Tampa Bay Brain Injury Attorney
Brain injuries can be emotionally and financially devastating. Families are often forced to cope with the reality of losing the essence of a loved one they once knew, and those injured must juggle recovery with their inability to function at one hundred percent. In the meantime, medical bills mount, wages are lost, and households begin to sink underwater.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most devastating, and life-altering injuries a person can suffer. While monetary compensation alone can never adequately repair the loss, money can help an injured person to seek excellent medical care and make up for lost wages while he or she is unable to work.
Zervos & Calta, PLLC understand the serious consequences of brain injuries, and we stand ready to help injured individuals and their families.
What’s it Like Living With a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Brain injuries are often caused by major accidents, such as car wrecks or long falls. They can also arise from the use of defective products, “slip and fall” accidents, boating accidents, medical malpractice, trucking accidents, and a variety of other situations involving negligent or reckless behavior.
About half of all traumatic brain injuries in the United States are caused by car accidents. The patient is rushed to the hospital and treated as quickly as possible. There is usually no way to undo the damage that has already been done; often, the point of treatment is to minimize further damage. If things go well, the patient survives and becomes stable.
Those who are lucky enough to survive a TBI may experience lifelong impairments which can affect the individual, as well as their family and supportive friends. Injured victims should consult traumatic brain injury attorneys for advice on a potential personal injury claim.
What are Common Types of Brain Injuries?
- Concussion: A concussion is perhaps the most common type of head injury. It can occur with or without a loss of consciousness, and the symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, numbness, as well as difficulty with memory or concentration, coordination, and balance. A hard blow to the head or violent shaking of the whole body, as in shaken baby syndrome, is the typical cause of a concussion. Its effects are usually temporary, and rest and restriction of activities are generally prescribed.
- Contusion: A contusion (also called a “cerebral contusion”) is known as bruising of the brain tissue. A small cut on the head, a bump, or a bruise are considered to be mild, whereas a bad or deep cut, a fracture of the skull, internal bleeding on the brain, or a concussion would range from moderate to severe, depending on the severity of the damage.
- Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury: Generated by a severe blow to the head or violent shaking or whipping of the head. This causes the brain to rapidly shift inside the skull, resulting in trauma to the long connecting fibers in the brain called axons, which can cause severe injury, including coma and death.
- Skull fracture: A skull fracture occurs when the bone surrounding the brain (the skull) is fractured and is caused by direct force or trauma to the head. Skull fractures can occur with or without brain damage, so there may or may not be symptoms of brain damage. Depending on the severity or where the fracture occurs, fluid or blood can leak from the ears or nose. Other potential symptoms are bruising around the eyes (black eyes) or behind the ears (blood leaking under the skin), and nausea.
- Brain bleeding: Brain bleeding (also known as intracranial hemorrhaging) is a severe injury which can quickly result in coma or death. While head trauma is the most common cause of brain bleeds in persons under 50 years of age, other causes include aneurysm, high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, drug abuse, blood vessel abnormalities, tumors or liver disease. It is crucial to receive immediate medical attention if a brain bleed is suspected.
- Intracranial hematoma: An intracranial hematoma is when the blood collects or pools inside the skull, usually caused by a blood vessel rupturing or from an injury to the head. Whether the blood collects in the brain tissue or under the skull, it puts pressure on the brain. As the blood clots, the blood clots also apply pressure. This compression of the brain deprives the brain of necessary oxygen flow and can result in coma or death.
- Coma: A coma is when someone is unconscious for a prolonged period which leaves a person alive, but they are not able to respond to their environment or move on their own. Coma sometimes occurs as a result of brain or other injuries, stroke, alcohol or drug intoxication, infections, seizures, or it can also be the body’s response to an underlying illness. Typically a coma will rarely last more than a few weeks, but there are times when they last for an extended period and then become a persistent vegetative state.
What is the Long Term Treatment for a TBI?
A brain injury can affect a person in many different ways. It is very difficult for doctors to predict what changes any individual patient will experience. Some patients recover with little or no noticeable changes. Those who suffer a medium to severe TBI are much more likely to have symptoms that can last permanently. These symptoms can compromise a variety of functions and aspects of daily living and can last a lifetime. That’s why it’s important to not put off consulting with a law firm.
Possible chronic conditions include:
- Memory loss
- Cognitive disabilities
- Attention disorders
- Weakness in the extremities
- Lack of coordination and balance
- Loss of sensations – hearing, vision, and touch
- Communication problems
- Behavior and mood disorders – aggression, anxiety, depression, personality changes
For most patients coping with these problems, treatment is not about medicating or curing the injury. It is a kind of physical and cognitive therapy that aims to help them:
- Regain lost skills (sitting up, walking, speech, etc) if possible
- Learn new ways to cope with disabilities
- Adjust to the sudden changes in their lives
The length of treatment varies widely from one patient to another. Some only need temporary help to regain their strength, while others may be in some form of therapy for the rest of their lives. The important thing is not to do the same or better than other patients. It is to work as hard as possible to achieve the patient’s individual goals.
What are the Long Term Costs for a TBI Injury?
Acute care and rehabilitation costs of brain injury patients in the United States costs billions of dollars per year. This price tag does not include costs associated with lost earnings, work time, and productivity, as well as the costs linked to providing social services. The cost of care for a brain injury victim is between $600,000 and $1,875,000 over a lifetime, and lawsuits help recover damages.
What Losses Can You be Compensated For?
If someone else’s negligence caused a TBI, you want to ensure that you are fairly compensated and that your medical needs are taken care of. Some of the damages you could receive compensation for are:
- Past and future medical bills, including lifetime nursing care
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Costs associated with rehabilitation therapy
- Past and future pain and suffering
How Our TBI Lawyers Can Help With a Personal Injury Claim
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury caused by the wrongful conduct of another, you have the right to recover full and fair compensation for your losses. At the law firm of Zervos & Calta, PLLC, our injury attorneys are experienced in courtroom litigation and will negotiate aggressively on your behalf for a fair settlement with the insurance company, or, if the case warrants, be ready to file a lawsuit and litigate your case in front of a jury. Our Tarpon Springs injury lawyers work closely with medical experts and life care planners to understand the full extent of your serious injury and its effect on your life. In cases of a severe TBI, the life care planners help us estimate the lifetime costs associated with your case to make sure we can prepare your claim so that it reflects the full extent of your damages. We will fight to obtain the maximum compensation for the cost of vocational rehabilitation, speech therapy, physical rehabilitation, and the impact on your life and your family’s future. Don’t let another day pass without an experienced and compassionate attorney on your side to fight for you. Contact us through the form on the right or call (727) 937-3171 to schedule a free consultation. Visit us in one of our four convenient office locations in Spring Hill, Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater. If you are unable to come to us, we will come to you. We also work with clients in Trinity, Safety Harbor, Oldsmar, Westchase, Hudson, Elfers, Holiday, Bayonet Point, and New Port Richey.