Atlanta Brain Injury Lawyer
It is difficult to imagine how your life would change if you were to suffer a serious brain injury. The impact of such a tragedy is devastating not only on the victim but also on that person’s loved ones. In the state of Georgia, if you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury because of the negligence of another person, you may qualify to recover compensation for your medical costs and lost income, but you should have the help of an experienced Atlanta brain injury attorney at Spaulding Injury Law.
One of the most significant losses a person can suffer after a traumatic brain injury is the loss of the enjoyment of life at the level the victim enjoyed it prior to the brain injury. Having represented numerous brain injury victims over many years, the attorneys at Spaulding Injury Law understand just how significant this loss is for so many brain injury sufferers and their families. Our experience gives us the ability to tell your story authentically and persuasively to a jury of your peers if your case should go to trial.
We are proud of our success in helping brain injury victims. The attorneys at Spaulding Injury Law have helped scores of traumatic brain injury victims recover the compensation that they are entitled to and deserve. Victims, however, should understand that a traumatic brain injury is an extremely complicated type of injury, and prevailing with a personal injury lawsuit based on a brain injury is not always easy, but an experienced Atlanta brain injury attorney at Spaulding Injury Law can help.
How Are Brain Injuries Classified?
Traumatic brain injuries are categorized as either mild, moderate, or severe. Most traumatic brain injuries are categorized as “mild” and are sustained in traffic collisions, but a “mild” classification does not mean that a brain injury is not a serious medical condition. Insurance companies try to avoid paying for brain injuries that are classified as mild, but an experienced Atlanta brain injury attorney at Spaulding Injury Law will not allow an insurance company to get off the hook that easily.
Without the testimony of a brain injury specialist, however, it’s often difficult to prove a mild brain injury, but the attorneys at Spaulding Injury Law work with a variety of medical specialists to obtain the evidence and testimony that our clients need. We can also arrange, if necessary, for clients to undergo independent medical examinations to obtain the evidence necessary for a brain injury claim to prevail.
Common Causes of Brain Injury
More than one-third of traumatic brain injuries result from falls, and those brain injuries cause almost a third of injury-related deaths in the U.S. annually. Falls in the bath, down flights of stairs, on icy streets or roads, and otherwise are the single most common cause of traumatic brain injury. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to brain injuries from falls.
Vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury in the U.S., causing nearly one in five such injuries each year. Motor vehicle accidents involving multiple vehicles or a vehicle and a pedestrian are also a common cause of brain injury. The sudden violent jolts experienced in a car accident are the usual cause of brain injury, resulting from the brain striking the inside of the skull at high speed. Because of their high speed and violent impacts, head-on and T-bone collisions are among the most common causes of brain injury in motor vehicle accidents.
As many sports and athletic endeavors have become more extreme, brain injuries, particularly among high school and collegiate athletes, have become more common and, unfortunately, more serious. Among the high-impact sports in which these injuries are most likely to occur are footballs, gymnastics, competitive cheerleading, boxing, soccer, baseball, hockey, skateboarding, other high-impact and extreme sports.
Active-duty military personnel is particularly susceptible to brain injury from explosions and other combat injuries. Researchers believe that one source of the injury is the passing of the pressure wave from a large explosion passing through the brain, disrupting its function. Other military causes of brain injury are gun or other penetrating wounds, injuries resulting from shrapnel or other debris, and falls following a blast.
In an increasingly violent period, we see large numbers of brain injuries arising from gunshot wounds, domestic violence, child abuse, and criminal assaults. Shaken baby syndrome has become a commonly seen injury among infants. The violent shaking of the child bruises and tears brain tissue, resulting in significant injury and even death to the infant’s brain.
Most Common Victims of Brain Injury
Certain groups are far more prone to suffer brain injuries than others. Those most at risk include:
Children, especially those under five years of age – Because children’s brains are still developing, the severity of a brain injury may not be immediately apparent. However, as the children grow older, the injury’s consequences can become apparent, creating lifelong deficits in motor and cognitive functions.
Young adults, especially those between 15 and 24 years old – Because young adults and adolescents are among the most common participants in athletics, they are among the most frequent victims of sport-related brain injuries. School and collegiate sports have become ever more extreme and challenging, leading to falls and high-impact injuries. Despite better equipment in many sports, such as football, concussions are common. Significantly, evidence indicates that repeated concussions have a cumulative effect on the brain, so sports such as boxing and football, which feature frequent head injuries, can be particularly dangerous.
Adults over 60 – Those over 60 are particularly vulnerable to falls in the home and in public. Adults over 75 have the highest brain injury rates, hospitalization, and death as balance issues and medication use increase, the ability to remain upright decreases. Moreover, as the brain ages, earlier brain injuries can worsen, cutting off blood flow to portions of the brain and killing brain tissue. Tens of thousands of emergency room visits result from traumatic brain injury in the elderly, three-quarters of those being admitted to hospital.
Males in all age groups – Rates of death from traumatic brain injury among males are nearly three times those in females. Death rates are going down over the last decade among both groups, but men tend to suffer far more brain injuries than women. Moreover, brain injury among men is more likely to result in death and more common. Only about one-fifth of brain injuries occur in women.
Symptoms of Brain Injury
There are several common symptoms indicating that a traumatic brain injury has occurred. Some appear immediately after the injury, while others may take days, weeks, or months to appear. Among these symptoms are:
- Loss of consciousness, which may be brief or extended
- Nausea or vomiting, which may continue for some time
- Fatigue or sleepiness
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Impairment of physical movement, muscle strength and function, and some organ functions
- Reduction in the ability to process information, maintain one’s attention, or remember/retain information
- Speech and language challenges
- Depression, aggression, or other mood and personality changes
- Sleep disturbances
- Seizures or convulsions
- Loss of motor function or coordination
- Loss of cognitive and executive function
- Severe confusion and inability to concentrate
Recovery from Brain Injury
The length of time required to recover from a traumatic brain injury is directly related to the severity of the injury. A so-called mild concussion will generally heal completely within a few months of the injury. With moderate or severe brain injuries, recovery may require surgery, various types of therapy, speech and language assistance, assistive services, and psychological interventions. The prognosis for severe brain injury is much more clouded, depending on the location and nature of the damage, how long the victim may have been in a coma, and other factors.
This unpredictability of the recovery process is a primary reason that legal assistance can be vital to your financial compensation for brain injury. An experienced and knowledgeable brain injury lawyer will be familiar with the long-term effects and needs of brain injury patients and will be more able to ensure that all of the victim’s long-term needs will be met.
Damages Recoverable for Brain Injury
Georgia generally recognizes three types of damages as recoverable in a personal injury action for a traumatic brain injury. These damages are:
Special or Economic Damages – These include the out-of-pocket, easily ascertainable expenses arising from the injury, such as medical costs, lost wages, and property damages.
General or Non-Economic Damages – These include the more subjective, less easily provable damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and lost earning capacity.
Punitive Damages – Available only in rare circumstances and requiring proof by clear and convincing evidence, punitive damages, generally capped at $250,000 in Georgia, punish the defendant and deter others from similar conduct. They are not intended to compensate the victim
How Can a Brain Injury Attorney Help?
More than five million people in the United States are living with a traumatic brain injury disability, and that’s a number that grows every day. By conducting a comprehensive investigation and building a compelling case on your behalf, a skilled brain injury attorney can help you recover damages for your medical treatment, lost earnings, and possibly more. Get the legal help you need after a brain injury. Speak to an attorney at Spaulding Injury Law by calling us at 770-744-0890. You may also contact us through the contact form here on our website. We are ready and prepared to fight for the justice that brain injury victims and their families need and deserve.