Vancouver, WA Brain Injury Attorney
A bump, blow or impact to the head poses a high risk of affecting brain function, called a traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to the CDC, (Centers for Disease Control), traumatic brain injury contributes to about 30 percent of all injury fatalities. The agency reports that about 153 people die every day because of a brain injury. If your loved one has suffered physical or cognitive impairments due to a TBI caused by another party, contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC in Vancouver, WA for help.
Why Choose Paulson Coletti Trial Lawyers?
At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, our trial attorneys have significant experience seeking justice for the injured and holding the responsible parties accountable. We bring powerful resources to your search for justice:
- We are aggressive negotiators and experienced trial lawyers with an extensive record of success, both in and out of court.
- We have more than 50 years of combined legal experience and have garnered an excellent reputation as accomplished Washington personal injury lawyers.
- We are honest and transparent with our clients, acting always in their best interests.
Causes of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can be the result of various types of incidents, including but not limited to:
- Automobile accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Sports accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Birth injuries
Types of Brain Injuries
The long-term impact of a brain injury varies from person to person. While some people recover some or all their functions, others never again enjoy the quality of life experienced prior to the injury and live with either physical or cognitive impairments for the rest of their lives.
Concussions: A blow to the head can cause the brain to move within the skull, leading to a concussion. A serious concussion has been established as potentially leading to long-term damage to the person’s quality of life.
Brain Contusions: A blow to the head can also cause a bruise to the brain. In some cases, this injury may require surgery. Depending on factors such as its location, how long the injury persists and outcomes from surgery if needed, serious impacts could result.
Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury: In these injuries, the impact to the head is so great that it causes the brain to strike against the opposite side of the skull. Both the side that strikes the skull and the opposite side of the brain can be damaged with a long-term impact upon the abilities and quality of life of the victim.
Diffuse Axonal Injury: In this case, the head moves so violently that it causes tears in the brain stem. This injury can have serious consequences, including severe physical and cognitive impairments or death.
Penetrating Injury: An object penetrating the skull can lead to severe bleeding, blood clots and the loss of oxygen to the brain, resulting in permanent disabilities, a vegetative state, or loss of life.
Signs and symptoms of a brain injury
There is no exact set of signs and symptoms that a brain injury victim will experience. As soon as an injury occurs, a victim should seek medical attention immediately. This is the case even if a person seems okay at first. Many of the signs and symptoms we list here are not immediately present and can happen over the course of a few hours. This is especially true for injuries that cause the brain to swell or bleed slowly.
Some of the most common symptoms of a brain injury include the following:
- Persistent headaches or migraines
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Poor coordination dizziness
- Slow reflexes
- Inability to balance
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping more than normal
- Sudden or drastic mood changes
- Unconscious or coma
If you or a loved one sustain a blow to the head and do not seek immediate medical attention, you need to be on the lookout for any of the signs listed above. If you notice anything abnormal, call 911 or go to the hospital immediately. Early treatment of brain injuries is vitally important.
Treatment for brain injuries takes many forms. Emergency medical care is often needed for severe traumatic brain injuries. This can include surgery to stop any bleeding inside the skull.
It can also include removing a piece of the skull temporarily to allow for the brain to swell. Our brains have nowhere to expand inside of the skull when they begin to swell. Without surgical relief, the swelling can cause irreversible brain damage. In most cases, the skull is able to be reattached once the swelling goes down. Victims often cannot even see a scar after their hair regrows.
Long-term treatment for brain injuries can include medication therapy of antianxiety, anticoagulant, anticonvulsant medications or stimulants and muscle relaxers.
Rehabilitation therapies are often a vital part of recovery for brain injury victims. This can include:
- Physical therapy that works to rebuild physical strength, coordination, and flexibility.
- Speech therapy to help brain injury victims better form words and communication skills if their speech was affected by the injury.
- Occupational therapy to help a person relearn daily tasks like getting dressed, cooking, cleaning, and bathing.
- Vocational counseling to help a person regain the skills necessary to return to work with any disabilities they may have.
- Psychological counseling to help brain injury victims cope with what they have been through, including a diminished ability to enjoy the things they used to enjoy.
- Cognitive therapy activities that are designed to improve attention, memory, perception, planning, judgment, learning, and more.
