If you or a family member suffer from a traumatic brain injury, you may be forced to deal with medical bills, loss of income, and significant pain and suffering. These injury-related expenses quickly stack up for Austin families, putting them in a financially difficult situation.
When someone else’s carelessness is to blame for your injuries, you may be able to file an injury claim to recover compensation for your losses. While hiring a lawyer won’t erase the ordeal you’ve already experienced, by recovering a full and fair settlement you can obtain the resources that you need to cope with your injuries and move on with your life.
By filing an injury claim, you may be able to collect compensation for pain and suffering, current medical expenses, future medical care, and lost wages. In many cases, the at-fault party’s insurance provider pays these damages.
If you are serious about recovering compensation, don’t attempt to manage your claim without the help of a skilled injury attorney. Your lawyer will use their experience and knowledge to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible. At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, our team of Austin personal injury attorneys can assist you in crafting a strong case. Call our team at (737) 249-6300 today.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an injury that affects how the brain functions. It is usually caused by a bump, jolt, or blow to the head and can have significant health consequences, both short- and long-term.
There are three levels of severity for TBIs:
- Mild TBI. These include concussions, whiplash, or any movement that causes the brain to impact the inside of the skull. Mild TBIs are the most common form and are often misdiagnosed in older adults because their symptoms resemble those of dementia or other forms of cognitive decline. Repeated mild TBIs can cause a plethora of health problems, including long- and short-term memory loss, learning impairments, loss of balance, difficulty concentrating, and difficulty with problem-solving.
- Moderate TBI. Moderate TBIs are usually caused by falls or other strong impacts, such as motor vehicle crashes. They can include injuries like a hematoma, or a blood clot in the brain, a contusion, or bruising of brain tissue, and hemorrhage, or bleeding of the brain. Moderate TBIs can have all the same effects as a mild TBI or concussion, along with other symptoms, such as severe headache, lethargy, vision problems, ringing in the ears, slurred speech, nausea, and vomiting.
- Severe TBI. Severe TBIs include injuries that pierce or fracture the skull and damage brain tissue directly, such as a gunshot or strong impact to the head. Severe TBIs can have dramatic and long-lasting negative effects. They can cause severe memory loss, loss of bladder or bowel control, numbness in the extremities, convulsions, seizures, loss of vision or hearing, paralysis, loss of consciousness, coma, or death.
TBIs are a major cause of injuries and death in the United States. According to the CDC, there were about 61,000 TBI-related deaths in this country in 2019 or approximately 166 per day.
The most common cause of TBIs is slipping and falling, which accounts for about half of TBI hospitalizations. Other common causes include motor vehicle accidents, assaults, sports injuries, and firearm-related suicide attempts.
TBIs affect everyone, but research has shown that some disadvantaged groups are at higher risk than others. Racial and ethnic minorities, those experiencing homelessness, veterans, and people living in rural areas are all at higher risk for TBI. This can be due to a variety of factors, including lack of access to health care or lack of means to afford health care.
If you sustained a traumatic brain injury, our lawyers can help you get treatment and money you need.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
There are several different types of injuries that qualify as TBIs, including the following:
- Concussion. The most common form of TBI, a concussion is caused by the brain impacting the inside of the skull after a jolt or impact to the head. It can occur with or without a direct impact to the head, and may or may not include losing consciousness. People with concussions will sometimes report a memory lapse before or after the event. Concussions are usually treated with bed rest and time.
- Contusion. A contusion is a bruising of the brain tissue. They are caused by the brain impacting the inside of the skull with enough force to cause a bruise and may include slight bleeding inside the brain.
- Hemorrhage. A hemorrhage is bleeding inside the brain. It can be caused by contusions or impacts to the head, and depending on the severity, may sometimes require surgery to correct.
- Hematoma. A hematoma is a pool of blood that collects in the brain after a hemorrhage. Hematomas can form between the brain and skull or in the brain itself, and can increase pressure on the brain enough that surgery is required to allow the blood to drain.
