Paul A. Shapiro
I became a personal injury attorney because I wanted to help people. What we do here is really about you – it's about your injuries… your rights… and it's about fairness and justice for you. After 25 years in practice in Tallahassee, I'm proud to have provided counsel, and helped so many people get what they really deserve. At Shapiro Law Firm, we will always keep the personal in personal injury law.
— Paul A. Shapiro, Personal Injury Lawyer" Read Full Bio
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the term used to describe damage to the brain suffered as a result of a sudden physical force. The human brain consists of billions of microscopic fibers, suspended in cerebrospinal fluid. While the exterior skull is smooth, the inner surface contains ribbing and pronounced bony structures.
Impact with these inner surfaces of the skull causes tearing and bruising that results in brain damage. A brain injury is often called an invisible injury. It’s a difficult and complex injury to diagnose and treat, and recovery is not indicative of how a person looks or acts. Someone may not even spend a lot of time in the hospital after a TBI.
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What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries occur for many different reasons. Every TBI is different, which is something that your lawyer must consider when talking to physicians and juries. It takes more than just legal knowledge to present a case concerning a TBI.
Injuries occur when the momentum of the brain causes it to collide against a skull that has been decelerated. Typically, TBI is caused by the impact of the head with an object, such as when hitting a windshield or the dashboard of a car.
In such cases, the injury is considered to be a closed head injury. Closed head injury also may occur when the brain undergoes a severe forward or backward shaking, such as with infants who are mishandled or in cases involving whiplash suffered during an automobile accident.
TBI can also be caused by a penetrating head injury, where an object, such as a bullet, penetrates through the skull and into the brain. Closed head injuries present unique challenges in litigation, since they often will demonstrate no obvious external symptoms of injury, even though the damage to the brain can be severe.
TBI does not refer to brain injuries or defects that are:
- Induced by birth trauma
- Toxic substances
- Or disease-producing organisms
There are several common symptoms of a TBI, such as:
- Persistent head or neck pain
- Difficulty concentrating
- Light-headedness or dizziness
- Ringing in ears
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
A Lawyer Who Understands the Medicine
An attorney who specializes in TBI has to understand the legal information concerning your injury. A brain injury is not a typical personal injury case and could involve many more issues than you ever imagined.
Find the right professional who understands the difficulties of your fragile injury and complex case. If you or a loved one is dealing with a traumatic brain injury, you need an attorney with the experience to speak to your doctors and witnesses, then translate that into getting a settlement for you.
To schedule an appointment for a free case consultation with a brain injury attorney from the Shapiro Law Firm, P.A., call (850) 629-7226 today.
Minimizing the Long-Term Effects Of TBI
The brain is an amazing organ. When it is injured, however, the victim's life can be dramatically and permanently altered. With the violent impact of a serious car accident in which a head hits a dashboard, a traumatic brain injury can result. In a typical motor vehicle collision, the trauma is threefold.
For example, the vehicle hits another object, the passenger's head hits the dashboard, and then the brain hits the front of the skull. The long-term effects of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, may be far more damaging than is apparent at first.
What Are the Post-Accident Indicators of TBI?
At the scene of an accident, a person may feel pain, there may be confusion, and there may even be a loss of consciousness.
In the long term, other less obvious symptoms may crop up, including the following:
- Loss of memory
- Mental confusion or “fogginess”
- Difficulty with concentration
- Onset of seizures
- Volatile mood swings
Medical Complications & Financial Consequences
A brain injury can affect a person’s speech and learning ability in the long term. If the injury is serious enough, a person may end up incapacitated and have to have other people care for them for the rest of their lives.
Brain injuries may also require surgery to address lingering issues and can eventually lead to death in some situations. One of the long-term effects of brain injury is not directly related to a person’s health.
The medical complications resulting from an injury of this magnitude can have serious financial consequences for an individual. If a family is finding it difficult to get coverage for all a brain injury victim's medical expenses, the bills can begin to pile up and bring additional stress to an already difficult situation.
Get TBI Experts Involved
Injuries inside the head are difficult to prove in court, because sometimes the injury is not readily apparent to the casual observer. That’s why it is important to get medical experts involved to document symptoms, especially when there is litigation involved.
Experts to involve at different points of the legal and rehabilitation process might include the following:
- A psychiatrist
- A neurologist
- An occupational therapist
- Cognitive therapist
- Physical therapist
When the effects of brain injury are overwhelming, an experienced attorney can step in and help a person manage their case. It may be a good idea for a person that has experienced a brain injury of any kind to contact an attorney right away in order to get help negotiating with insurance companies for reimbursement of medical expenses associated with the injury.
The long-term effects of traumatic brain injury can be devastating. The sooner a traumatic brain injury case is settled, the sooner the patient can focus on rehabilitation.
If the case cannot be settled out of court and must be litigated in the courtroom, an experienced lawyer will hire medical experts to testify in the case, helping to minimize the financial effects of the injury for the victim.
Resources for Traumatic Brain Injury
A brain injury may not reveal itself until sometime after an accident. Signs that a problem exists can include:
- Painful headaches
- And other symptoms
It is important to have a head injury checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible in order to uncover a potential problem before it causes additional damage.
At a hospital, a doctor may recommend a CT scan or MRI if a person is showing signs of a brain injury. After a diagnosis, a person may want to explore what resources for traumatic brain injury are available.
An attorney can help a brain injury victim contact insurance companies or file a worker’s compensation claim.
If the accident that led to the brain injury was caused by the negligence of another person, it may be possible to pursue a lawsuit for damages. A person may receive resources for traumatic brain injury in the form of compensation for medical bills and any lost time at work.
The compensation received from a case could help pay for things such as:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing medical care
- Lost wages
A person may sustain a brain injury in a car accident or during an accident at work. In addition, motorcycle accidents often result in serious head injury. No matter how the injury occurred, resources for traumatic brain injury can include expert legal advice.
An experienced attorney can help a person who has suffered a brain injury by discussing available options and suggesting a course of action. In order to help their case, brain injury victims may want to make sure they have access to any medical records related to their accident prior to visiting with an attorney.
Contact an attorney to learn more about how to get help following a traumatic brain injury. For more information about available resources for traumatic brain injury or to speak with an experienced attorney at Shapiro Law Firm, P.A., call (850) 629-7226 today.
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