A deeper look at concussions and younger children
There has been a growing understanding of concussions over the last decade, thanks in large part to attention drawn to professional athletes and head injuries. Concussions are the most common form of traumatic brain injuries. Concussions are considered mild traumatic brain injuries, but that does not mean they should be taken less seriously than other types of head or brain injuries.
There are an estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions happen in the United States each year. Most of these are related to sports incidents that happen to young children and teens who are involved in recreation or school sports. While football players seem to gain the most attention concerning incidents of concussions, any sport or physical activity can lead to a blow to the head. This includes cheerleading, whose members are at high risk of falls from heights.
Concussions need to be taken seriously because a mild traumatic brain injury can easily turn into a more serious traumatic brain injury. The effects of a concussion are cumulative. This means that the effects of concussions become more severe with each successive concussion, especially if a person who sustains one is not allowed to heal completely.
Schools, coaches, and trainers should have proper concussion protocols in place to deal with these incidents. Players who sustain blows to the head should be properly evaluated and treated by a medical professional. A child should not be allowed to return to play until they have been cleared to do so. If these protocols are not followed, coaches, school, and recreation staff could be held liable for any damages the child sustains.
How can these injuries affect a victim long-term?
While many of the effects of a brain injury mentioned above are only short-term and get better over time, there are some brain injury symptoms that last a lifetime. These effects depend on the nature of the injury, its severity, the timing and effectiveness of treatment, as well as various other factors.
Many long-term effects of a head and brain injury actually worsen over time. This can be due to the slow degradation of brain cells due to complications from the brain injury. Many of these effects are on a person’s cognitive abilities. Many brain injury victims also find that the physical skills and abilities they had before a brain injury are no longer at the same level.
An example of this could be a person with a brain injury who later begins to experience seizures. Seizures can then cause further damage to an already damaged brain.
Many people who experience brain injuries and become physically disabled are unable to live a healthy lifestyle. This could lead to further complications such as heart disease, diabetes, weight-related diseases, and more.
Other long-term effects of a brain injury directly affect how an injury victim relates to those around them. Some victims who have sustained moderate to severe brain injuries may find it difficult to:
- Make and keep personal and professional relationships
- Be a part of social activities
- Take part in recreational or leisure activities
- Keep a job or go to school
Permanent speech problems are a common symptom of brain injuries. Speech problems can further isolate a brain injury victim from those around them.
Damages You Can Recover in a Case of Traumatic Brain Injury
When a person has suffered serious impairments after a brain injury, a wide range of damages should be pursued, with the help of our team of litigators at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC in Vancouver, Washington. Ideally, the compensation received in these cases should be significant, as long-term care and medical treatment will be required. The damages may include all the following:
- All medical costs, past, current, and future
- Costs of skilled nursing care
- Loss of wages
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
When looking at these economic and non-economic expenses, your attorney will realize that the effects of brain injuries will make the total losses hard to calculate. Your attorney will work with experts to think “long-term.” They may have to take into account the need for long-term care. This could include care in the home or in a facility.
Why You Need a Lawyer
It is imperative that you engage the services of a skilled trial lawyer if your loved one has suffered a serious brain injury. These are highly sensitive cases involving significant and sometimes permanent impairments. With the help of an attorney from Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC in Vancouver, Washington, you can be confident that your case will be managed with great skill and every possible form of compensation aggressively pursued by our team of litigators.
An attorney will take all steps necessary to prove that your brain injury was caused by the negligence of another person and that you sustained losses due to the injury. This will include:
- Gathering all evidence necessary to prove what happened. This can include obtaining video or surveillance footage of the incident.
- Speaking to eyewitnesses to the incident and asking them to testify on your behalf.
- Seeking safety records of everyone involved (especially important if we are dealing with a negligent company, government entity, sports league, etc.).
- Obtaining your medical records and having them examined by a trusted medical professional.
- Securing expert witnesses to properly calculate your economic and non-economic losses and getting those experts to testify on your behalf.
- Handling all communication between you and any other parties involved. This includes all settlement negotiations.
- Being prepared to take your case to trial if insurers or other parties refuse to offer a fair settlement.
Contact Us Today
If your loved one has suffered a serious brain injury as the result of an act of negligence, contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC for a free case consultation.