When a loved one experiences a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you want them to receive the best care possible. A TBI requires specialized care due to the complex nature of what is the most important organ in the body. Depending upon the severity of your loved one’s TBI, they may need medical and personal care for the rest of their life. Seeing someone you love suffer through such a traumatic and often permanent injury is heartbreaking—especially when the injury is due to no fault of their own. If the reckless behavior or negligent actions of another person resulted in TBI issues that changed your loved one’s life, consider contacting a California brain injury lawyer without delay.
The Definition of TBI by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. A TBI can range from mild, to moderate, and in some cases, severe. Even a mild TBI, however, can damage the following important bodily functions:
Cognitive – A TBI often affects the cognitive function of the brain. This function is important for such skills as memory, attention, and processing information. Your loved one may experience difficulty communicating, reasoning, and problem-solving.
The bright, funny, and engaging person you once knew isn’t who you see now. That person is relearning certain basic skills while others skills are simply lost. The college student, the amazing father, or the young child with a promising future are forever changed due to a TBI caused by a football injury, a car accident, or a playground fall. No matter how the head injury occurred, when there is negligence present, accountability must follow.
Motor – The brain serves an important role when it comes to motor function. Someone with a TBI can experience weakness in their extremities, along with a lack of coordination and balance. Mobility, once easy, is now difficult. Rather than bicycling, skating, or running, your loved one is now learning how to use a power chair or confined to a hospital bed.
Adjusting from an active individual with the ability to walk freely about to limited or no ability is frustrating for TBI patients. A lifetime of easy motor function can come to a halt in a split second, due to a drunk or distracted driver, or a fall in a dark parking lot. A person who experiences damage to their motor function often requires intense physical therapies, possible future surgeries, and assistance with daily tasks.
Sensation – The brain controls such sensations as hearing, vision, taste, and touch. A TBI can take one or more of these sensations away or diminish them forever. Losing even one of these sensations has a devastating effect that can lead to depression and/or anxiety.
Your loved one may no longer clearly see you, hear your voice, or enjoy their favorite dish. The sensation of touching a kitten is just one example of how the loss of sensation can make the smallest, pleasurable things impossible.
Behavioral/emotional – A patient with a TBI may demonstrate a variety of behavioral and emotional changes. Your calm, roll-with-the-changes loved one may now exhibit bouts of irritability, impatience, and anger. Sadness at their new limitations and frustration can completely change their personality. It is distressing to experience the changes from an injury that was preventable in the first place.
The human brain is a powerful organ that, once injured, faces a long road to recovery. For some patients, the road is ongoing and never-ending due to the need for constant care. Understanding treatment options and the types of care your loved one requires is essential for preparing your case for possible litigation.
How medical professionals treat a TBI depends upon the severity of the injury and the symptoms of the brain injury. There is no quick-fix when it comes to TBI treatment. The following are just a few common approaches to TBI treatment:
1. Surgery – In severe cases, doctors may perform emergency surgery to reduce additional damage to brain tissues. Emergency brain surgery can include:
Visiting your loved one after such an extensive surgery is traumatic. It is difficult to see them in pain and in the hospital for an extended stay—all due to the negligence of another person.
2. Therapies – To relearn basic skills, your loved one may endure hours of:
Anyone of these therapies is grueling and requires persistence, by both the provider and the patient. Your loved one may want to simply give up. Encouraging them to continue when the process is obviously painful and difficult isn’t easy. Many TBI patients must endure daily and weekly therapy after the accident for months, possibly years to come.
3. Medications – Expensive medications can quickly drain your bank account. There are no coupons or cost-saving techniques to secure the medicine your loved one needs. Types of medications your loved one may require for their TBI are:
Instead of trips to the theater, the zoo, or football games, you are now continuously running to the drug store. A TBI patient relies on their medication to prevent muscle spasms, to control pain, and to help with their depression. There is no putting off a medicine purchase for someone with a TBI. It is an immediate physical and mental need that requires immediate purchase and payment.
When your loved one experiences a TBI, you want the best care possible. Medications and therapies can help improve their quality of life—at a great financial cost to you and your family. If the negligent actions of another person resulted in a TBI for your loved one, consulting a California brain injury lawyer is a smart idea. No one should pay out-of-pocket for medical expenses due to the reckless behavior of someone else.
