Brain Injury Lawyer in Wheeling, WV
Approximately 3,600 West Virginians are hospitalized with traumatic brain injuries each year, according to West Virginia’s Department of Health & Human Resources. Brain injuries are often caused by the head taking a hard blow in a car crash, slip and fall accident, or workplace accident and may have life-altering physical and financial consequences. Brain injuries result in about 700 deaths every year and about 600 West Virginians experience long-term disability.
If you or someone close to you sustained a TBI due to the negligence of another party such as another driver, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your losses. The knowledgeable personal injury lawyers of Jividen Law Offices, PLLC, can help.
With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, our firm knows what it takes to stand up to big insurance companies and demand fair compensation for brain injury survivors in Wheeling and the surrounding areas of West Virginia. Contact us today to discuss your legal options during a free initial brain injury case review with a qualified brain injury attorney.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries
In most cases, brain injuries are caused by violent blows, jolts, or penetrating injuries to the head or skull. The most common causes of TBIs include:
- Car accidents – Car crashes are one of the leading causes of TBI-related hospitalizations. The violent impact of a car collision can jolt the head or cause the head to hit other objects, causing a serious head injury. A vehicle occupant involved in a car crash may sustain a TBI as a result of his or her head colliding with the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, or headrest.
- Truck accidents – Victims of accidents involving large trucks are significantly more likely to sustain severe injuries such as TBIs. Any collision with a heavy commercial truck moving at speed can be devastating because of the size difference between large trucks and passenger vehicles. Brain injuries that occur as a result of truck accidents are often life-threatening.
- Motorcycle accidents – In a serious accident, a motorcycle rider is more likely to fall or be ejected from their bike and strike their head when they land. Even with the protection of a good helmet, the force of impact can lead to head trauma. As a result, TBI is a common injury in motorcycle accidents.
- Sporting accidents – TBIs are common injuries in high-impact sports, such as football, hockey, and skateboarding. In many cases, sports-related brain injuries are concussions. However, even minor TBIs can have long-term effects if athletes are encouraged to “shake it off” and forego appropriate treatment.
- Slip and falls – Slip and fall accidents can occur due to broken staircases, slippery surfaces, or uneven flooring. When a person loses their footing and slips unexpectedly, they may not have time to break their fall. A person can easily sustain a brain after a fall if their head strikes a hard surface on the way down or if the person falls from an elevated surface.
- Work accidents – Workers in construction zones and those who use heavy equipment have a higher risk of sustaining injuries on the job. Serious accidents in any workplace can cause TBIs. Falling objects, slippery floors, and even work-related motor vehicle crashes can lead to dangerous accidents and severe head trauma.
- Acts of violence – Physical assaults, shootings, and domestic violence incidents can all cause serious injuries, such as TBIs. When people sustain gunshot wounds or blunt force trauma to the head, severe brain damage can occur. Brain injuries can also be caused by violent shaking or oxygen deprivation from choking.
Types of Brain Damage
Primary brain injuries are acute injuries that occur suddenly as a result of violent impacts or penetrative trauma to the head. Secondary brain injuries occur over time due to the effects of a primary head injury. Common types of primary and secondary brain injuries include:
- Concussions – Most concussions are considered relatively mild TBIs, but they can have serious long-term effects. Concussions may result from whiplash-like shaking movements or violent blows to the head. A concussion can occur with or without a loss of consciousness. It’s always important to seek immediate medical care if you notice symptoms like dizziness, irritability, or memory loss.
- Contusions – Contusion is the medical term for a region of damaged tissue, commonly known as a bruise. When the brain is bruised as a result of trauma, brain tissue can bleed and swell as a result. Severe contusions may require surgery to help relieve internal pressure caused by swelling and prevent further damage.
- Coup-contrecoups – The French phrase coup-contrecoup roughly translates to “strike-counter strike.” A coup-contrecoup brain injury occurs when the head is struck so forcefully that the brain is injured by the initial blow and again when it collides internally with the opposite side of the skull. Coup-contrecoup injuries damage both sides of a person’s brain.
- Diffuse axonal injuries – A diffuse axonal injury involves severe trauma to nerve fibers called axions in the brain. When the head is subjected to sharp acceleration, deceleration, shaking, or twisting movements, axons can be stretched or even torn. Diffuse axonal injury is a serious brain injury that can lead to disruptions in nerve communication, loss of consciousness, and, in some cases, death.
- Penetrating injuries – Penetrating head trauma may occur as a result of gunshot wounds, crushing injuries, and shards of skull puncturing the brain. TBIs caused by penetration are among the most devastating brain injuries.
- Hematomas – A hematoma, or blood clot, occurs when blood collects outside of blood vessels. When blood vessels inside the head are damaged as a result of trauma, blood can thicken and clot within the brain. When blood clots form inside the brain, the pressure can lead to severe and sometimes fatal symptoms.
Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Because many TBIs are invisible, medical professionals use a variety of common signs and symptoms to diagnose these injuries. The effects of a TBI can vary based on the nature and severity of the injury, but common symptoms include:
- Chronic headaches
- Dizziness and nausea
- Changed or blurred vision
- Loss of vision
- Changes in hearing
- Memory loss
- Difficulty sleeping
- Slurred speech
- Confusion and disorientation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Depression and anxiety
- Changes in appetite
- Irritability and agitation
- Changes in personality
Filing a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit
A traumatic brain injury can require extensive and costly medical treatment, sometimes for the remainder of a victim’s life. Since TBI lawsuits often involve high-dollar settlements, insurance companies typically do everything they can to limit their liability and minimize the amount of money they’ll have to pay.
Unfortunately, this means insurance adjusters may try to argue that their client was not at fault, medical tests are inconclusive or your TBI is not as serious as you claim. When this occurs, an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer can push back by consulting with neurologists, compiling medical evidence, and demanding the compensation you need.
Brain Injury Compensation
When people are injured due to the negligence of others, the compensation from a personal injury claim can help pay for medical bills and other losses associated with the injury. With a successful TBI claim and help from a brain injury accident lawyer, you could recover money for:
- Medical expenses – You may be entitled to compensation for any past or current medical costs you incurred due to the brain injury. Since many TBIs require long-term or life-long treatment, you could also recover money for the projected costs of care you will likely need in the future. Your attorney can help you estimate the full value of your lifetime TBI-related medical expenses.
- Lost income – You may have missed a lot of time at work as a result of your TBI. With a successful brain injury claim, you could recover compensation for any losses in your usual take-home pay. Keep track of your pay stubs and banking records to demonstrate the extent of your losses.
- Lost earning capacity – In severe cases, the effects of a TBI may prevent you from returning to your previous job. If your long-term earning capacity is diminished due to a TBI, you may be entitled to compensation for losses in your future earning potential.
- Pain and suffering – You could recover compensation for the subjective costs of the physical and psychological pain and suffering you endure as a result of a TBI. Physical pain and suffering can include bodily discomfort or dysfunction, while mental pain and suffering typically involves things like depression, sleep disturbances, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Loss of quality of life – A person’s quality of life is their overall well-being and capacity to enjoy daily activities. You could be entitled to compensation if the effects of a TBI severely impair your quality of life.
Contact a Wheeling Brain Injury Lawyer
At Jividen Law Offices, PLLC, we have a reputation for attentive client service and favorable case results. Our award-winning brain injury lawyers have won millions of dollars in compensation through insurance settlements and trial verdicts for clients in West Virginia and the Tri-State Area.
If you are struggling to cope with the aftermath of a TBI and you believe someone else was at fault, let us give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss the details of your brain injury claim with our attentive team.