Personal Injury Specialized Area of Practice in Charleston, SC

Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury can have adverse effects on one's life for years. When you've suffered or a family member has been severely injured, the attorneys at The Feidler Law Firm understand that you may be suffering, that your life has been upended, and we’re sympathetic to the fact that your future is uncertain. The good news is that you’ve arrived at the right place. Our firm has successfully litigated many Traumatic Brain Injury cases, which have yielded large settlement offers. We have the litigation experience to navigate your case and get you the compensation you deserve.

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What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic Brain Injury is defined by the American Medical Association as a Brain dysfunction caused by an outside force, usually a violent blow to the head, via a fall, car accident or other trauma. Traumatic brain injury often occurs as a result of a severe sports injury or car accident, as an example.

Immediate or delayed symptoms may include confusion, blurry vision, and concentration difficulty. Infants may cry persistently or be irritable. However, ongoing mental, emotional, psychological or physical challenges can continue through a lifetime.

In particular, if the Traumatic Brain Injury is a Closed Head Trauma, an additional difficulty lies with the fact that the outside world cannot physically see the harm done to your health.

In “looking healthy,” your loved ones may not understand personality changes or memory loss, and often due to the isolation and loneliness of this type of injury, it is often difficult to hold a job.

Levels of Severity in Traumatic Brain Injuries

While there are levels of severity in brain injuries, the same injury in one person might produce different symptoms in another. Even if you believe your brain injury is mild, you may still suffer serious and long-lasting effects. Unless you seek medical attention, there is no way to know for sure whether you or somebody else has suffered a TBI or may be in danger due to one.

Depending on the medical professional’s assessment of how severe the injury to your brain is, TBIs can usually be placed into one of three categories:

Traumatic Brain Injuries

1. Mild Brain Injury

A mild TBI is characterized by loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes, if at all. Loss of consciousness doesn’t need to occur and a victim may only appear to be confused or disoriented. With mild TBIs, medical tests may show that the brain was not injured, although this can be untrue. This is why doctors look closely at the victim’s mental functioning in diagnosing mild TBIs and concussions.

2. Moderate Brain Injury

A moderate TBI is characterized by loss of consciousness that may last up to a few hours and confusion that can last up to weeks. With a moderate TBI, complications can last for months and could be permanent. These complications can be physical, cognitive, or behavioral. Many treatment programs will be needed to address these complications.

3. Severe Brain Injury

The most severe TBIs come from crushing blows or penetration to the skull and brain. This level of injury is life-threatening and the victim is not likely to return to the life that they once had. While closed head injuries can result in severe brain injury, typically severe head trauma is from an open head injury where the skull has been seriously damaged.

Types of TBIs Suffered After an Accident

A traumatic brain injury can come in many different forms. Possible complications and required treatments will greatly depend on how the injury is acquired, the location of the injury, and the severity of the brain damage.

Concussions

A concussion is a minor brain injury that is caused by an impact to the head, shaking, or a sudden change in movement, like whiplash. Oftentimes, concussions cannot be seen through an imaging test, but they should still be considered serious and should be treated as so.

Concussions can cause headaches, problems with concentration, memory loss, and disorientation. Concussions are especially dangerous if more than one is sustained over time, or if a second one occurs before the first one heals (“second impact syndrome”).

Second Impact Syndrome: A second impact is more likely to cause severe brain damage than a first, even if the victim does not lose consciousness. If you suffer a blow to the head in the months following a brain injury, seek prompt medical care, even if you feel fine. Often, second concussions are a silent killer, since both impacts can appear minor at the time.

Contusions

A brain contusion is a bruise of the brain tissue, just like one might have a bruise on their skin. And like any other bruise, they are caused by the breaking and leaking of small blood vessels. On the skin level, this leaking blood under the skin is what causes the blue coloring; on the brain, the leaking causes a plethora of issues that mostly relate to a building of pressure.

