A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, often leaves a person impaired and unable to function as they had prior to the injury. In many cases, a TBI is completely life-changing, leading to chronic pain, reduced function or disability, and a lifetime of difficulties, or loss of life. If you are suffering from the effects of a TBI that was the result of the negligent actions of another party, the Portland traumatic brain injury attorneys at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC can help. Call today for a free case evaluation.
Why Choose Our Portland Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney?
The attorneys at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC understand the legal and strategic aspects of brain injury cases. We bring unique capabilities to representing victims of traumatic brain injury, including:
- We are aggressive negotiators and experienced Portland personal injury trial lawyers. We will not hesitate to take your brain injury case to trial to seek to recover the maximum possible compensation.
- We maintain a small caseload so that we can give personal, undivided attention to the clients that we represent.
- We are honest and transparent with our clients, acting at all times in their best interests rather than our own.
Portland Brain Injury Resources
To immediately access the resources at any point on this page, click the corresponding links below.
- Meet John Coletti
- Common Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Who is Most at Risk of Suffering a Brain Injury?
- Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
- Liability for a Traumatic Brain Injury
- How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
- Why Do You Need a Brain Injury Lawyer?
- Potential Compensation in Your Case
- Portland Brain Injury FAQs
- Areas We Serve
- Speak to a Lawyer Today
Meet Brain Injury Attorney John Coletti
As one of the partners at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, John Coletti has years of experience handling complex brain damage cases across the state of Oregon. Mr. Coletti has dedicated his career to fighting on behalf of accident victims who have suffered harm due to the negligent acts of other people or parties. From collecting evidence to negotiating with the other party’s insurance company, clients trust him to handle every aspect of their case with care and attention. Mr. Coletti works closely with the other lawyers at his firm, so every client benefits from the combined perspectives and experience of multiple legal professionals. He has secured numerous favorable trial verdicts and settlements for former clients.
Common Traumatic Brain Injuries
A brain injury can occur in a wide range of accidents. However, there are certain types of incidents in which they are more common, including:
- Automobile, bicycle, or motorcycle crashes
- Boating accidents
- Accidents at construction sites (e.g., objects falling from above, falling off of ladders or scaffolding)
- Sports accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
Whatever the root cause of your injury, we can help. From vehicle accidents to sports injury lawsuits in Portland, our attorneys have the experience and skills necessary to litigate your case. Depending on the type of impact, a TBI can cause substantial and long-lasting harm. Each type of injury can have effects that range from mild to severe.
- Concussion: An impact that causes the brain to move within the skull.
- Contusion: A bruise on the brain resulting from a blow to the head. This injury can require surgery and can result in serious long-term effects.
- Coup-Contrecoup: An impact so great that it causes the brain to strike against the skull on the opposite side. Both sides of the brain are damaged in these cases.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury: An impact so violent that it causes tears in the brain stem. This is an especially dangerous injury, one that frequently leads to loss of life.
- Penetrating Injury: The skull and brain are penetrated by an object. This can cause severe bleeding, blood clots, loss of oxygen flow or death. Multiple surgeries and other treatments may be necessary for those who survive.
Who is Most at Risk of Suffering a Brain Injury?
When we examine information available from the Brain Injury Association of America, we can see that brain injuries are the leading cause of disability and death in children and younger adults across the country. The two age groups at most risk of sustaining a brain injury are those ranging from 0 to 4 and from 15 to 19. Every year, approximately 62,000 children sustain brain injuries that require hospitalization. The main causes of these injuries typically revolve around traumatic incidents, such as motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, falls, physical abuse, and various other causes. Approximately 564,000 children are seen in emergency departments every year for a brain injury and released before hospitalization.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
When we examine the information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we can see that there are approximately 69,000 traumatic brain injury-related fatalities in the US in 2021, the most recent reporting year of data we have on file. That equates to approximately 190 traumatic brain injury deaths each day across the country. Information available from the Mayo Clinic states that those most at risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury include the following:
- Children, particularly newborns through age 4
- Young adults between the ages of 15 and 24
- Adults age 60 and over
Overall, males are more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries than females, typically due to their level of activity, the sports they play, and the jobs they maintain. However, the fact that males are more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries should not be taken to mean that females are not at risk at all. They are. Traumatic brain injuries can affect individuals of any age, regardless of sex.
Common Symptoms of a Brain Injury
A brain injury can result in a wide range of symptoms that vary based on the severity and the area of the brain affected. Common symptoms include:
- Cognitive Impairments: Difficulty in thinking, memory problems, poor concentration, decision-making difficulties, and disorientation.
- Physical Symptoms: Persistent or worsening headaches, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, blurred vision, tiredness, sleep disturbances, and sensitivity to light or sound.
- Speech and Language Issues: Slurred speech, difficulty understanding language, and problems with reading or writing.
- Emotional Changes: Mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety, and personality changes.
- Sensory Problems: Changes in the ability to smell, taste, or sensitivity to touch.
- Seizures: In some cases, a brain injury can lead to seizures, which may be immediate or develop over time.
- Motor Symptoms: Weakness or numbness in the limbs, poor coordination, and difficulty with fine motor skills.
These symptoms may be subtle or more pronounced and can appear immediately after the injury or develop over time, making it essential to seek immediate medical attention following a head injury.
How Are Brain Injuries Diagnosed?
Diagnosing a brain injury involves a combination of clinical assessment and imaging techniques:
- Initial Assessment: This typically includes evaluating the patient’s symptoms and a neurological examination. The Glasgow Coma Scale is often used to assess the severity of the injury based on responses such as eye-opening, verbal responses, and motor responses.
