Lake Charles Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
A traumatic brain injury can have a profound effect on the victim of the brain injury as well as his or her entire family. At the law firm of Hoffoss Devall, we understand that your traumatic brain injury could truly be one of the most difficult experiences you will ever face in your life, and we want to help. The extent of a traumatic brain injury can be unknown in the beginning, with what is believed to be a mild concussion resulting in severe, long-term disabilities. Depending on the extent of the brain injury, you or your loved one might never be able to work again and could even require round-the-clock care.
Types of Brain Injuries
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, all brain injuries are unique, and, depending on the type of force and the amount of force impacting the head, several types of injuries can be received at the same time.
Although most people believe a concussion is not a serious issue, concussions can sometimes cause impairments that last a lifetime. A concussion can be caused by a direct blow to the head, violent shaking of the head, a whiplash-type injury or even a gunshot wound.
A concussion can be the result of a closed head injury or an open head injury but occurs when the brain receives trauma from a sudden impact or a sudden change in movement. Those who experience a concussion may or may not lose consciousness—in some instances, an individual could feel dazed and confused while remaining conscious. CAT scans and other diagnostic imaging tests do not always pinpoint a concussion; occasionally, a concussion can result in a fatal blood clot to the brain, although this is rare. Concussions can take weeks, months or even years to heal completely.
Contusions & Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury
A contusion results when the head receives a direct impact, causing bleeding on the brain. Such an injury could require surgical removal. A coup-contrecoup brain injury describes a contusion which is at the impact site as well as on the opposite side of the brain. This type of brain injury can occur when a significant force impacts the head, causing a contusion, but occurring so forcefully that the brain slams into the opposite side of the skull, causing another contusion.
Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury
A diffuse axonal brain injury is usually the result of forceful shaking (Shaken Baby Syndrome) or from a car accident. In a diffuse axonal brain injury, the brain does not move, rather tears from the violent movement of the skull, causing nerve tissue damage throughout the brain and resulting in brain chemicals being released in the brain, disrupting regular communication and chemical processes. Diffuse axonal brain injuries can cause widespread brain damage or even death.
Penetrating Brain Injury
A penetrating brain injury is usually the result of a bullet, a knife or another weapon that forcefully pushes bone, skin, and hair into the brain. A bullet can ricochet inside the skull, widening the damaged areas. According to the Centers for Disease Control, penetrating brain injuries caused by bullets result in a 91 percent death rate.
Acquired Brain Injury
An acquired brain injury occurs when the brain is damaged by a tumor, a near-drowning, certain degenerative diseases, toxins, hypoxia, anoxia and strokes. Anoxia occurs when the brain fails to receive oxygen, while a hypoxic brain injury occurs when the brain receives some oxygen, but not enough. Brain injuries are classified by “levels.” A mild traumatic brain injury has a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 13-15, while a moderate traumatic brain injury has a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 9-12. In a moderate traumatic brain injury, a loss of consciousness could last from a few minutes to a few hours, confusion could last from days to weeks, and physical, cognitive and behavioral impairments could last for months or could be permanent.
Loss of consciousness for a mild traumatic brain injury is brief—seconds or minutes at the most—or may not occur at all. A person with a mild traumatic brain injury can feel dazed and confused even though a brain scan may appear normal. A severe brain injury can be life-threatening—if the victim lives, he or she is likely to require prolonged hospitalization and extensive rehabilitation. In most cases of severe traumatic brain injury, there is no return to pre-injury status.
How Brain Injuries Occur
According to the Shepherd Center, the primary causes of traumatic brain injuries are motor vehicle accidents, falls, violence (usually a gunshot wound) and a military attack or bomb blast. For acquired brain injuries, lack of oxygen, stroke, tumors, cancer, brain infections and other infections are the top causes.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
The exact symptoms of a traumatic brain injury will vary, according to the severity of the injury and the type of injury, however, the following are common traumatic brain injury symptoms:
- Vision disturbances;
- Sensory perception changes;
- Headaches, sometimes severe and often chronic;
- Balance issues;
- Blurry vision;
- Difficulty swallowing;
- Difficulty speaking;
- Changes in personality;
- Difficulty “finding” words or forming sentences;
- Difficulty communicating;
- Trouble with logic, focus and reasoning abilities;
- Memory impairments;
- Sleeping more than normal or difficulty sleeping;
- Sensitivity to light or sound;
- Ringing in the ears or a bad taste in the mouth, and
- Depression and anxiety.
The Aftermath of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Many of those who experience either mild or more severe traumatic brain injuries can find they are having difficulties in adjusting to their “normal” life during their recovery. The changes in personality and cognitive skills can be difficult for the patient as well as for their family. Many things which were once taken for granted and came easily and naturally, now represent a struggle. Many basic skills must be relearned. The recovery from a traumatic brain injury is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting and can lead to very severe levels of depression.
How a Hoffoss Devall Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Can Help
An experienced Hoffoss Devall traumatic brain injury lawyer will work hard to secure full compensation when the brain injury is caused by the negligence of others. We have won many verdicts and settlements for victims of traumatic brain injuries. If you or your loved one suffered a concussion—or a more serious traumatic brain injury—following a truck accident, car accident, motorcycle accident or other personal injury accident, our compassionate, knowledgeable traumatic brain injury attorneys can help. We have recovered equitable settlements for those who will never be the same again due to a traumatic brain injury.
We strive to capture full compensation for what our clients have endured—for economic losses (including lost wages) as well as future medical care needs. Traumatic brain injury litigation can come down to the testimony of experts; many law firms lack the necessary resources to hire these specialists while others lack the knowledge of brain injuries required to bring in professionals. Hoffoss Devall has developed a network of highly qualified medical experts from across the country. Our attorneys are involved in various brain injury groups, including the North American Brain Injury Society, the National Brain Injury Trial Lawyers Association, and the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana.
We work closely with physicians, rehab specialists, life care planners, and family members to detail the daily challenges and future needs of our clients. Our proven litigators are prepared to go to trial when necessary to secure a comprehensive compensation amount for the difficult years ahead. At Hoffoss Devall, we take care of our clients, ensuring brain injury victims see the right specialists and helping family members with insurance, as well as other issues. Arrange a free consultation at our Lake Charles office—call (337) 433-2053 or contact us online.