A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be physically and mentally devastating. Closed head trauma is more difficult than other injuries because from the outside, you might look completely healthy, but on the inside, your brain has suffered serious harm. Your loved ones may not understand what is causing you to act differently, why your memory isn't what it used to be, or why you struggle holding a job. When people can't see your injury, they often have difficulty grasping your pain.
It is not uncommon for people living with a TBI to feel misunderstood and lonely. However, it is important to know that, according to the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina, there are about 61,000 South Carolinians living with a TBI-related disability right now. You are most certainly not alone, and the Law Office of Kenneth Berger in Columbia, SC is here to help you obtain the medical care and legal compensation your injuries require.
- The Effects of Closed Head Trauma Can Take Many Forms
- Common Causes of Brain Injuries and When They May Lead to a Lawsuit
- Costs of a Traumatic Brain Injury
- TBI Damages Go Beyond Medical Bills
- What to Look for When Choosing a Lawyer for a Brain Injury Case
- Do Not Become a Victim of Injustice After a Traumatic Brain Injury
I have met individuals just like you who had their lives turned upside-down in an instant. I understand how complex this situation is, and how frustrated you probably feel. As the doctors have hopefully explained by now, the effects of a head injury can last from a couple weeks to a lifetime. It is my sincere hope that your TBI resolves quickly, and that you make a full recovery.
However, if you are having any of the following brain injury symptoms, know that they are often associated with closed head trauma, and may call for additional medical care:
- Persistent headaches
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Mood swings
- Depression, anxiety, and angry outbursts
- Changed sleep patterns
- Slurred speech
- Loss of coordination & balance
- Numbness or weakness in toes and fingers
Suffering from one of these effects is hard enough, but many people with TBIs deal with several, if not most, of these issues every single day.
With everything you endure on a daily basis, you should not have to worry about paying your medical bills or how you're going to support yourself if you can't return to work. By allowing my law firm to handle your case, you can take pressure off yourself and concentrate more on recovering and spending time with loved ones.
TBI is a leading cause of disability and death in South Carolina, and when someone else caused the injury, they should be held accountable. Below are the most common causes of brain injuries and how to determine if you need a lawyer.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 48% of TBIs are caused by falls. Young children and senior citizens are at the greatest risk to sustain a head injury from falling. Most often, senior citizens lose their footing in the bathroom or trip over objects, be it in the house or a nursing facility. Preventive measures such as rails, non-slip mats, and clear walkways can help them stay safe. For young children, it is stairs and open windows that pose the greatest threat. If a daycare or nursing home facility did not have the proper measures or supervision in place to prevent a fall from taking place, you should consider speaking with a South Carolina TBI attorney to determine if you would benefit from taking legal action.
2. Struck By or Against an Object
Being struck by an object is another primary cause of traumatic brain injury. Most of these injuries occur in children under 17 – many of them the result of sports. As someone who grew up playing 5 different sports – I am not encouraging any parent to take their child off the team, but people should know the statistics. According to the CDC, approximately 283,000 children visit the ER each year for sports-related TBI. Since many young athletes are diagnosed by athletic trainers and never see a doctor, the actual number of sports-related head injuries is probably much higher.
While many people believe that waivers prevent them from filing a negligence claim when their child suffers a sports injury, if the school or coach was grossly negligent or reckless when the injury occurred, you may be able to hold them legally accountable for the harm they caused.
3. Car Accidents
Car accidents are the next leading cause of TBI. In an accident, a person's head might strike the windshield, dashboard, or headrest, possibly resulting in a concussion, subdural hematoma, diffuse axonal injury, or another form of TBI. If the at fault driver was speeding, texting and driving, drunk driving, or being reckless in any way, you may file a claim with their insurance provider to seek compensation for your damages.
As a Columbia, South Carolina brain injury lawyer handling cases across the state, I've seen how difficult the road to recovery from a closed head injury can be. Aside from the severe and life-threatening effects a TBI can have on your health, it can also put tremendous strain on your finances. Whether it be an auto accident, fall, sports-related incident, or some other cause, brain injuries can lead to astronomical expenses. The costs often include extended stays in the hospital, surgical procedures, long-term medical care, and intensive rehabilitation.
