Causes of Brain InjurieS
Brain Injury Lawyers in Maryland Representing the Rights of TBI Victims
A traumatic brain injury is among the most serious injuries that a person can sustain. They usually occur when a bump or blow to the brain results in a disruption in the way that the brain functions. TBIs can also happen when a person’s head snaps back and forth on the neck with sufficient force to cause the brain to slam against the inside of the skull.
If you believe that a third-party was responsible for all or part of your brain injury, get sound legal counsel as quickly as possible. Statutes of limitation may apply—meaning that you may face a “ticking clock” regarding when you can file your claim.
If you sign statements, testify to an insurance adjuster, or even give oral testimony to anyone regarding your injury without consulting your Maryland brain injury attorney first, you risk undermining your chance of recovering compensation.
What Are Some Causes of Brain Injury?
A vast and diverse catalog of harms can cause traumatic brain injuries. According to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, automobile accidents are the number one cause of head injuries in the United States.
During the rapid deceleration that often accompanies a car accident, the brain can literally get knocked around inside the skull. As a result, the delicate axons that relay electrical signals can get stressed, sheared, and even ruptured. This can cause the brain to swell, and the patient may suffer a stroke, bleeding, or other serious injuries.
Exposure to certain toxic chemicals can also lead to traumatic brain injury. For instance, individuals who attempt suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide from an automobile exhaust pipe can suffer traumatic brain injury, death of neural tissue, long-term memory loss, cognitive impairment, and emotional imbalance. Lab workers exposed to chemical spills, nuclear leaks, or airborne pollutants can likewise suffer traumatic brain injuries.
Projectile injuries to the skull can, obviously, cause serious and perhaps irreparable harm. Bullet injuries, knife injuries, sports-related injuries, and other physical harm to the head can cause both diffuse brain damage and local, focused damage.
Exposure to pesticides, certain chemical solvents, lead, carcinogenic agents, and even allergens can lead to various types of TBI.
Many people are surprised to learn that something as common as a slip and fall accident could potentially leave victims with a serious traumatic brain injury. When these kinds of accidents occur on someone else’s property, victims are often legally entitled to compensation for their losses under Maryland and DC law.
To recover, victims must establish that their accident resulted from negligence on the part of the person or business responsible for the condition of the property.
Common slip and fall accident hazards that are often the result of negligence include the following:
- Uneven floors
- Inadequate lighting
- Debris in walkways
- Stairwells without handrails
- Unmarked hazards
In many cases, determining whether a slip and fall accident resulted from negligence is a complicated legal matter. Consequently, all slip and fall victims should review the facts of their cases with an experienced lawyer, even if they do not believe that they have a case.
Sports injuries are another common cause of accidental traumatic brain injuries. Typically, if an injury was the result of normal game play, victims will not be able to bring a claim. For example, if a baseball player is hit in the head with a pitch or a hockey player is checked into the boards, neither will be able to recover compensation for his or her injuries. On the other hand, if someone’s intentional act or negligence caused a traumatic brain injury, there is a good chance that the victim may recover compensation.
Parents should know that playground accidents often have the potential to result in serious traumatic brain injuries—and also that injuries to a child’s developing brain can have serious implications. Playgrounds are a great place for kids to expend excess energy and learn physical and social skills that will last a lifetime.
Unfortunately, common playground equipment can expose kids to a serious risk of injury, including traumatic brain injuries. As is the case with sports accidents, a “normal” playground accident typically will not entitle a child to financial recovery.
To file a claim, a child’s injury must result from someone else’s negligence.
Examples of playground injury hazards that are usually the result of negligence include the following:
- Inadequate supervision
- Defective playground equipment
- Exposed hardware
- Lack of shock-absorbent surface materials
Brain Injuries Can Lead to Significant Long-Term Complications
Traumatic brain injuries can vary from mild to severe, but it is important to understand that every TBI is a serious matter. Even in relatively mild cases, like those involving mild concussions, victims can experience debilitating symptoms that last for weeks or even months. These symptoms can include headaches, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, or sleep disturbances, all of which can substantially affect a person’s ability to function at work or at school.
In more serious cases, TBI victims may develop severe long-term medical issues that prevent them from working or even living without around-the-clock medical care. In these kinds of cases, victims often face a lifetime of lost income, medical care, pain and suffering, and lost quality of life, making it imperative that they obtain the compensation to which they are legally entitled.
Protecting Your Legal Rights after a Traumatic Brain Injury
When a traumatic brain injury is the result of someone else’s negligence, victims are entitled to compensation. Unfortunately for victims, a check does not automatically show up in the mail after a serious injury—there are certain steps that victims have to take in order to recover compensation. In fact, there are certain things that victims can do that can actually hurt their chances of recovering for their losses.
Here are some of the ways that TBI victims can protect their rights after an accident:
- If appropriate, document the way in which your accident occurred. For example, if you sustained a TBI in a slip and fall accident, you should take pictures of the hazard that caused your fall and make sure that an official incident report is generated. If anyone witnessed your accident, try and obtain contact information from him or her.
- Seek medical attention and attend all follow-up appointments. Every TBI is a serious matter that requires immediate medical attention. Not only will seeing a physician ensure that your injuries are accurately diagnosed and treated, it will also result in the creation of a medical record that can be used as evidence.
- Do not communicate with the at-fault party’s insurance company until you have retained an attorney. Insurance companies routinely engage in tactics that are designed to get victims to say or do things that will justify a lower settlement offer.
- Contact an attorney as soon as you can. Traumatic brain injury cases are often highly contested, and waiting to start an investigation can result in the destruction or loss of evidence that is important to your case. In addition, if you do not file a claim within the period allowed by the statute of limitations, you may not file a claim at all.
Contact Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC Immediately to Discuss Your Maryland Brain Injury Claim
If you have suffered a brain injury that was the result of someone else’s negligence, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. In many cases, TBI victims are entitled to compensation for their economic and non-economic losses, including their medical expenses, lost income, lost quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
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