Pennsylvania Brain Injury Lawyers
You may feel alone after suffering a brain injury, but the truth is that you’re far from it. More than 2,400,000 people sustain a brain injury in the United States each year, according to the Brain Injury Association of America.
But to you, no matter how many people have been through a devastating injury like this, this is all brand new. Navigating life after a brain injury is confusing, frustrating, and frightening. You don’t know if you will ever feel like yourself again, or if you will ever be able to do the things you used to do.
There is hope after a brain injury. The right help – in the form of medical care and legal assistance – can make all the difference.
Our Pennsylvania traumatic brain injury attorneys have a 97 percent success rate helping injured victims and their families. Call (215) 225-2040 today for your free case review.
Understanding Brain Injury Basics
A brain injury is any injury or damage that occurs to the brain – the organ that controls the most crucial functions of living. However, there are many different kinds of brain injuries.
- The part or parts of the brain that were damaged
- How the injury happened
- When the injury happened
- How the injury impacts functioning
- How severely the injury impacts functioning
All brain injuries have the potential to affect your life in drastic ways.
Though the terms are used in a lot of similar circumstances, a head injury isn’t necessarily a brain injury. It’s possible to suffer a bump or laceration to the head without sustaining damage to the brain itself. The skull and a number of protective membranes are there to shield the brain from injury.
However, you should never assume that a head injury wasn’t serious enough to cause brain damage. Sometimes a seemingly mild head injury can cause serious damage to the brain – and in some cases, can even lead to death.
A brain injury doesn’t have to be the result of a bump or blow to the head. Sometimes even a jolt – where no other object makes contact with your head – can be forceful enough to lead to a brain injury.
If you have any reason to believe you or a loved one may have sustained a brain injury, seek medical care right away. Waiting too long to get help could make things worse.
What Is the Definition of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
It can be difficult to define brain trauma and to distinguish between brain injury and brain trauma.
Brain injury refers to any damage to the organ. Brain injuries can happen in a number of ways, such as when a medical condition like a stroke or respiratory arrest deprives the brain of oxygen.
The term “brain trauma” relates more specifically to a physical trauma like a bump or jolt. The injury that results is known as a traumatic brain injury, or TBI.
TBIs can be open or closed.
- In an open head injury, an object actually penetrates the skull and harms the brain.
- In a closed head injury, the skull remains intact.
It’s possible to suffer a closed head injury even if no foreign object makes contact with your head. The kind of jolt that you sustain in a collision can cause the soft matter of your brain to smash into the harder skull surrounding it, damaging nerves and brain cells.
What Is the Definition of an Acquired Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury is just one type of acquired brain injury (ABI). This broader category of brain injury includes any damage to the brain that occurs after birth and isn’t the result of a congenital or degenerative disease.
In addition to TBIs, the following situations can lead to an acquired brain injury:
- Substance abuse
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Brain tumors
- A stroke or other medical condition that causes hypoxia, a lack of oxygen flow to the brain
Besides acquired brain injuries, brain injuries can also result from birth injuries or from degenerative diseases that get worse over time.
What Makes Brain Injury a “Silent Epidemic”?
An invisible injury. A silent epidemic. The survivors of brain injuries may look like their old selves – but on the inside, they’re still facing devastating brain injury effects.
In a closed head injury, there might be no visible sign of trauma at all. Even in the case of a penetrating head injury, the visible wounds may heal much quicker – and more completely – than the damage inside the brain.
With no visible reminder of the injury, it’s common for outsiders to forget or underestimate the impact of a brain injury. They can’t see how much a brain injury survivor struggles with effects like changes in thinking, memory, personality, and communication. They don’t realize how frustrating it is to have to search for words you used all the time prior to the brain injury, or to suddenly have trouble managing your stress and emotions when this has never been a problem before.
Around 5,300,000 Americans – or two percent of the U.S. population – live with a disability that resulted from a brain injury. Yet because many of these individuals look fine, because they can’t always find the words to express how much the TBI has affected them, their voices go unheard.
