Chicago Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often caused by a forceful blow or jolt to the head or body, though it can also occur when a person's brain is deprived of oxygen. The severity of the injury will depend upon the circumstances of the collision and the force of the impact or the duration of a loss of oxygen. TBI can also be the result of an object penetrating the skull in an auto accident or other traumatic event. According to the Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle accidents are a common cause of traumatic brain injury.
Severe TBI can have life-altering consequences for victims and their families. If you or a member of your family has suffered brain injury, your best course of action is to consult with an experienced Chicago brain injury attorney without delay.
At Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC, our lawyers have been fighting for the rights of our clients since 1990. Our focus is on superior service for every person we represent, and our goal is to obtain the best possible outcome for those we serve – the injured. To speak with one of our experienced attorneys, call (312) 644-0444 or contact us online.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries
In a car crash, if the skull strikes an object, such as the steering wheel or the windshield, it often may cause brain trauma. The skull does not have to be fractured or penetrated for a TBI to occur.
In some cases, the force of the accident alone causes the brain to collide with the walls of the skull, tearing delicate tissues. The head is in motion, and when motion stops abruptly, the brain continues moving, striking the interior of the skull. This can cause bleeding and bruising of the brain, which may not be visible.
Blunt trauma head injuries occur in motor vehicle collisions when the head strikes a stationary object. This can happen in rollover accidents when the vehicle roof is crushed, or when the victim is ejected from the vehicle, or when a vehicle part impacts the head of a driver or passenger.
While traumatic brain injuries may be most commonly associated with vehicle crashes and serious accidents at the workplace, they also commonly occur due to medical malpractice. This is usually not related to a direct impact to the brain such as in a car crash, but instead is often due to a deprivation of oxygen. The exact nature of such injuries varies quite a lot depending upon how long the brain goes without oxygen, but the damage and long-term effects are quite similar to injuries that occur from a violent accident.
There are a few different ways in which a person's brain may be deprived of oxygen during a medical procedure, usually occurring as a result of malpractice during surgery or during childbirth. If a surgeon makes a mistake that causes a blood clot to travel to the brain or lungs, it can impact the amount of oxygen in the body and in the brain. Anesthesia mistakes can also lead to serious long-term damage. The anesthesiologist is responsible for monitoring a patient during surgery to ensure steady breathing and proper oxygenation of the blood and brain. But when a mistake involving anesthetic occurs, a patient may stop breathing or otherwise end up with less oxygen going to the brain, resulting in serious permanent injury.
At no other point during one’s lifetime is a person more vulnerable to serious injury than during childbirth. Experienced medical professionals safely deliver tens of thousands of babies every year in Chicago and other cities. But when mistakes do happen, they are often tragic and permanent. Brain injuries may happen during childbirth for any number of reasons including improper practices related to the use of tools during birth or during a C-Section. Oxygen deprivation may also happen during birth if the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the baby's neck or body.
Living with brain injuries that occur at birth can be tremendously challenging. Such injuries may manifest as learning disorders or disabilities, or as conditions such as cerebral palsy. With these come life-long additional expenses and medical requirements for personal development and care. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will work with expert medical personnel to help identify the cause of such a condition and determine if doctor negligence occurred at birth. If you believe that a birth injury may have resulted in a brain injury to your child, then call us and talk to an experienced personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer today to discuss your case and learn about your options.
Brain Injury Symptoms
Symptoms of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury can appear within hours or days of the injury. Physical symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Convulsions or seizures
- Unconsciousness for several minutes to an hour
- Headache that worsens or persists
- Loss of coordination
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Numbness or weakness in the fingers and toes
- Clear fluid draining from the ears or nose
- Inability to wake up from sleep
Mental or cognitive symptoms of moderate to severe TBI include:
- Slurred speech
- Combativeness, agitation, or unusual behavior
- Extreme confusion
- Coma and consciousness disorders
- Vegetative state
Serious complications are associated with traumatic brain injury. It can cause permanent or prolonged changes in the victim’s awareness, responsiveness, and consciousness, impacting every aspect of life.
Damages for Traumatic Brain Injuries
In general, traumatic brain injuries qualify for compensation just like other types of personal injuries. There are some specific considerations that should be kept in mind with these types of injuries however, that may not apply to other injury cases.
- Lifetime Care Costs - Traumatic brain injuries are not like broken bones that can mend in a few weeks or months. In many cases, changes in personality or lifestyle after a brain injury may remain for years or the rest of a person's life. As such, healthcare expenses may be much higher for this type of injury than many others, and so damages sought to cover future medical care may be far higher.
- Future Loss of Earnings - Many personal injury cases include compensation for loss of future earnings, but the nature of brain injuries can make this a much larger consideration in these cases. A serious brain injury may mean someone cannot ever return to his or her previous work, which means he or she may be on total disability for the rest of his or her life. The loss of future earnings due to this can be quite extreme, and the damages meant to cover such losses should be equally high.
- Pain and Suffering - This can be very difficult to quantify in any case, but even more so when a traumatic brain injury has occurred. How can you place a value on being able to sign your name with hands that do not shake, or recognize a loved one's face? These kinds of changes can bring on severe emotional and psychological trauma, which is best demonstrated with the help of expert witnesses who specialize in brain injuries.
Call Our Chicago Brain Injury Attorneys 24/7
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC have been named among the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers and have been awarded Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Rating and 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo. We have the knowledge, experience, and skills to diligently pursue full and fair compensation for a traumatic brain injury sustained in an accident. Millions of dollars have already been awarded to our deserving clients and their families. Call us for a free case consultation.