Dallas Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers, Texas
Fighting for accident victims with incapacitating TBIs
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head causing the brain to move inside the skull. This can be the result of violent blows to the head or from the whiplash effect when someone is involved in a collision. The injuries can range from a simple concussion to severe brain damage, but the effects can be long term. Some victims never recover. Those accident victims who do recover often lose cognitive function in addition to living with physical and emotional pain. Many victims require long-term treatment with different therapists.
At Slack Davis Sanger, our Dallas brain injury lawyers have the experience and resources to help individuals and families obtain the damage awards they deserve. We have more than 200 combined years of experience fighting for injury victims. We work with neurosurgeons, neurologists, and many other brain injury specialists and therapists. We hold the responsible parties liable for your physical pain, emotional suffering, medical bills, lost income, and all the changes in your life.
What are the causes of traumatic brain injury?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 61,000 people in the United States died in 2019 due to a TBI. According to Brain Line, 2.8 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. While many were treated in the ER and released, 282,000 patients needed to be hospitalized. A TBI contributes to nearly 1/3 of all US deaths that are caused by injuries.
Some of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries include:
What are the symptoms of a TBI?
The symptoms of a TBI vary depending on the severity of the injury, and the part of the brain which is affected. Many TBI victims do not even realize they have a traumatic brain injury until someone else raises concerns. Some people don’t experience symptoms for days or even weeks.
The prestigious Mayo Clinic breaks down the differences between mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and concussions, and moderate to severe brain injury.
Mild traumatic brain injury
- Physical symptoms include headaches, vomiting, nausea, tiredness, difficulty with speech, loss of balance, and dizziness.
- Sensory symptoms include light sensitivity, blurred vision, a ringing in the ears, and changes in smell and taste.
- Cognitive symptoms include losing consciousness (usually a few seconds up to a few minutes), disorientation, mood swings, anxiety, depression, and problems with sleeping.
Moderate to severe brain injury
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries include the symptoms of an mTBI, as well as the following symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness – for a few minutes up to a few hours
- Persistent headaches
- Repeat nausea or vomiting
- Seizures or convulsions
- The pupils of the eyes become dilated
- Difficulty waking up
- Finger or toe numbness or weakness
- Nose or ear discharge
If you are involved in any type of accident, the sooner you go to your local emergency room or see your family doctor, the better. Early intervention can make a difference.
Coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, and brain death
The Mayo Clinic emphasizes that TBIs of any severity can cause life-long complications which can affect a victim’s consciousness level, responsiveness, and awareness. Different consciousness levels include:
- Coma. A patient in a coma is not aware of his/her surroundings and cannot respond to any type of stimulus. Many TBI victims emerge from a coma or enter a vegetative state.
- Vegetative state. If the brain is severely damaged, an accident victim may be able to open his/her eyes and respond to reflexes – but is generally not aware of his/her surroundings. Most, but not all TBI victims, reach the next level of consciousness - a minimally conscious state.
- Minimally conscious state. In this condition, the accident victim may show some signs of awareness – though their consciousness is severely altered.
- Brain death. Brain death is an irreversible condition where “there is no measurable activity in the brain and the brainstem.” If breathing devices are removed, the patient will die.
What are the potential complications of a brain injury or concussion?
The most immediate complications of brain injury are usually physical. These include seizures which may lead to post-traumatic epilepsy. The brain may fill up with fluid causing increased brain pressure and brain swelling. Headaches may last for several months. Some TBI victims suffer vertigo which is characterized by dizziness.
A TBI at the base of the skull “can cause nerve damage to the nerves that emerge directly from the brain (cranial nerves).” Cranial nerve damage may cause facial muscle paralysis, a loss of sensation in the face, vision difficulties, a loss or change in smell or taste, difficulty swallowing, ear ringing, loss of hearing, or dizziness. It can also affect fine motor skills.
