Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S.. An estimated 2.5 million people each year sustain TBIs every year, of which more than 80,000 result in permanent disability and 50,000 in death.
Even minor head trauma or a concussion can require extensive and long-term medical treatment.
If you or a loved one suffered a TBI in an accident or incident caused by the negligence or carelessness of another person, you may recover compensation for your medical bills and other losses.
Contact a San Antonio TBI lawyer at Lorenz & Lorenz for your free consultation and to hear your legal options.
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Why Choose Lorenz & Lorenz Firm?
The San Antonio personal injury lawyers at Lorenz & Lorenz have dedicated over 20 years of their practice to helping injured accident victims and their families seek justice against those who harmed them and recover compensation for their damages.
We understand how serious injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, can change lives in an instant — not just the accident victim’s life but the lives of their entire family. Let the San Antonio traumatic brain injury lawyers at Lorenz & Lorenz use our resources and experience to help you in your time of need.
We’ve won millions for our clients and we can help you too. Call us today to get started exploring your legal options.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury is a term used to describe an injury to the brain caused by a sudden trauma or impact to the head.
TBIs can have a wide range of effects on cognitive, physical, emotional, and behavioral functioning, depending on the severity and location of the injury.
Physical symptoms: Headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light or noise.
Cognitive symptoms: Memory problems, difficulty concentrating, confusion, and slowed thinking.
Emotional symptoms: Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression.
Behavioral symptoms: Impulsivity, changes in social behavior, and difficulty with problem-solving.
Sensory symptoms: Changes in taste, smell, hearing, or vision.
Not all head bumps require medical attention. However, some should be checked out by a medical professional. Even if the injured person seems fine, sometimes symptoms of a concussion or moderate brain injury are hard to identify. Some head injuries can become severe or fatal if medical attention isn’t promptly sought.
Call 911 immediately if an injured person experiences:
Loss of consciousness
Nausea and vomiting
Confusion or disorientation
Changes in behavior or mood
Weakness or numbness
Clear fluid drainage from nose or ears
Dizziness or balance problems
Unidentified TBI and Old Head Injuries
In some cases, signs of TBI may appear right after the injury occurs. In others, symptoms may not present until hours or even days after an accident. When symptoms don’t happen immediately, people may not connect their symptoms to an accident they were in hours or days earlier.
Medical experts have found that many people with memory problems, learning difficulties, and behavioral issues are experiencing symptoms of an unidentified brain injury from a head injury they never sought medical treatment for.
This is one reason you must get checked out by a doctor after an accident. A doctor can check for any signs of head trauma and let you know what symptoms to look for. Plus, seeking medical attention establishes the injury in your medical records, which can help if you decide to pursue compensation through a TBI claim.
Open Brain Injuries versus Closed Brain Injuries
Open and closed brain injuries refer to different types of traumatic brain injuries based on whether an object penetrates the skull. The mechanisms of injury and the potential consequences differ.
An open or penetrating brain injury occurs when an object, such as a bullet or a piece of debris, penetrates the skull and enters the brain tissue. This type of injury can cause direct damage to the brain tissue along with potential damage from the object itself.
Open brain injuries are often severe and can result in significant neurological deficits. Surgical intervention may be needed to remove the object and repair the damage. Infections are also a concern due to the breach of the protective barrier provided by the skull.
A closed brain injury occurs when there is no penetration of the skull, but the brain still experiences trauma due to the impact. A blow to the head, a sudden deceleration (such as in a car accident), or other forces can damage the brain.
The accident can cause contusions (bruises), bleeding, swelling, and various degrees of damage to brain cells and connections. Closed brain injuries can vary in severity. They may require monitoring, medical treatment, and rehabilitation to manage symptoms and aid recovery.
Primary vs. Secondary Brain Injuries
Primary and secondary brain injuries are terms used to describe different stages of damage that can occur following a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries can have a significant impact on a person’s neurological functioning and overall outcome.
