A brain injury can result in short-term or lifelong changes in functioning. Some people may have to face lifelong medical costs and quit their job depending on the severity. You may not need to face these expenses alone if someone else caused your brain injury. Talk with a Kansas City personal injury lawyer to find out what your legal options are given your situation.
Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries
The effects of traumatic brain injuries range widely depending on multiple factors. Brain injury severity, causes, and which parts of the brain were injured can all make a difference--and so can how much time passes between the injury and when medical attention is received.
Recognizing the most common traumatic brain injury symptoms is important for knowing when to seek medical attention. Not receiving medical interventions for certain types of brain injuries may lead to worse outcomes, lifelong impairments, or death. Brain injuries that involve swelling, brain bleeding, or any other type of pressure on the brain can inflict additional brain damage.
Common Symptoms of Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (Concussions)
- Sudden drowsiness
- Temporary forgetting
- Brief confusion
- Blurry vision
- Ringing ears
Some concussions can result in a momentary loss of consciousness. However, this usually only lasts a few minutes. Losses of consciousness that last longer than a few minutes may indicate a more severe brain injury.
Common Symptoms of Moderate Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Nausea with vomiting
- Chronic headaches
- Dilated pupils
- Weakness or numbness
- Loss of balance
- Loss of taste or smell
Brain injuries at these severity levels may come with long-term effects that can last several months, years, or life. These long-term effects of brain injuries vary depending on what parts of the brain were damaged.
Brain Areas That Can Become Damaged and Disrupt Functioning
Cognitive deficits impact thinking abilities such as memory, attention, judgment, and decision-making. Sensory deficits can impair or change any of the five senses including vision, hearing, smell, taste, or touch. Motor deficits influence the ability to move, walk, balance, and coordinate complex movements with the hands.
Communication problems caused by brain injuries range from the inability to form sentences to the inability to understand words. This can create major barriers with others, along with personality deficits caused by brain injuries that range from aggression and impulsivity to changes in personality and amnesia.
When Can I Sue for a Brain Injury?
There are options for suing when your brain injury was caused by someone else. If you suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you could file a personal injury claim. This depends on the circumstances, what you can prove, and the damages you suffered.
A personal injury claim is based on whether you can prove negligence, intentional wrong, or strict liability. Negligence can mean an act of commission or omission. An act of commission means any reckless or careless actions that led to harm to someone else. An act of omission describes failures to act that resulted in harm to someone else.
Common examples of cases like these include car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, and workplace accidents. Intentional wrongs are different in that they involve purposeful actions rather than mistakes. Assault and battery are common examples. Strict liability applies to specific scenarios such as defective products that result in injuries to customers.
You might be able to sue if your brain injury involved any of these causes. Personal injury lawsuits involve proving liability, damages, causation, and a breach of duty. Damages depend on the harm you suffered from the other person. The main types of compensatory damages include economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are any easily measurable financial losses from the incident that caused your injury. These vary based on how much harm you suffered and the cause. For example, car accidents may involve financial damages in the form of car repairs, medical bills, travel expenses, property damages, and lost wages.
Most personal injury cases involve economic damages like medical bills, lost wages from missed work, and property damages. Some cases also include loss of employment or earning capacity. Moderate to severe brain injuries may involve expenses for future medical bills, assistive devices, and lost career opportunities.
Non-economic damages include any non-monetary losses from the incident. These are harder to prove because they are harder to measure. Emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment are some of the most common ones. Life-changing brain injuries can result in significant psychological distress that may fit into many of these categories.
Depending on the extent of your brain injury, you could be eligible for additional compensation with non-economic damages. This may include compensation for loss of companionship and inconvenience. Proving your need for additional compensation is the hard part and may require additional evidence.
Collecting Evidence for Your Case
Evidence is the most important part of any personal injury claim. Be sure to collect as much evidence as you can in the form of pictures of damages, documents that support your claim, and witnesses. Consider contacting a Kansas City brain injury lawyer to explore other ways to strengthen your claim.
An experienced lawyer can help you collect evidence, organize your claim, and negotiate the amount of compensation you need. You do not have to settle for less compensation. Hiring a lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you need to fully recover from the brain injury. No one should have to settle for less when someone else was at fault.