Statistics show that 146,000 Texans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year (one every four minutes). Roughly half a million Texans are currently living with a disability caused by TBI. It is also the leading cause of death and disability in people under the age of 45. There are many causes for TBI, ranging from motor vehicle accidents to workplace accidents. The brain injury attorneys at Guajardo & Marks have represented many TBI victims and their families to receive compensation for their suffering, which often includes a lifetime of care and medical expenses.
- How Traumatic Brain Injuries Happen
- Living in the Shadow of TBI
- Picking Up The Pieces After a Brain Injury
- Facts and Myths About TBIs
- Are Concussions Traumatic Brain Injuries?
- The Effects of a Brain Injury on a Child
- Featured Article: Protecting Our Children from Traumatic Brain Injuries
- How Brain Injuries Impact Families and Loved Ones
- Featured Article: Youth Athletics Brain Injuries Have Surged (It’s Not Just Football)
- TBI Prevention in Texas
- Dallas Brain Injury Lawsuit Attorneys
How Traumatic Brain Injuries Happen
The number one cause for TBI is a slip-and-fall accident (40.5%), followed by being struck by/against an object (15.5%) and motor vehicle accidents (14.3%).
- Slip-and-Fall Accidents – When the condition of property leads to a slip-and-fall accident, the property owner – or, in some cases, the renter – is often held responsible for the injury. Personal injury cases that stem from these types of accidents usually fall under the category of premises liability. From 1997 to 2013, falls accounted for 13 percent of injury deaths in Dallas County.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – This includes car accidents, large truck accidents, rollover accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, ejection from vehicles and accidents caused by defective vehicle parts. They are often caused by driver negligence, such as distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, improper lane shifts and other reckless driving practices. In 2014, there were 27,734 total vehicle crashes in Dallas.
- Struck By/Against an Object – Sports and recreational activities lead to 21 percent of TBI in children and adolescents in the United States. The top four sports that lead to brain injuries are cycling, baseball/softball, football and basketball. An investigation by NBC 5 found that there were 2,500 concussions in just one school year at Dallas-Ft. Wayne area school districts.
- Workplace Accidents – Dangerous work conditions can lead to serious injuries. This includes exposure to hazardous materials, slip-and-fall accidents, defective equipment, construction accidents, and accidents from the transportation of goods. Brain injuries are more common in certain industries, such as transportation, fishing, agriculture and logging. However, perhaps the most dangerous industry for TBI’s is construction.
- Construction Accidents – There’s good reason that construction workers wear hard hats on their job sites. One study found that the construction industry had the highest number of traumatic brain injuries. Scaffolding collapses, falls, ladder accidents, trench collapses and falling objects/equipment can all lead to serious workplace injuries and TBI’s.
So, what happens after someone suffers a major injury to the brain?
Living in the Shadow of TBI
There are numerous short- and long-term consequences that can occur as the result of a TBI. They include impairment of cognitive brain functions like memory, concentration and reasoning. Physical effects include dizziness, headaches, problems with speech or mobility and impairment of sensory perceptions like vision and hearing, Then there are the emotional side effects like aggression, anxiety, depression and personality changes. These effects may not appear until weeks or months after the injury. See Also: Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
One recent study found that out of 3,000 major head trauma cases, 52% of those who survived were moderately to severely disabled after one year following the injury. These changes in personality and emotional state can strain close relationships, leaving the victim isolated and severely depressed, even suicidal. Related: TBIs and Disability
Financial consequences can be equally devastating. Medical bills for TBI can cost a person up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Paying these bills is often difficult due to the loss of income that sometimes accompanies severe brain injuries. Read More: Costs Associated with Brain Injuries
Picking Up The Pieces After a Brain Injury
Unfortunately, TBI can often occur because of negligence, ranging from driver recklessness to unsafe property conditions. At Guajardo & Marks Law Firm, we believe that responsible parties should be held accountable for their negligence, and that victims should receive compensation for the damages and injuries they have suffered. In addition to initial and ongoing medical care, this can include compensation for loss of income and quality of life.
Facts and Myths About TBIs
Traumatic brain injuries are not like other injuries. The severity and effects of the injury can depend upon your age, what part of the brain was damaged, and how severe the damage was. Every brain injury is different, and so is every recovery. To really understand TBIs, it is important to separate the facts and myths:
- Myth: Knowing which part of the brain was injured will dictate the possible challenges. In reality, we may have some idea of what problems can be expected based upon the injury location. But it is difficult to predict the exact effects of a brain injury; much depends upon the patient’s anatomy and damage to tissue that is not evident on imaging scans.
- Fact: With enough support, many victims can improve their lives after a brain injury. If they get enough physical therapy and medical care, many people with brain injuries can indeed change their outcomes and live very productive lives.
