Need A Brain Injury Lawyer in St. Louis?
The brain is responsible for all of the human body’s conscious and subconscious functions. Consequently, any injury to the brain has the potential to create a myriad of physical and cognitive problems. Unfortunately, many brain injuries that are sustained in the United States are the result of accidents that could have been prevented had someone exercised more care. When this is the case, victims may be able to recover for their injuries by filing a personal injury claim against the person or party responsible for their accident. Brain injury cases can raise extremely complicated legal and medical issues, so it is best for anyone who believes that they may have a claim to discuss their options with an experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with one of our traumatic brain injury lawyers in St. Louis, call The Bruning Law Firm today at (314) 735-8100.
Brain Injuries Can Cause a Variety of Issues
The issues that victims of brain injuries can experience can vary significantly in terms of severity and type. In some cases, these complications may keep a person from working for an extended period of time or even living independently. In other cases, a person’s ability to fully enjoy life or ability to earn money may be substantially diminished. Some of the kinds of complications that may result after a serious brain injury include the following:
- Cognitive issues
- Problems with memory
- Difficulty with thinking or concentrating
- Emotional issues
- Problems with speech
- Diminished motor skills
- Problems performing everyday tasks.
Additional problems may arise as well, and a brain injury attorney will be able to inform you as to whether you can pursue a legal claim based on your brain injury.
What Causes Brain Injuries?
Brain injuries can occur from a variety of accidents. In almost all cases, these injuries happen when a person sustains a bump or a blow to the head that physically injures the brain. Some of the more common causes of brain injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Sports injuries
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip and falls
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
Anyone who suspects that they have sustained a brain injury should be certain to seek medical attention as soon as possible. While many brain injuries are self-resolving, some may cause significant complications in the absence of medical treatment.
St. Louis Traumatic Brain Injury FAQ
Every year more than one million people suffer from a traumatic brain injury in the U.S. The number is staggering, and it can occur close to anyone’s home.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), no doubt your life has changed. Often, a TBI is the result of someone else’s negligence or fury. That individual or entity should be held accountable, and you may be entitled to compensation.
You should acquire legal counsel to assess your situation and, if warranted, represent you in a traumatic brain injury case. Because of the complexity of a TBI case, you need to consult an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a traumatic brain injury may be temporary or long-term. The injury occurs from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body.
The resulting injuries to the brain may include bleeding, bruises, and torn tissue. Results of brain trauma may not show up immediately but in some cases over time.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. While termed “mild,” a mild traumatic brain injury is a serious condition. Some symptoms may take days, weeks, or longer to appear but can lead to a lifetime of impairment.
Physical symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury may include:
- Feeling tired or drowsy
- Nausea, which may include vomiting
- Dizziness and loss of balance
- Speech problems including slurred speech
There may be sensory problems as well such as ringing in the ears and/or blurred vision. You may have lost consciousness for a brief time and/or feel disoriented. A minor traumatic brain injury can cause mood swings, depression, and difficulty sleeping.
Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries. Through a worse injury, the physical and sensory problems become far more apparent. You may undergo seizures or convulsions, find clear fluids draining from your nose and/or ears, and suffer from much confusion.
What Are Some Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Many preventable situations may result in a TBI.
One of the most common causes is a slip and fall accident, which can occur anywhere, including the local park or store. According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls result in close to half of the traumatic brain injuries nationwide.
A car accident can also result in a TBI. Pedestrians may also suffer brain injuries when hit by vehicles.
There are other reasons. Physical domestic violence may cause traumatic brain injuries, including shaken baby syndrome in infants. Other forms of violence, including gunshot wounds, may result in serious brain injuries.
Team sports accidents in football, soccer, and hockey sometimes result in traumatic brain injuries. Other sports such as boxing and other extreme sports also cause these injuries.
No matter the reason for the trauma, the results of a traumatic brain injury can turn over someone’s life and, in some cases, end it.
How Common Are Traumatic Brain Injuries in Missouri?
In one study, the CDC determined that in one year, TBIs accounted for close to 2.9 million emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths across the country.
In Missouri, the average rate of traumatic brain injuries continues to rise each year with more than 12,700 reported from a combination of emergency department visits and hospitalizations, according to a report published by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Office of Epidemiology. This may not include patients seen by private healthcare providers and others failing to seek medical care.
The leading causes for the injuries included falls and jumps, motor vehicle accidents, and being hit by an object or person. Together these causes constituted more than 90 percent of TBIs for those seen in emergency departments or hospitalized statewide.
Teenagers between 15 and 17 have the highest rate of injury, followed by children from under a year to four years of age. The next highest age group seeking care for a TBI was those 85 years and older.
Males are 1.5 times as likely to experience a traumatic brain injury than females. In Missouri, African American males have a higher rate of TBIs than white males, although there seems to be no real difference in the race for females who experience the trauma.
When Is a Traumatic Brain Injury Cause for a Lawsuit?
If you, a spouse, your child, or another loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to another’s negligence or wrongful conduct, they should be held accountable. Whether the injury was due to a fall, a vehicle accident, domestic violence, or even involvement in a sport, there may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Some individuals and businesses you may hold accountable include:
- A car driver who caused an accident
- A truck driver and/or the company who employs the driver and owns the truck involved in an accident
- Vehicle repair shops
- Motor vehicle corporations that manufacture cars or car parts, trucks, or truck parts, and so forth
- Helmet manufacturers and those of other protective headwear
- Private or commercial property owners
- Business owners
- Those inflicting domestic violence
- Those who have special duties of care, including nursing home operators, school officials, childcare providers, hospitals, and more
Specifically, anyone whose negligence or lack of care allowed or who committed an act leading to an injury resulting in a traumatic brain injury may be held accountable.