Brain contusions can be caused by any impact to the head. For example, a contusion may occur in a car accident when the head hits the steering wheel, a slip, and fall when the head hits the ground, or in a sports-related accident in which the brain takes a significant impact.

During the impact that causes a brain contusion, it’s possible for the brain to be damaged directly under the site of impact, on the opposite side from the point of impact as the brain is slammed into the opposing side of the skull, or both.

Contusions, like concussions, can range dramatically from minor to extremely severe. Severe contusions may cause a loss of consciousness, confusion, tiredness, emotional distress, or agitation. More severe contusions may cause the brain to swell, could prevent proper oxygenation, and other serious consequences.

Penetrating Brain Injuries

Penetrating brain injuries occur when some type of object pierces through the skull. This may cause the object, or hair, skin, or fragments of the skull, to make contact with the brain. This contact with and force on the brain can cause serious injury to a concentrated, or large, part of the brain.

Penetrating brain injuries may be caused by any external force or object that is strong enough to break through the skull, such as:

  • A slip-and-fall that causes the skull to crack
  • A motor vehicle accident in which something penetrates or breaks the skull A gunshot wound to the head, which is the leading cause of death by TBI
  • A sports-related injury due to excessive force

Anoxic Brain Injuries

An anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain does not receive enough oxygen to operate properly. After just four to five minutes without a proper amount of oxygen, brain cells will begin to die and brain injury will occur. Since oxygen is carried to the brain by blood, anoxic brain damage most often occurs because of a blockage of this blood flow.

A diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is similar to a concussion in that it results from the brain moving, but it is often much more serious. With a DAI, the head so violently moves that the brain stem cannot keep up with the rate of movement, causing tears in the connections of the brain to the spinal cord. These tears can be microscopic, producing varying degrees of brain damage, or they can be quite large.

Tears that are sufficient may cause extremely serious, life-long effects or they can even be fatal. The severity of symptoms with this type of injury is largely dependent on the brain areas affected, the severity of the tears, and whether any other injuries — such as a contusion or concussion — were also sustained.

Subdural Hematomas

Blockage can occur as a result of a blood clot, stroke, heart attack, or serious trauma, among others. It may also be possible the blood flow to the brain, in quantity, is normal, but that the blood itself is not carrying enough oxygen. This can occur as a result of poisoning, drowning, carbon monoxide poisoning, choking, suffocation, or anything that prevents the lungs from taking in a normal amount of oxygen molecules.

Hypoxic Brain Injuries

One type of traumatic brain injury is a hypoxic brain injury, which occurs when the brain receives some but not enough oxygen and suffers damage as a result. This is usually achieved by incomplete reduction of oxygen to the lungs or blood to the brain via some form of inefficient suffocation like:

  • Near-drowning
  • Near-hanging
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Exposure to poisonous gasses

One version of hypoxic brain injury is a hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, also called stagnant hypoxia or ischemic insult.

Traumatic Brain Injury Consequences

Cognitive: Short- or long-term memory loss; spatial disorientation; difficulty concentrating, communicating, or planning.

Psychological/Behavioral: Anxiety; depression; mood swings; agitation; impulsivity.

Physical: Seizures; headaches; speech impairment; partial or complete paralysis of the body; vision, hearing, smell, or taste loss.

Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms

  • Being dazed, disoriented, or confused
  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in the ability to smell
  • Depression or anxiousness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness that can last a few seconds to several minutes
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Sensory problems
  • Sleeping more than usual

Moderate to Severe Symptoms of an Acquired Brain Injury

  • Agitation or combativeness, or any other unusual behavior
  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
  • Coma
  • Convulsions
  • Dilation (enlargement) of one or both pupils
  • Inability to wake
  • Loss of consciousness for several minutes or hours
  • Loss of coordination
  • Persistent or worsening headache
  • Profound confusion
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in fingers or toes
Frequently Asked Questions

You have a question? We have an answer.

How do you prove traumatic brain injury?

