Some injuries cause injured individuals to suffer a great deal of trauma, limiting their lives forever after the accident. Traumatic brain injuries represent some of the most serious, life-changing injuries that an accident victim can suffer. Tens of thousands of people are disabled by a traumatic brain injury every year. This type of injury may be life-changing for the whole family as well as for the injured individual depending on the severity and duration of the effects of such an injury. Unlike other types of injuries, traumatic brain injuries do not just affect the body; they also impact the mind, including an individual’s emotional control and regulation. Traumatic brain injury can change the way you think, your ability to process, and the way you handle emotions—all in what feels like the blink of an eye.
Traumatic brain injuries are bewildering to the victim as they often cannot see the physical damage, yet the behavioral and emotional changes are overwhelming.
If you or a loved one has suffered such an injury in a car accident, a St. Louis traumatic brain injury lawyer can protect the injured person’s rights as well as those of the family. Do you need an attorney after a traumatic brain injury? Contact the Cagle Law Firm today at (314) 276-1681 to learn more about your legal rights following an accident. At The Cagle Law Firm, our team of St. Louis serious injury lawyers understand the difficulties facing the injured individual who has a traumatic brain injury and is prepared to fight aggressively for compensation for damages for clients suffering such an injury.
The Cagle Law Firm: Support After a Traumatic Brain Injury
After a traumatic brain injury, you may find yourself adrift. You may not have the mental capacity to return to your previous job or to enjoy the activities that once brought you pleasure. Emotional struggles may make it difficult for you to relate to your friends and loved ones. Where do you turn? At the Cagle Law Firm, we have a proven history of results, including:
- $950,000 awarded after a severe rear-end collision
- $650,000 awarded in a van accident
- $1.5 million awarded to a man injured on a ride
- $1.25 million in a motor vehicle crash
- $750,000 awarded after a dump truck crash
While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in every case, we can, however, promise to bring that experience to all future cases to help ensure that you have the best possible chance of receiving the resolution you deserve after a traumatic brain injury.
How Much Will a St. Louis Lawyer Cost After a Traumatic Brain Injury?
We understand after a traumatic brain injury, you have serious expenses and life-changing experiences. You may not have the ability to return to work, and you may struggle with high medical bills and other expenses. Can you afford an attorney? The simple answer is: yes. You can afford a traumatic brain injury attorney regardless of your financial situation at the time of your accident. At The Cagle Law Firm, we start with a free consultation to help better understand the circumstances of your injuries and how they impact your life.
Most frequently, we take new clients on a contingency fee basis, where fees are based on a percentage of the damages awarded, rather than paying upfront for our services. After an injury, the greater majority of people cannot afford legal fees—thus the contingency fee is critical for injured victims. After an injury, you have all kinds of expenses, and trying to figure out how to pay an attorney on top of that would be ruinous for most—thus the contingency fee structure. Personal injury attorneys generally only are paid based upon results.
Is a Lawyer Worth the Cost?
Most of our clients quickly admit that hiring a lawyer offers a high degree of peace of mind following a traumatic brain injury. In many cases, an attorney can help increase the compensation you receive for your injuries, even after lawyer’s fees. The real question is: Can you afford NOT to hire an experienced attorney? Not only the possible outcome, but lawyers offer several valuable services throughout the claims process, including negotiating and communicating with the insurance company for you.
Do you struggle to put words together following your accident? Do you get tangled up or forget how to handle simple interactions? An attorney can help. An attorney can provide any necessary communications with the insurance company. The attorney can also take over negotiations on your behalf, allowing you to remove one source of stress from your plate and free up your time for other activities related to your recovery. Plus, as injury attorneys, we have years of experience of negotiating with insurance companies and litigation experience. Working with an attorney can help significantly reduce your stress levels—a critical point in allowing you to heal after your traumatic brain injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury: The Basics
A traumatic brain injury can change your life forever. Often, the effects of traumatic brain injury linger long after the accident. Your injuries may resolve in weeks or months, or you may find yourself dealing with the symptoms of traumatic brain injury for the rest of your life. What can you expect after sustaining a traumatic brain injury? How will your life change as a result of your injuries?
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Do not let the name fool you: even mild TBI can have serious impacts on your overall life, including your ability to return to work or to handle normal activities and interactions. Symptoms of mild TBI include:
- Increased fatigue or difficulty completing normal activities
- Increased headaches, including headaches of unusual intensity
- Sleep changes—either sleeping too much or the inability to fall asleep
- Sensory changes, including changes in sense of smell and taste, visual disturbances, or auditory changes
- Mood changes
- Slow thinking, including unusual difficulty solving normal problems
- Loss of balance
- Emotional disturbance, including increased anger or irritability, more instances of crying, or extreme emotional response to seemingly normal stimuli
- Increased sensitivity to sensory input
- Getting lost more often than normal
- Difficulty responding to otherwise typical situations
Symptoms of mild TBI can resolve over time; however, an individual with mild TBI may need increased supervision until the symptoms resolve and he or she can return to normal activities. Individuals with any level of TBI, including mild, should refrain from making serious or life-altering decisions until symptoms resolve.
Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
Severe traumatic brain injury involves more serious symptoms than mild TBI, including:
- Severe, noticeable cognitive deficits in a variety of areas
- Difficulty paying attention or keeping attention on tasks that usually bring pleasure and enjoyment
- Ongoing confusion
- Difficulty processing both sensory input and cognitive input
- Ongoing sensory difficulties, including significant changes in the way the victim processes scents, noise, and sights
- Memory problems, often including both short-term and long-term memory
- The inability to speak or understand speech properly
- Difficulty reading the written word or communicating via written word
- Challenges with impulsiveness or a lack of emotional regulation
- Mood swings
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty judging distances or other visual input
- Loss of stamina, including the inability to participate in activities that the victim once enjoyed
- Increased aggression
- Lack of self-awareness or awareness of what is going on around the individual
Symptoms of severe TBI may take longer to resolve—and in some scenarios they may not resolve. Some days may offer better outcomes than others. In some cases, the victim may struggle long-term with these symptoms. Sometimes, the symptoms of severe TBI may pose lifelong challenges for the victim.
What Modifications Do Individuals with Severe TBI Need to Function Long-Term?
Individuals with severe TBI often use common modifications to help navigate life after sustaining their TBI. Medical treatment may include ongoing therapy with speech and physical therapists. While no one modification will work for everyone, individuals with TBI may ask their doctors and therapists about modifications such as:
- Labeling. Labeling things, including the contents of cabinets and drawers, can increase independence for people who suffer from traumatic brain injury. These labels may offer simple information (cups and plates in this cabinet) or more complex details (a complete list of the items in the cabinet).
- Schedules. Many individuals with TBI are better able to function with a schedule that lets them know what they are expected to do at any time of the day. They may need routines that make it easier for them to remember what comes next or a written or digital schedule that makes it possible for them to check the schedule and remember what they should do.
- Written information. Some individuals with TBI do better with written instructions than verbal ones. They may respond better to lists written down, or they may need to hear information several times before it sticks. For these individuals, written instructions or lists may make life easier.
- Taking more time for common activities. Individuals with TBI must often work at their own pace. This pace may look vastly different than it did before the accident. Giving the individual more time can make it easier for them to cope with such requirements.
- Safe spaces. Sometimes, an individual with a TBI may struggle to regulate emotions, even in familiar settings. Having a safe space to get away may make it easier for that individual to cope and calm down, even when emotions seem to spiral out of control.
The Personal Injury Claim: How Does It Work When You Have a TBI?
The damages you receive from a personal injury claim cannot restore your ability to think or return you to your life before your accident. Financial compensation can, however, make it possible for you to realign your life and give you funds to pay your medical bills.
Whether you received your traumatic brain injury in an auto, a construction, a slip and fall, or a nursing home abuse accident, you must understand the claims process to seek compensation for the full cost of your injuries. The compensation can make a very big difference in assisting you in the modifications that may be required to sustain quality of life.
What Damages Can You Claim in a Traumatic Brain Injury Case?
After a traumatic brain injury, many people claim the following in damages:
- Pain and suffering, including the suffering inflicted due to an individual’s inability to return to his or her preferred activities or to “think” at his or her preferred level
- Medical expenses associated with the TBI, including qualified nursing care if an individual with TBI cannot stay alone due to struggles with emotional regulation or other challenges
- Lost wages due to inability to work while recovering from the injury
- Lost earning potential when the individual with TBI cannot return to his or her previous position and does not show signs of recovering that ability
Who Bears Responsibility for TBI Damages?
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may need to identify the individual or entity responsible for your injuries. To file a claim, you need to know who caused your injury. Working with an attorney can help you better identify who specifically bears responsibility in your case, from auto and construction accidents to slip and fall accidents. However, the responsible entity usually:
- Owed you a duty of care. On the road, this may mean any driver, all of whom bear a responsibility to others around them. In a premises liability accident, it may mean the owner of the premises, who bears responsibility for visitors and employees on the property.
- Failed to uphold its duty of care, whether by accident or design. A distracted driver, for example, fails in his or her duty of care to other drivers around when distraction causes an accident. On a construction site, a company that fails to comply with OSHA regulations violates its duty of care to employees and others on the site.
- Caused your injuries. To file a claim, you must establish that the individual’s negligence led to your injuries.
How Will the Insurance Company Respond to a TBI Claim?
After a traumatic brain injury, you will likely deal with the insurance company that covers the individual responsible for your accident. In some cases, the insurance company will pay out a fair damages amount quickly, generally to avoid a lawsuit. In other cases, however, the insurance company may use one of several common tactics to help reduce the company’s financial responsibility following your accident. For example, the company might:
- Offer a low initial settlement that fails to reflect the damages you deserve for your injuries
- Attempt to prove that you caused or contributed to your accident
- Attempt to reduce the significance of your injury by arguing a doctor’s diagnosis or prognosis
Working with a lawyer can help provide support throughout the claims process and prevent the insurance company from using these tactics to limit the funds that you ultimately receive.
Hiring the Right Lawyer for You After a Traumatic Brain Injury in St. Louis
We expect that others will be cognizant of the importance of acting responsibly and will behave accordingly. However, most accidents and injuries are the result of careless, even reckless behavior. Injury which stems from the careless or negligent driving conduct of another is actionable. Traumatic brain injury, also called TBI, is often the result of negligent behavior or wrongful act of another, whether drunk driving, speeding or reckless driving.
It is important to investigate and document such an incident as soon as possible. The legal team at our firm is experienced in documenting personal injury cases and filing the claim on behalf of the victim.
Finding the right traumatic brain injury lawyer should not add to your stress. At the Cagle Law Firm, we will work with you to provide dedicated legal support following your traumatic brain injury. Call The Cagle Law Firm today at (314) 276-1681, or contact us online, to set up your free consultation.