Traumatic brain injury is the number one cause of disability among young adults and children. When these injuries occur due to another’s negligence or wrongdoing, Cullan & Cullan can help victims pursue compensation from the responsible person or company. As medical doctors and attorneys, we have a true understanding of brain injuries and the rights of victims to pursue civil justice. Our Kansas City brain injury lawyers are committed to maximizing our clients’ compensation so they can lead more stable and fulfilling lives.
Call (816) 253-8606 for a free review of your brain injury claim.
Causes of Brain Injury
All brain injuries can be serious. According to the National Head Injury Foundation, head injuries are a “silent epidemic.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than five million Americans have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Many of these brain injuries cause severe disabilities that require extensive medical care and affect the person’s ability to work and interact with others. In situations such as this, it can be essential for a person to obtain monetary compensation to pay for medical bills and maintain a brain injury victim’s quality of life, particularly if that person is unable to work.
Our firm fights to get restitution for victims of brain injury. Our Kansas City personal injury attorneys understand brain injury law and can help get the compensation you need to restore your life. Part of this is understanding how the injury was caused so we can then determine liability, or legal responsibility.
The leading causes of brain injuries include:
Other common causes include:
- Birth trauma – (brain bleeds, lack of oxygen, cerebral palsy)
- Swimming pool accidents
- Railroad accidents
- Boating accidents
- Airplane accidents
Falling or flying objects, such as items falling from improperly stacked shelves at stores or other businesses, are another common cause of brain injury. Additionally, brain injuries can be caused by anoxic or hypoxic injury (lack of oxygen, blood flow), cardiopulmonary arrest, strokes, airway obstruction, hemorrhage, infectious disease, and carbon monoxide poisoning or other toxic exposure.
Types of Brain Injury
An open head injury occurs when the head is struck by an object, causing an open wound and perhaps penetration of brain tissue. A closed head injury occurs when there is no open wound to the skull or penetration of the brain – rather this injury is caused by violent movement or blunt trauma.
A few common examples of closed head injury are “shaken baby syndrome” or when athletes involved in contact sports sustain injury from repetitive blows or concussion injuries. Today, we not only realize that boxers and NFL football players are susceptible to concussions, but all types of athletes, including soccer players, baseball players, and even gymnast are all susceptible to injury.
Our brains are encased in the skull, which is a protective shell. When the head is violently moved, the acceleration and deceleration forces cause the brain to move, bounce, and rotate within the skull. This violent movement results in the brain tissue being sheered, damaged, and destroyed. Microscopic and/or major internal bleeding may result.
When a brain cell is damaged or destroyed it cannot be repaired. The brain may try to reroute the activity around the damaged cells but the damages to the affected brain cells themselves are permanent and irreversible.
Fractured Skull Injuries
There are three major types of skull fractures that may cause brain injuries:
- Linear Skull Fracture: This is the most common type of skull fracture. In this type of fracture, the brain is not penetrated. Patients with this type of fracture must be carefully observed for signs of internal bleeding.
- Depressed Skull Fracture: This injury involves fragments of the skull pushing on the brain. The bone fragments will likely need to be removed right away and the victim may need implants or reconstructive surgery to replace the bone.
- Basilar Skull Fracture: This is an extremely serious injury that involves a fracture of the bones at the base of the skull. These fractures can cause leakage of cerebrospinal fluid. It is common for the victim to develop bruises around their eyes (often referred to as raccoon eyes). This injury can also result in cerebrospinal fluid leaking from the victim’s ears or nose.
Symptoms of Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury can cause a variety of devastating symptoms, including:
- Altered state of consciousness – person was dazed or confused at scene
- Loss of consciousness – person was “knocked out” or unconscious
- Memory loss – either short or long-term memory loss
- Blurred Vision
- Loss / partial loss of smell
- Loss / partial loss of taste
- Loss / partial loss of vision
- Loss / partial loss of hearing
- Sexual dysfunction
- Speech problems (searching for words)
- Sleep disturbances – inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, or nightmares
- Mood swings
- Loss of anger control
- Loss of ability to control other emotions
- Inability to concentrate
- Inability to make decisions
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Increased sensitivity to noise
- Increased sensitivity to movement
- Decreased intellectual ability
- Lack of interest or desire to participate in life - Depression
Brain Injuries Affect All Aspects of a Person’s Life
There are many, many cases where a person who has sustained a brain injury appears fine, but family members, friends, teachers, and co-workers know that something is seriously wrong. This person may have sustained a brain injury that is labeled “mild.” It is considered mild because the person may appear normal on the outside. Our Kansas City brain injury lawyers know that the term “mild brain injury” is a misnomer because the consequences of the “mild brain injury” may be devastating for that individual and their family. These are very difficult cases for the injured person because they often know their behavior is abnormal but can’t control it.
At Cullan & Cullan, our personal injury attorneys have represented many people with brain injuries who try to function normally and just can’t. Their behavior may be dangerous or bizarre. We have had a case where a young executive hit his head on a side car window during an accident and afterward, though he looked fine, could no longer remember how to do simple math or spelling.
A brain injury can cause short and long-term memory difficulties. A person may remember nothing from their childhood or previous life with a spouse or child. They may have short-term memory problems where they forget what was said in a conversation they just had, or what they just read. They may forget to turn the water or stove off. They may forget to eat or take medications. They may remember how to drive a car and be able to follow road signs but forget where they were going in the first place or how to get home. They may forget to pick up their children at school. They may forget appointments. They may be unable to remember people’s names – even the names of their family members or close friends. They may stutter trying to find words they once knew. They may frequently place themselves in danger.
Tragically, employers and friends may be sympathetic to the injured person at first but may ultimately lose patience and fire them or leave them socially isolated. Rehabilitation is necessary to teach the injured person how to do things they have forgotten, new coping skills, new ways to remember things, and new ways to control their emotions. The goal is to give the injured person skills that will enable them to return to the community and vocational environments and be accepted, safe, and happy. Medical care exists to help people if they are aware of it and can afford it. Our brain injury attorneys at Cullan & Cullan, can help you pursue the money necessary to pay for this sort of therapy.
Brain Injury Treatment & Care
The severity of head injuries varies a great deal. Head injuries are complex to diagnose and treat. Early detection and treatment by medical care providers who specialize in head injuries are vital to enable the injured person to live as comfortably and productively as possible. This can require a multi-specialty team including but not limited to: neuropsychologist, physical and rehabilitation medicine specialist, psychiatrist, psychologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech therapist, and rehabilitation and behavior therapist. There are many medications that may also help an individual with a brain injury.
The goal of medical care is to help the individual learn coping techniques to enable them to live as happy a life as possible. Family support and education, community integration, and restoration of their lives are the primary goals. If this is not possible then supported independent living, day treatment, or group home assisted living may need to be explored.
Contact Our Kansas City Brain Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury you should immediately seek the advice of an attorney who has experience in the complexities of these cases. Many attorneys are not skilled in the law or medicine involved. Please contact our Kansas City office for a review of your brain injury case, or to speak with a member of our law firm.
Receiving fair compensation can be a challenging process after a brain injury, but it is possible if you have the right type of resources and legal counsel. At Cullan & Cullan, we are dedicated to helping the injured recover damages caused by negligence. We have a definite edge in brain injury cases because we have doctors who are also lawyers on our team. We have extensive medical and legal experience with these complex, important cases.
Contact a Kansas City brain injury lawyer at our firm today by calling (816) 253-8606.