Most patients with severe TBIs require round-the-clock care that loved ones simply cannot provide. These patients typically require a skilled nursing home facility like that of a nursing home. In California, the average cost for such a facility ranges from $8,000 to more than $9,000 per month.
If your loved one returns home, expenses—in addition to the daily medications—can include:
The on-going costs, along with the replacement of medical equipment, can easily escalate into the millions of dollars each year. Patients with TBI are unable to return to careers they once enjoyed, leaving them financially dependant upon others. Many patients deal with frequent rehospitalization and 29 percent of patients with moderate to severe TBIs abuse drugs and alcohol.
In addition to the financial costs of a TBI are the emotional and physical toll on your own health. No one wants to leave their loved one’s side during such a traumatic time, yet missed time from work can jeopardize your job and paycheck. The emotional toll begins the moment you receive the notification and it never really stops. You feel anger and frustration toward the responsible party and hurt and sadness for your loved one.
The stress of the situation can cause you to neglect your own health and to cancel doctor appointments. Eating on the run between hospital visits, a lack of sleep and failure to take your own medications leads to exhaustion and poor health. Other relationships, either within the family, with friends, or at work may begin to suffer. While many people may offer to help at first, their good intentions may slowly disappear over time. The reasons for this may include not knowing what to say or too many of their own personal responsibilities.
It is easy to feel frightened and alone with a loved one who experienced a TBI. Connecting with families of other TBI patients and seeking out support groups may help you feel not quite so alone. Seeking the services of a California brain injury lawyer with experience in TBI cases can help you feel that someone is looking out for the best interests of your loved one.
A TBI is a sudden and traumatic event that changes lives forever. It not only changes the victim’s life but the lives of those around them. There are a variety of ways the negligence of another person can result in a TBI for an innocent person of any age.
When a person is negligent is means they failed to take proper care in doing something that a typical person would use care in doing. Take driving, for example. Your loved one may obey all traffic rules and wear their seatbelt, yet another person may choose to drink and drive. When the two collide, your loved one experiences a TBI and the other person may walk away uninjured.
It is common for an insurance company representative to contact you soon after the accident. They may offer you an initial settlement to settle the case quickly. While the amount may appear as a large sum of money, it is typically a low-dollar amount. The insurance company representative looks out for the best interest of the company—not your loved one.
A personal injury attorney familiar with California law and TBI cases is your best bet for securing financial compensation for your loved one. TBI cases are among the most complex types of brain injury cases and require a highly skilled lawyer. Having proper legal representation during this time is essential for protecting your loved one’s future.
TBI cases are sometimes settled out-of-court, however, some cases do go to trial. The right brain injury lawyer who is also an experienced trial attorney can provide you peace-of-mind that your case is in good hands.
Each TBI case is different. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, your loved one may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Many California brain injury law firms offer a free case evaluation. There are often no fees unless they win compensation for you.
You are the best advocate for your loved one during this stressful time. Their injury may leave them unable to fully comprehend their situation or future medical needs. Protecting them and their future requires demanding justice and accountability from those who placed them in this irreversible position.
A patient with a TBI that was due to no fault of their own deserves the best treatment possible. Worrying about medical bills and future treatment only adds stress to the situation and can delay any possible healing.
You have nothing to lose by discussing your case with a brain injury attorney. Don’t let aggressive insurance company representatives fool you into accepting a low-dollar, initial settlement. Stand firm and schedule a free case evaluation as soon as possible. A lawyer can review the case and provide you with the best options for moving forward.
The sooner you contact a California brain injury lawyer, the better. Time is of the essence due to the state statute of limitations for filing a case. Gather any evidence you have, including the contact information for witnesses, and make the call. By doing so, you take an important first step toward justice for your loved one.
No one should delay necessary therapies or go without helpful medications due to a lack of funds—especially when the injury was no fault of their own. When you receive the news of your loved one’s injury, you panic and rush to the hospital. When you learn how the injury occurred, you most likely become angry. Channel your anger toward those responsible by securing the services of a California brain injury attorney as soon as possible.