Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most severe types of personal injury, as they have the potential to result in a life-altering, permanent disability or death. Due to the serious nature of brain injuries, immediate medical care, including extensive hospital stays, surgeries, and occupational or physical therapy are often necessary.
Medical bills can add up quickly and severely impact a family’s livelihood. If your personal injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to file a claim with the help of an Albuquerque brain injury lawyer.
The accident lawyers at Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm have a proven track record of helping brain injury victims recover full compensation for the economic damages and other losses they incurred as a result of accidents that were someone else’s fault. No matter what type of incident left you injured, our brain injury attorneys are here to help you get your life back in order.
How Common Are Brain Injuries?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are nearly 1.5 million traumatic brain injuries that result in emergency room (ER) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths every year.
That same data shows that, in 2019, there were approximately 223,135 TBI-related hospitalizations. CDC statistics show that in 2020, there were 64,362 TBI-related deaths. Nearly half of the ED visits and the majority of hospitalizations included children.
Some individuals are more at risk for brain injuries than others.
For example, fatal brain injuries caused by falls are most common among those over the age of 75. At the same time, motor vehicle accidents, and more specifically a passenger car crash, result in many brain injuries for those 15 to 44.
CDC data shows that TBIs are twice as likely to result in men being hospitalized than they are for women. TBIs result in three times the amount of premature deaths for men compared to women.
How Do Brain Injuries Happen?
The leading causes of brain injuries include:
- Being struck by or against an object
- A car accident
- Sports injuries
- Violence—self-inflicted or otherwise
According to the above-referenced CDC data, nearly half of all ER visits that resulted in patients’ TBI diagnoses were the result of a falling accident.
If a personal injury victim passes out, trips, or gets caught on something, it’s difficult for them to catch themselves. Depending on where injury victims fall, they could hit their heads on an object on the way down or strike their heads on the ground.
Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
There are a variety of symptoms that are associated with a traumatic brain injury. How those symptoms manifest themselves depends on the severity of the injury.
Understanding Brain Injury Severity
The severity of a traumatic brain injury ranges from mild to severe and has the following impacts on victims:
- Mild Injury: This type of personal injury can include a brief change in consciousness or mental status.
- Severe Injury: This type of personal injury can result in an extended period of unconsciousness, amnesia, or even death.
Initial Signs of a Brain Injury Among Adults
While it’s important to get checked out after any personal injury incident, it’s particularly important to see a medical professional by heading to the emergency room if you’ve hit your head and are experiencing:
- A headache that won’t go away
- Decreased coordination
- Slurred speech
- Severe drowsiness
Initial Signs of Brain Injury Among Children
In addition to the aforementioned brain injury symptoms, children may also:
- Be inconsolable
- Refuse to nurse or eat
Again, parents should ensure their child sees a health care professional for an evaluation and any necessary medical treatment to ensure they aren’t left with lasting impairments if they indeed have a brain injury.
How Brain Injury Symptoms Progress
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, the symptoms someone who has suffered a brain injury experiences generally develop over time. While some brain injury symptoms may be immediately apparent, others may not be noticed for days, weeks, or months after the injury occurred.
Categories of Brain Injury Symptoms
Traumatic brain injury symptoms usually fall into four categories, including:
Thinking or Remembering
In regard to the thinking or remembering (cognitive) category, a traumatic brain injury patient may:
- Feel slowed down
- Have difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating
TBI patients may also have trouble remembering new information (experience memory loss).
Emotional or Mood
Thinking or remembering (cognitive) challenges may lead to the emergence of emotional symptoms, including:
An Albuquerque injury victim may experience:
- Sensitivity to noise or light
- Balance problems
Our Albuquerque, NM accident lawyers also often see where our brain injury clients have to contend with physical pain associated with blunt force trauma, both to their heads and throughout the human body.
Individuals who’ve suffered brain damage may sleep more or less than usual, or have trouble falling asleep.
The Short and Long-Term Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries
When any of the brain or head injury symptoms above are experienced, it can take quite a toll on the person’s life. A brain injury victim may be unable to work and may experience less enjoyment in their everyday life.
Both economic and non-economic damages may quickly mount.
