Traumatic brain injury is sometimes referred to as a silent epidemic because, following an accident, a brain injury can be hard to diagnose. The symptoms may be hidden for an extended period, particularly for people suffering from a brain injury that is in the "mild" category. Although you, your family, and your friends may know something is not quite right, it can be enormously challenging to prove to insurance adjusters and juries that you experienced a traumatic brain injury at someone else’s hands. This puts the victim of a traumatic brain injury that is in the mild category in a difficult situation, in which the ability to obtain adequate compensation for the injury is in doubt.
What is a (TBI) Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury, also referred to by some as an acquired brain injury, is an injury to the brain that is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all jolts or bumps to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” to “severe.” The majority of TBIs that occur every year in the U.S. are concussions or other forms of mild TBI.
Defendants and the insurance companies fail or refuse to compensate victims of traumatic brain injury for a number of reasons:
- The brain injury was not diagnosed within days after the accident;
- The brain injury was caused by something other than blunt force trauma, such as deceleration or whiplash-type injury, making the insurance adjuster doubt that the injury came from the accident;
- The brain injury is in the mild category, making the insurer doubt that the injury will require ongoing costly medical treatment; and
- The brain injury resulted from a closed head injury, and CT Scans and other diagnostic tests/scans do not provide conclusive evidence of a brain injury.
When compensation is denied by an insurance company to a traumatic brain injury victim, it is often necessary to obtain advice from a Virginia traumatic brain injury attorney who can assess the case.
What Causes a Brain Injury?
What causes a traumatic brain injury? Several types of accidents that lead to traumatic brain injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the United States, over 35% of TBI’s are caused by falls. Behind that, 17% are caused by motor vehicle accidents and 27% are caused by miscellaneous blows or “strikes” to the head. Unknown causes account for 21% of TBI. Assaults (one person striking another) account for 10% of TBI cases each year. A traumatic brain injury can be caused by any jolt, sudden start-stop movement, or blunt force trauma to the head. Slip and fall accidents, in which the victim falls and hits the head on a hard surface, are the most common cause.
Some of these accidents include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Truck collisions
- Workplace accidents
- Slip, trip, and fall incidents
The variety of ways that a brain injury can happen makes serious brain and spine injuries even more complicated for juries to understand and reward. Many people believe that you must have blunt force trauma to the head in order to receive a brain injury, but this is not correct.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?
- Visual impairments
- Memory loss
- Poor concentration or attention
- Sleep problems
- Dizziness or balance problems
- Irritability and emotional changes
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of smell
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Difficulty thinking
What Are Treatment Options for Traumatic Brain Injury?
Depending on the severity of the TBI and the abilities it has affected, the appropriate treatment may include physical, occupational, and speech therapy. The goal of rehabilitation is to help the patient regain as much of the function he or she has lost, including the following:
- Gross motor skills, including walking, balancing, throwing a ball, and exercising
- Fine motor skills, such as picking up objects, holding utensils, writing, and crafting
- Speech and communication skills, which may include speech therapy or learning alternative forms of communication.
- Occupational skills, including relearning work tasks or learning new skills in order to get a job
- Counseling to cope with the emotional and psychological effects of the accident and injury
- These therapies may be needed for months or even years in order to make up for the deficits caused by the injury and are very expensive. If the accident that left you injured was not your fault, you shouldn’t have to pay for the consequences.
What Factors Determine The Value Of My Brain Injury Case?
These are the main factors that will be taken into account when determining the value of your Virginia traumatic brain injury case.
- Medical treatment costs from the initial accident
- Long-term care costs
- Pain and suffering beyond the original injury if you experience a loss of quality of life
- Lost wages and earning potential if you are unable to work after your accident
To accurately establish the value of your case and recover the full amount you are owed, it is critical to see a doctor immediately after the accident to establish a paper trail.
What Evidence Do I Need For My Brain Injury Case?
- Photographs of the scene where the injury occurred
- Police reports
- Video evidence if the accident was filmed
- Diagnosis from an emergency room doctor or neurologist
- Medical documentation of the injury such as an MRI or CT scan
- Cognitive evaluation from a neuropsychologist
Evidence of Future Expenses
- Pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns
- Treatment notes from any physical, occupational, or speech therapy
- Expert witness testimony
Speak with Kevin Mottley, The Virginia Brain Injury Attorney Today
If you believe you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury, a Richmond, Virginia traumatic brain injury attorney can help you or your loved one focus on recovering from the injury instead of fighting a complex battle against an insurance company and the people who caused the injury. The Mottley Law Firm's office is located in Richmond, Virginia, but Kevin Mottley accepts cases from all parts of the state and even cases from other states with court approval and affiliation with local counsel in other jurisdictions.
The Mottley Law Firm is a small, boutique civil litigation practice, meaning that it only accepts a handful of cases every year. If your matter is of the type that the Firm handles, and the Firm agrees to handle your case, you can be assured that Kevin Mottley will give the case his personal attention.
Contact Richmond personal injury lawyer Kevin Mottley by calling (804) 930-1022.