Imagine suddenly losing your ability to complete everyday tasks. Imagine waking up one day without the power of communication or the ability to do your job at work. Brain injuries have the potential to cause such memory and motor skill lapses, and they can occur within a split second. Sometimes the extent of the damage only becomes apparent long after the injuring event.
Brain Injury Basics
Brain injuries are unpredictable and often debilitating. Any trauma, from shaking to a heavy blow, can cause bleeding and damage to the brain. Depending on the severity of the injury, this trauma can completely change your life or the life of a loved one.
An open brain injury, in which the skull is fractured, is typically the result of hitting your head against a hard surface like pavement or a blunt object. A closed injury occurs within the skull, causing swelling or the formation of life-threatening blood clots. Either type of injury can result in a concussion, paralysis, permanent damage or death.
When someone is injured in an accident caused by another, doctors cannot always diagnose brain injury immediately. Sometimes, it takes time for observation. Don’t take a chance by settling with the at-fault party’s insurance company too soon. Instead, retain an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your family’s future financial health.
Brain Injury: What to Look For
Sometimes, the signs of brain injury are readily apparent while at other times, only a trained physician can tell. In general, look for the following symptoms:
- Memory lapses, especially regarding the recent past
- Extreme headache
- Tiredness and sleeping more than usual
- Slow, sluggish reactions
Even if the initial diagnosis is mild, this type of injury is difficult to assess and often affects the victim’s cognitive abilities far into the future. A brain injury attorney can secure compensation from the at-fault party to cover present and projected expenses, so you and your family will not face financial distress later.
Possible Results from Brain Injury
Unlike a broken bone, which heals completely, a brain injury may take a significant amount of time and medical care to heal. Your loved one may require:
- In-home nursing care
- Ongoing therapy
- Accommodations for disability
- Facility-based care
- Job retraining
- Live-in assistance
All of these services are expensive, and you and your family should not be forced to go into debt due to the actions or inaction of the at-fault party.
The Basis for Legal Action
The first thing a lawyer can help you determine is whether the intentional actions or failure to act on another’s part caused the injury accident. Intentional actions include assault, reckless driving and intentionally violent behavior. A blow to the head, being thrown against a hard surface or the impact of a speeding vehicle could all be construed as intentional situations in which the perpetrator is liable for damages.
Negligence, or failure to act, can also be the basis for legal action. For instance, if uneven pavement caused you to trip and fall, striking your head, the party responsible for maintaining a safe place to walk could be held liable for your injury. Therefore, before you decide on a course of action, speak with a brain injury lawyer to verify that you have a strong legal basis for bringing suit.
What Sort of Compensation Is Available?
While it can be complicated to project future financial demands, an experienced attorney will make the best case possible to ensure your loved one’s future needs are adequately covered. The amount of pecuniary damages – to cover financial injury – should address your current and projected costs. Your attorney may also ask the court to award punitive damages if the injury resulted from someone’s intentional actions.
Seeking legal counsel to determine whether your situation qualifies for court action is one of the best decisions you can make for your loved one and your future. In Southern California, contact a Rizio Law Firm at 888-292-8888 or fill out a contact form.