Head and brain injuries are life-altering. Concussions, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-concussion syndrome (PCS) can leave victims dazed or temporarily unconscious. They also can suffer more extensive and long-term physical damage.
Unfortunately, approximately 97,000 Florida residents suffer TBI each year, according to the Brain Injury Association of Florida (BIAF). These injuries lead to 3,800 deaths as well as 18,600 hospitalizations and 74,000 emergency department visits each year in Florida, the BIAF says.
‘Traumatic Brain Injury’ – A Range of Head Injuries
The term “traumatic brain injury,” or TBI, refers to different types of brain damage. The effect of trauma inflicted upon the brain, normally because of a blow or jolt that slams the brain into the skull, can be minor and temporary. It can also be major and long-lasting. The most severe TBI cases cause a significant reduction in the victim’s quality of life.
Mild TBI may cause what the Mayo Clinic refers to as “temporary dysfunction of brain cells.” More serious TBI can result in long-term complications or death.
Brain injuries are categorized as:
- Concussion – A concussion is a temporary condition. It is caused by a less-severe blow to the head. Most patients fully recover. Concussions may include loss of consciousness. Symptoms of a concussion include headache and problems with concentration, memory, judgment, balance and coordination. A concussion victim is normally told to rest and is monitored to ensure the injury is not worse than thought.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – The word “trauma” is medically appropriate for any injury. So, even the mildest concussion is – technically – a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. But the term “TBI” is usually used for a severe injury that causes bruising, torn tissue, bleeding and other physical damage in the brain.Severe TBI may result in nerve damage, cognitive damage (learning, memory, judgment), communication problems, emotional and behavioral changes (depression, mood swings, outbursts and social difficulties), sensory problems, coma and degenerative brain disease.
- Post-concussion syndrome – This is an often-overlooked consequence of a blow to the head. The symptoms of post-concussion syndrome (PCS) are like those of a concussion. However, they can persist for a few months or a year or more. They can lead to anxiety and depression.
Causes of Head and Brain Injury
The brain is fragile. Any trauma to the brain produces injury of some kind, from a headache to a loss of function that lasts for a lifetime.
TBI can occur in a car crash if a driver or passenger bangs their head or their head is suddenly jerked upon impact, such as in a rear-end accident.
Many people suffer long-term injuries when they bang their heads in slip-and-fall accidents. Falls are the leading cause of deaths resulting from accidents among elderly people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Falling objects such as from a shelf in a store or from a higher level at a construction site, hit people on the head and cause concussions or more severe TBIs.
Sports injuries can cause concussion and TBI. Child abuse symptoms known as “shaken baby syndrome” also are a form of TBI.
Head and Brain Injuries Can Lead to Major Losses
Head and brain injuries can result in expensive medical requirements. They can lead to long and difficult recoveries. People with moderate TBI and PCS often require medication and therapy. Those with more severe TBI may need personal assistive devices, adaptations for their homes, in-home care and ongoing medication and physical therapy. In each of these cases, the injury victim will have additional expenses attributable to their head injury, including loss of work or the inability to return to work in more severe cases. You need an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer on your side to help you obtain the compensation you deserve in order to pay for your bills and properly assess lost income.
Legal Help after Head and Brain Injury
If you have suffered a head or brain injury in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation from the person or business at fault, such as a store or office building owner in a slip-and-fall accident.
Among our legal duties to each other is to not harm one another. Whenever another person or company negligently or intentionally harms you or damages something that belongs to you, they can be held liable under Florida’s tort laws.
Keep in mind: Florida law allows four years from the date of injury to file most personal injury lawsuits, but some, including wrongful death lawsuits, must be filed within two years. It’s important to talk to a Florida head and brain injury lawyer as soon as possible to avoid having your lawsuit barred by the statute of limitations.
Contact a Tampa Head and Brain Injury Lawyer Today for Help
Call Disparti Law Group, P.A., today toll free at 866-678-1184 or complete our online form for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.