- Imaging Tests: Key imaging tests include: CT Scan (Computed Tomography): A CT scan quickly produces detailed images of the brain and is often used in emergencies to assess skull fractures, bleeding, bruising, and blood clots. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): MRI provides a more detailed view of the brain and is useful in identifying subtle changes or chronic injuries.
- Other Diagnostic Tests: Electroencephalogram (EEG): To record brain activity and detect potential problems. Intracranial Pressure Monitoring: Sometimes used if there’s a risk of swelling in the brain.
- Neuropsychological Assessments: These tests evaluate how the injury affects cognitive functions, including memory, concentration, problem-solving skills, and emotional and psychological well-being.
- Blood Tests: To check for substances or markers that might indicate brain injury.
Each case is unique, and the choice of diagnostic tools depends on the nature and severity of the injury. Accurate diagnosis is critical for developing an effective treatment plan.
The Cost of Treating a Brain Injury
The cost of recovering from a brain injury can be substantial and varies widely based on the severity of the injury and the individual’s specific needs. The total cost of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the United States is approximately $49 billion every year. Hospitalization constitutes around $32 billion of this total. Additional expenses related to TBI fatalities, including funeral expenses, account for the remaining $17 billion. For survivors, the cost of care outside the hospital can range from $600,000 to $1.9 million.
The lifetime expenses for a TBI patient’s treatment can range from $85,000 to $3 million. These costs encompass emergency room services, MRIs, follow-up brain scans, medical treatment, clinician or neurologist bills, prescription medications, physical therapy, vocational rehabilitation or training, nursing home or assisted living costs, and expenses for home-care nurses or caregivers.
In addition to the direct medical costs, there are significant indirect costs such as the loss of earning capacity and employment. The unemployment rate for adults with a brain injury two years after diagnosis is about 60%, significantly higher than the national average. This high unemployment rate, along with the high treatment costs, can lead to a cycle of dependency on federal and state programs, supplemental security income, and potentially even homelessness.
Given these substantial costs, the financial burden of a brain injury can be overwhelming not only for the individual but also for their families and society. This underscores the importance of brain injury victims (and their families) recovering full and just compensation to cover the required treatment and related financial costs.
Who is Liable for a Traumatic Brain Injury in Portland?
Liability for a traumatic brain injury is complicated, and these incidents require extensive investigations. These investigations can take place by law enforcement officials, depending on how the injury occurred, and should always include investigations by attorneys involved with the case. The goal of these cases is to determine the negligence of the at-fault party. For a traumatic brain injury, some of the possible liable parties include:
- Vehicle drivers
- Property owners
- Property managers
- Companies or manufacturers of defective products
- Landlords or tenants
Determining liability will be different depending on how the traumatic brain injury occurred. For example, investigating a vehicle accident is a different process than investigating a slip and fall incident at a grocery store. When you work with a skilled Portland brain injury lawyer, you will have an advocate with the resources needed to conduct an investigation into the incident, speak to any eyewitnesses, and handle all communication with other parties. Every case must be professionally investigated to identify all liable parties, and Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC can help.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
It is important for traumatic brain injury victims to file their claims in a timely manner. When we examine Oregon law, we can see that a traumatic brain injury case must be filed within two years from the date the injury occurred, per the state’s personal injury statute of limitations. This means brain injury victims have a two-year window with which to file a personal injury lawsuit, or they will not be able to recover the compensation they are entitled to. We do want to issue a word of caution about insurance carriers because they have deadlines as well. We encourage you to file your claim with any insurance carriers involved in the case as quickly as possible to avoid a denial or delay of the case.
Why Do You Need a Portland Brain Injury Lawyer?
Your Portland brain injury attorney is your advocate for these claims. The process of filing and winning a brain injury case is challenging and begins with your attorney getting involved and conducting a complete investigation into the incident. Most individuals do not have the resources needed to handle these cases themselves, but an attorney will take through the facts of the case, speak to eyewitnesses, and even bring in outside expert witnesses if necessary. Your lawyer will also ensure you are evaluated by trusted medical and economic professionals, and they will handle any negotiations with the insurance carriers to reach a fair settlement. In the event the other side refuses to offer a fair settlement, your attorney will file a civil personal injury lawsuit in court and begin the discovery process. If the case makes it to trial, your lawyer will represent you in the courtroom.
What Compensation May Be Available After a Traumatic Brain Injury?
There may be various types of compensation available for brain injury victims in the Portland area if their claim is successful. Our goal is to ensure clients recover compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages after a Portland brain injury include the calculable expenses victims will likely endure. By gathering receipts, invoices, and bills that come in after the incident occurs, an attorney can paint a picture of the calculable types of losses you endure. This typically includes:
- Coverage of all emergency and ongoing medical bills
- Payment of any medications, physical therapy, or medical devices
- Compensation for lost wages if a victim cannot work
- Assistance with various household out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage expenses
Non-economic damages after a brain injury include the more immeasurable and subjective losses individuals are likely to incur. These types of injuries can have a profound impact on a person’s day-to-day life and long-term viability. Non-economic damages seek to provide compensation for a victim’s physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as any loss of quality of life they endure. There is no set amount of economic or non-economic compensation available for these claims. The total amount will vary depending on factors related to each specific case, along with the insurance carrier and jury calculations. In rare instances, punitive damages may be awarded. These types of damages are reserved for situations where the actions of the defendant were found to be grossly negligent or intentional.