Infections are also a serious worry with traumatic brain injuries, especially in cases where the injury was penetrative (meaning something broke through the skull and damaged the brain) as opposed to closed (where no open or penetrative injury occurred). A meningitis infection can affect the victim’s nervous system if not properly treated. Damaged blood vessels could lead to blood clots and strokes.
Brain injuries can also lead to:
- Cognitive difficulties. Accident victims may have difficulty focusing and difficulties with memory, reasoning, learning, and concentrating. Other intellectual complications include difficulty planning, making decisions, solving problems, and starting or finishing tasks.
- Communication problems. These are fairly common with TBI victims. Examples include problems with writing, speaking, participating in conversations, expressing emotions, understanding nonverbal signals, and using the muscles necessary for forming words.
- Behavioral changes. Disorders include risky behavior, lack of awareness of abilities, physical outbursts, verbal outbursts.
- Emotional trauma. These include anxiety, depression, irritability, and lack of empathy. Brain injuries can affect the victim’s ability to work, relate with friends and family, enjoy life, and function.
There is some research that suggests brain injuries may be related to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.
How is a traumatic brain injury diagnosed in Dallas?
The main test for diagnosing a TBI is called the Glasgow coma scale. The scale assigns points depending on the victim’s ability to follow directions, respond to requests to move his or her eyes or limbs, speak, and other tests.
Imaging tests may also be used. A computerized tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to determine if the victim has any fractures, bleeding in the brain, blood clots, bruises, or brain swelling. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and magnets to form a detailed view of the brain.”
How are traumatic brain injuries treated?
How a brain injury is treated depends on the severity. A concussion or mTBI may be treated with medication and rest, and monitoring by a doctor.
Severe traumatic brain injuries, however, are different. Depending on the cause and the symptoms, these injuries may require surgical intervention and months (perhaps years) of rehabilitation. In some cases, a victim may never fully recover.
According to the prestigious Baylor Scott White Institute for Rehabilitation (formerly known as Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation/BIR), brain injuries can affect every part of your life, and so treatments – aside from immediate medical needs – should be holistic. They emphasize a “supportive, patient-centered environment.” They provide one-on-one therapy which focuses on individual skills and group therapy which focuses on allowing TBI patients to work and support each other. Their team includes “board-certified physiatrists (medical doctors specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation) and include rehabilitation therapists, nurses and various medical professionals with the expertise, experience and care that you and your family deserve.”
Our skilled Dallas brain injury lawyers work with your medical team (and independent doctors if necessary) to fully assess your medical injuries and the type of care you need after the initial surgeries. Our on-staff Legal Nurse Consultant can analyze your health records and potential for additional treatment, and create a fuller picture of the financial, emotional, and physical burdens you face.
Who is liable for a traumatic brain injury in Dallas?
If your head injury was caused by the negligence of another person or entity, that person or entity can be held liable for your injuries. In vehicle accidents, that could mean a car or truck driver or the company that employs the driver. If your injury is the result of a defective product, the manufacturer, retailer, or distributor could be held liable. If you are injured on or near a construction site, or while working in an oil field or on a rig, the employer may be liable through a personal injury lawsuit.
Who is liable for traumatic brain injuries will depend on the circumstances of your case, but what does not change is the type of damages you can seek. Slack Davis Sanger has successfully represented TBI victims and family members in personal injury and wrongful death claims, securing damages for:
- Medical expenses, including hospitalization, rehabilitation, and emergency care
- Lost wages, including wages for family care givers
- Property losses
- Emotional and physical trauma, pain, and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses, if applicable
Speak with a seasoned Dallas traumatic brain injury lawyer today
Time matters. Experience matters. It is critical that you move quickly after a TBI to help yourself or a loved one. You need prompt medical care. Slack Davis Sanger works to quickly investigate who caused the accident, and to determine who is responsible. Our skilled Dallas TBI lawyers fight to hold everyone who caused your accident accountable for changing the life of TBI victims. To assert your rights, please call 800-455-8686 or complete our contact form.
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Dallas, TX 75219
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