Types of Economic Damages
Economic damages that you may be able to demand compensation for by filing a brain injury claim with an insurance company or by taking a brain injury lawsuit to trial in New Mexico include medical treatment costs and lost income.
Types of Non-Economic Damages
Our Albuquerque brain injury attorneys at Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm often request non-economic damages on behalf of their clients, too. Some examples of non-economic damages your attorney may request in your Albuquerque brain injury case include ones for:
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
A brain injury attorney from our office will want to know more about your incident before advising you which type of noneconomic damages you might be eligible to demand.
Overall, filing a personal injury claim against the liable party is important as it can aid in your recovery.
Recovering From a Traumatic Brain Injury
If you think you or someone you know has sustained a potential brain injury, seek medical attention immediately. The sooner you or your loved one is evaluated, diagnosed, and treated for a brain injury, the better your chances are of making a full recovery.
If you were diagnosed with a mild or moderate brain injury, you’ll likely start to feel better over the course of weeks or months. As you begin to feel better and your brain’s normal function is restored, you can incorporate more activities into your daily routine.
With a severe brain injury, our experience is that it’s possible the patient will need to spend significant time in the hospital. They may need to undergo occupational, physical, and other types of rehabilitative therapies to learn to adapt to their disabilities.
Almost every Albuquerque brain injury lawyer on our team has heard from our clients that doing the following has been critical to improving their chances of recovering as fully as possible:
- Getting as much rest as possible.
- Not rushing to get back involved in daily activities.
- Avoiding participating in activities, like contact sports, that could cause another blow to the head.
- Not driving a car, riding a bike, or operating heavy machinery until they’re cleared by their health care professional to do so.
- Only taking medications or undergoing treatments approved by their doctors.
- Writing things down if they’re having difficulty remembering them.
- Reaching out to a physician or another health care professional to arrange for help re-learning skills if needed.
Ultimately, your physician or another medical provider will determine that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). That’s the stage at which they believe they’ve done everything possible for you using their skillset to help you reach optimal improvement.
You and your Albuquerque brain injury attorney here at Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm will have a better idea of what the injury has and will cost you in the future, both monetarily and in terms of affecting your life, once you’re at MMI.
What To Expect at Your Free Consultation With a New Mexico Brain Injury Lawyer
Individuals who’ve suffered TBIs deserve justice. When it comes to your legal options, our New Mexico legal system allows victims to file insurance claims or civil lawsuits to recover maximum compensation when holding at-fault parties liable for their negligence.
At your free consultation, an Albuquerque brain injury lawyer from our office will explain the New Mexico legal process. Our injury lawyers in Albuquerque will also go over your legal options and potential attorney’s fees in your case.
Costs Associated With Handling Brain Injury Cases
Personal injury lawyers like ours generally take most cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you wouldn’t need to pay anything for our legal representation of you unless we won an award in your case. There may be court filing costs and other legal fees associated with investigating your claim that you would be responsible for, though.
How Legal Representation in a New Mexico Brain Injury Case Unfolds
If you decide to do more than seek legal advice from the attorney you consult with and file an Albuquerque brain injury claim to seek compensation, you can expect the following series of events to unfold:
- You will need to formally establish an attorney client relationship with your lawyer.
- Your lawyer will need to take a more detailed account of your injury incident and investigate it to determine liability.
- Your attorney will need to calculate your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, the future cost of medical care, and mental anguish.
In terms of the latter, your attorney will use these tabulations to determine the amount of financial compensation to seek from an insurance company for the at-fault party.
When To Consult With an Albuquerque Brain Injury Attorney
Litigation can seem overwhelming when you’re trying to focus on recovery. Fortunately, our Albuquerque brain injury lawyers are equipped with the skills and resources needed to handle personal injury cases as efficiently as possible.
Not only will we fight for your rights, we’ll also ensure you have the financial compensation you need to move forward from the accident and focus on the things that matter most to you.
While we’re fully capable of handling your claim for you, the more complex the injury, the more thorough an investigation into liability needs to be. We’ll be persistent despite the complexities and complications.
Statutes of limitations apply to all personal injury cases. It’s therefore important to get started on building your case as soon as possible after your injury incident occurs.
Reach out to us to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm Albuquerque brain injury attorneys today to learn more.