoms
Severe TBIs lead to a loss of consciousness for six or more hours. This type of brain injury lowers life-expectancy and increases the risk of developing conditions like seizures. They also weaken the immune system. In some cases, patients are left paralyzed or in a permanent vegetative state.
Types of Brain Injury Cases We Handle
Motor Vehicle Accidents
One of the most popular causes of TBIs are motor vehicle accidents like car, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents. TBIs occur during motor vehicle accidents as the driver or passengers’ head slams against an object, are penetrated, or are knocked around. In cases involving pedestrians and cyclists, the TBI is often caused by a person's head slamming into the ground or into the vehicle that hit them.
Slip and Fall
Slips and falls account for 48% of emergency visits related to TBIs. Most people consider falls to be funny or not serious, but this statistic shows that this is not the case. Slips or trips that lead to a fall can easily cause someone to hit their head on the ground.
Medical Malpractice/Birth Injury
TBIs can result from botched surgeries and procedures, especially ones in which enough oxygen does not get to the brain. Unsupervised patients may also sustain a TBI after falling while trying to get up and move around. Finally, brain injuries caused during deliveries can occur when negligence or inexperience causes a baby to go too long without oxygen.
Nearly a quarter of TBIs are work-related. We can help you to meet the deadlines and other requirements associated with your claim if you’ve been injured on the job.
Elements of a Brain Injury Lawsuit
Duty of Care: For a party to be responsible for a TBI, that person or entity has to have owed a duty of care to the injury victim. For example, drivers have a duty of care to obey traffic laws and employers have a duty of care to maintain safe workspaces.
Breach of Duty: It must then be demonstrated that the duty of care was not upheld. This means there was negligent or intentionally malicious behavior leading to the brain injury.
Causation: It also has to be proved that the other party’s negligence led to the injury, in this case a brain injury. This step is necessary to prove that the injury was not preexisting. In order to hold someone responsible for an injury and the resulting damages, you have to prove that the injury was caused by the incident in question.
Damages: And finally, one must be able to prove that the brain injury resulted in actual damages that need to be compensated for. An injury victim has to show that the TBI resulted in medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and whatever other damages they suffered.
Compensation in a TBI Claim
A traumatic brain injury always results in medical bills and almost always requires ongoing medical care. The costs of hospitalization, surgeries, diagnostic testing, therapy, and doctors’ appointments can all be considerable. Depending on the severity of a TBI, the lifetime cost of treatment could range from $85,000 to $3 million. Your brain injury attorney will consider both your past, current, and future medical expenses when valuing your claim.
Any time that you are away from work to tend to your injury can be considered in the value of your claim. This includes appointments, at-home recovery, and hospitalizations. A TBI may also affect your opportunity for career advancements or leave you permanently disabled. Loss of earning potential in the form of longer-term lost wages can be calculated as well.
Pain and Suffering
More than half of TBI patients live with chronic pain. Because of this, pain and suffering is common due to the stressors and life adjustments that come with a TBI. Fortunately, Illinois has no limit on how much you can receive for your pain and suffering. Your attorney will help you to maximize the amount based on the severity of your traumatic brain injury, past verdicts and settlements, and their experience handling similar situations..
Survivors of deceased TBI victims can file a wrongful death claim for the:
- loss of the family’s main income earner
- funeral costs
- any medical bills they accrued while they were still alive after their TBI
Contact a Waukegan Brain Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one is suffering from a traumatic brain injury through no fault of your own, the experienced attorneys of Abels & Annes can help. We stand firm against insurance companies that offer inadequate settlements or unreasonably deny claims. Our team will comprehensively review your case to determine your options and inform you of your rights. For a free initial case evaluation, call us at 312-924-7575 or contact us online.