Any type of brain injury can have a dramatic impact on your life. This type of injury is more common than you might expect, especially because brain injury symptoms are unpredictable. It is not always easy to identify a brain injury after an accident, and they frequently go undiagnosed. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, getting medical treatment as soon as possible is critical for your recovery.
The attorneys at Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, know that brain injuries are often caused by someone’s negligent or reckless conduct. We help brain injury clients and their families get compensation for their losses from all responsible parties. We understand that brain injuries can be life-changing events, and our clients depend on a full financial recovery to help them move forward after an accident.
Our Brain Injury Practice
- Our Charleston, WV personal injury lawyers have more than two decades of experience handling brain injury cases. We have cutting-edge technology and resources to help our clients succeed in their claims against all liable parties. We also have brain injury expert contacts that we frequently hire to help prove our claims.
- We understand the financial burdens many of our clients face after an accident due to medical expenses and missed work. We take injury cases on contingency so that our clients never pay out of pocket for attorneys’ fees. Our attorneys are only paid after they help you secure a financial recovery.
- Our goal is to secure maximum compensation for our clients. We settle many of our injury claims, but when defendants do not agree to full and fair settlement terms, our attorneys take their injury claims to trial.
Types of Brain Injury Cases
Brain injuries can be caused by significant physical trauma to the head, neck, or torso. Common types of traumatic brain injury cases include:
Car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle and pedestrian accidents, and other types of motor vehicle crashes can cause severe head injuries. Negligent driving behaviors, such as reckless driving, drunk driving, or distracted driving, often contribute to these accidents.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents can happen due to hazardous conditions, such as wet or uneven surfaces, inadequate signage, or poor maintenance of premises.
Errors made by healthcare professionals, including doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologists, or nurses, can lead to brain injuries. Examples include surgical mistakes, misdiagnosis, medication errors, and negligent medical care in anesthesiology and childbirth.
Occupational accidents, particularly in industries like construction, manufacturing, or mining, can result in brain injuries. Falls from heights, being struck by falling objects such as falling retail merchandise, or exposure to hazardous substances are common causes.
Sports and Recreational Activities
Contact sports, such as football, hockey, or boxing, carry the risk of blows to the head. Additionally, recreational activities like cycling, skiing, or skateboarding can lead to head injuries.
Assaults and Violence
Intentional acts of violence, including physical assaults, fights, or gunshot wounds to the head, are a leading cause of severe brain injuries.
Brain injuries can occur when individuals use faulty or defective products, such as defective helmets, car seats, or safety equipment.
What Causes Brain Injuries?
Brain injury cases involve different types of trauma and can vary in severity. For example:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of a sudden blow or impact to the head, such as in motor vehicle accidents, falls, or sports-related incidents. TBIs can range from mild concussions to life-altering brain damage.
Closed Head Injury
A closed head injury refers to brain injuries that occur without any external penetration or skull fracture. The brain can still be injured due to the forceful movement or sudden deceleration of the head, causing the brain to collide with the skull. Closed head injuries can result in various complications, including concussions, contusions, or diffuse axonal injuries.
Open Head Injury
An open head injury involves a skull fracture or penetration of the skull, leading to direct damage to the brain. This type of injury can occur in accidents involving sharp objects or firearms.
Anoxic Brain Injury
Brain injuries can also be caused by a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain for an extended period of time, known as anoxic brain injuries. Negligent medical care in anesthesiology and childbirth are common causes of these injuries. In addition, swimming pool accidents that involve oxygen deprivation also frequently result in this type of permanent brain damage.
Hypoxic Brain Injury
Hypoxic brain injuries are similar to anoxic brain injuries but involve a partial lack of oxygen supply to the brain. Conditions like stroke, respiratory failure, or prolonged exposure to low oxygen levels can cause hypoxic brain injuries.
Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
Acquired brain injuries result from non-traumatic causes, such as infections, tumors, strokes, or degenerative diseases. These injuries can have long-term effects on cognitive abilities, motor functions, and overall quality of life.
Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can vary depending on the severity and location of the injury. However, here are some common symptoms associated with a TBI:
- Headaches or migraines
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Blurred vision or changes in vision
- Loss of consciousness (in severe cases)
- Seizures or convulsions
- Memory problems or difficulty concentrating
- Confusion or disorientation
- Slowed thinking or processing information
- Difficulty finding words or expressing thoughts
- Trouble with problem-solving or decision-making
- Poor attention or easily distracted
- Reduced mental flexibility or impaired judgment
Emotional and Behavioral Symptoms
- Mood swings or emotional instability
- Irritability or agitation
- Anxiety or excessive worry
- Depression or feelings of sadness
- Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or excessive sleepiness
- Social withdrawal or isolation
- Lack of motivation or interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Changes in taste or smell
- Sensory processing issues (e.g., heightened sensitivity to stimuli)
- Hearing loss or difficulty with auditory processing
Communication and Language Symptoms
- Speech difficulties, such as slurred speech or difficulty finding the right words
- Difficulty understanding or following conversations
- Problems with reading or writing
It is important to note that symptoms may not always be immediately apparent and can develop or worsen over time. Therefore, it is critical to seek medical attention if you or someone you know experiences any symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, even if they seem mild at first.
How a Charleston Brain Injury Attorney Can Help
A Charleston brain injury attorney can provide valuable assistance in several ways. Firstly, they can assess the circumstances surrounding the injury and determine the viability of a legal claim. They will investigate the incident, gather evidence, and consult with medical experts to establish the link between the injury and the negligent actions of the responsible party. Additionally, a brain injury attorney can ensure all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and within the specified deadlines. They will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to seek maximum compensation. In the event that a settlement cannot be reached, they will fight for your rights in court. Throughout the entire claims process, a brain injury attorney can provide guidance, compassionate support, and peace of mind, aiming to secure the best possible outcome to help you rebuild your life after such a traumatic event.
Who Can Be Liable for a Brain Injury?
Who can be liable for a brain injury depends on the circumstances surrounding the injury. Here are some potential parties who are commonly held responsible in brain injury lawsuits:
Individuals who directly cause or contribute to a brain injury through their negligent or intentional actions can be held liable—for instance, reckless drivers or assailants.
Doctors, surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, or other medical professionals can be held liable for brain injuries resulting from medical negligence. This could include surgical errors, misdiagnosis, medication errors, or improper administration of anesthesia.
If a brain injury occurs on someone’s property due to hazardous conditions, inadequate maintenance, or failure to warn about known dangers, the property owner or occupier may be liable.
If a brain injury is caused by a defective product, such as a faulty helmet, car seat, or safety equipment, the manufacturer or any other party involved in the product’s distribution chain can be held responsible.
In some instances, government entities may be held liable for brain injuries. For example, when the injury occurs in a car crash due to negligent road design, inadequate traffic signage, or dangerous conditions on government property.
Brain Injury Compensation
Brain injuries are complicated, and the symptoms can vary greatly from patient to patient. Medical expenses are often costly, especially in severe cases that require long-term or lifetime medical care. In the worst injury cases, care and treatment can cost millions of dollars. Depending on the extent and severity of your injuries, compensation in personal injury claims may include medical expenses, future medical care costs, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, disability, and pain and suffering.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Charleston Brain Injury Lawsuits?
In Charleston, the general statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including brain injury lawsuits, is typically two years from the date of the injury. The statute of limitations is the time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed after the occurrence of an injury. It is crucial to be aware of this deadline, as failing to file a lawsuit within the prescribed time frame can result in the case being dismissed.
However, the statute of limitations can vary depending on the case’s specific circumstances. For example, if the brain injury was caused by medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the injury or two years from the date when the injury should have been reasonably discovered, with an overall cap of 10 years from the date of the alleged medical malpractice. If the victim is a minor child under the age of 10 at the time of the injury, a medical malpractice claim must be filed within two years of the injury or before they turn 12. In other personal injury cases where the brain injury victim is a minor, the statute of limitations is tolled or delayed until the child’s eighteenth birthday.
Contact Our Brain Injury Attorney
The attorneys at Tiano O’Dell, PLLC, have devoted our practice to helping injured clients, including those who have sustained brain injuries. We provide our clients with aggressive and zealous legal advocacy. If you or a loved one has experienced a brain injury due to someone else’s misconduct, we will fight for the compensation that you deserve. Contact our office for a no-cost consultation.