Injuries are likely to happen in the aftermath of a car accident. And one of the severe injuries is brain damage. The extent of the injury, however, depends on the force with which the head is struck.
If you were unfortunate enough to suffer from brain injury because of someone else’s carelessness, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit.
And the pain and suffering you’re dealing with, you can claim compensation for damages. Because under the law, you deserve remuneration for the physical, mental, and financial struggles that come with the injury.
This article will discuss how people can get compensation for brain injuries due to the other person’s fault or negligence in car accidents in Texas.
Define Traumatic Brain Injury
When the head meets a violent force, it can lead to a condition known as traumatic brain injury. As a result, there may be bruising on the outside and/or bleeding on the inside of the head. This can pose serious problems or, worse, death.
A traumatic brain injury has three classifications: mild, moderate, and severe.
In minor car accidents, the vehicle occupants may suffer from mild concussions. This may result from hitting the head on the car’s steering wheel, dashboard, or other hard surfaces.
Concussions may disrupt regular brain activity. It could impair cognitive function or trigger headaches.
On the other hand, major car accidents can cause moderate to severe brain injuries. Among them is a closed head injury. This type of brain injury is challenging to treat since you can’t see; it’s on the inside.
A closed head injury occurs when the head meets a violent force. The head doesn’t even have to make contact with anything. As long as the brain moves inside the skull, it produces the injury.
What Causes Traumatic Brain Injury
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to detect brain injury. As a result, experts are still learning what occurs in the brain when in a car accident.
In many cases, the symptoms of brain injuries don’t appear unless severe damage has been done. Experts must use imaging tests to determine what happens inside the skull.
This technology allows them to pinpoint some of the common causes of brain injuries during an auto accident.
Hitting the Head With a Stationary Hard Object
It’s not just steering wheels and dashboards. Even deployed airbags can cause a ton of hurt. Hitting the head on the glass can also lead to severe injuries because it is a hard surface.
If you think car occupants had it wrong, imagine motorcycle riders. Because of their limited protection, they are at a higher risk of getting severe brain injuries.
Abrupt Forward Momentum
A sudden change in force while the brain is suspended inside the skull can produce a traumatic effect. The jolt can cause the brain to bounce around and hit the surrounding walls.
Thus, experts have concluded that a sudden and rapid change in momentum can contribute to internal swelling. While the symptoms of brain injury may not appear immediately, this will create micro-tears that doctors can only detect through extensive imaging scans. Over time, these micro-tears can build up and cause severe issues in the brain.
Hitting the Ground
In major car collisions, the drivers and passengers can get thrown out of the car and onto the ground. Several things are happening all at once that necessitate extensive tests.
First, the sudden change in momentum shook their heads a bit. This caused a violent shaking of the brain matter inside the skull. That’s bad news by itself.
Second, people can hit the glass hard. That’s a logical conclusion since the momentum was too strong that they went through the windows.
Third, hitting the head on a hard surface like an asphalt road is bad. If that doesn’t cause a big wound on the head, it may cause severe trauma.
Not Treating Concussions
It can become severe over time if you don’t treat minor injuries. This is why it’s crucial to look for concussions after going through a horrible auto accident.
Even if you walked away from that without a scratch, still, it’s a critical self-care move to get checked. Who knows, you have micro bruises up there?
Did you know initial symptoms are more difficult to detect? It’s essential to get extensive tests; otherwise, you risk having your minor but untreated issues become severe secondary injuries.
What to Do After an Auto Accident
If you suspect a traumatic brain injury, no matter how minor, it’s essential to follow these steps.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
The sooner the proper diagnostic tests are made, the better the chances of addressing the issue.
Time is of the essence when it comes to brain injuries after an auto accident. So it’s important to rule out any potentially life-threatening issues as early as possible.
Prompt medical care is necessary as it can spell a huge difference in getting back on the road to full recovery and health.
Diagnostic imaging tests go hand in hand with medical treatment. Without the appropriate imaging tests, it can be difficult for the doctor to determine what’s causing your symptoms. In the same way, he can’t prescribe the correct treatment.
Make sure you get documentation, from emergency room trips to medical prescriptions. That way, it will be easier to show the insurance provider that the cause of the brain injury was the auto accident.
Early documentation also lets you avoid future problems. Some insurance providers may refuse to pay for the treatment of secondary injuries. If it is a more severe brain injury, the insurance provider is precluded from denying the causal relationship between the auto accident and the severe damage.
Showing a clear link between the motor vehicle accident and the injury makes it easier to seek a full settlement. This allows you to get better medical treatment faster.
Don’t Tough it Out
Not seeking treatment right away can be a fatal move. Brain injury is always a serious matter and should be addressed immediately.
So even if you thought it was nothing, it could become more severe and have potentially devastating consequences.
Never Sign Waivers or Settlements Without your Lawyer
It might be enticing to sign any waiver or release in exchange for a settlement offer. However, you must wait until your lawyer reviews the document.
Look for a lawyer experienced in personal injury and auto accident cases to help in these matters. He can help you review your records and ensure you get a fair settlement.
Long-Term Effect of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Mild brain injury may also lead to neurological disorders like memory loss, difficulty forming thoughts, and lack of coordination. There may also be mood swings, violent outbursts, and seizures.
In moderate to severe brain injury cases, there may be swelling, which can increase the pressure inside the skull. Watch for symptoms like slurred speech, confusion, combative behavior, and loss of consciousness.
3 Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Head injuries from auto accidents can cause long-term problems. Consequently, they require extensive treatment and rehabilitation, which may run a lifetime.
If you’re the injured party, you have the right to pursue all avenues to recover damages aggressively.
In personal injury cases, there are three main types of damages that you can seek in court.
These amounts cover the costs and losses you incurred due to the injury sustained from the auto accident. Examples of these costs and losses are medical bills, loss of earning capacity, and loss of future earnings.
This damage covers the pain, suffering, and mental anguish you experienced after the car accident. In short, these are intangible losses—losses that may be unsupported by invoices, receipts, or documents.
The impact of non-economic damages can be just as equally debilitating as economic damages. So this entitles you to recover compensation.
From its name, punitive damages serve to punish the guilty party. The court typically awards this if the erring driver was grossly negligent, reckless, or acted intentionally.
Case Value of Traumatic Brain Injuries
One of the common questions on this subject is: How much is a brain injury case worth?
Several factors can influence the value of a personal injury claim.
- The extent of the injury and its symptoms
- Value of the damaged property
- Degree of pain, suffering, impairment, or disability.
- Medical bills, hospitalization costs, and rehabilitation expenses
- Loss of or reduced capacity to work or future earnings
- Mental anguish or emotional suffering
The value of the compensation claim may increase if the symptoms are long-term or permanent.
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the fault or recklessness of another person, you must file a claim for damages in court.
Get in touch with O’Hara Law Firm. We will protect your rights and aggressively seek compensation for your car accident-related injuries.
We will handle the necessary paperwork like medical records and accident reports to support your claim for damages. We will also intervene with insurance providers and negotiate settlements on your behalf.