What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

What is a traumatic brain injury? Washington DC injury lawyers Regan Zambri Long discuss one of the most serious types of injuries.

It happens without warning, and it happens anywhere. It happens on the highways, the sports field, in the workplace, in the hospital, while riding a bike, or in the grocery store. And it happens approximately every 23 seconds to someone in the US. A traumatic brain injury is the direct result of a violent blow, bump, or jolt to the head. A study reported by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) tells us in a five-year period following a TBI, 30 % of those affected got worse, 22% showed no improvement, 26% improved, and 22% died as a result of a traumatic brain injury. When our team of attorneys seeks justice for victims of traumatic brain injury, our reputation precedes us when we enter a courtroom.

At Regan Zambri Long PLLC, our DC personal injury lawyers’ focus is to secure justice for those who suffer harm by the carelessness of others. If your family is suddenly faced with navigating the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, reach out, we are here to help.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

traumatic brain injury lawyersA TBI is a disruption in the brain’s normal function as the result of a violent blow to the skull. When the force of the impact causes a hemorrhage, edema, vascular damage, or intracranial pressure, the injuries can result in long-term complications, death, and reduced life expectancy. Some clinical signs of alteration in normal brain function are:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Amnesia (loss of memory for events before or after injury)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vision loss
  • Alteration in speech patterns
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty concentrating

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

CTE is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with multiple concussions over several years. First observed in the early 1900s, and prevalent among boxers, victims were referred to as being “punch drunk.” Currently, a definitive diagnosis can only be made post-mortem by examination of brain tissue. A  study published in the medical journal, JAMA, in July 2017, revealed CTE was found in 99% of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to scientific research. Research is ongoing and legal battles continue to be fought on behalf of family survivors. While this topic is best served in a separate blog, it is sufficient to point out that victims of CTE have a propensity for suicide. Here’s a frightening thought: the average high school lineman on a football team takes the equivalent of a 25-mile an hour car crash in hits to the head each season.

A DC Brain Injury Lawyer Explains the Consequences of a Brain Injury

The consequences of dealing with this type of traumatic injury are three-fold.  In addition to the physical changes a person dealing with traumatic brain injury experiences, they are faced with cognitive, financial, and emotional challenges.

A $10.5 Million settlement for an automobile collision resulting in paraplegia, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury to the plaintiff.  Our attorneys, Patrick Regan, Amy Griggs, and Chris Regan, resolved the settlement on July 30th, 2019.

Some physical changes that can occur due to a brain injury are:

  • Full or partial paralysis
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Muscle coordination problems
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Seizures
  • Changes in sexual functioning
  • Changes in the senses (vision, hearing, touch, taste, etc.)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Speech difficulties

A partial list of cognitive changes that can occur due to a brain injury include:

  • Shortened attention span
  • Altered perception
  • Memory problems, particularly short-term memory
  • Difficulties with reasoning, problem-solving, and planning
  • Poor judgment
  • Partial or complete loss of reading and writing skills
  • Language problems, including communication deficits and loss of vocabulary
  • Inability to understand abstract concepts
  • Difficulty learning new things

Victims of TBI often have personality and emotional issues, for example:

  • The inability to empathize with others
  • A tendency to be self-centered
  • Increases in irritability and frustration
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Anger management issues
  • Unpredictable mood swings
  • Depression

We value the relationships our legal staff has with our former clients, and we are proud of the testimonials we continue to receive. 

“We are so grateful to Mr. Zambri, who helped us on our path to justice for our son.” —Daniel and Heidi G.

In addition to the changes and challenges presented to families following the immediate impact of the moment, the ambiguity of the situation makes processing what tomorrow holds terrifying. As personal injury attorneys in Washington, DC, we are committed to standing up for the rights of those injured because of someone else’s negligence. We understand the devastation of potentially facing a lifetime disability, uncertain employment status, and the possibility of being unable to support or care for loved ones. Collectively, we have over one hundred years of experience and have successfully recovered over $400 million for our clients.

Patrick Regan secured a verdict of $6.2 Million for a skier who suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident at the Massanutten Ski Resort in Virginia. This case was tried by a jury in Charlottesville, Virginia, and resulted in the largest verdict ever rendered in Albemarle County, Virginia. The verdict was ultimately upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court and with interest, the plaintiff collected nearly $7.0 Million. 

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

Financial Recovery and Compensation for Brain Injuries

It is possible to recover financially for:

  • Loss of consortium
  • Disfigurement
  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Household service expenses
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of Companionship and Society
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability

The venues may be varied, but the residual effects remain the same. Slippery floors, insufficient lighting, or the lack of strategically placed handrails in a hospital or medical setting can result in a traumatic brain injury from a needless fall. Hospitals can be dangerous settings when failure to perform timely CPR, incorrect insertion of intubation, and medication errors continue to be a problem. Commercial property owners have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe. When an injury happens because visitors had no warning of impending danger, a premises liability suit is possible.

Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Symptoms of traumatic brain injury may be mild, moderate, or severe. Watch out for these symptoms following a car accident or pedestrian accident:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Problems with speech
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Sensitivity to light

Those persons diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury are prone to developing epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

Some Interesting Brain Injury Statistics

The Agency For Healthcare Research and Quality is an offshoot of the Department of Health And Human Services. Data curated from a recent report shows:

  • In 2017, over 1 million patients had a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury
  • Patients with TBI remained in the hospital two days longer, had services costing 74% more, and a mortality rate 4 times higher than those patients with another diagnosis
  • 24% of the TBI cases were due to motor vehicle accidents

Recovery From a TBI

A fair percentage of patients having a diagnosis of moderate traumatic brain injury will recover with few lingering symptoms. However, those who survive a severe traumatic brain injury may be left with lifetime disabilities and may never recover full functionality. The human brain can compensate for injuries to the frontal, temporal, and occipital lobes. Treatment facilities specializing in rehabilitation for activities of daily living (ADL) are often able to help a patient regain the ability to perform such activities as walking, dressing, feeding, and caring for personal hygiene.

Preventative Measures Can Help Reduce Brain Injury

Strict adherence to seatbelt and bicycle helmet laws is a good beginning. Buckle up every time you ride in a motor vehicle. Help your children stay safe by avoiding playgrounds without soft material under the equipment, and use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Protective headgear should be used while:

  • Riding a skateboard
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Playing ice hockey
  • Boxing
  • Playing baseball or softball

Why Choose Regan Zambri Long as Your DC Brain Injury Attorney?

We handle complex TBI claims on behalf of our clients and demand justice and fair compensation for their injuries. Even when it’s clear who is at fault, traumatic brain injury cases can be complicated. Dealing with long-term consequences is potentially a lifetime venture.

We have the experience, resources, and support network necessary to combat the insurance carrier’s efforts to minimize compensation. We are fiercely committed to helping accident victims throughout the Washington, DC area and surrounding communities restore a measure of normalcy and balance to lives interrupted. Seeking the help of experienced legal representation will afford the best possible chance of securing a solid financial future.

Mr. Zambri guided me through the civil justice system and represented me with the compassion of a family member. — Daisy A.

Our skilled traumatic brain injury lawyers understand the difficulties a family will face after a devastating injury. We have the answers you need during this difficult time. You will pay nothing upfront and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you! If you would like to learn more about your options to pursue the compensation you deserve, call us(202-960-4596.)