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Representing Victims of Serious Head Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are among the most serious injuries a person can sustain, often resulting in long-term or even lifelong damage. These injuries often place a tremendous strain on the family of the victim. Immediate consequences can include huge hospital bills, lost wages from missed work, and changes in behavior.
In the wake of a serious accident, the flood of bills and daily difficulties can seem overwhelming. But you are not alone. We have experience dealing with many medical cases, including brain injuries and the consequences that come with them. Put us to work for you. Call a Kansas City injury lawyer today at Norton & Norton, P.C., at (816) 454-5800.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) refers to just about any serious injury impacting a person’s brain, usually due to an accident or violence to someone’s head. This term covers a wide range of injuries that can have very different symptoms – physical, sensory, cognitive, mental, and emotional. The brain is a very delicate and complex structure, so the location of the damage impacts the degree of injury as well as immediate and ongoing issues.
Degrees of Brain Injuries
The Glasgow Coma Scale is most commonly used to determine the extent of brain damage. This is a system that measures motor responses, verbal responses, and the eye-opening response to examine brain activity. Responses are evaluated and scored according to how well someone can obey commands, speak, and open his or her eyes. High scores are better, and very low scores indicate severe brain damage. This information is then used to categorize the brain injury as one of the following:
- Mild: A high Glasgow Coma score indicating a lot of response from the person who has suffered the brain injury. The injured person may have had only brief loss of consciousness, and someone with this level of injury can usually recover with rehabilitation.
- Moderate Disability: This is a more serious injury and is often associated with a loss of consciousness longer than half an hour. There are typically physical or cognitive impairments as a result of the injury. Rehabilitation can help, but might not entirely resolve them.
- Severe Disability: At this level, the brain injury has typically resulted in a coma or long-term unconsciousness. Recovery is not guaranteed, and extensive rehabilitation will probably be required on waking.
- Vegetative State: Someone in a vegetative state may show wakefulness but does not react or interact with his or her environment. A vegetative state is very serious and lengthy treatment will be necessary for any kind of recovery.
- Persistent Vegetative State: A vegetative state that lasts longer than one month. At this point it is very difficult to determine if any kind of treatment will be helpful.
- Brain Death: There is no brain function detected after this kind of injury; usually separate from scoring on the Glasgow Coma Scale. Recovery is virtually impossible at this point and the brain injury has effectively been fatal.
Consequences of Brain Injuries
The long-term effects of TBIs can be difficult to imagine right after an accident. These consequences include:
- Immediate medical bills
- Lost wages due to missed time at work
- Termination of employment
- Ongoing medical expenses due to physical therapy
- Expenses related to psychological treatment and therapy
- Changes in lifestyle due to sensory loss or physical impairment
- Changes in relationships including loss of friends and even divorce
- Ongoing struggles with depression and other issues
Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
Yes, after any accident that results in a traumatic brain injury, you and your loved ones deserve to have someone fighting for your rights. The expenses and long-term issues that arise after a brain injury can be overwhelming. An experienced personal injury lawyer by your side can help you discuss options to offset your expenses, including seeking compensation from those responsible.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident, you are not alone. Call us at Norton & Norton, P.C., at (816) 454-5800 to discuss your options.