Understanding traumatic brain injuries and claimsIn recent years, doctors have uncovered new truths about traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Thanks in large part to studies of professional football players, we now understand that the brain can be injured without a direct blow to the head and that multiple traumas over many years can take their toll. This is important to personal injury law because we now know to look for brain injuries in accidents where there is no head injury, and we know that the long-term consequences of a brain injury could be severe.

As personal injury attorneys who focus on serious, debilitating injuries, we welcome TBI cases and will fight to get our clients the compensation they need for a lifetime of care.

Levels of Brain Injuries Caused by Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly three million brain injuries result in a visit to an emergency department, hospitalization, or death each year in the United States. Of these, almost half are caused by falls and another 20 percent are caused by motor vehicle crashes. The effects of a brain injury range from mild, temporary symptoms to lifelong disabilities, but every brain injury should be taken seriously.

Concussion and Mild Brain Injuries Are Usually Temporary

A concussion is a form of mild brain injury that doesn't usually result in permanent damage. If the victim is properly evaluated and diagnosed after an accident and is advised to rest so the brain can heal, they should recover fully.

However, if an accident victim was recovering from a previous concussion at the time of their accident, the injury could be much more severe and even permanent. Victims of car crashes, slip and falls, or assault should always be evaluated for a possible brain injury.

Common symptoms of mild brain injury include:

  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to noise and light
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Problems with memory or concentration
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue or lethargy

Not every person will experience all of these symptoms, but even one or two of them should be taken seriously. If the symptoms last for more than a few days, you could be looking at a more serious injury.

Moderate Brain Injuries Should Be Treated Immediately

If symptoms of a mild brain injury persist for several weeks, the injury could be more serious than a simple concussion. A direct blow to the head in a fall, pedestrian accident, or vehicle collision could result in a moderate brain injury. Also, if a mild brain injury wasn't diagnosed at the time of the accident, it could develop into a more serious injury.

Symptoms of a moderate brain injury include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe headache that doesn't go away
  • Repeated nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty with walking
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Behavior changes, including irritability

An accident victim who experiences these symptoms should seek immediate medical treatment.

Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Can Be Fatal

If a car accident victim suffers a closed-head injury or an object penetrates brain tissue, they could end up in a coma or persistent vegetative state. If the victim survives, they will likely suffer permanent brain damage that could cause cognitive impairment, paralysis, and other conditions requiring life-long care.

If the accident that caused your loved one’s severe brain injury was caused by another person’s negligence, the victim should be compensated for a lifetime of medical treatment, rehabilitation, and personal care. You'll need an attorney with experience getting maximum compensation for catastrophic injuries.

Our Experienced Personal Injury Laywers Understand Brain Injuries

If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident caused by a negligent party, an experienced personal injury lawyer will be almost as important to your recovery as a skilled physician. In a free consultation, you can find out what the personal injury team at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP does to maximize the value of your claim. Contact our Framingham, Massachusetts office to learn more about what we will do to help you in your time of need.


Charles S. Pappas
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Massachusetts injury lawyer & workers' compensation attorney serving accident victims in Webster & Framingham.