According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, traumatic brain injuries cost a total of $76.3 billion in the United States in 2010. While most insurers and federally-funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid cover the costs associated with saving a TBI victim's life, i.e., brain surgery and intensive medical care, benefits fall short in the way of rehabilitation programs that help the victim relearn skills and abilities he or she lost as a result of the brain trauma. The unfortunate result is thousands of brain trauma patients are forced to go without rehabilitative treatment.
Proper rehabilitation and medical treatment does not have to mean financial ruin. If a person or business’ negligence caused you to sustain a TBI, an injury attorney can help you hold them legally and financially responsible for their actions and the expenses you incurred.
The cost of a closed head injury cannot be measured by hospital bills alone. People with even mild TBIs often require medication, therapy, vocational training, and adaptive strategies. All of these items come at a cost for individuals and families living in South Carolina. In addition, if a TBI victim cannot return to their former job, they may be faced with the loss of thousands or even millions of dollars over their lifetime.
The damages in a South Carolina TBI case can include:
- initial medical care, including emergency room care, ambulance transportation and hospitalization;
- brain injury recovery, which could include physical and cognitive rehabilitation, if the initial injury is severe; and
- lost income and wages, if the injury has rendered your loved one unable to make as much money as before the accident.
If you or someone you love suffered a traumatic brain injury, whether in a car accident, bike or motorcycle accident, on the job, or as a result of a fall, you may be able to recover initial and future expenses associated with the injury from the negligent party or insurance company.
When someone suffers a brain injury, they need the best lawyer they can find. Rather than relying on television commercials to choose an attorney, I suggest using the following criteria to make the best choice for your case:
1. Experience Handling Head Injury Cases
The attorney’s knowledge of and experience with head injury cases should be a top factor when hiring a lawyer. Is the attorney a member of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) litigation group? Does he or she have a proper understanding of neuroscience and neuropsychology? For instance, does he recognize that a frontal lobe injury may produce significantly different effects than trauma to the occipital lobe? Having a medical understanding of your brain injury will enable the lawyer to more effectively communicate the severity of your brain injury and how it has affected your life to insurance providers and, if your case goes to trial, a jury.
2. Ability and Willingness to Hire Experts
Will the lawyer invest the proper resources in your brain injury case? In other words, is the attorney committed enough to the case to hire the necessary experts? A TBI case can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in expert fees to obtain a fair result. Along with neurologists, TBI cases may require economists (to establish lost earning capacity), lifecare planners (to project future medical expenses), and other trained professionals to make sure you are properly compensated for every harm and loss a negligent party caused.
3. A Lawyer You Like and Trust
Is the attorney the type of person you would want to have in your home? Contrary to popular belief, you should like and trust your lawyer – especially in a brain trauma case. These cases require the lawyer, client, and the client’s family to spend a significant amount of time together. The lawyer must gain insight as to what the injured person was like before, as well as the full effects of the accident, if he is going to be able to present the case with sufficient force, passion, and understanding. It's best that you actually like the attorney if you are going to spend time with him.
Do Your Research Before Signing Any Contracts
When searching for a top brain injury attorney in South Carolina, be sure to take these factors into account. Choosing a lawyer can be one of the most important decisions you ever make. Do the proper research, ask lots of questions, and please do not sign any contracts until you confirm that the attorney has the knowledge, resources, experience, and character you are looking for.
I cannot take back what happened to you, but I will work hard to make sure the at-fault party's insurance company provides fair and full compensation for the effects of your TBI. Everyone who walks through my door is treated with respect, and that is exactly what you will be shown from the first time we speak until your case ends.
A traumatic brain injury can happen to anyone. Victims and their families do not have to feel alone. Our firm has handled many traumatic brain injury cases in South Carolina and we are here to answer your questions and provide guidance.
If you or a loved one suffered a TBI in South Carolina - be it in Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, or elsewhere - contact me today for a free consultation at 803-790-2800 or by using the live chat feature below.