Florida Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
One of the most debilitating types of injuries that a person can sustain is one to the brain. Because of a brain injury’s potential for years of recovery and care, it can also be one of the most expensive types of injuries. If you sustain such an injury in Florida, you need a personal injury attorney who understands all of the challenges of what you are experiencing as well as the intricacies of such a legal case. And having such an experienced attorney can make all the difference in your case. The legal team at Wolf & Pravato is here to help guide those injured Floridians in their traumatic brain injury lawsuit cases. Wolf & Pravato, with offices in both Fort Lauderdale and Miami, have attorneys that are leaders in helping our clients obtain the resources that they need to recover as fully as possible from the debilitating effects of such an injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury Causes
According to the Centers for Disease Control, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is “caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain”. These can range from a mild case when you have a “brief change in mental status” or when you lose consciousness to a more sever case which can include extended loss of consciousness and even memory loss. Mild TBIs are also often referred to as “concussions,” a term that has been in the news a lot lately with recent discussions about traumatic brain injuries in athletes such as pro football players and wrestlers.
A TBI can occur from a number of common mishaps, some of which are the result of negligence or are the fault of others and some of which are common household accidents. These causes include:
- Automobile accidents (including public transit);
- Defective products
- Physical violence including abuse and assaults; and
- Sports related concussions.
Traumatic Brain Injury Risk Factors
According to the CDC, TBIs contribute to about 30% of all injury related deaths. Traumatic brain injuries are disproportionately found in the very young and the elderly, mainly as a result of falls. Other risk factors/causes include motor vehicle crashes, which account for most of the injuries to those ages 15-44, and physical assaults, which accounted for approximately ten percent of all traumatic brain injuries. Additionally, men are three times more likely than women to receive a traumatic brain injury.
One of the biggest problems when it comes to treating “mild” to “moderate” traumatic brain injury cases is in the diagnosis itself. Such an injury often avoids detection, even on the most sophisticated hospital imaging equipment. This is especially true in emergency room situations when the doctor is often just treating the immediate symptoms and not looking at long term care. The lack of treatment leads to further complications that can make recovery even more difficult.
Because of the “invisible” nature of the injury, victims of TBI very rarely receive prompt treatment for their physical and cognitive impairments. In the review of TBI cases, it is quite common to find the victims’ early medical charts are devoid of any mention of “head injury” or “cognitive impairment.” These early admitting healthcare providers are more concerned with stabilizing the patient so it is only later that they may fully diagnose the true nature of the injury and actually initiate the necessary treatment.
Currently, TBI is considered an epidemic in this country with five million people living with disabilities as a result of such an injury. Early detection is one of the keys to a successful treatment and the medical charts are an important tool in determining when TBI was suspected or diagnosed. As you focus on your recovery (or the recovery of a loved one), our attorneys can comb through all of the pertinent medical charts to help pinpoint the cause of your injury as well as helping to determine whether your health care professionals acted in a timely manner to diagnose the condition.
Areas Affected by Traumatic Brain Injuries
If a person is the victim of a TBI, he or she will not be able to process information at pre-injury rates of speed. Additionally, these victims cannot think the same and comprehend as wide a range of subjects as someone who has not had a TBI. TBIs can also impact the following areas:
- Judgment, including making poor or “irrational” decisions in situations;
- Communication such as having slurred speech or slower response time to questions or conversation;
- Behavior sometimes manifesting itself in frustration or even a violent temper;
- Smell, including the complete loss of this sense; and
- Memory, including sometimes significant gaps in memory or difficulty creating new long-term or short-term memories.
What makes TBI such a horrid condition born out of a “private hell” is that the victim is often alone and unable to resolve the injury. They are already confused, but that confusion is augmented by the fact that they are aware of the fact that they are not able to function at the level they did before the injury. They also, sometimes, are faced with the added frustration of having to prove their injury to health care workers, who sometimes classify the victim as a “malinger” who is faking the injury for attention or financial gain. Because the victim still outwardly appears to be the same person they were before, they even sometimes are isolated from their own family members who do not realize the severity of the injury.
After a Florida Brain Injury, an Attorney at Wolf & Pravato Can Help
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a traumatic brain injury, a South Florida traumatic brain injury attorney at Wolf & Pravato is available for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation. We can evaluate your case and apprise you of your rights and options. Justice is not automatic, and we are prepared to fight for you.