Indianapolis Head and Brain Injury Lawyers
The injuries that result from a car accident can vary significantly, with some being minor and others more severe. Some of the more severe injuries a person can sustain are head and brain injuries. While some head injuries can be milder than others, those that affect the brain can be quite severe and even fatal.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), for example, are serious injuries that are quite common after car accidents. Unfortunately, some brain injuries are not always immediately apparent, but if left untreated, they can lead to complications that result in permanent impairments and possibly even death.
The CDC reports that more than 60,000 TBI-related deaths occurred in 2019, with one of the primary causes being car accidents. In Indiana specifically, over 30,000 traumatic brain injuries were sustained by individuals, with around 1,300 of those reported being fatal.
If you suspect you have suffered a brain injury, it is crucial for you to seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel fine initially, the symptoms of head and brain injuries do not always show up right away. If you have concerns about medical expenses, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the person who caused the accident that led to your injury.
At Crossen Law Firm, our team of experienced traumatic brain injury attorney attorneys is dedicated to advocating for those injured in car accidents. We understand the emotional, physical, and financial toll an accident resulting in head and brain injuries can have on your life. We are here to guide you through the legal process every step of the way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
If you sustain a head or brain injury in a car accident, contact a skilled personal injury lawyer right away at (317) 401-8626.
How Head and Brain Injuries Happen
Head and brain injuries can occur for any number of reasons. When the head experiences trauma either from hitting or being struck by an object or from some other violent force, it can cause both external and internal damage. Often, the internal brain damage one experiences is the most severe. This is because when the brain suffers damage, there are not always immediate signs or symptoms, resulting in the victim avoiding medical care.
Unfortunately, when brain injuries are left untreated, they can worsen and lead to complications. Some of the more severe brain injuries can result in permanent damage, such as paralysis, and in extreme cases, they can be fatal. Some of the most common causes of these types of traumatic brain injury(tbi) injuries include:
In car accidents, head and brain injuries often occur when the head strikes the steering wheel, dashboard, window, door, or other parts of the vehicle. They can also occur from the violent motion and force your body experiences when colliding with another vehicle or object. Some of the more severe head and brain injuries can occur when vehicle occupants are thrown from the vehicle—this is why wearing a seatbelt is essential.
Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
When a head or brain injury is sustained, medical professionals will generally classify it in one of two ways: closed or open.
Closed Head Injuries
A closed head injury or TBI occurs when the skull is not exposed or compromised. Though this type of head injury may not appear that bad, the internal damage can still be quite severe. These are the type of head and brain injuries that often go undiagnosed, leading to complications. You should never assume you are okay just because you can’t see any external damage.
Open (Penetrating) Head Injuries
Open head injuries and TBIs occur when the skull and even the brain are exposed and compromised. This type of injury typically occurs when an object pierces through the skull, but it can also happen if the head strikes against something hard enough, such as the pavement when being thrown from the vehicle. While closed brain injuries can be mild, open injuries are almost always severe.
Beyond the initial classification of open or closed, head and brain injuries will then be further categorized depending on the type of injury that occurs. Further classification includes primary head injuries and secondary head injuries.
Primary Head Injuries
An injury is designated as primary when it occurs at the time of the accident. This includes:
- Hematomas: This type of injury occurs when the blood vessels rupture, causing blood to pool inside the brain. Hematomas can be further classified as:Subdural
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
- Intraventricular hemorrhage
- Skull Fractures: A skull fracture occurs from breaks, cracks, and hairline fractures. There are generally three different types of skull fractures:Linear
- Contusions: A contusion is essentially a bruise. Head contusions occur when there is mild bleeding and bruising within the brain tissue.
- Concussions: Concussions happen when the head and brain experience a forceful jolt or are violently shaken.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI): A DAI can happen like a concussion—when the head and brain are shaken—however, DAIs result in further damage from the connections between the brain cells being torn.
Secondary Head Injuries
A secondary head injury can happen when changes or further damage occur as a result of the initial injury. Some common secondary head injuries following an accident include:
- Hypotension: This occurs when the brain is starved of oxygen and nutrients due to extremely low blood pressure.
- Hypoxia: Hypoxia occurs due to a lack of oxygen in the brain.
- Ischemia: When there is not enough blood being supplied to the brain, a patient can experience ischemia.
- Cerebral Edema: Cerebral edemas occur when there is a buildup of excess fluid around the brain.
Head and Brain Injury Symptoms
Head injury and TBI symptoms can vary from one person to the next, depending on the type and extent of the injury that occurs. Keep in mind; not all symptoms will be immediately apparent. It can take some time for them to show up. If you suffer a mild injury, it may heal on its own with rest. However, moderate to severe head and brain injuries will require treatment and worsen if not addressed immediately.
General symptoms of head and brain injuries can include:
- Blurred vision
- Speech impairments
- Changes in taste and smell
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Mood swings
- Extended periods of sleeping
You should always seek medical attention after an accident. However, if any of the following symptoms occur, you should get to a hospital as soon as possible as they are signs of more severe trauma that indicate a medical emergency:
- Loss of consciousness
- Extreme and painful headaches
- Uncontrollable vomiting
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of coordination
- Trouble waking from sleep
- Extreme confusion and disorientation
- Difficulty speaking
- Clear fluids draining from the ears
Diagnosis and Treatment of Head and Brain Injuries
After you have sustained a head injury in an accident, you will need to see a doctor for evaluation so they can determine the extent of your injury. If you suffer from a penetrating injury, you will likely be rushed immediately into surgery. However, closed injuries may require initial testing to determine their type and severity.
To diagnose your head injury, the doctor will typically ask you a series of questions in addition to ordering tests like an MRI or a CT scan. These imaging tests can give them a better idea of what type of injury occurred and how severe the damage is. If the injury is mild, you may be sent home with orders to rest and take pain relievers as needed. If the injury is moderate to severe, they will likely keep you for observation and/or use the following to treat your injury:
- Anti-seizure medications
- Coma-inducing medications
After initial treatments, some patients may need ongoing care to help them recover from or manage the long-term effects. Some brain injuries can leave you with lifelong impairments and disabilities. Further treatments can include:
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Psychiatric therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Occupational therapy
Compensation for Head and Brain Injuries
If your head injury results from a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to file a personal injury claim or even a lawsuit to receive compensation for damages. The medical treatments alone can be quite expensive, so injured victims need to work with an attorney who can advocate for their rights to ensure they receive the best compensation possible.
Damages you can be awarded compensation for after a head and brain injury include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
- Property damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Explore Your Legal Options With an Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney
Discussing your case with an experienced head and brain injury lawyer can help you during this trying time. At Crossen Law Firm, our team will fight tirelessly on your behalf to help you get what you are owed, and you will not owe us anything unless we win your case.
Make the right call. Call Crossen Law Firm at (317) 401-8626 or contact our firm online.
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