A CT scan uses a series of X-rays to create a detailed view of the brain. A CT scan can quickly visualize fractures and uncover evidence of bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage), blood clots (hematomas), bruised brain tissue (contusions), and brain tissue swelling. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The amount of medical care you will need varies, but it is often very expensive. Your brain is an extremely sensitive organ and performs the most vital function of your entire body. Even if you can physically repair some of the damages resulting from TBI, you still need to face the negative effects it can have on your body for years to come.

How Much Compensation Can You Get for a Traumatic Brain Injury?

The truth is, there is really no way to tell. A general estimate is that most brain injury cases generally settle for around $100,000 at the minimum. Due to the brain’s highly sensitive nature and how impactful injuries to it are, it is not uncommon to see TBI claims settle in excess of several million dollars.

This is not a guarantee that your case will settle in that amount. However, our lawyers will do everything in their power to get you the best settlement possible for your damages. TBIs can result in permanent and lasting damages that are worth the amount of money you can potentially receive. We will do everything we can to ensure that you get a fair settlement that covers all your needs and more.

How long does it take to settle a brain injury lawsuit (TBI claim) Brain Damage lawsuit?

The average TBI lawsuit will settle in 2 years timeframe, but can be slightly longer with someone who has a permanent disability.

How long does it take for an injury claim to payout?
As a very rough guide, a claim may take 6 to 12 months if liability is accepted by the treatment or care provider immediately. If liability is disputed, it could take 12 to 18 months for more complicated claims. Very complex cases can take significantly longer.
What is the cost of caring for someone with a traumatic brain injury?

The cost of caring for individuals with traumatic brain injuries varies substantially based on such factors as the severity of the injury (mild, moderate, and severe) and the age and health of the individual affected. Several studies developed by the CDC have projected average medical costs as follows:

  1. Mild brain injury — $85,000;
  2. Moderate brain injury – $941,000;
  3. Severe brain injury — $3,000,000+.
Do I need a South Carolinian Attorney to represent my case or can I deal directly with the insurance company adjusters?

There is no simple answer to this complex question. The answer depends on many factors such as:

  • The complexity of the accident – a simple fender bender where the fault is clear, versus a hit-and-run with serious injuries;
  • Type of damage – property only, versus bodily injury or wrongful death;
  • Settlement process – negotiate with an insurance adjuster, versus pursue arbitration or litigation with a jury trial;
  • Financial settlement goal – pay for damage to my car, versus recover lost wages and future expenses for medical treatments;
  • Personal Risk – none, my insurance will cover the damages, versus the guy that hit me is underinsured;
  • Negotiation approach – The Feidler Law Firm has the time and knowledge to negotiate, with a team of legal professionals who have extensive experience in dealing with insurance companies and their legal teams;
  • Monetary value needed to recover – small, less than $10,000, versus million dollar settlements.

Our recommendation is to always speak with an experienced Personal Injury Attorney to evaluate your specific case factors, your situation, and the appropriateness of retaining a lawyer.

Remember, when you deal directly with an insurance company, you are dealing with a large, corporate entity, specifically staffed with lawyers and specialists trained in techniques to minimize the value of your claims. They utilize many techniques that are very effective in reducing the value of their offers to you. You can read about numerous examples of case results where settlement offers increased by a factor of ten or more when clients have legal representation.

Do not give up your only leverage in dealing with an insurance company; you’re right to legal representation and due process. We provide an initial free consultation and personal injury case evaluation for all potential clients and will give you an honest assessment of the case including a potential value and strategy to win your case.

Hire a South Carolina Lawfirm today to represent your Traumatic Brain Injury case.

The Feidler Law Firm believes that everyone deserves high-quality legal representation, no matter their financial status. Therefore, we operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay us only when we win your case. Our fee would come in the form of a percentage of the settlement or verdict amount we obtain. If there is no recovery, there will be no attorneys’ fees.

You’re not alone. The Feidler Law Firm is here to help. Submit your information through our web form, or call The Feidler Law Firm at 843-790-9015 for a FREE consultation to discuss your case.

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