Brain injury is widespread enough to be an epidemic, but despite its prevalence, it remains silent. As a result, millions of TBI survivors don’t get the help they need to get better.
If you need help making your voice heard after a brain injury, a Pennsylvania TBI attorney can be your advocate.
Brain Injury Types
Just as there are many types of injuries you could suffer to your arm or your leg, there are different injuries you could sustain to the brain.
- In a concussion, the injury is typically minor and you lose consciousness only briefly. However, concussions can have serious effects, especially if you suffer multiple head injuries over time.
- A skull fracture involves a break to the protective bone around the brain. Sometimes the skull can fracture in such a way that the broken pieces press into the brain, making the damage even worse.
- A contusion, which can happen with or without a skull fracture, involves bruising within the brain.
- In a condition called cerebral edema, fluid builds up in the brain, causing it to swell. This raises the amount of intracranial pressure (ICP) in the brain, which can be dangerous. Too much pressure can impede blood flow and deprive the brain of oxygen.
- Bleeding or blood vessel damage in the brain is called hematoma. A hematoma can be epidural (located between the skull and the outermost covering of the brain), subdural (located between the innermost and outermost membranes protecting the brain), or intracerebral (located in the brain itself).
- If the bleeding is so severe that it can’t be controlled or stopped, the condition is referred to as hemorrhage.
- There are two types of injuries that result from a lack of oxygen to the brain. Anoxia is the term used for a complete lack of oxygen, while hypoxia means the amount of oxygen traveling to the brain is reduced.
- When a brain injury damages nerve cells and the connections between them, it is called diffuse axonal injury or shearing.
Different TBI types and severities require different treatment. A PA brain injury attorney can help you find access to the best treatment near you.
Brain Injury Causes
Brain injuries happen in so many different ways, from falls to motor vehicle crashes, medical mistakes to work accidents, assaults to sports injuries. Thousands of people suffer TBIs every single day. Read on for some of the most prevalent causes of brain injury.
Brain Injury from a Fall
Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. In fact, falls account for nearly half of all TBIs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.
Falling from high heights can result in serious brain injuries. Even a slip and fall or trip and fall can lead to a TBI, especially if you hit your head when you fall.
You’re particularly likely to develop a TBI from a fall if you are either a young child or a senior citizen. Among children under 14 years of age, 54 percent of traumatic brain injuries result from falls. Among adults over age 65, that number climbs to 79 percent, according to the CDC.
In many cases, a fall could provide the grounds for a brain injury lawsuit. You should reach out to a Pennsylvania TBI lawyer if your fall happened because of some dangerous condition on the property. In the past, our attorneys have represented people who fell because of spills on retail store floors, icy patches in parking lots, and uneven stairs in apartment complexes.
Another common cause of brain injury is motor vehicle accidents. Traffic accidents account for 14 percent of TBI-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations as well as 19 percent of fatal brain injuries, the CDC reported.
You might have a brain injury case if you were hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault and which involved a:
- Pedestrian or bicycle accident involving any motor vehicle
You might be surprised how difficult it is to get the full amount of money you’re entitled to, even when you suffered a life-altering brain injury. A Pennsylvania traumatic brain injury lawyer can make sure nothing stands in the way of getting what you deserve.
Brain Injury from a Medical Error
Sometimes the injury that damages the brain is the result of medical negligence. The healthcare professionals who attend to your care have the responsibility to do no harm. Through misdiagnosing a serious problem like a stroke, making a mistake during surgery, or making any number of other errors, doctors can put patients in serious danger.
Medical malpractice claims are challenging, so you definitely need experienced PA brain injury lawyers on your side if you want to win. Our attorneys have a history of getting seven-figure settlements for victims of medical malpractice.
In one particular case, we recovered $1,500,000 on behalf of a family whose little girl suffered a severe anoxic brain injury due to the carelessness of a home health aide. Every TBI lawsuit is unique, so a Pennsylvania brain injury lawyer would need more details to know how much your case could be worth. In any event, you want a lawyer who is capable of handling high-value brain injury claims and who can get you the most money possible for your situation.
