Knoxville Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
Experienced Knoxville Injury Attorneys for Victims of TBI
Tragically, the intense impacts sustained by many victims of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents sometimes result in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These types of injuries most often occur in situations in which a victim sustains a violent blow to the head or when an object pierces the skull and damages the brain tissue. The Knoxville traumatic brain injury lawyers at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC have successfully represented hundreds of clients who sustained this type of injury.
TBIs result in two types of damage: primary and secondary brain damage. Primary brain damage is the damage that occurs at the time of impact, such as skull fractures or bleeding. Secondary brain damage, on the other hand, is damage that occurs after the initial impact, such as brain swelling and accompanying seizures.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading causes of TBIs include:
- Serious falls;
- Vehicle and pedestrian-related accidents;
- Violent assaults;
- Sports-related injuries; and
- Explosive blasts.
Even if a TBI is relatively mild, it can still be dangerous, as sustaining head trauma can make accident victims much more vulnerable to later brain injuries. Contact our Knoxville brain injury attorneys today for more information.
The severity of a TBI will depend largely on the point of impact, the force of the blow, and the age and health of the victim. However, there are some symptoms common to most TBIs, including:
- Confusion or disorientation;
- Change in sleep patterns;
- Sensitivity to light and sound;
- Blurred vision;
- Difficulty concentrating; and
- Mood swings.
More severe brain trauma is also characterized by problems with cognition, sensory processing, communication, and behavior.
Unfortunately, little can be done to reverse initial brain damage caused by a significant impact, and most patients with head injuries require surgery in order to repair ruptured blood vessels or bruised brain tissue. Recovery almost always requires the creation of an individually tailored treatment program that involves physical therapy, speech therapy, and social support. The Knoxville traumatic brain injury lawyers at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC have been ensuring that victims have access to the best medical care possible for over thirty years.
Children with TBIs
TBIs are one of the leading causes of acquired disability in children, partly because they are so much more difficult to diagnose. This is largely due to the fact that young children usually do not have any objective pre-injury information on which a physician can evaluate levels of trauma.
In many cases, parents are not initially aware that their child has sustained a TBI. A child may have a TBI if, after a severe jolt, he or she displays any of the following symptoms:
- Refusing to stop crying;
- Will not nurse or eat;
- Restlessness or irritability;
- Lack of interest in favorite toys or activities;
- Increased temper tantrums; and
- Change in sleep patterns.
An absence of evidence of brain damage in young children is not necessarily indicative that the child did not sustain an injury in an accident. Damage may become apparent over time as social, verbal, and reasoning skills do not emerge.
Depending on the severity and extent of the damage, a person who sustained a TBI may need to relearn basic skills, such as speaking, eating, and walking. While therapy begins in a hospital, it is usually required even after a patient has been released. Many TBI patients need to stay in a residential treatment or rehabilitation facilities or seek outpatient services.
Most victims of a TBI require at least a few sessions with a speech-language pathologist. This type of therapist will run a series of evaluations in order to tailor a patient’s therapy to his or her needs. Primarily, speech therapists evaluate a patient’s cognitive-communication abilities. This may require a therapist to conduct an oral examination in order to check the strength and coordination of the muscles that control speech. A therapist may also test a patient’s:
- Understanding and use of vocabulary;
- Ability to read and write;
- Social communication skills;
- Attention to detail;
- Memory skills;
- Ability to plan and organize; and
- Reasoning and problem solving abilities.
After completing these evaluations, the patient’s therapists and physicians will create a treatment plan that focuses on increasing independence in performing daily tasks.
Stages of Recovery
In the early stages of recovery, doctors focus treatment on helping victims to:
- Respond to sensory stimulation;
- Maintain attention while doing basic activities; and
- Reduce confusion.
As the patient progresses, treatment will focus more on:
- Improving memory;
- Working on social skills; and
- Improving self-monitoring at home.
The goal of therapy is to help the patient live as independent a life as possible. This may require working with a vocational rehabilitation specialist who can help patients go back to school or seek employment. Therapy and ongoing medical care can be extremely expensive, making it even more important for a person who sustained a TBI due to another’s negligence to seek compensation through the legal system.
Most lawsuits based on TBIs require a victim to show that the other party was at fault for the accident. In order to bring a successful claim, a victim of a TBI must prove that:
- The other party was required to be reasonably careful;
- He or she acted unreasonably;
- The action or inaction caused the victim’s injuries; and
- The victim suffered an injury as a result of the at-fault party’s acts.
Unlike other personal injury cases, linking a TBI to another person’s conduct can be difficult. Gathering a significant amount of evidence documenting the diagnosis is necessary to obtaining a favorable judgment.
Alternatively, if an injury occurred because a product was defective, a victim may be able to bring an action against the manufacturer. For instance, if an airbag’s failure to deploy resulted in a victim sustaining a TBI, he or she can hold the manufacturer accountable for the flaw.
Contact the Experienced Knoxville Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC Today
Victims of TBIs are often so severely injured that they are unable to leave the hospital, even to meet with an attorney. We understand these limitations, and if you are unable to travel to our office, we will have one of our experienced lawyers meet with you at the hospital or your home.
If you or a loved one sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident, please contact our Knoxville traumatic brain injury lawyers at (866) 958-4414 for a free consultation.