When Can You File a Personal Injury Claim for a Brain Injury?
You might be entitled to file a personal injury claim if you suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence – that is, their failure to behave with a reasonable level of care given the circumstances. For example, you may have a legal claim if you suffered a brain injury in a car accident caused by a driver who ran a red light or if you slipped and fell because of unsafe conditions on someone else’s property.
Compensation for a Traumatic Brain Injury in San Antonio
Generally speaking, after suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that was not your fault, you could be owed money for losses like:
- Past, ongoing, and future medical expenses, including hospital care, surgeries, and other medical procedures, prescriptions, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and mobility and medical equipment purchases
- Long-term care expenses, such as home health services or assisted living facility costs, if you are permanently disabled
- Lost wages and income if you miss time from work while recovering
- Loss of future earnings and employment benefits if you are disabled and not able to return to your job or do any other kind of work
- Pain and suffering
Long-Term Impacts of a Brain Injury
A moderate to severe brain injury can lead to a wide range of problems, including:
- Physical complications – These include the onset of epilepsy, chronic headaches, recurrent conditions such as hydrocephalus, increased risk of brain infection, altered senses, physical disability, and motor difficulties.
- Cognitive difficulties – The mental consequences of a brain injury can include problems with memory, reasoning, judgment, concentration, executive functioning, and making or understanding written and spoken communication.
- Behavioral and emotional changes – A brain injury can lead to difficulty handling social situations, verbal and physical outbursts, lowered inhibition, risky behaviors, lack of empathy, and the onset of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and aggressiveness.
A brain injury can also increase the risk of degenerative brain diseases in the future, including conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
Brain injury symptoms vary significantly from case to case. Some common symptoms of less severe brain injuries include:
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Speech problems
- Dizziness and balance issues
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Momentary loss of consciousness
- Feeling dazed and disoriented
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Mood changes and swings
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleeping issues, including trouble falling asleep or sleeping more than normal
Symptoms of moderate or severe brain injuries include:
- Loss of consciousness lasting several minutes to several hours, or onset of coma
- Persistent, worsening headache
- Persistent nausea and vomiting
- Convulsions and seizures
- Weakness and numbness in hands and feet
- Poor coordination
- Fluids coming out of the ears and nose
- Dilated pupils
- Inability to be woken up
- Significant confusion
- Slurred speech
- Agitation, combativeness, and unusual changes in behavior
Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injuries
The nature and severity of the injury determine the treatment options for a TBI. For example, treatment for mild TBIs, such as a concussion, could be limited to rest and over-the-counter pain relievers for headaches. However, someone who has sustained a concussion should still be monitored for persistent or worsening symptoms, which may indicate a more severe injury than initially diagnosed.
Moderate to severe brain injuries require immediate medical attention to stabilize the victim’s condition and prevent further damage. Initial treatment may include:
- Medications, including anti-seizure medication or diuretics to reduce swelling of brain tissues
- Surgery to repair a fractured skull or damaged blood vessels, remove clotted blood, and open a window in the skull to relieve pressure on the brain
Once a patient’s condition stabilizes, treatment shifts to rehabilitation to redevelop skills necessary to resume as many daily activities as possible. Rehabilitation services may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, recreational therapy, vocational counseling, and psychotherapy.
Types of Brain Injuries
Common examples of brain injuries include:
- Mild traumatic brain injury – Also known as a concussion, this relatively mild injury occurs when the brain hits the inside of the skull due to traumatic forces on the head or body. Concussions typically cause temporary changes in brain function, although each additional concussion increases the risk of long-term damage.
- Edema – This is a swelling of the brain due to trauma. As the brain swells and pushes on the inside of the skull, the pressure can cause damage to brain tissue.
- Diffuse axonal injury – This is caused by the shearing of nerve cells in the brain due to rotational forces placed upon the brain, which can cause loss of function in affected parts of the brain or even trigger a coma.
- Hematoma – Hematoma is the pooling of blood in the brain or the space between the brain and skull, usually due to a ruptured blood vessel.
- Penetrating brain injury – Physical damage to the brain that is caused by an object piercing the skull into the cranial space, such as a gunshot to the head.
- Anoxic brain injury – This is damage to the brain caused by a complete disruption of blood and oxygen to brain cells.
- Hypoxic brain injury – This injury describes brain damage from cells receiving inadequate blood and oxygen flow. Birth injuries are a common source of both anoxic and hypoxic brain injuries.
Time Limit for Filing a Brain Injury Claim in San Antonio
If you decide to file a lawsuit because of a brain injury, the Texas statute of limitations requires you to do so within two years of the date you acquired the injury. Under certain limited circumstances, you may have a longer time to file a lawsuit. You should speak with a San Antonio brain injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover to discuss this timeline.
If you file suit after the statute of limitations expires on your brain injury claim, you face the likelihood that the trial court will dismiss your case. This means you will have lost your opportunity to obtain financial recovery through the court system for the expenses and losses you incurred.
How Our Attorney Helps Accident Victims with Traumatic Brain Injuries
Troy, of the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover, can help you fight for the compensation and justice you deserve by:
- Recovering evidence of the accident that caused your brain injury to identify who is liable
- Working with your doctors to document your injuries and prognosis
- Calculating your past, ongoing, and future expenses and losses to pursue full financial compensation in your case
- Filing claims on your behalf to pursue a settlement that provides you with the financial resources you need for your recovery
- Negotiating for a fair settlement from a position of strength
- Taking your case to court and trial if it becomes necessary to pursue the best possible outcome