Chicago Traumatic Brain Injury – TBI Lawyer
Not only is a traumatic brain injury devastating to you or your loved ones, but the medical costs can debilitate you financially.
Just as the brain is a complex part of the body, so are the complications that result after such trauma. Statistically, almost everyone will experience an injury to their head in their lifetime so learning to recognize the signs of serious head injury are vital. According the Center for Disease Control, in 2010 approximately 2.5 million people in the United States suffered a traumatic brain injury. Such brain injuries are a contributing factor in to 30.5% of all injury-related deaths and cause a substantial number of serious disabilities. While there are a number of causes, TBI is often the result of a car accident.
If you or someone you love has suffered a blow to the head, see a doctor. Brain injuries commonly show very subtle symptoms or no immediate signs. Consulting with a medical professional, even when the injury seems minor, can save you and your family from a potentially severe outcome later on.
If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. This is crucial because TBIs typically involve numerous medical tests and treatments, as well as rehabilitation and long-term care. Your expenses could quickly pile up, and claiming your deserved compensation can greatly relieve you of that.
In the Chicago area, talk to us at Willens Law Offices to review your best legal options to get compensated.
What is TBI
TBI stands for Traumatic Brain Injury. It occurs when an external force causes brain dysfunction. It is often the result of a jolt to the head or a violent blow. If an object penetrates the skull, this also can cause a TBI.
It continues to be a major cause of disability and death around the world.
TBI is distinguished from other forms of brain damage, collectively called acquired brain injury (ABI). ABIs occur at a cellular or neurological level, commonly associated with tumors and strokes. TBIs, on the other hand, involves an external blow to the head.
Types Of Traumatic Brain Injury
TBI types range from mild to fatal. A head injury may not look physically serious but do not dismiss it. Even mild brain injuries can damage a person’s mental and emotional health.
Here are common types of TBI, their potential effects on the injured, and the treatment they require:
Also called a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), a concussion is the most common injury to the brain. It occurs when the brain is violently shaken inside the skull, disrupting its function.
While concussions usually have mild effects that go away on their own – such as headaches and confusion – there are many concussions which are marked by severe symptoms. These include memory loss, concentration problems, personality changes, sensitivity to light, and psychological issues. Such symptoms do not always show immediately, and they can last for weeks or longer.
Doctors always prescribe rest to allow a concussed brain to recover. In more serious cases, additional brain tests and therapy may be needed to address specific symptoms such as those listed above.
Contusion or Coup-contrecoup Injuries
A contusion is a bruise, which is a mild form of bleeding. When this occurs on the brain tissue, medical professionals sometimes use the term “coup-contrecoup injury”. Coup injury is when the brain slams against the skull at the point of impact, while contrecoup is when the brain slides back and hits the opposite side of the skull. These two injuries often occur together.
A common example is when a car suddenly stops and an occupant hits their forehead on the dashboard. The brain is first slammed on the front part, at the point where the skull and the dashboard collide (coup). It can then ‘bounce’ or swing back within the skull, hitting the back part of it (contrecoup).
Symptoms of these contusions depend on which parts of the brain are hit. For instance, damage to the frontal lobe of the brain may result in diminished language skills, impaired decision-making or moral judgment, and decreased intelligence.
Because coup-contrecoup contusions affect a substantial amount of the brain, survivors typically need extensive support after their accident. This damage is often irreversible, so medical care is instead focused on assisting the mental functions of patients.
Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)
When the brain moves abruptly and forcefully, its connecting nerve fibers (called axons) may be stretched, twisted, or torn. This disrupts the function of many brain regions, often sending the injured person to a coma. Research finds that over 90 percent of patients with severe DAI never regain consciousness.
What’s more terrifying about this injury is that it occurs at a microscopic level, making it difficult to detect by CT scan or MRI. Furthermore, there are few treatments for DAI. Doctors may recommend procedures to prevent complications such as swelling of the brain. For survivors, rehabilitation and specific therapies may be available.
A hematoma is the rupture of a blood vessel, and “intracranial” means it occurs inside the skull. This rupture causes bleeding or blood clot in surrounding tissues. There are several subtypes of this injury, including:
- Epidural hematoma – collection of blood between the skull and the outer layer of the brain (dura)
- Subdural hematoma – collection of blood outside the brain but within its outer membrane (dura)
- Intracerebral hematoma – collection of blood within the brain tissue itself.
