Representing Tennessee Victims of Catastrophic Brain Injuries
Brain injuries often result from trauma, such as an auto accident or a violent blow to the head. They can range from relatively mild traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion, to catastrophic injuries that kill or permanently disable. Brain injuries can also occur as a result of failures on the part of medical care. While some brain injuries are unavoidable, others can—and should—be avoided with prompt, careful care and management.
Brain injury attorneys handling these injury cases should have a strong understanding of the difficulties individuals experience as a result of even mild brain injuries. The attorney should be familiar with experts who can assist in explaining these effects, from mild to catastrophic injuries.
The proven Johnson City brain injury attorneys at The Haynes Firm are ready to provide this kind of diligence and ensure that your brain injury claim in compellingly put forth before the law.
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The Effects of Brain Injuries
Any type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can have serious, long-lasting repercussions for the victim. Additionally, if the victim is disabled as a result of his or her TBI, family members and loved ones will likely need to alter their lives to provide necessary care and support.
Even mild traumatic injuries (sometimes called “concussions”) can cause:
- Memory loss
- Chronic headache
- Visual problems
- Mood changes
If you or a child experiences any of these symptoms after even mild trauma to the head, a physician should be seen without delay.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brain Injuries
What Causes Brain Injuries?
Considering its vital importance to the human body, the brain is an incredibly fragile organ. Any number of different incidents can cause brain damage. Some of these events truly are accidents; approximately 10% of brain injuries occur as a result of injuries sustained playing sports, for example.
However, brain injuries can also stem from the negligence of an individual, a business, or other entity. In these cases, our brain injury attorneys may be able to pursue a claim for compensation on your behalf.
Incidents that may give rise to a brain injury claim include:
- Car crashes
- Trucking accidents
- Motorcycle wrecks
- Falls on dangerous premises
- Objects falling from heights
- Medical errors
- Workplace accidents
- Injuries caused by defective products
- Physical assaults
This is not a comprehensive list. If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury and you believe someone else is at fault, you owe it to yourself to contact the attorneys at The Haynes Firm today. Your initial consultation is free, and you pay nothing until we obtain a result.
What Are the Types of Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) come in many different forms. Whether you were involved in a motor vehicle crash or another incident resulting in personal injury, any of the following TBIs may occur:
- Concussions: A concussion is what most people think of when they hear the term “brain injury.” Concussions are traumatic brain injuries usually caused by a blow to the head.
- Contusions: A contusion is bruising of the brain. It may occur as a result of concussion or other trauma. Brain contusions can lead to an increase in pressure inside the head (intracranial pressure, or ICP), which can be life-threatening without prompt medical intervention.
- Hematomas: If a contusion is not treated promptly, it can lead to a hematoma. A hematoma is a collection of blood around or even inside the brain. These injuries may develop shortly after the initial trauma or over time.
- Hemorrhages: A brain hemorrhage is bleeding inside the brain. Without immediate treatment, brain hemorrhages can lead to a stroke and other serious complications.
- Coup-contrecoup injury: Translated as “blow-counterblow,” a coup-contrecoup injury occurs when the brain is forced in one direction and then rapidly pushed in the opposite direction. The mechanism is similar to whiplash, with multiple areas of the brain sustaining injury.
- Diffuse axonal injury: Axons are nerve fibers that facilitate the transfer of signals from nerve cells to other parts of the body. Severe traumatic brain injuries can tear these axons, resulting in significant and permanent impairment.
- Penetrating injury: A penetrating brain injury occurs when an external object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. Damage from penetrating injuries tends to be catastrophic.
What Are Hypoxic and Anoxic Brain Injuries?
TBIs make up a significant number of the personal injury claims we handle on behalf of clients who suffer head trauma. However, not all cases of brain damage occur as a result of physical damage.
Hypoxia is the medical term for low or insufficient oxygen. Anoxia refers to complete oxygen deprivation. Irreversible damage starts to occur when the brain does not get enough oxygen or goes without oxygen for too long.
Our brain injury attorneys usually see instances of hypoxic and anoxic brain damage in medical malpractice claims. Multiple forms of medical negligence can cause oxygen to the brain to get cut off, including:
- Failure to diagnose or treat a heart attack
- Misdiagnosis and/or delayed treatment of a stroke
- Birth trauma
- Untreated infections
- Medication errors
How Do You Prove Brain Injury?
The first step in any brain injury claim is accurately establishing the nature and extent of the damage. Our brain injury attorneys will speak with your doctors and other medical personnel involved in your care to understand your condition. We will also thoroughly review the results of neurological exams, CT and MRI imaging, and more.
Next, we need to establish that the brain injury was caused by the negligence of another party or parties. This involves collecting all available evidence. Depending on what caused the injury, this may include:
- Taking photos of the scene of a traffic collision, dangerous premises, etc.
- Speaking to eyewitnesses
- Obtaining copies of any incident reports
- Requesting video footage, if the injury was caught on camera
- Consulting expert witnesses
It is not enough to simply show that the defendant was negligent. A brain injury attorney needs to prove that the defendant’s conduct caused you harm.
Finally, our brain injury attorneys will need to present evidence of the damages you have sustained. Not only are brain injuries expensive to treat, but they have a wide range of physical, mental, emotional, and financial burdens. Medical bills, previous earnings statements, and other documentation can help us establish the total value of your losses.
How Long Do I Have to Make a Claim?
Most of the incidents that give rise to brain injuries are grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Tennessee has enacted a 1-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases (see Tennessee Code Annotated § 28-3-104). You have very little time to pursue compensation, so it is important to speak with our brain injury attorneys as soon as possible.
Additional time may be available if you or a loved one suffered a brain injury as a result of medical malpractice (known as “health care liability actions” in Tennessee). Most claims are subject to the 1-year statute described above. However, if the injury is not discovered (generally defined as “diagnosed”) within this timeframe, victims of medical malpractice can potentially bring a claim up to 1 year after the date of discovery (see Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-116). By law, claims cannot generally be brought more than 3 years from the date of injury regardless of when it is discovered. Always speak with an experienced personal injury/medical malpractice attorney before concluding what represents the statute of limitations or statute of repose in any case.
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can cause a wide variety of complications, including:
- Persistent loss of consciousness
- Permanent paralysis
- Sensory losses
- Severe emotional damage
- Speech and communication problems
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Compensation for Your Damages
Because the effects of TBIs are often so severe, victims and their loved ones will face a number of physical, emotional, and financial challenges. TBI treatment and recovery often involves extensive medical care, including surgeries and ongoing cognitive/physical rehabilitation therapy. TBI victims may be unable to return to work, often temporarily and, sometimes, permanently.
At The Haynes Firm, our Johnson City brain injury lawyers can help you seek compensation for all of your damages, including but not limited to:
- All medical expenses related to your injury/treatment
- Lost income and/or wages
- Reduced or lost earning capacity (disability)
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage (if applicable)
- Punitive damages
Recently I had an accident case settled by the Haynes firm. Olen Haynes Jr. went above and beyond to make it happen, it wasn't easy with the covid situation but he worked diligently and got the case settled. I appreciate everything he and the staff did for me , from day one they made me feel comfortable and welcomed. I would recommend this firm to everyone.
Nobody wants to be involved in an accident. The Haynes Firm, specifically Olen Haynes Jr., made the post process easy and bearable. Very professional, transparent and available. Completely satisfied with the outcome.
If you or a loved one have experienced brain injury as a result of trauma, medical mishap, or other reason, call one of our seasoned Johnson City brain injury lawyers now. We are ready to offer you a FREE case evaluation.