A traumatic brain injury can have long-term consequences that affect a person’s physical and mental health. Moreover, it can also lead to costly medical bills, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity. If you or someone you love suffered a traumatic brain injury and someone else is at fault, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for injuries and related losses.
At Jainchill & Beckert, LLC, our trusted brain injury lawyers have decades of experience advocating for injury victims in Plainville and throughout Connecticut. We can help you pursue full and fair compensation for a traumatic brain injury to cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact our office to learn more about your legal options during a free initial consultation.
When Can You File a Personal Injury Claim After a Brain Injury?
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you might be entitled to compensation through different avenues. These include an insurance claim, a workers’ compensation claim, or a personal injury lawsuit, depending on the circumstances.
Generally speaking, you may be able to file a personal injury claim if you can demonstrate that an entity’s negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful acts contributed to your injuries in some way.
In addition, you can pursue a personal injury claim if you can show that your injuries resulted from a defective product.
Be aware, however, that not everyone who suffers a TBI will have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. A Plainville brain injury attorney can assess whether your claim can be pursued in court or through a settlement with the insurance carrier.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A TBI can result from a sudden blow, jolt, or penetrating head injury that causes direct damage to the brain. Some common types of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Concussions – These are the most common TBI by far. Many concussions result from violent shaking motions or blunt-force impacts to the head, causing trauma. Some concussions are relatively mild, but some are more serious, especially those that cause brief loss of consciousness.
- Contusions – These are bruising within the brain’s soft tissue. When brain tissue is damaged in this way, the result is often intracranial bleeding and swelling. This can put pressure on the brain. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure and prevent permanent injury.
- Hypoxic and anoxic injuries – A hypoxic brain injury occurs when the brain does not receive enough oxygen, while an anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain receives no oxygen at all. These injuries commonly result from blood clots, heart attacks, and other serious conditions. They can be fatal if left untreated.
- Diffuse axonal injuries (DAI) – These occur when rapid acceleration, violent shaking, or twisting motions cause damage to the nerve fibers called axons. Axons are responsible for transmitting signals between the brain’s two hemispheres. When these axons are damaged, the resulting DAI can lead to disrupted signals within the brain and, possibly, permanent injury.
- Coup-contrecoup injuries – These happen when a violent impact causes matching injuries on either side of the brain as it moves back and forth and collides with opposite sides of the skull’s interior wall.
- Penetrating head injuries – These occur when skull fragments or foreign objects pierce the head, resulting in direct injury to the brain. Common causes of penetrating injuries include crushing forces from traffic accidents and gunshot wounds.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries in Connecticut
Every brain injury is different, and many TBI cases are difficult to diagnose. This because many TBIs are effectively invisible, as they do not involve open wounds or fractures.Some common causes of brain injuries include:
- Slip-and-fall accidents, which are the top cause of TBI among older adults
- Car and truck accidents, which are the leading cause of TBI among young adults
- Motorcycle accidents, which can cause TBI even when riders wear helmets
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents, in which victims are highly vulnerable to injury
- Sports accidents, which commonly affect athletes and young adults
- Domestic violence and other acts of violence, especially if guns are involved
Treatment for a Traumatic Brain Injury
Depending on the nature and severity of a TBI, medical professionals may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- Emergency treatment – In the immediate aftermath of a TBI, doctors focus on providing emergency care to ensure adequate blood flow and oxygen levels in the brain. They also address other injuries in order to minimize further damage.
- Medication– Some TBIs result in seizures, so doctors may prescribe anticonvulsants as preventative measures. Doctors sometimes also use drugs to induce temporary comas or relieve fluid pressure within the skull.
- Surgery– In more severe cases, TBI patients may need surgery to remove blood clots within the skull or have the skull fracture repaired. In addition, patients could require surgery to remove foreign objects from the brain. There also could be fluids that need to be drained in order to release dangerous pressure on the brain.
- Rehabilitation– Patients with extensive brain damage often require therapy and rehabilitation to relearn the basics of speaking, performing daily tasks, and finding employment. Some patients also seek mental health counseling to cope with the emotional and social stresses that can accompany a TBI.
Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
TBI symptoms vary considerably depending on the injury’s nature, severity, and location. Common symptoms of a relatively mild traumatic brain injury include:
- Brief loss of consciousness
- Feelings of disorientation or confusion
- Headaches, lightheadedness, or dizziness
- Unusual fatigue, lethargy, or changes in sleep habits
- Feelings of tiredness behind the eyes
- Blurred vision, ringing in the ears, or changes in the ability to smell
- Nausea, vomiting, or an unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Unusual sensitivity to lights or sounds
- Unusual difficulty with memory, focus, or concentration
- Unusual depression, anxiety, or mood changes
Victims with moderate to severe TBI, on the other hand, commonly experience the following more serious symptoms:
- Extended loss of consciousness
- Chronic headaches that worsen over time
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Convulsions or seizures
- Difficulty waking or inability to wake from sleep
- Abnormally dilated pupils
- Slurred speech
- Unusual weakness or numbness
- Unusual loss of coordination
- Unusual restlessness, confusion, or agitation
Long-Term Impacts of a Brain Injury
In some mild TBI cases, patients can recover at home with over-the-counter medications, rest, and time. But in more severe cases, TBI patients may suffer the following long-term consequences:
- Hospital bills from inpatient and outpatient visits
- Doctor’s bills from general practitioners and specialists
- Prescription medication costs
- Medical equipment costs
- Physical therapy expenses
- Rehabilitative surgery expenses
- At-home health care and housekeeping costs
- Accessibility modification costs for vehicles and homes
- Lost income and benefits from missed time at work
- Diminished earning capacity from permanent injuries
- Reduced ability to care for oneself
- Long-term pain and suffering
- Incidental costs, including mileage expenses for medical appointments
Compensation for a Traumatic Brain Injury
If you or a loved one suffers a traumatic brain injury, you could be entitled to pursue compensation for the following losses:
- Medical expenses– This includes past and current medical costs you incur as a result of the TBI, such as ambulance and hospital bills, doctor’s bills, prescription medication costs, and therapy and rehabilitation costs.
- Lost income– If you miss work while you are recovering from your injury, you may seek the value of any wages, tips, bonuses, or benefits you lose as a result.
- Projected future losses– This is the estimated value of losses you will likely incur in the future due to the TBI, including medical care you will need later and losses in your lifetime earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering– This refers to the physical pain, emotional anguish, and mental suffering you endure as a result of the TBI.
- Incidental costs– These are incidental expenses you incur as a result of your injuries, such as the costs of traveling to and from necessary medical appointments.
Time Limit for Filing Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuits
Under Connecticut law, you have a two-year time limit for filing personal injury lawsuits. If you attempt to sue after this two-year period has passed, the court will likely dismiss your case, and you will lose your right to demand compensation for your TBI injuries in civil court.
That is why it is so important to discuss your legal options with a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible after suffering a brain injury in Plainville.
Get Help from Our Plainville Brain Injury Lawyers Now
At Jainchill & Beckert, LLC, our experienced attorneys are prepared to work tirelessly on your brain injury case to pursue the maximum compensation possible. If you or someone close to you is struggling with the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, don’t hesitate to contact our law firm to get started with a free, no-obligation case review with our Plainville brain injury attorneys.