- Myth: The best way to help a person with a TBI is to help them do tasks. While it is necessary to be there to help if needed, it is better to let the injured person do things for themselves if they can. While it may take them longer, doing things for themselves can help with their recovery. Allowing them to retain some of their independence also increases their feelings of dignity and self worth.
- Fact: Many families report that the biggest problems after a brain injury are issues with cognition and behavior. People with brain injuries may not think, react or feel they way they did before. These issues can be challenging for loved ones, but help is available to deal with these challenges.
- Myth: The emotional needs of the person change after a TBI. People with a TBI have the same emotional needs as other people. They want to feel loved, useful, needed and to be treated with respect. They also want to have as much control over their lives as they can.
Are Concussions Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Concussions are the most well-known closed brain injury. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can range from mild to severe. Concussions that are mild do not cause any immediate danger of death, but they still can lead to life-changing consequences. Concussions can be especially problematic if the patient has more than one over time.
Concussions are hard to diagnose; the basic diagnosis is a loss of consciousness followed by a loss of memory after a blow to the head. That combination is a reasonable indictor, but you do not have to have a loss of consciousness and amnesia to have a concussion. A medical examination by a physician is required to diagnose most concussions.
The Effects of a Brain Injury on a Child
Children tend to be resilient when they are injured, but this is often not the case with brain injuries. People may think that because the brain of a child is growing so quickly, it may be able to repair itself. But in reality, the softer skull of a young child and the growing brain can put the child at higher risk of serious problems.
Recent studies in Australia done on TBIs in children as young as two years found that a traumatic brain injury affected IQ, cognitive function and behavior for substantial periods of time. Researchers also found that recovery from a TBI can continue for years after the injury.The home environment of the child can have a positive influence upon the recovery as well.
Featured Article: Protecting Our Children from Traumatic Brain Injuries
Parents do everything they can to protect their children. They make tough decisions to ensure that their sons and daughters aren’t put in harm’s way. Just ask any parent who is considering whether or not their child should be able to play football.
It is one of any parent’s worst nightmares to picture their child becoming the victim of a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s) are some of the worst injuries that a person can suffer, regardless of their age. However, in children, these injuries can have a profoundly detrimental impact on a brain that is still in the crucial stages of development…. read more
Young children under four are at most risk of having a traumatic brain injury from a fall, car accident, child abuse, sports or being struck with a moving object. Most of these injuries are not fatal, but about 1/3 of children with a TBI have lasting damage. Children with TBIs also may have their mental and physical development damaged for some period of time, or even permanently. However, research shows that from approximately three years after the injury until about 10 years after, the child can make some developmental gains that are appropriate for their age.
How Brain Injuries Impact Families and Loved Ones
The effects of a brain injury can extend far beyond the victim. A brain injury also can have major effects on the family and loved ones. Many brain injuries affect who the person once was and can also affect who the family and/or primary caregiver once was. Family relationships can be disrupted; and the family’s functionality, balance and harmony may never be the same. In some ways, losing who the loved one was can be almost as difficult as physically losing the person; there is a daily reminder that the loved one is no longer the same. Sometimes there are not enough support and resources available for families who must care for a loved one with a brain injury.
If you are dealing with the brain injury of a loved one, be sure that you ask for the help and support of other family members as you need it. Also, the financial and emotional costs of care of a loved one with a brain injury is something that you should consider when determining what the value of a potential personal injury claim may be, if you are considering legal action against a negligent party.
Featured Article: Youth Athletics Brain Injuries Have Surged (It’s Not Just Football)
We like to instill toughness and perseverance in our children. Phrases like these have been echoed in locker rooms and on playing fields throughout the history of organized sports. But over the past few decades, we have gained a deeper understanding of how injuries impact children and the terrible implications they can have later in life.
One of the biggest concerns in youth athletics is the impact an injury can have on the human brain. When it comes to sports-related brain injuries, the adages that are intended to “toughen up” young people could have devastating health consequences. Read more.
TBI Prevention in Texas
It’s difficult to anticipate events that lead to TBI, but there are a few things that we can do to reduce their occurrence.
- Always wear safety belts in motor vehicles and make sure your passengers do the same.
- Put your children in designated safety seats when riding in a car.
- Wear a helmet when biking or playing sports.
- Make sure living areas are secure, especially for older adults. This means installing rails where possible and ensuring that flooring is stable and safe.
Dallas Brain Injury Lawsuit Attorneys
It might sound unbelievable, but studies have found that the lifetime costs of treating a single patient with a TBI can reach $4 million. Our Dallas personal injury lawyers can help you pursue compensation so that you don’t have to bear these extraordinary burdens yourself.
If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury, contact the Dallas TBI accident attorneys at Guajardo & Marks. Our experienced legal team will fight for the compensation you deserve. The statute of limitations in Texas is two years, though it’s important to take action as soon as possible. Contact Guajardo & Marks today for a free consultation.
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