Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”) is a general name for injuries to the brain that can cause everything from mild cognitive and memory problems to coma and death. TBIs are common; the CDC reports approximately 2.2 million visits to the emergency room every year for TBIs, and 50,000 resulting deaths.
Depending on the type and severity of the trauma, it can have long-lasting effects on a person’s physical health, personality, earning ability, lifestyle, and quality of life. Typical causes of TBI include slip and fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents, contact sports such as football, and assault or abuse.
In legal terms, TBI cases fall under the general umbrella of personal injury. However, TBI cases have unique challenges associated with them that aren’t present in other personal injury cases where no brain trauma occurred.
LEGAL CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY CASES
Brain injuries are hard to “see.” Broken bones are easy to spot and easy to document. A change in the way the brain processes information isn’t. Brain injuries don’t always show up on scans, so someone may appear to have a normal, healthy brain. For that reason, an insurance company may try to deny that any true injury has occurred. They may also argue that any emerging symptoms are the result of a pre-existing condition.
Victims may not be able to help establish liability. One of the most crucial parts of any personal injury case is showing who was at fault. In most situations, the victim is able to describe what happened and what led up to the accident. In some TBI cases, due to the nature of brain injuries, the victim may have little or no recollection of what happened. This can make establishing fault – and ultimately getting just compensation – much more difficult.
Symptoms don’t always show up right away. Symptoms of brain injuries may show up days or weeks after the incident, and an insurance company may try to argue that symptoms that appeared after the fact were unrelated to the initial trauma. Symptoms of TBI can include headaches and fatigue, which are common to other diagnoses, and may be difficult to tie definitively to the incident.
Long-lasting effects of TBI are difficult to quantify. The long-term ramifications of difficulties with cognition – how we think and process information – and memory are hard to know. In personal injury cases where someone has lost the capacity to physically perform their work, it’s not uncommon for lost wages to be compensated. This becomes more difficult when that work is “invisible,” as many managerial and desk jobs are – how do you objectively show that someone is unable to problem solve or delegate the same way after an accident? How can you prove that someone was in line for a promotion but now won’t get it due to their brain injury? How can lost earnings be calculated fairly? These are challenges brain injury attorneys and their clients face.
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY AT THE CAROLINA LAW GROUP TODAY
Though there are many challenges associated with traumatic brain injury cases, experienced attorneys often know how to overcome these challenges. The personal injury attorneys at the Carolina Law Group have experience handling TBI cases and are able to help their clients deal with the legal ramifications of such a life-altering event while fighting for the compensation they deserve.
If you or a loved one have sustained an injury or been in an accident and believe that you’re seeing symptoms associated with TBI, don’t wait another minute. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and figure out your next move.
The Carolina Law Group has four offices across South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), West Greenville (864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), and Spartanburg (principal office). Call today.