SEATTLE HEAD AND BRAIN INJURY ATTORNEYS
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects 1.5 million Americans every year. Annually, 50,000 Americans die from brain injuries, making the fatality rate near 22% and the Center for Disease Control estimates that 5.3 million Americans are currently living with permanent disabilities caused by traumatic brain injury. Attorneys at Dixon Law Firm work with medical and economic experts to help victims of traumatic brain injury and their families recover compensation. If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers about a possible claim, please contact our office to make arrangements for a complimentary consultation.
Anyone who experiences a head trauma can suffer a brain injury, although children, young men, and the elderly are more at risk than others. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be caused by any closed head injury that occurs when a force impacts the head or rapid movement of the head that forces the brain to move inside the skull. A traumatic brain injury may also occur as the result of a trauma that causes the skull to break, directly injuring the brain. Car accidents, including those involving whiplash; falls; child abuse, which may appear as shaken baby syndrome; blows to the head in violent assaults and gunshots may all result in TBI.
People who sustain severe brain injuries, along with their families, are faced with expensive and extensive need for medical, rehabilitation and often long-term services. As such, any and all possible financial resources should be vigorously pursued. In addition to the personal injury lawsuit, other issues may need to be addressed by the family, including competency and guardianship, eligibility for federal and state programs, estate planning, powers of attorney and criminal matters related to the brain injury. Attorneys at Dixon Law Firm work with our staff to provide our clients and their families with guidance, counsel and support during the course of these matters.
Effects of traumatic brain injury:
The damages that result from brain injuries range widely depending on the location and extent of the brain injuries. The victim may suffer a treatable short-term injury such as concussion; a permanent disability such as loss of memory, loss of senses, seizure disorders, epilepsy, paralysis, or coma; or death.
TBI: Physical, emotional, and behavioral disabilities
The physical changes, emotional and behavioral changes, and mental or cognitive changes that result from head injuries can be temporary or permanent. It is important to note that, although not as obvious as physical injuries, emotional and cognitive impairments can prove even more damaging, altering the lives of the patient and his or her family. Work, family responsibilities and relationships, normal social relations, and day-to-day activities may become difficult challenges.
• Physical disability: Even minor brain injuries can result in physical damage like loss of consciousness, vision changes (blurred or double), dizziness, disorientation, vomiting and headaches. More serious brain injuries can result in seizures, reduced muscle strength and coordination, loss of balance, slurred speech, inability to sleep, sexual dysfunction and reduction or loss of one's senses like touch, sight, taste and hearing.
• Emotional changes: The emotional consequences of brain injuries can include personality and behavioral changes such as depression, anxiety, mood swings, loss of social skills, reduced self-esteem, stress, irritability, aggression and lack of emotional control.
• Cognitive loss: Cognitive damages are injuries associated with mental functions such as thinking, learning and memory. They may include impairments with judgment, decision-making, concentration, attention, planning, language as well as loss of memory and reading and writing skills.
Brain damage: Economic consequences
The economic consequences of brain injuries should not be ignored. In addition to the costs associated with medical services and physical/cognitive rehabilitation, the brain injury-sufferer may not be able to earn a living, even after undergoing treatment. In an extreme case, the victim may require long-term nursing home care. Loss of income and potential medical expenses resulting from the brain injury can be devastating to the family and should be claimed in a legal action. Our lawyers work with medical experts, accountants, and economic advisors to see that our clients recover the compensation they need to take care of themselves and their families.
Symptoms of brain injuries
If a member of your family was injured in an accident or assault, the person with a suspected brain injury should contact a doctor immediately; go to the emergency room or call 911. Although some people who just experienced head trauma exhibit signs such as disorientation, confusion and lack of concentration, one of the most dangerous aspects of a brain injury is that those suffering from them may show no obvious signs of damage.
If you have any questions about possible permanent brain damage, a lawyer at our Seattle based law office will provide a free case evaluation and help you determine how to proceed. Doctors, hospitals and other medical providers may employ a battery of tests to determine the existence and extent of a brain injury. Neuropsychological testing, clinical physiologists, PET scans, SPECT scans and MRIs can be used to provide medical evidence of a brain injury. Below are some warning signs to watch for.
Warning signs for adults suffering from head trauma include:
• A thin water-like liquid (spinal fluid) coming out of the ears or nose
• Loss of consciousness
• Vision changes such as blurred vision, seeing double or not tolerating bright light
• Dizziness or balance problems
• A general, lingering sensation of feeling not quite right or not feeling like themselves
• Loss of memory or concentration problems and confusion
• Delayed reactions when thinking, speaking or difficulty with simple physical tasks
• Changes in sleeping patterns or general fatigue
• Headaches and neck pain
• Loss of bowel or bladder control
• Sexual dysfunction
• Inappropriate emotional responses, including depression, uncontrollable crying or violent anger
Warning signs for children who may have brain injuries
Children who suffer head injuries should be watched closely for warning signs of brain damage. They may exhibit any symptoms listed above. In addition, loved ones should keep a close watch for:
• Lack of interest in favorite toys or activities
• Changes in play activities and school behavior
• Fatigue or listlessness
• Irritability or crankiness
• Inattention or inability to focus
• Loss of balance
• Loss of new skills such as shoelace tying or toilet training
• Changes in eating or sleeping habits
At Dixon Law Firm, our attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of traumatic brain injuries and their families recover compensation for their losses. If you believe you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury or you simply need more information, please contact us at (206) 330-0212.