Brain Injuries in the Workplace
Workplace accidents are another cause of TBIs. When a traumatic brain injury occurs while working – not matter who is at fault – you have the right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim.
Depending on the circumstances, you might have the right to pursue additional claims against entities other than your employer, as well. A Pennsylvania brain injury attorney can help you sort out your legal options.
We make it quick and easy to get help for your brain injury. Call (215) 225-2040 to get your case started now.
Brain Injuries from Acts of Violence
Many TBIs result from violence or assaults. Sadly, these events often don’t offer victims and their families much opportunity to pursue a brain injury lawsuit. However, there are exceptions.
If a commercial property had a duty to provide security and neglected that duty, then the property owner could be partly at fault for the attack. Our PA traumatic brain injury attorneys have handled cases in which inadequate security at bars, concert venues, and other sites led to serious harm.
Sports Injuries to the Brain
Many brain injury victims – especially among children – get hurt playing sports.
There will always be some risk in physical activities such as cycling, football, boxing, and basketball. It’s when someone involved in the sport, like a gym teacher or coach, acts negligently that you may have the grounds for a legal claim.
This situation is rare, but not impossible. A PA TBI attorney can determine if the circumstances of your injury entitle you to compensation.
The Most Common Brain Injury Symptoms
When you suffer an injury to the brain, you may notice a lot of changes in the way you think, feel, act, and even your physical movements. The losses of functioning can range from mild to severe, and they may be temporary or permanent.
Some of the brain injury side effects that you may experience include:
- Headache, especially if it persists or gets worse in the hours after the injury
- Unconsciousness that can last for as little as a few seconds or as long as several hours
- State of confusion or disorientation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in fingers or toes
- Drowsiness, fatigue, or inability to wake from sleep
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Dilated pupils in one or both eyes
- Sensitivity to sound
- Ringing in the ears
- Fluids draining from the ears or nose
- Changes in the sense of smell and taste
- Changes in mood
- Unusual depression or anxiety
- Changes in behavior, especially agitation or combative behavior
Brain injury symptoms can vary a great deal from one patient to the next. Not every TBI survivor will experience the same effects.
Brain Injury Effects
In many ways, the effects of a traumatic brain injury depend on where the damage to the brain occurred, according to the Brain Injury Association of America.
Left Side TBIs
- You are more likely to struggle with speaking and understanding language after a left side brain injury. You may have a harder time remembering words.
- With a left side TBI, you might also notice deficits in logic and sequencing.
- You may have what’s called “catastrophic” reactions – exaggerated and over-the-top responses to situations.
- Because the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, you might have less control over right-sided body movements.
Right Side TBIs
A brain injury on the right side impacts the functions that the right side of the brain is responsible for.
- The right side of the brain controls the creative and conceptual functions. An injury to this part of the brain can make it more difficult for you to process visual information, recall visual memories, and focus on the “big picture” rather than getting sidetracked by details.
- Often, patients who sustained a TBI to the right side of the brain aren’t as aware of the deficits the brain injury has left them with as patients with left side brain injuries are. As a result, they may have more trouble compensating for those deficits.
- With a right side brain injury, you may notice decreased control over the left side of your body. In fact, people who suffer from right side brain injuries often exhibit what’s called “left neglect,” in which they tend not to pay attention to the affected left side of their body.
Dealing With Brain Injury
Just as there are millions of people affected by a TBI, there are also millions of traumatic brain injury stories – and each one is unique. The precise symptoms you experience are just one part of how the brain injury impacts your life.
How do these symptoms affect your family, your career, your hobbies, your lifestyle?
Are these symptoms improving with time and therapy? Or do they seem like they aren’t getting better, even by small degrees, no matter how many therapies you try or how hard you work?
There’s nothing easy about coping with brain injury. But having a PA traumatic brain injury lawyer on your side can help make things easier.
- Console & Hollawell can help you find access to the most qualified brain injury doctors.
- We can help you afford top-notch brain injury rehab services so you can make the best possible recovery.
