Traumatic brain injuries are life-altering. Some brain injury victims face a lengthy recovery, while others may need lifelong care. In addition, the physical, emotional, and financial burden can be overwhelming not only for the victim but for loved ones as well. When a brain injury is caused by the negligent, reckless or intentional conduct of another party, victims have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit to obtain compensation. If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury, the best way to protect your well-being and your rights is to consult an experienced personal injury attorney.
Hunt Law Firm has extensive experience handling these types of cases in New Mexico courts. Unlike other law firms that settle brain injury claims, we will leverage our skills and resources to help you obtain just compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. While each case is unique, we have a proven track record of successfully trying brain injury cases. Knowing that suffering a traumatic brain injury is an overwhelming experience, we will offer you informed representation when you need it most and fight for every dollar that you deserve.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
Brain injuries are frequently caused by a violent blow or jolt to the head or body resulting from a motor vehicle accident, bicycle accident, construction accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, violent crime or other acts of negligence. In addition, brain injuries can also occur due to medical malpractice, particularly surgical and anesthesia errors. A less serious brain injury can lead to a concussion or loss of consciousness, while a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in a skull fracture, paralysis, or even wrongful death.
Types of Brain Injuries
Common types of brain injuries include:
- Concussions — Resulting from a blow to or violent shaking of the victim’s head
- Contusions — A blow to the head that causes bruising or bleeding in the brain
- Diffuse axonal Injury — A violent back and forth head shake or side-to-side rotation of the head
- Penetration Injury — A brain injury that is caused by an object penetrating the skull (e.g. a knife, bullet, or falling object)
- Anoxic Brain Injury — Resulting from deprivation of oxygen to the brain
- Hypoxic Brain Injury — A lack of oxygen that causes the brain to cease functioning
Brain injury symptoms can range from mild to severe, such as:
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory loss
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Sleep and balance problems
- Nausea or vomiting
- Irritability, anxiety, and depression
What is the difference between closed and open traumatic brain injuries?
Generally, traumatic brain injuries can either be closed or open. A closed TBI is usually the result of a blow to the head, which causes the brain to strike the skull. A closed TBI victim may experience brain swelling or develop blood clots. By contrast, an open TBI refers to a skull fracture, often as the result of fall, collision or penetration of the skull by an object, such as a bullet or falling debris.
In addition, there are three classifications of traumatic brain injuries:
- Mild TBI — A limited period of lost consciousness, confusion or disorientation, typically lasting for 30 minutes or less
- Moderate TBI — A period of unconsciousness up to 6 hours, that may also be accompanied by some degree of memory loss
- Severe TBI — An extended period of unconsciousness or a comatose state that may also result in significant cognitive impairment
How are traumatic brain injuries treated?
The treatment for brain injuries depends on the severity of the injury. The treatment for a mild TBI is typically limited to rest and over-the-counter pain medication; however, it is crucial to monitor the victim for persistent or worsening symptoms. The victim should also avoid strenuous physical activity until being cleared by a doctor.
On the other hand, victims of moderate or severe brain injuries must have immediate emergency care to ensure that there is an adequate supply of blood and oxygen to the brain. Surgery is also usually necessary to prevent the brain injury from worsening, as well as to relieve brain damage that can be caused by inflammation, bleeding or oxygen deprivation.
The Long-Term Consequences of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Depending on the nature of the injury, TBI may result in:
- Cognitive impairment (e.g. memory loss)
- Weakness in the extremities
- Loss of balance/coordination
- Hearing/vision loss
In addition, severely injured brain injury victims may experience personality changes, mood swings and depression, impaired social skills, and loss of the ability to concentrate. Moreover, TBI victims often require rehabilitation to relearn how to walk or talk, while severely injured victims may need assistance with basic daily functions, such as dressing, eating, and bathing. Many TBI victims sustain permanent disabilities that require lifelong medical care.
Contact Our Experienced New Mexico Personal Injury Attorneys
At Hunt Law Firm, we believe that brain injury victims deserve compensation that considers all of their future medical and financial needs. This is why we typically recommend pursuing personal injury lawsuits rather than negotiated settlements. We have the skills and resources necessary to present evidence and make compelling arguments to convince juries to award brain injury victims with the maximum compensation they deserve.
When you work with our winning legal team, you can rest assured we will fight tirelessly to protect your rights. We handle all brain injury cases on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing to us until we win compensation for you. Please contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case.