After an accident, a traumatic brain injury is not always obvious to the victim or their family. A factor that makes brain injuries so complicated is that they can occur within the deep recesses of the brain and are not immediately obvious, even to health care professionals. Deficits may not become apparent until later when certain complex tasks are undertaken. The personal injury lawyers, or traumatic brain injury lawyers, at Hardy Wolf & Downing, are intimately familiar with the unique problem of time delay in the onset and detection of symptoms after suffering head trauma and are able to prove injuries of this type weeks after the fact.
Maine residents from Portland, Lewiston, and throughout the southern and central parts of the state have depended on our legal services for 40 years and, indeed, our attorneys have built up an impressive track record over these years. We demonstrate our professional and personal integrity from the moment you meet us during a free consultation until we reach the successful conclusion of your case together.
Detecting a Serious Head Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a sudden trauma inflicted on the brain that can involve a violent blow to the head or piercing of the skull and brain tissue. However, they are not always evident in the hours, days, or even weeks after impact.
Suppose you are rear-ended in a car accident in Maine and you walk away from it saying you just had a “little whiplash”. You do not receive an MRI, CT-Scan or other diagnostic tests because you are seemingly healthy. However, you notice a week later that you are experiencing headaches, forgetfulness and are fatigued all the time. Your family members or co-workers may comment that you are showing unusual mood swings and your work is becoming affected.
Unbeknownst to you and your family, you may have incurred a serious closed head injury that has the potential to have devastating consequences to your life. Harding, Wolf & Downing’s specialized traumatic brain injury lawyers are not only concerned for your wellbeing but want to make sure you get the treatment you need to make a full recovery.
Common symptoms of brain injury include but are not limited to:
- Loss of consciousness (for only a few minutes or for hours) OR no loss of consciousness, but rather a state of confusion or disorientation
- Vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizure
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Loss of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
- Weakness or numbness in extremities
- Dilated pupils
- Confusion, restlessness, or agitation
- Changes in personality or uncharacteristic behaviors
- Problems with memory, concentration, or thinking
Life after head trauma
A TBI can range from mild to severe. Depending on the nature or severity of the injury, it may not be apparent at the time that a serious trauma to the brain has occurred.
If you exhibit any of the above-referenced symptoms, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible and to mention any recent accidents to medical professionals. It is generally not possible to reverse the initial damage, but timely interventions, sometimes including surgery, can stabilize the brain’s condition and prevent further damage. Long-term physical, occupational, speech, or language may be able to mitigate damage in moderate to severe cases or help a patient and his or her family cope with permanent damage more effectively.
Unfortunately, victims of a TBI may experience some or all of the following long-term disabilities or complications:
- Cognition problems
- Sensory processing complications
- Communication difficulties
- Behavioral or mood complications
- Lack of responsiveness
- Persistent vegetative state (PVS)
Treatment options can be expensive. Physical rehabilitation, psychological therapy, medications, and even surgery may be warranted in various combinations depending on the severity of the head injury and any resulting brain damage.
In addition to the injured party, others may also be affected. It can be stressful and confusing for family members and friends to adjust to the personality and cognitive changes which may result from a serious brain injury. Tasks that family members had previously relied on the injured person to complete are now left to the responsibility of another less equipped individual. In some cases, it can feel like living with a whole new person in the house.
If you believe your injury may have been caused by the negligence of others, you may be entitled to compensation under the law and should contact the Maine accident lawyers at Wolf, Hardy & Downing immediately.
Traumatic brain injury on the national scale
The statistics regarding Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are sobering:
- Every 15 seconds, someone in the US will sustain a TBI.
- Of the approximately 1.5 million TBI’s per year, 50,000 will die, 235,000 will be hospitalized, and more than 80,000 will be left with life-long disabilities.
- 1.1 million people with TBI are treated and released from an emergency department each year.
- Males are about 1.5 times more likely to sustain a TBI than females.
- The two highest-risk age groups are 0 to 4 and 15-19.
- African Americans have the highest death rate from TBI.
- At least 5.3 million Americans (nearly 2% of the population) currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of TBI.
- The CDC estimates that there may be 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related TBI’s every year.
- TBI is the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults.
- The leading causes of TBI are falls (28%), motor vehicle accidents (20%), being struck or banging head against an object (19%), and assault (11%).
- The lifetime costs to treat someone with a TBI is estimated to be between $600,000 to $1.8 million.
File a brain injury lawsuit in Maine
If you or a loved one in the Portland, Lewiston or neighboring Southern – Central Maine area has been in an accident where the head and neck may have been injured, do not delay. Contact the Maine traumatic brain injury lawyers of Hardy, Wolf & Downing immediately and let us help you determine if you have a case.
[Christian] Mike S came to Hardy Wolf & Downing because he knew he had a case that was going to be difficult. There was a disputed liability. He was a bicyclist riding on the side of the road. The driver of a pickup truck drifted over and struck Mr. S, Mike. Mike immediately knew he was going to need help with this. Mike had what’s called a mild traumatic brain injury. These are very difficult to prove because if you look at the person they look fairly normal. But in reality, Mike had some pretty profound and life-changing injuries. He lost his sense of smell and taste. Which we can all imagine can really affect one’s enjoyment of life. He had a change in personality. I talked to his wife. She really noticed a change in Mike’s ability to verbalize some things. He was mixing words up. He really had some profound changes.
[Mike] I would ride my bicycle just about every day. And I was riding down Main Street. And I was on the side of the road and all of a sudden this pickup truck going about 45 miles an hour rammed right in the back of me and I went up on the hood of his vehicle and landed in a ditch on the road.
[Christian] The insurance company was willing to pay very very little. And Mike originally went to another attorney. That attorney encouraged Mike to take a minor settlement. That’s when he called Hardy Wolf & Downing and decided to talk to me about doing better for him. In a case like this often times its very important to talk to witnesses. Its the real difference in being able to recover for a client in a meaningful way and not being able to. So it’s important to get that information out quickly. It’s important to act upon it. It’s important for an attorney to have all the information from very early in the case. And being able to capture those facts.
[Mike] Hardy Wolf & Downing covered everything. Every time that there was any question I’d call them up and they had all the answers. I had all the confidence in all of them. It was a very very good experience actually.
[Christian] In a case like Mike’s it was important for the insurance company to know that I was going to file suit and I had every intention to. In his case, we didn’t need to because they knew that my ability to do that. I’ve dealt with them many times before and they knew that that was not an idle threat.
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