While the majority of traumatic brain injuries reported in Joplin are caused by car accidents that is not the only way you can sustain such an injury. A traumatic brain injury is the result of a force penetrating or fracturing the skull. For example, in a car accident, a brain can easily be traumatized when the head of an occupant of the vehicle strikes the steering wheel or windshield. Our Joplin personal injury lawyer is experienced in handling these types of cases, establishing liability and proving medical damages.
Not every traumatic brain injuries results in an open wound
Something that most people overlook is the fact that every traumatic brain injury may not result in an open wound. In car accidents, for example, the force of the collision can cause a passenger’s brain to collide with the skull internally. Put another way, when a moving head comes to a quick stop, inertia causes the brain to continue in its forward motion, thereby striking the interior of the skull. The result is usually a contusion or bruising of the brain, as well as hemorrhaging or bleeding of the brain. As any Joplin personal injury lawyer will tell you, neither of these injuries may be visible at the time the injury occurs.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is essentially a mild brain injury caused by trauma to the head. This type of injury can occur anytime your body is violently shaken or thrust forward with force. A common misconception is that someone who suffers a concussion will lose consciousness immediately after. The reality is, you may not recognize any symptoms of a concussion until days or even weeks later.
Some of the signs or symptoms of a concussion include headaches, confusion, memory loss, slurred speech, vomiting, the inability to focus, fatigue, and decreased motor skills. If you have experienced any of these symptoms following an injury, you should consult with a physician. If this injury was the result of the negligence of someone else, then you should also consult a Joplin personal injury lawyer.
Beware of post-concussion syndrome
It is important to get an early diagnosis and seek treatment as soon as possible. Although most people will recover from a concussion after three months, approximately ten percent of victims suffer post-concussion syndrome. Unfortunately, complications can last for years, and some people endure ongoing migraines, long-term memory loss, and other consequences.
Brain injuries from blunt trauma
Blunt trauma is a more serious type of head injury that typically occurs in a car accident when a moving head strikes a stationary object such as the windshield or where the head is crushed by the roof caving in, for instance, or if the occupant is ejected from the car and strikes an object. Blunt trauma often results in an open wound. In blunt force trauma, the impact on the brain is different in that the impact is on the opposite side of the skull from the source of trauma.
Basic classifications of brain injuries
Brain injuries are generally classified into one of three categories: mild, moderate, or severe. A Joplin personal injury lawyer will be familiar with each of these classifications and how they relate to your potential personal injury claim. The victim of a “mild” brain injury, will typically experience loss of consciousness, confusion or disorientation, but it usually lasts 30 minutes or less. The majority of reported traumatic brain injuries are concussions or other types of mild brain injuries. Moderate brain injuries are characterized by longer periods of unconsciousness and sometimes memory loss. Severe or catastrophic brain injuries often result in impaired cognitive functions and, possibly, comatose states.
Why you need to document your injuries
As a Joplin personal injury lawyer can tell you, it is extremely important that you document your personal injury damages. In order for a jury to properly consider your claims of compensation following a personal injury, especially claims of pain and mental anguish, they need to see evidence of those injuries as much as possible.
Establishing damages is required for fair settlement
While most personal injury cases do settle, if you want a fair settlement you need to be able to document all of those injuries. Although it is easy to calculate such things as prior and future medical expenses, prior and future loss of earning capacity and property damages, other forms of damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish and physical impairment are more difficult to prove. In many cases, your ability to establish those types of damages depends entirely on how well these damages are documented. You Joplin personal injury lawyer can help you determine what you need to document damages properly.
If you have questions regarding concussions or any other personal injury issues in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation, either online or by calling toll-free at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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