Brain injuries are among the most severe, as they have the potential to result in permanent disability or death. Due to the serious nature of these injuries, extensive hospital stays, surgeries, other medical procedures, and physical therapy are often necessary. Medical debt can add up quickly and severely impact a family’s livelihood. If your 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 attorneys at Buckingham Barrera Law Firm have a proven track record of helping brain injury victims recover compensation for the losses they incurred as a result of accidents that weren’t their fault. No matter what type of accident you were in, we’re here to help you get your life back in order.
How Do Brain Injuries Happen?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are nearly 3 million traumatic brain injuries resulting in emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths every year. In 2014, there were approximately 2.53 million emergency room visits, 288,000 hospitalizations, and 57,000 deaths. Nearly half of the ED visits and the majority of hospitalizations included children.
The leading causes of brain injuries include falls, being struck by or against an object, car accidents, and violence—self-inflicted or otherwise. Nearly half of all ED visits were the result of a falling accident. If a person passes out, trips, or gets caught on something, it’s difficult for them to catch themselves. Depending on where they fall, they could hit their head off an object on the way down or strike their head on the ground.
Some individuals are more at risk for brain injuries. In particular, those over the age of 75 are more at risk for a fatal brain injury as the result of a fall. Car accidents, however, were more likely to result in head injuries for those 15 to 44.
The Effects of a Brain Injury
The severity of a TBI ranges from mild to severe. An example of a mild injury would be a brief change in consciousness or mental status. A severe injury could result in an extended period of unconsciousness, amnesia, or death.
If you’ve hit your head and are experiencing a headache that won’t go away, decreased coordination, slurred speech, severe drowsiness, seizures, or unusual behavior, head to the emergency room. Children with any of those symptoms should also be evaluated. Young children may also be inconsolable or refuse to nurse or eat.
The symptoms of a brain injury generally develop over time. While some may be immediately apparent, others may not be noticed for days, weeks, or months after the injury occurred. Symptoms usually fall into four categories: thinking/remembering, physical, emotional/mood, and sleep.
In regard to thinking/remembering, a TBI patient may feel slowed down, have difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating, and have trouble remembering new information. Because of that, some of the emotional symptoms include irritability, sadness, and anxiety.
Physically, a brain injury sufferer may experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to noise or light, balance problems, and lethargy. They may sleep more than usual or less than usual, or have trouble falling asleep.
When any of the symptoms above are experienced, it can take quite a toll on the person. They may be unable to work and may experience less enjoyment in their everyday life. That’s why filing a personal injury claim against the liable party is so important, as it can aid in recovery.
Recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury
If you think you or someone you know has sustained any degree of head injury, seek medical attention immediately. The sooner you’re evaluated, diagnosed, and treated, the better your chances are of making a full recovery.
If you were diagnosed with a mild or moderate injury, it’s likely you’ll start to feel better over the course of weeks or months. As you begin to feel better, you can incorporate more activities into your daily routine. With a severe brain injury, it’s possible the patient will need to spend significant time in the hospital, and they may need to learn to adapt to a disability.
To improve your chances of recovering as fully as possible, take the following tips into consideration:
- Get as much rest as possible.
- Don’t rush back into daily activities.
- Avoid participating in activities, like sports, that could cause another blow to the head.
- Don’t drive a car, ride a bike, or operate heavy machinery until you’re cleared by your health care professional.
- Only take medications your doctor has approved.
- If you’re having a difficult time remembering things, write them down.
- If you need help re-learning skills, get in touch with a physician who can help you arrange for those services.
Once you’ve reached your maximum medical improvement (MMI), you’ll have a better idea of what the injury cost you. If you decide to file a brain injury claim to seek compensation, your attorney will take your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, future cost of care, and more into consideration when determining the amount of the monetary award to seek from the party that caused your crash.
Consult Buckingham Barrera Law Firm
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 your case as efficiently as possible. Not only will we fight for your rights, but we’ll also ensure you have the 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, it’s important to note that the process can be complicated. As such, it’s important to get started as soon as possible after an accident. Schedule a consultation with our attorneys today to learn more.