Traumatic brain injuries are a serious problem in El Paso and throughout the United States. An injury to the brain can affect a patient’s ability to move, their memory and personality, and critical bodily functions. Depending on the extent and severity of the injury, they could suffer profound, permanent changes to their body, leaving them unable to work and take care of themselves.
El Paso traumatic brain injury attorney Michael J. Gopin has spent more than 30 years defending the rights of those who have suffered injuries at the hands of others. Our El Paso traumatic brain injury lawyers have helped thousands of people recover fair compensation for their losses so they can afford the treatment they need and cover their daily expenses. We are committed to helping our clients reclaim as much compensation as possible and making our community safer by holding at-fault parties accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury for which someone else is to blame, contact us today for a free initial consultation.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the brain is damaged in such a way that its ability to function properly is compromised. This can happen when the brain sustains a hard blow or jolt or if an external object breaks through the skull to damage brain tissue.
Traumatic brain injuries are alarmingly common both in Texas and throughout the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 224,000 people nationwide were hospitalized for traumatic brain injuries in one recent year.
What Is the Difference Between a Normal Brain Injury and a TBI?
The main difference between a “normal” brain injury and a traumatic brain injury is its underlying cause. According to information from the Brain Injury Association of America, non-traumatic brain injuries are caused by internal factors within the body, such as pressure from a brain tumor, exposure to certain toxic materials or substances, or a lack of oxygen to the brain. Traumatic brain injuries, by contrast, are caused by some external force or object.
Some examples of a non-traumatic brain injury include:
- Brain tumors
- Infections that affect the brain, such as meningitis
- A lack of oxygen caused by a heart attack or respiratory illness
What Are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can vary depending on its severity.
Common symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Increased fatigue or drowsiness
- Difficulty talking
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Changes in the sense of smell or taste
- Feeling disoriented, dazed, or confused
- Difficulty concentrating
- Insomnia or sleeping more than usual
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
Signs that one has suffered a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury include:
- Intense, persistent headaches
- Loss of consciousness for several minutes or longer
- Repetitive vomiting
- Intense nausea
- Dilated pupils in one or both eyes
- Numbness or weakness in the toes and fingers
- Clear fluid draining from the nose or ears
- Feeling uncoordinated when moving
- Deep feelings of confusion
- Slurred speech
- Feeling combative, agitated, or other sudden mood changes
Young children or infants who have suffered a traumatic brain injury may have trouble letting you know that they are in pain.
Some symptoms of traumatic brain injuries in young children and children include:
- Changes in the child’s sleep habits
- Persistent crying and inability to be consoled
- Unusual irritability
- Depressed mood
- Loss of interest in their favorite activities
- Drowsiness or an inability to focus
- Changes in eating or nursing habits
Do Traumatic Brain Injuries Have Long-Term Effects?
Traumatic brain injuries often have long-term effects, many of which are permanent. Some of the long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury include:
- Memory problems
- Chronic headaches
- Changes in eyesight
- Chronic dizziness
- Chronic fatigue
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Difficulty balancing
- Diminished language skills
- Mood swings
What Are the Most Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Some common causes of traumatic brain injuries in El Paso include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Semi-truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Accidents at work
- Birth injuries
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
- Falling objects
- Sports injuries
- Physical assaults
- Construction site accidents
What Treatments are Available after a TBI?
Treating a traumatic brain injury can be difficult. Immediately after the injury has occurred, doctors will focus on getting oxygen to the brain and eliminating any bleeding within the brain. Once the patient’s condition has stabilized, surgery is often necessary to repair some of the injured tissues and remove damaged tissues.
Many people with traumatic brain injuries need extensive rehabilitation to regain lost brain function. This could include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other forms of rehabilitation.
What Traumatic Brain Injury Compensation Is Available?
It is important to pursue as much compensation as possible in an El Paso traumatic brain injury case because you or your loved one could require a lifetime of care. A brain injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including future care you may need
- Lost wages and reduced future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lower quality of life
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Traumatic Brain Injury Case?
The parties you could hold liable in a traumatic brain injury case depend on the circumstances surrounding your injury. You will need to show how another party was responsible for your injuries. These parties could include:
- Other drivers, in the case of motor vehicle accidents
- Manufacturers of dangerous or defective products
- Someone who physically assaulted you
- Property owners and managers
- Stores and other businesses
- Doctors or other healthcare providers
How Long Do I Have to File a Suit After a Traumatic Brain Injury?
In most cases, Texas law gives you two years from the date of a traumatic brain injury to file a lawsuit. If you do not file in time, your case could be dismissed without ever being heard. That’s why you need to speak with a traumatic brain injury attorney in El Paso as soon as possible after your injury.
How Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Help Me with My Traumatic Brain Injury Case?
Trying to handle a traumatic brain injury case yourself can be incredibly taxing, especially if you are still suffering from debilitating symptoms. However, you don’t have to handle your claim alone. While you focus on your health, a lawyer can help you by:
- Identifying the at-fault parties and all sources of compensation
- Gathering evidence to establish liability
- Handling all the paperwork involved in an insurance claim or lawsuit
- Corresponding and negotiating with the insurance companies
- Bringing your case to court if a settlement cannot be reached