Brain injuries can be some of the most devastating injuries to the human body. Without a well-functioning brain, a human being cannot effectively live a healthy and productive life. When tragedy strikes, calling an experienced Oklahoma brain injury lawyer may make a difference in your life or the life of a loved one.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any traumatic or violent force that hits a person’s head or penetrates their skull, causing catastrophic injury. There are two forms of TBI, which include:
Depending on the type of injury, the brain may experience brain cell death or nerve tissue damage resulting in various physical ailments, psychological effects, or death. TBIs are classified as mild, moderate, or severe. Based on many factors, some TBIs heal over time, while others permanently impact a person’s health.
Based on data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some groups experience a greater risk of TBI than others, which include:
Sudden and harsh blows usually cause TBIs. This can occur when the head is hit directly or a powerful force hits a body, causing the head to be traumatized. According to the Mayo Clinic, the leading causes of brain injuries include falls, vehicle-related collisions, violence, sports injuries, explosive blasts, or other combat injuries.
Fall accidents account for some of the most TBIs across the U.S. A fall accident can occur from falling off of a bed, a ladder, a flight of stairs, bathing in the shower, or doing household chores. Elderly individuals and children are more likely to experience TBI from otherwise harmless falls, while most can experience TBI while engaging in risky activities. Nursing home falls are also common.
Other common causes of TBIs are car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, and other vehicle-related accidents. Because motor vehicles travel at high speeds, collisions resulting in blunt force trauma to the head can cause moderate to severe brain injuries with lasting damage.
Many forms of violence can also cause TBI. Such forms of violence include gunshot wounds, knife wounds, use of melee weapons (bats, golf clubs, bricks, etc.), domestic violence, child abuse, and battery.
A common form of violence-related TBI in children is “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” This occurs when an adult violently shakes an infant or toddler, which usually occurs out of frustration after bouts of crying. Shaken baby syndrome is considered abusive head trauma leading to the destruction of a child’s brain cells and hinders oxygen from entering the brain. This can result in temporary or permanent damage leading to developmental disorders and death.
Players of many contact sports, and even some non-contact sports, may experience violent trauma leading to TBI. These sports can include boxing, football, rugby, diving, baseball, lacrosse, skateboarding, hockey, snowboarding, and other extreme sports.
Some contact sports like football, boxing, and hockey have been known to cause a condition caused by Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). According to the Mayo Clinic, CTE is a rare disorder caused by repeated trauma to the brain over a long period, resulting in brain cell degradation. Although not much is known about the disease, many symptoms include issues with cognition, emotion, behavior, and some physical issues. CTE almost always develops later in life.
An explosive or concussive blast can cause a common form of TBI. Although researchers are still unclear as to why explosions cause TBI, many believe the sudden change in immense pressure exposed to the brain may be a factor. TBI can also be caused by severe blows from shrapnel and debris after an explosion.
Many combat veterans experience long-term effects after exposure to explosive blasts. Furthermore, workers in the mining, oil and gas, and construction industries may be at high risk for TBI caused by explosions.
Symptoms for brain injuries vary widely from person to person based on their biological makeup and the circumstances that caused the injury. According to the National Library of Medicine, mild brain injury symptoms include:
Moderate to severe brain injuries may include the above symptoms with the additional following symptoms:
Treatment of a TBI depends on the severity of the trauma. Mild TBIs likely require medication and rest, while moderate to severe TBIs require more treatment.
Many healthcare providers will likely prescribe a combination of over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers followed by bed rest and fluids. Healthcare providers may also require a patient to suspend normal activities like working or driving for a few days.
A person seeking treatment for moderate to severe TBI should expect a healthcare provider to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of that person’s health, which may include monitoring oxygen intake, blood pressure, and pulse and conducting physical and running additional tests.
Treating moderate to severe TBI may include:
Contacting an attorney can make a difference in a person or their loved one’s ability to address the cause of a TBI. An experienced Oklahoma brain injury attorney can provide needed legal advice to address a personal injury claim, help obtain damages for medical expenses, and handle parties acting in bad faith.
Unfortunately, some TBIs can never be attributed to the negligence of another person entity. However, this is not always the case. Frequently, an injured party will not realize that unavoidable circumstances like an unsafe condition caused the accident that led to their TBI. For example, many vehicle accidents are caused by distracted drivers or defects in the road. In contrast, many construction and oil field accidents may be caused by an employer’s negligence or a co-worker’s error.
An experienced brain injury attorney will conduct a case evaluation to understand the facts of an injury claim and craft a legal strategy to help the injured party obtain compensation for their injury. This can include filing a lawsuit, but it may include notifying the liable party or parties, engaging in settlement discussion, or reporting the accident to a government body.
In many cases, moderate to severe TBIs can lead to expensive medical bills and other care costs, including rehabilitation services. Insurance companies will fight to ensure any issues with a claim or small print in a policy is identified and used to prevent paying out funds for services. Fighting an insurance company’s failure to pay out a claim can leave a person vulnerable without proper care or lead to crippling medical debt, causing bankruptcy. An experienced Oklahoma brain injury attorney will know how to interact with the insurance company to ensure a policyholder is not being taken advantage of in their time of need.
Your injuries are serious, and the Tulsa brain injury attorneys at Graves McLain help individuals and families seek the total and fair compensation they deserve after an accident. Our law firm understands these very complicated cases and will support you and your family through this challenging time. Brain injury victims and their families need the aid of brain injury lawyers that understand the physical, emotional, and financial struggles that follow a serious injury. We will work to get you and your family a lifetime of care for the injured party.
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