Personal injuries can diminish all aspects of your life, from your ability to perform your job to your ability to care for your home and family. If you believe that you have been injured due to the negligence of the fault of another, you should contact an attorney to learn your legal rights before trying to settle your claim on your own. We can assist you in protecting your rights as we guide you through the claim process and can represent you through any litigation which may become necessary. We will gather all necessary information, talk to witnesses, secure medical and wage records and present your claim to the insurance company utilizing our many years of experience in negotiating with the insurance companies.
If litigation becomes necessary, our firm has over 35 years of combined experience in litigating all types of personal injury and negligence claims. There is no fee for an initial consultation and contingent arrangements in most instances are the standard.
Many of our clients come to us with injuries sustained in either a fall or a motor vehicle accident and suffer with some of the following symptoms. If you have sustained this type of injury in an accident you should seek the advice of a physician.
The stages for recovery from a traumatic brain injury are many. First the symptoms must be addressed by the patient, his/her physician and family. The symptoms and related deficits fall into four major groups: Cognitive, Perceptual, Physical and Behavioral/Emotional. Due to the uniqueness of each injury, there are those who may or may not face or exhibit some or all of the symptoms.
We will attempt to address each of these symptoms herein:
Brain injury itself is traumatic --- physically, mentally and emotionally. It is difficult on the person who has sustained the injury and difficult on the family and friends of the injured person. A brain injury requires that someone without prior knowledge quickly become informed and aware of what is happening now and what they will be facing in the future. According to Dr. Glen Johnson, clinical neurologist, in his Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide (1996),
“...a brain injury is complex. It can cause physical, cognitive, social and vocational changes that effect an individual for a short period of time or permanently...some common results are seizures, loss of balance or coordination, difficulty with speech, limited concentration, memory loss and loss of their organizational and reasoning skills...”
Dr. Johnson’s book also discusses the emotional stages of recovery stating that although each individual and each situation is unique there are a number of very common emotional stages that people with a head injury go through. They are presented as follows:
Confusion and Agitation
“The first phase that I see people going through is the confusion/agitation phase which can last minutes or for several months. This disorientation can make someone who is very meek and mild, for example, become very aggressive. This very frightening for family members and close friends.
...For 99% of the people I have worked with this confusion/agitation phase eventually goes away. It may take a while, but with proper treatment they will eventually come out of it.”
“ The next emotional phase people go through typically is denial...suddenly, they are having difficulties. They are forgetting things or burning food. Family members are first to notice these changes and will attempt to discuss the problems with the injured person who will reply ‘No, there’s nothing wrong with me’. Denial can be difficult for family members and medical treatment providors.”
There are two (2) types of denial. The first type is an emotional one. Something has happened that is so upsetting or frightening that the patient does not want to deal with it. The second type of denial comes from actual changes to the brain. The brain literally refuses to process certain types of information. The brain does not like missing information so it tends to fill in that information which does not properly register with the brain. An example of such would be an injury where the individual cannot receive visual information on the left side - but they do not know it. They may bump into walls, or, if driving a car, they may run into things. While drawing a picture, they may leave out half the drawing. The brain attempts to compensate itself for information received, this is a denial within the brain that the “problem” exists.
Denial is a common problem and can usually be resolved within a relatively short period of time and dependent upon the various situations of the each individual. But head injuries do not just go away as the individual experiences the problems over and over again leading into the next phase. Depression and anger begin to occur upon the realization that there are things that the individual can no longer do that they once were able to do. Tasks that once were easily performed by the individual become more difficult or sometimes impossible to perform causing the anger and depression. This scenario can go back and forth and some individuals are never able to move on.
Unfortunately, head injury is unlike other illnesses and injuries. You discover that little is known about recovery and that the few available treatment programs are incredibly expensive, some of which will not be approved by the insurance company or some are located many miles away. Physicians providing treatment may simultaneously relay prognoses which range from total recovery to little hope. Or they may relay information that you neither understand or accept. You just know that the person who existed before the injury has changed but you are not sure how or for how long. Living with a person who has sustained a brain injury is frustrating, exhausting and stressful.
Various factors obviously influence the magnitude of improvement and adequacy of neuropsychological functioning at some fixed time following a head injury. Those known or postulated to have such an influence would include severity of injury, premorbid level of functioning, age and time from injury to when the observation is made.