The effects of a hematoma depend greatly on its size, but typically, people with this injury are often seriously ill, requiring life support.
To treat an intracranial hematoma, certain surgeries may be needed such as a Burr hole trephination (drilling the skull), craniotomy (opening the skull and reducing pressure inside), and craniectomy (opening the skull to allow the brain to expand).
Penetrating Brain Injury
The injuries discussed above usually occur while the skull or brain remains intact. Another type of TBI is open head injury due to an entering object. Examples are a bullet from a gunshot, a stab wound, shards of glass puncturing the head, and pieces of skull that broke off and entered the brain.
Open head injuries are life-threatening. They often involve heavy blood loss, seizures, and coma, as well as disruptions to bodily functions based on the damaged brain part. Aside from an emergency response, major medical procedures are usually needed, such as object removal surgery and operations to relieve the associated hematoma.
Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
Symptoms of traumatic brain injury vary from person to person. The outcome can range from complete recovery to permanent disability and even death.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury can help save a person’s life. Watching for the signs or behavioral changes after the trauma are vital. These include:
- Loss of consciousness, even for a few seconds
- Memory lapses, difficulty concentrating or slowness in thinking
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness, confusion or fogginess
- Loss of balance
- Persistent headaches or headaches that worsen
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Sensory problems, including blurred vision, ringing in the ears or a bad taste in the mouth.
- Seizures or convulsions
- Slurred speech
- Unequal pupil size
- Pupil dilation in one or both eyes
- Weakness or numbness in the fingers or toes
- Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
- Clear fluids draining from the eyes and nose
If you notice any of these signs, seek immediate medical treatment!
TBI are classified into mild, moderate and severe. The severity of the injury is classified by looking at the victim’s level of consciousness based on verbal, motor, and eye-opening reactions when stimulated.
Your Rightful Compensation
An insurance company will rarely offer someone without a reputable personal injury lawyer a full and fair settlement. Keep in mind that insurance companies make billions of dollars by collecting as much as they can in premiums from ordinary people, then paying out as little as possible when claims are made. Their tactics of deny, delay, defend have been a mainstay after an accident for many, many years.
We determine your fair settlement based on several factors:
- past and future medical bills
- lost earnings
- loss of earning capacity
- pain and suffering
- loss of a normal life
- changes in your relationships with your loved ones.
If a traumatic brain injury resulted in the tragic death of your loved one, it may be a case of wrongful death. If so, you can claim some unique damages. Though monetary payments can never replace the life you lost, they can help you recover financially so you can focus on healing. Wrongful death damages may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost consortium (marital companionship)
- Lost guidance and care
- Lost benefits.
To know the maximum amount of damages you can claim, consult with Willens Law. We are experienced in the various rights and claims of TBI victims, and more importantly, we are on your side. We leave no stone unturned in determining our clients’ full compensation.
We determine this at the appropriate time, on our client’s time table, not in insurance company’s.
How Willens Law Helps Illinois TBI Victims
With our effective legal representation and professional client treatment, our firm has helped individuals and families recover from their TBI accidents in Chicagoland.
One of our successful cases resulted in a $15.8 million verdict for the family of a little girl who sustained TBI after being struck by a van. This was a highly contentious case, but we fought aggressively and strategically. This high-value verdict was then recognized among the Top 100 Verdicts in the US that year.
We have effectively obtained maximum compensation for numerous other families who suffered from accidents. Whether negotiating for a full settlement or litigating in court, our lawyers have the advantage of experience, determination, and resourcefulness. Our head attorney, Mr. Matthew Willens, is a top-rated lawyer with firsthand knowledge of how the defense industry works. This is a valuable head-start for our firm’s clients.
Our entire team makes sure each client is treated well throughout their case. We make ourselves available 24/7, and we constantly communicate using clear, understandable language. If you can’t come to us, we’ll arrange to come to you. We strive to ease your ordeal as you fight for justice.
Chicago Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have suffered TBI in a car accident as the result of another person’s negligent behavior, contact a traumatic brain injury lawyer at Willens Law Offices. We don’t represent insurance companies. We don’t represent physicians in medical malpractice matters. We focus exclusively on representing individuals and their families who were injured by someone else’s negligence.
Since we charge no legal fees, unless and until we succeed in obtaining a monetary recovery for you, you can count on us fighting hard to get you the compensation you need and deserve. Call us today at (312) 957-4166 or fill out our online contact form for your FREE consultation.