- Diffuse brain injuries. Some brain injuries are too small to detect through scans like MRIs or CAT scans and are spread across the surface of the brain after an impact to the head. These small bruises, called diffuse brain injuries, may not have a corresponding visible injury on the brain but can still cause symptoms of TBI and changes in brain function.
Why You Need An Attorney
If you or someone you know have sustained a traumatic brain injury, you are undoubtedly going through a painful and scary time. Although you may feel overwhelmed and stressed, you should know that you have legal options to consider. If you are serious about fighting for justice, a skilled injury attorney can support you and build a strong case on your behalf.
An essential responsibility that your lawyer can fulfill is handling communications on your behalf. In the aftermath of a severe accident, the at-fault party’s insurer will likely attempt to reach out to the victim or their family. Before speaking with an insurer, It is most injury victims’ best interest to seek the counsel of a qualified personal injury attorney. While the at-fault party’s insurer may seem perfectly sympathetic to your situation, they are not on your side. Speaking to them freely could ultimately compromise your claim.
Although taking all the steps necessary to prove your case can be overwhelming, an experienced injury attorney will project any short and long-term consequences, recover evidence, interview witnesses, and determine how much your claim is worth. By performing all of these functions, your lawyer will build the strongest possible case that is customized to the outcome that you need.
Why Choose Gibson Hill Personal Injury to Handle your Case?
The personal injury lawyers at Gibson Hill Personal Injury make sure that all cases are handled with the attention and care that each client deserves. From the first few days following an injury, through inpatient rehabilitation, to long-term follow-up, our goal at Gibson Hill Personal Injury is to help traumatic brain injury patients, no matter how moderate or severe the brain injury.
Our team is here to support you, no matter what you need or when you need it. Through our time working with clients, we strive to understand each detail of your claim, so that we can best address your needs. We want you to be as informed and involved in your claim as you want to be, which is why we put a particular emphasis on open communication and customer service.
The founding lawyer at Gibson Hill Personal Injury, Ty Gibson is an accomplished personal injury lawyer, originally from North East Texas. Gibson moved to Houston to study law and since graduation, has helped hundreds of clients deal with all manner of personal injury cases. His work ethic and commitment to clients inform our firm’s vision and continued success.
You deserve to have a legal representative on your side, ensuring that you are in the position to receive the best possible result. The Austin personal injury lawyers at Gibson Hill Personal Injury work hard to help individuals just like you obtain the compensation they need after an accident causes a traumatic brain injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury Cases We Handle
Traumatic brain injuries commonly result from the following:
- Slip-and-Fall Accidents
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Falling Debris
- Dangerous Premises
- Workplace Accidents
- Construction Accidents
After suffering a traumatic brain injury, the most important step the injured individual can take is to maintain constant communication with his or her lawyer. Informing your attorney of your injury-related expenses, accident information, and medical information will help your legal team substantially as they investigate and build your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you or a loved one are suffering from a traumatic brain injury, the lawyers at Gibson Hill Personal Injury know you have questions. Read over our frequently asked questions and get in touch with us today at (512) 842-6593 to discuss the details of your situation.
Why Is Expert Testimony Important?
A qualified medical expert witness can communicate to the jury concerning the nature and extent of the injuries sustained, as well as the corresponding treatment the traumatic brain injury patient requires. In all personal injury cases, including traumatic brain injury cases, the evidence used to establish liability is dependent upon the circumstances and facts of that individual case.
At Gibson Hill, a knowledgable personal injury attorney will gather all the vital information after a traumatic brain injury, and organize trial testimony with the expert witnesses. This ensures that all of the evidence that is relevant to your case is presented to the jury for consideration.
What Damages Can I Recover?
