A traumatic brain injury or "TBI" refers to damage caused to the brain that results from an open or closed head injury the results of which are expected to continue indefinitely and creates a substantial handicap to the individual. A person is said to have a traumatic brain injury when that person has had a traumatically induced physiological disruption of brain function.
A person can suffer a such an injury as a result of:
- Their head being struck by an object
- Their head striking an object
- Their brain experiencing an acceleration/deceleration movement (usually from an accident) without direct external trauma to the head
Motor vehicle accidents account for the majority of brain injuries. Other examples of these injuries include:
- Firearm related incidents
- Sports and recreational accidents
Because the types and degrees of traumatic brain injuries are so varied, the general symptoms can be quite different. The physical symptoms can range from coma and paralysis to seizures to headaches and extreme fatigue. One can also experience memory loss, attention impairment, language impairment, conduct changes and disorders, motor disorders, difficulty in understanding and processing information, loss of balance, loss of sense of time and any other neurological dysfunction. A traumatic brain injury may be manifested by:
- Any period of loss of consciousness
- Any loss of memory for events either before or after the accident
- Any alteration in the mental state of a person at the time of the accident (i.e., confusion or disorientation)
There are a great number of issues that must be investigated and documented regarding a traumatic brain injury. It is important to have proper tests done by medical experts to understand the nature and extent of your traumatic brain injury. It may also be helpful to employ other experts to help develop and explain how your injuries have affected you and how they will affect you for the rest of your life.
It is very important to have an experienced personal injury attorney who has expertise in the handling and presentation of traumatic brain injury claims. Your attorney will be able to suggest a team of experts that can range from private investigators to psychologists to vocational rehabilitation therapists to economists to help develop your case. In most cases, the law firm or attorneys will advance all costs and expenses of the case as they are incurred. Once the case is concluded, they would be reimbursed for their costs out of the recovery. In some states, even if there is no recovery, the client is still responsible for the costs and expenses of the case even though the client owes no legal fees. In other states, if there is no recovery, the client will owe nothing for the costs and expenses, which will be absorbed by the law firm or attorney.