Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer in Chicago Compensating Victims & Their Families After a Significant Head Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) often causes lasting cognitive and mental issues. As advanced as our society has gotten in medicine, research has only recently begun to uncover the impacts of even mild TBI. The lawyers at Kramer Injury Law LLC are passionate about helping individuals and families affected by traumatic brain injury. If you’ve been affected by TBI because of someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, our experienced attorneys can help.
Even after major accidents, traumatic brain injuries often go overlooked and undiagnosed. If you arrive at the emergency room without obvious symptoms like active brain hemorrhaging or hematoma from a brain bleed, coma, or other vegetative impairment, your TBI will likely be left untreated. Many emergency room doctors rely on follow-up appointments with primary care physicians to identify and treat any ongoing cognitive impairment you may have.
Unfortunately, with everyone’s busy lives and without obvious symptoms, you may end up with a traumatic brain injury that doesn’t get addressed until it becomes a much bigger problem. At that point, your life and mental state could be profoundly affected by your injury. In fact, up to 50% of all concussions go undiagnosed after the injury.
MRI technology has only recently been able to see finely enough to detect micro-hemorrhaging. As a result, medical researchers have only just found that nearly every whiplash incident causes some minor brain damage. If you experience loss of consciousness or a diagnosable concussion, you should receive neuro-rehabilitative treatment.
But medical treatment is expensive and you’ve already got a lot on your plate. It can be hard to prioritize your health. But with a TBI, medical attention is critical or your injuries will become permanent. Our Chicago personal injury law firm can help you get the medical treatment you need and hold the responsible party accountable. If your TBI was caused by someone else, you could have a personal injury lawsuit for damages against them or their employer.
A personal injury settlement can help you cover the costs of your medical treatment and any other expenses you and your family have suffered since your injury. At Kramer Injury Law LLC, we know that a traumatic brain injury needs to be taken seriously, even if you feel “fine.” We know that you might be struggling–we’re here to lessen the load, not add to it. Because of this, we take TBI cases on a contingency fee basis.
With a contingency fee, you don’t pay our firm until we recover compensation for you. You can focus on your health while we work passionately to uphold your rights under the law.
Call our Chicago and Cook County personal injury offices today at (312) 775-1012 for a free consultation of your case with our expert legal team.
What are Common Types and Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries occur when the neurons, veins, or arteries in your brain are damaged. A traumatic brain injury occurs whenever your head is struck with enough force. Traumatic brain injury can also occur when your head “whips” in an accident, causing the brain to strike the inside of your skull with too much force. TBIs range in severity from concussion to even coma or death. But even “simple” or “mild” concussions can have major health effects.
- Penetrating injuries or “open” TBIs involve a foreign object piercing the brain.
- Non-penetrative injuries or “closed” TBIs happen when an outside force makes the brain move within the skull, damaging brain tissue, which can be a result of something striking the cranium or rapid head movements like those that cause whiplash
Although concussions are a common form of traumatic brain injury, other TBIs include:
- Diffuse axonal injuries that tear the brain’s connective nerve tissue
- Hemorrhage of blood in the brain
- Bruising, contusion, or hematoma of the brain
- Coagulated blood caused by brain bleeds
- Lesions on the brain caused by inflammation or destruction of brain cells
- Skull fractures
The brain is possibly the most complex organ you have, responsible for regulating your entire body. Research into traumatic brain injury is just beginning to understand the long-term effects of even minor impacts. Getting examined by a medical professional is the first step to understanding the severity of your injury.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
You may take all the precautions possible to protect your health and still get injured. A helmet or seat belt can protect you from a worse outcome but even with protection, you can get hurt.
Your traumatic brain injury could have been caused by:
- A bicycle accident, car accident, or truck accident
- Sports injuries, especially in high-impact activities
- Slip and fall accidents on government or private property
- Getting hit by falling objects
- A physical assault or an explosion
If your injury was caused by someone else, either through negligence, recklessness, or malicious intent, you have the legal right to hold that person responsible for harming you. When the law holds someone liable for the harm they’ve caused another person, it works to make the injured party “whole” again, as if the harm never happened. It is meant to compensate for everything taken from you. This is achieved through monetary compensatory damages paid for by the party at fault through civil litigation.
While damages cannot undo your injury, they can help you cover:
- The cost of your medical treatment past, present, and future
- Any income you’ve lost or will lose as a result of your injury affecting your ability to work
- Your pain, emotional suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of normal life or disability caused by your injuries
A personal injury lawsuit involves filing a civil claim in civil court. You must prove your claims to the judge or jury assigned to your case with evidence of your accident and its probable cause.
Our lawyers can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case. The stronger your body of evidence, the more likely you are to get a pre-trial settlement. The earlier you get an attorney involved, the better your overall outcome.
What Are the Symptoms and Complications of TBI?
Because your brain’s function is so important, even a mild traumatic brain injury can affect your health both physically and psychologically. Sometimes the effects are lifelong or get worse over time.
TBI can be especially alarming if you or your loved ones start noticing changes in your personality. You may become depressed, anxious, or quick to anger. You may personally not even realize the difference since your mental cognition is impaired.
Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury could include:
- Losing consciousness for any length of time, no matter how short
- Trouble speaking, pronouncing words, remembering, or understanding others
- Nausea, drowsiness, blurred vision, or dizziness
- Sudden headaches or problems concentrating
- Vertigo or issues with losing your balance
- Mood swings or unusual behavior
- Forgetfulness, irritability, or restlessness
- Seizures or unusual eye movements
- Light sensitivity, photophobia, seeing flashing lights, or tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Muscle weakness, trouble breathing, coma, or death
In addition, if you’ve suffered one concussion, that puts you at a higher risk of experiencing another, especially within the first 10 days after your injury. A repeated brain injury could cause second-impact syndrome or prolonged concussion symptoms, both of which seriously increase the danger of permanent brain damage or even death. Some patients also experience post-concussive syndrome, suffering concussion symptoms months after their injury. These types of injuries need long-term management.
Special MRI scans can help diagnose the type of injury you’re dealing with like:
- Brain lesions can show up months or even years after an injury causes bruising.
- Micro-hemorrhages appear as small black dots in the brain’s white matter.
- Brain scans often show areas in the brain dedicated to memory and attention become less active immediately after the injury, then overactive months or years later.
Brain injuries can be frightening, but you’re not alone. The lawyers at Kramer Injury Law LLC can help you access the resources you need to get better.
What are the Types of Damages Awarded in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases?
Even a mild traumatic brain injury can cause major expenses and losses to pile up in your life. The point of filing a TBI lawsuit is to “make you whole” for these losses as if your injury never happened. The law tries to do this with monetary damages. Of course, money can’t undo everything. Some losses simply cannot be undone. But a personal injury lawsuit can help offset the new challenges in your life caused by your injury.
Personal injury lawsuits in Illinois can result in three types of damages:
- Economic or “compensatory” damages–Compensatory damages compensate you directly for the actual economic costs and expenses you’ve suffered because of your injury. This includes full or partial reimbursement for medical bills, the costs of long-term care, or any income you’ve lost (both past and future) as a result of no longer being able to perform your job because of your injury.
- Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages–Physical injuries often result in non-economic suffering as well, especially traumatic brain injuries, because of the profound effect they can have on your personality, everyday life, and relationships. The law considers the mental and emotional toll of your injury when calculating damages, such as any psychological distress, long-term disability, additional medical risks, loss of enjoyment of life, or lower expected lifespan. All of which can be common symptoms and effects of traumatic brain injuries.
- Punitive damages–Sometimes, the party responsible for your injury has acted in such a way that a judge or jury may decide a punishment is necessary. Punitive damages can come into play if your injury is caused by someone’s reckless, intentional, malicious, or extremely negligent actions. Punitive damages are less about you and more about deterring the responsible person or anyone else from acting similarly again.
In Illinois, you can get punitive damages if the party responsible for your injury acted with “an outrageous disregard or indifference” to the well-being or lives of others. At Kramer Law LLC, our attorneys have collected millions of dollars in damages for our TBI clients. The amount of damages you can expect depends on the facts of your case. The only way to accurately determine how much you can expect is to talk to an Illinois personal injury lawyer. To help determine your damages, our lawyers can help you document and prove the “nature, extent, and duration” of your traumatic brain injury and the effects it’s had on your life.
How can a Lawyer Help During my Brain Injury Claim?
Your traumatic brain injury case may or may not go to trial. However, at Kramer Injury Law LLC, our attorneys will prepare your case as if it will go to trial from the beginning. Even if your case never goes to trial, any settlement negotiation will be based on what you can expect to get if your claims end up in court. As a result, the stronger your case is at the start, the better your position will be for trial or settlement negotiations.
Our legal team can help you present your best case throughout the entire process of your injury claim by:
- Documentation and Investigation
- Negotiating a Settlement Agreement
- Taking Your Traumatic Brain Injury Case to Trial
Personal injury cases rely heavily on facts. The most important part of your personal injury claim is your ability to prove the “nature, extent, and duration” of your TBI. To prove your traumatic brain injury, you must document your injury and its effects on your life in detail. Getting medical attention for your TBI is the first step in this documentation process. Medical treatment is not just important for your health; it’s also critical to your case.
You must be able to establish:
- The severity and type of your traumatic brain injury
- What type of medical treatment your TBI requires
- That your TBI was caused by the other party
- The extent of your pain, suffering, disability, or loss of life enjoyment
Traumatic brain injury documentation could include:
- Medical tests such as MRI, X-Ray, CAT, or CT scans
- Documentation of all the medical appointments you’ve had to attend
- Photos, videos, or eyewitness accounts of the incident that caused the injury
- If your TBI happened because of a traffic accident, a police report of the scene
- Testimony from accident reconstruction experts
- Your testimony as to the accident or your injuries
- Expert testimony from neurologists, treating physicians, and medical professionals
- Evaluation by a speech pathologist as to your language skills
- Neuropsychological tests to determine your cognitive abilities
- Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring of the inside of your skull
- Testimony from a psychologist or mental health professional about your state
Because the brain is so complicated, your TBI case can also become quite complex. The lawyers at Kramer Injury Law LLC are passionate about protecting clients who are victims of traumatic brain injuries. We have the legal expertise to take your TBI case from zero to a settlement or judgment that can support you and your family moving forward. Call our Chicago area offices now at (312) 775-1012.