The basic types of compensatory damages in brain injury cases are general damages and special damages. General damages are also referred to as non-economic losses or losses for which money is a poor substitute for what was lost. General damages can include emotional distress, mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, embarrassment or humiliation, shock, loss of reputation, loss of consortium (a claim made by the family or spouse of the injured person), and loss of society and companionship.
Special damages, or economic losses, are damages for which money is considered a comparable substitute for what was lost. Special damages are also known as the rule of ‘out-of-pocket’ loss. Special damages may include property damages, lost wages, lost earning capacity, medical expenses, and funeral and burial expenses in the case of wrongful death.
Texas law allows punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, in cases of extreme negligence or intentional malice. Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages in that they are not designed to help an accident victim recover any loss or make them whole. Rather, they are designed specifically to punish the negligent party and deter or dissuade them from committing the offense again.
Punitive damages require a burden of proof outside of the normal finding of fault in an injury case. They require the claimant to prove that the defendant had knowledge that their actions would harm others, either directly or indirectly, and they made a conscious decision to commit the acts regardless of the danger they posed.
Punitive damages are capped in Texas at the larger of $200,000, or twice the amount of economic damages plus an equal amount of non-economic damages.
How Do You Prove Negligence?
More often than not, traumatic brain injury cases involve issues of negligence. When someone is negligent, it means that that they failed to do something that they should have done, or they did something that negatively impacted another individual.
To succeed in a legal action based on negligence, all of the following need to be proven:
- The defendant was legally responsible for being reasonably careful.
- The defendant failed to act with reasonable care toward the injured individual.
- The defendant’s action or lack thereof was the cause of the individual’s traumatic brain injury.
- The defendant caused injuries and/or losses that are measurable under the law.
Negligence is the primary legal factor in most brain injury lawsuits. When another person is responsible for your suffering, the attorneys at Gibson Hill are committed to proving that the defendant is legally responsible for your traumatic brain injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
In Texas, 144,000 individuals suffer a traumatic brain injury annually. That equates to one injury every four minutes. Traumatic brain injury can occur when a jolt, bump, blow, or other head injury causes damage to the brain. If you or a loved one experiences any of the following symptoms after trauma to the head, they may have a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. Signs of a traumatic brain injury include nausea or vomiting that does not subside, a persistent, worsening headache, and convulsions or seizures.
Over 381,000 Texans live with a disability due to a traumatic brain injury, and more than 5,700 individuals in Texas are permanently disabled by traumatic brain injuries every year. Acute rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury patients is incredibly expensive and is often made worse by loss of income from the inability to return to work.
Here are some additional statistics regarding TBIs from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons:
- Males are far more likely to suffer a TBI than females. Males account for 78.8% of reported TBI accidents, and females account for 21.2%
- TBIs are expensive, and not just in terms of medical care. The estimated direct and indirect costs of TBIs are over $70 billion.
- TBIs are the most common among adults older than 75 years (2,232 out of 100,000 population), children under age 4 (1,591 per 100,000), and young adults ages 15 to 24 (1,081 per 100,000)
- The leading causes of non-fatal TBIs in America are falls with 35%, motor vehicle crashes at 17%, and being hit in the head, such as sports injuries, also at 17%.
- The leading causes of fatal TBIs in America are motor vehicle crashes, suicides, and falls.
- Children and adolescents injured in sports or recreational activities account for 21% of TBIs in their age group in America.
- About 288,000 Americans are hospitalized for TBIs every year, 20 times more than for spinal cord injuries.
- There has been a 53% increase in TBI emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths since 2006.
Contact an Austin Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
Did you or a loved one suffer a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence in Austin, Texas? If so, you could be owed significant compensation, and Gibson Hill Personal Injury can help you recover it.
We have fought for traumatic brain injury victims just like you, providing experienced, compassionate representation. Our team of personal injury attorneys is here to help you every step of the way. From filing a claim to proving that you are entitled to compensation for your traumatic brain injury, we are here for you. Contact us at (737) 249-6300 today.