The individual who suffered the injury can bring a lawsuit. So can an immediate family member if the injured person cannot because of injury, incapacity, or death.
How Do I Choose the Right Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney for Me?
Locate an attorney with experience handling traumatic brain injury cases. You must find someone you are comfortable with, as you will spend a lot of time together and the success of your case will depend on him or her.
- Experience. TBI cases are some of the most complex cases a personal injury attorney must prove. Furthermore, you need an attorney who can prove that the compensation you are seeking is warranted.
- Dedication. You need a lawyer dedicated to those who have suffered an injury due to another’s neglect or anger. Furthermore, you need an attorney who can offer you the individualized attention you need and not someone bogged down with too many other cases.
- Litigation Resources. Look for a firm that has the resources to hire the best in their field as expert witnesses. You need a lawyer who can properly prepare and present your case including a thorough reenactment of the incident that caused your injury.
- A Proven Track Record for Getting Results. You need a traumatic brain injury attorney who has a proven track record in taking on individuals, insurance companies, and large corporations alike.
Lastly, check the attorney’s credentials. In St. Louis, your attorney should be a member in good standing of the Missouri Bar Association.
Highly rated lawyers within Super Lawyers obtain their ratings through professional achievement and peer recognition. And members of the Better Business Bureau are recognized through their good standing within the local community.
What Will My Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Need to Work on My Case?
Once you hire an attorney, he or she will want to conduct a thorough investigation of your case.
You should provide:
- The date and time of your accident or injury
- Cause of the injury
- All medical reports and bills following the accident
- Your insurance information, if pertinent
- Witness contact information
- Photographs of the accident and surrounding area
Other information your lawyer will want to obtain includes:
- Police reports
- Ambulance and paramedic reports
- Emergency department records
- Medical records before the accident
What Is Your Attorney Looking for?
Your traumatic brain injury lawyer will need to prove that your brain was healthy before the accident. Your attorney will also need to prove that you were not at fault in the accident, and the other party was.
He or she will review all aspects of any information provided, repeatedly. Your lawyer will look for proof that you had no brain defect before the incident that caused your injury, as well as the damage as a result. Emergency personnel and medical reports will help to do that.
An experienced TBI attorney will also seek testimony from expert medical witnesses. In the case of an automobile accident or a pedestrian hit by a car, your lawyer may also look to a biomechanical engineer to review evidence from the accident to later help reconstruct the accident in court.
Witnesses and experts can help reveal that the incident:
- Could cause brain injury,
- Could have resulted in traumatic brain injury serious enough to cause your symptoms and dysfunction.
What Compensation Can I Pursue?
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may seek economic and non-economic damages.
Economic Damages. Economic damages, as the name implies, are damages that you can put an actual number to. This includes reimbursement of your medical bills to date and projected into the future.
Medical bills may include:
- A trip to the emergency department
- X-rays and imaging scans and tests
- Intracranial pressure monitoring
- Physician visits
- Physical, emotional, and/or speech therapy
Other economic damages may include lost wages from being away from work and temporary or permanent disability.
Noneconomic Damages. These damages are much harder to define in financial terms, but the very nature of traumatic brain injuries makes them a very real part of potential compensation for such an injury.
Noneconomic damages include scarring or disfigurement. They also include pain and suffering along with mental anguish. Loss of companionship and loss of consortium also come into play here.
Is There a Deadline for Me to File My Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit?
Most Missouri cases have a five-year statute of limitations. That means you have up to five years from the date you sustained your injury to file your legal claim. The defendant’s attorney will automatically call foul if you file even one day after that five-year period ends.
But Missouri courts make allowance for a date of discovery. In cases, like a traumatic brain injury that does not immediately show itself, you may be allowed up to five years from the date of your diagnosis.
In some cases, a victim may start to have headaches, loss of sleep, mood swings, or other symptoms months following an accident. You see your physician, who, following prescribed tests, finds you have a traumatic brain injury. The date of your diagnosis would be your date of discovery and could potentially lengthen the statute of limitations.
However, whenever doctors diagnose you or your loved one with a TBI, contact an attorney to start on your case as soon as possible.
If I File a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit, Will it Go to Court?
Many traumatic brain injury cases settle out of court, but some do end up in trial. That is why you need a local personal injury lawyer with an abundance of trial experience winning traumatic brain injury cases in St. Louis.
A qualified attorney may result in the defense settling with proper compensation outside of the courtroom. But, if not, you will know you have a well-versed attorney to lay out a solid case and be by your side.
When Should I Contact a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer?
If you or a loved one has suffered an accident or incident causing any degree of traumatic brain injury, you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Medical care should come first, but once you can, consult an experienced attorney.
Evidence and memories can fade with time. Due to the very nature of the injury, record the facts with your lawyer while the incident is fresh.
A brain injury attorney is prepared to get to work on your case just as soon as their first consultation with you. Contact a brain injury attorney at the Bruning Law Firm for your free consultation.
Contact our St. Louis Brain Injury Lawyers Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
In many cases, brain injury victims can recover substantial compensation for both economic and non-economic losses they sustain as a result of their injury. The brain injury attorneys of The Bruning Law Firm are committed helping people injured by the negligence of others obtain justice through the civil courts. To schedule a free consultation with one of our St. Louis personal injury lawyers, contact our office today at (314) 735-8100.
"AJ and team were so delightful to work with. They were very responsive to all emails and phone calls. I always knew which step we were on in the process of getting my lawsuit settled. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the amount the settlement was for was twice that of the original coverage of the insurance company. I don’t know how they did it but I am very pleased with the service they provided. Hands down easiest process, and people to deal with. 100% recommend if you have a personal injury case to be worked. Hopefully I won’t need their services again, but if I do I won’t hesitate to call." - Amanda W.
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