Primary brain injury refers to the initial damage that occurs at the moment of impact or trauma to the head. The physical forces applied to the brain tissue during the accident cause this type of injury. The severity and location of the primary injury depend on the force of impact, the affected area of the head, and the nature of the traumatic event. Primary brain injuries include contusions, lacerations, and concussions.
Secondary brain injury refers to the damage that occurs in the minutes, hours, and even days following the primary injury. It does not result from the initial impact but rather a cascade of harmful processes triggered by the primary injury.
Secondary injuries can worsen the initial damage and contribute to poor outcomes. These processes can include swelling, edema, reduced blood flow, increased intracranial pressure, and brain hypoxia.
Both primary and secondary brain injuries can have serious consequences, making rapid and appropriate medical care critical in improving outcomes and minimizing long-term effects.
How a TBI Can Affect Accident Victims
Traumatic brain injuries can affect patients physically, emotionally, and financially.
The brain plays a critical role in controlling bodily functions. The extent of physical effects can vary based on the severity of the TBI, the specific areas of the brain affected, and individual factors.
A TBI can cause:
Balance and coordination issues
Tremors or ataxia
Hearing or vision difficulties or loss
Fatigue and muscle weakness
Loss of sensation in parts of the body
Swallowing and chewing difficulties
TBIs can significantly impact mental health due to the complex ways it affects brain function. The brain regulates emotions, behaviors, cognition, and other mental processes. When the brain sustains an injury, these functions can be disrupted, leading to various mental health challenges.
Here are some ways a TBI can affect mental health:
Impulsivity and risky behavior
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Self-esteem and identity issues
Executive function difficulties
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have significant financial effects on both the individual who experienced the injury and their family.
The financial impact can be substantial due to medical expenses, ongoing care, rehabilitation, and potential changes in the individual’s ability to work and earn income.
Here are some of the financial effects of a TBI:
Medical expenses: The initial medical treatment for a TBI includes emergency care, hospitalization, diagnostic tests (such as CT scans and MRIs), surgeries, and medications. The costs can quickly add up, especially for severe TBIs that require specialized care.
Rehabilitation costs: Rehabilitation is a crucial aspect of TBI recovery. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cognitive rehabilitation can all incur significant expenses.
Long-term care or supportive services: Depending on the severity of the TBI, some individuals might require ongoing assistance with daily tasks, personal care, and mobility. This might involve hiring caregivers or utilizing long-term care facilities.
Lost income: Many individuals who experience a TBI are unable to work immediately following the injury. Even after returning to work, they might experience reduced earning capacity due to cognitive, physical, or emotional challenges. This can lead to a decrease in household income.
Disability costs: If the TBI results in long-term or permanent disabilities, you could incur substantial costs of adaptive equipment, home modifications, and specialized care.
Medication costs: Individuals with TBIs might require medications for pain management, mood stabilization, and other related health issues. These ongoing medication costs can accumulate over time.
Educational and vocational costs: For young adults and students, TBIs can disrupt education and vocational training, leading to delayed career progression and educational expenses.
Emotional and psychological costs: The stress of dealing with a TBI, including the emotional toll on both the individual and their family, can lead to indirect financial costs, such as therapy and counseling expenses.
Impact on family finances: The financial effects of a TBI can extend to family members who might need to take time off work to care for the injured person, cover additional expenses, or contribute to the cost of medical care and rehabilitation.
What Compensation Is Available in a TBI Claim?
A person who suffers a TBI due to the negligence of another person or party may recover compensation for:
If you or a loved one suffered a TBI in San Antonio, you need a lawyer with experience in handling brain injury cases.
The TBI lawyers at Lorenz & Lorenz have a track record of successful outcomes and are dedicated to advocating for your best interests. We can help you understand your options and make informed decisions about how to proceed with your case.
Contact the TBI attorneys at Lorenz & Lorenz Firm today at (210) 320-1529 or through our online form for your free and confidential consultation.
Lorenz & Lorenz, PLLC
227 N Loop 1604 E Ste. 121
San Antonio, TX 78232
Phone: (210) 320-1529