March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Promoted by the Brain Injury Association of America, the designation highlights the need to learn more about these potentially life-altering injuries. It’s also a reminder to consider their legal ramifications, particularly when and why you should contact a brain injury lawyer. Failing to protect your rights or accepting a lowball insurance settlement can leave you in financial distress.
If you’ve suffered a brain injury from an accident in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area or know someone who has, you should read on.
What Is Considered a Brain Injury?
“Brain injury” is an umbrella term referring to an injury that damages part of the brain, but not all brain injuries are the same. There can be significant variations in the severity of these injuries.
Two phrases to understand are “acquired brain injury” (ABI) and “traumatic brain injury” (TBI). An acquired brain injury is one that’s not congenital (present at birth), degenerative (due to irreversible deterioration), or caused by birth trauma. This includes strokes, brain tumors, and damage from accidents, infections, or diseases.
Traumatic brain injuries are a specific type of acquired brain injury. Causes include:
- Being struck by an object or debris
- Falling from a height, or a slip and fall
- Experiencing force from an explosion
- Suffering damage from the head contacting an object, such as a window or steering wheel in a car accident
Brain injuries can be penetrating (meaning an object enters the skull and brain tissue) or non-penetrating (meaning the brain has been damaged by an external force). Common types of brain injuries include:
- Skull fractures
Any brain injury can cause severe, long-lasting symptoms. That’s why you should contact a brain injury attorney if you or someone you know is a brain injury victim.
What You Need to Know About Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are known as a “silent epidemic” because symptoms are often overlooked or downplayed. That causes treatment to be ignored or delayed. It’s common for people to underestimate the effect a brain injury will have on their body, mind, and spirit.
Approximately 3 million people in the U.S. suffer brain injuries annually. Of those, more than 61,000 die as a result.
Falls cause nearly half of all emergency room visits for TBIs. Other common causes include motor vehicle crashes and victims being struck by objects. Some people who survive a brain injury recover fully. Others suffer ongoing side effects, from mild to debilitating.
To help protect yourself and your loved ones from injuries, take these actions:
- Always wear your seatbelt in the car.
- Secure children in an age-appropriate child car seat or booster seat.
- Always drive sober.
- Refuse to ride with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Wear a helmet when biking, skateboarding, riding a horse, or playing contact sports.
- Gate stairs in your home to protect young children.
Work With a Brain Injury Lawyer
Cases involving liability for brain injuries are complex, especially under Florida law. That’s why it’s essential to work with a personal injury lawyer at a practice that’s known as a “brain injury law firm.”
Your lawyer should have the skills and experience to build a successful case and prove liability. That requires:
- Proving you were injured in the incident that’s the source of your lawsuit
- Demonstrating the severity of your injury
- Detailing the long-term impact of your injury (including the increased risk of developing dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions years or decades later)
Your brain injury attorney’s actions can help you secure the compensation you need to heal and move on with your life. If you’ve suffered lost wages, memory loss or other distress, don’t wait.
Ginnis & Krathen works with a network of experts, including medical professionals, to help you get on the path to recovery. We serve as your advisor and advocate, ensuring you get the compensation you deserve and need to pay your medical bills and other expenses.
Learn about our firm, our record of success in obtaining fair outcomes, and the guidance we can provide as you navigate your brain injury litigation. Contact Ginnis & Krathen today.