- We’ll help you get compensation for your lost wages and all of your damages, so you can keep your family financially afloat during this difficult time.
Traumatic brain injury lawyers have experience helping families in situations very much like yours. We navigate this complex system every single day. And because we work with brain injury survivors on a regular basis, you never have to worry that we will underestimate the impact this accident has had on your life. Unlike general practice attorneys who only dabble in personal injury claims, we’ve dedicated our careers to helping the injured. We really do know how much, and in how many ways, a brain injury can affect your life.
The Stages of Brain Injury Recovery
What does it take to recover from a traumatic brain injury? Giving your brain time to heal is one thing. Therapy that can help you rebuild your strength, retrain your body, and regain your independence is another important factor. Finally, you may need to learn ways to make up for the changes and deficits that might not be fixable.
Your brain injury prognosis depends on a lot of factors. Some TBI patients make near full recoveries from very serious TBIs, while others make less progress despite starting at a lower level of disability. Only doctors and therapists who know the details of your case can even begin to predict how fully you will be able to recover.
Even then, doctors sometimes underestimate brain injury survivors. Never let your prognosis stop you from trying
Assessing Brain Injury Recovery
One way brain injury specialists can assess a TBI patient’s progress is with the Rancho Scale. Named for the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in California, this scale measures cognitive functioning and level of assistance needed. Lower levels on the scale represent little responsiveness and no or little independence. As brain injury patients begin making progress in their rehabilitation, they reach higher levels on the Rancho Scale that correlate with better functioning and more independence.
Brain Injury Therapies
How exactly do brain injury survivors get better? They work toward recovery through a variety of types of rehabilitative therapy, including:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Cognitive therapy
- Speech/language therapy
The rehabilitative therapy you need to improve your physical and mental functioning after a brain injury can be costly. Inpatient rehab can cost you thousands of dollars per day, and even long-term outpatient rehab can add up to a mountain of medical bills.
In fact, the lifetime cost of treating a severe brain injury can rise to more than $9,000,000, according to the Brain Injury Alliance.
Brain Injury Help
How will you afford help for your brain injury? Where will you get the hundreds of thousands of dollars you need to afford the immediate medical care?
And what happens if this brain injury leaves you with a permanent disability? How will you pay for the millions of dollars needed for lifetime care?
A Pennsylvania brain damage lawyer can help you here. Individuals who suffer a brain injury in PA can apply for grants from nonprofit organizations and state funding through the Pennsylvania Head Injury Program (HIP), but these funds are limited. If you have the grounds for a brain injury lawsuit, your attorney can fight to recover every dollar you deserve.
After all, a one-time grant or one year of state funding for treatment can only help you go so far. When our Pennsylvania brain injury lawyers get you money, we’re seeking compensation for all of the damages this injury has caused you – past, present, and future.
Our Brain Injury Case Results
As we negotiate your brain injury settlement, we’re looking to maximize your compensation. It’s bad enough that you have had to go through this ordeal due to someone else’s negligence. The people who caused this injury – not you – should be the ones paying for your treatment and for all the ways your life has changed.
Over the years, our PA traumatic brain injury lawyers have won millions for our clients. Just a few of the successes our attorneys have had handling brain injury law include:
- $100,000 for a woman hurt in an auto accident in which the at-fault driver fled the scene
- $610,000 for a client who suffered brain and neck injuries when another driver rear-ended her car
- $1,075,000 for two friends, one of whom suffered a TBI, when a drunk driver who had been overserved at a bar caused a serious car accident
- $1,500,000 for a family whose young child suffered a brain injury due to medical malpractice and later passed away from that injury
While you are adjusting to living with brain injury and starting that long road to recovery, we’ll be here every step of the way. We will fight to get you a settlement that accounts for all of the brain injury long-term effects that you may suffer. Our Pennsylvania traumatic brain injury lawyers will make sure nothing stands in the way of you making the most complete recovery possible.
When you choose Console & Hollawell, you’ll never pay anything upfront for our award-winning representation. Call (215) 225-2040 today to speak to a legal professional for free.