Experienced Brain Injury Lawyers Based in Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis Injury Lawyers with Decades of Successful Settlements for TBIs
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are extremely serious injuries that can affect victims and their families for a lifetime. Our lawyers have decades of experience helping clients obtain fair compensation for their TBIs, and we strive to stay informed and educate the public and the legal community about these devastating injuries.
Our attorneys are AV-rated* and nationally renowned for their skilled representation of TBI victims. Firm partner Tom Doehrman has lectured extensively throughout the country on the complexities of traumatic brain injury claims. Our firm has worked closely with the Brain Injury Association of Indiana (BIAI) for more than 30 years. Tom Doehrman was Chairman of the Board of BIAI from 2001–2002 after 20 years as a Board member, and he currently sits on the Emeritus Board of Directors. Our brain injury practice is a very important part of our law practice, and helping brain injury victims and their families is our passion.
Contact Doehrman Buba today online or by telephone at (800) 269-3443 to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable brain injury lawyer.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury is often caused by a blow to the head or a penetrating injury that causes a disruption in brain function. Some important points about brain injuries:
- TBI symptoms may take time to manifest; always see a doctor immediately after taking a hard hit to the head, even if you believe you are not injured.
- The term "mild brain injury" is misleading. Any injury to the brain can cause serious, long-term consequences, even if the injury is not life threatening.
- A concussion is a brain injury. If you think, "I just have a concussion; I do not need a doctor," think again. Left untreated, concussions can cause long-lasting effects.
Causes of Brain Injuries
The leading cause of TBI for adolescents and adults is motor vehicle accidents. Newborns can also suffer brain injuries at birth due to lack of oxygen to the brain. We have an extensive understanding of many areas involved with brain injuries, including:
- Long term effects of TBIs
- Long term prognosis for brain injuries
- Medical care and different brain injury therapies
- Rehabilitation techniques and different rehab facilities
- Life care plans and vocational rehabilitation
- Social Security, Medicaid, and dealing with medical bills
- Pediatric brain injuries
- Brain injury support groups
- Guardianships and special needs trusts for brain injury victims
Males between ages 15 and 24 are most susceptible to brain injuries due to their high-risk lifestyles. Children under age 4 and people over age 75 are susceptible to brain injuries as a result of slip and fall accidents. Other common causes of TBI include physical assault, athletic injuries, shaken-baby syndrome, and accidents at home, work, or outdoors.
Consequences of Brain Injuries
- Cognitive: Short- or long-term memory loss; spatial disorientation; difficulty concentrating, communicating or planning
- Psychological/Behavioral: Anxiety; depression; mood swings; agitation; impulsivity
- Physical: Seizures; headaches; speech impairment; partial or complete paralysis of the body; vision, hearing, smell or taste loss
Our nationally board-certified civil trial lawyers are dedicated to helping you obtain compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost income, pain, and suffering as well as other hardships you have endured due to your brain injury. Our experienced brain injury lawyers have decades of experience and have successfully recovered on behalf of our clients in Indiana and nationwide. Representing victims across the country, our attorneys serve each of our brain injury clients with compassion and the utmost skill and diligence, as well as personalized attention.
Brain Injury Symptoms
Brain injuries almost always result in a deterioration of an exorbitant amount of a person’s brain cells, but the time that it takes for someone to see any significant symptoms from brain injuries always varies, as no brain injuries are identical. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, it is estimated that about 2.6 million Americans per year suffer from some kind of brain injury, and over 5 million Americans who have suffered from a brain injury require daily assistance.
Being able to identify and treat a brain injury properly and as soon as possible is crucial for a brain injury victim’s recovery. This page is dedicated to helping individuals and their loved ones who suffer from brain injuries by providing the information they need to understand a comprehensive overview of what kinds of brain injuries commonly occur and their specific symptoms, how long head injury symptoms last, what exactly happens when someone has brain damage and the healing process of brain damage.
Overview of Brain Injuries & Their Symptoms
In order to fully understand how different symptoms occur with different brain injuries, it’s crucial to understand the variety of brain injuries that commonly occur, and how they happen. The two types of brain injuries include traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and acquired brain injuries (ABI).
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by an external force that forces the brain to move inside the skull, which in turn damages the brain immediately or over time.
An acquired brain injury (ABI) happens on a cellular level and occurs due to extreme pressure being put on the brain. Sometimes a tumor is the result of this pressure and other times the pressure could be the result of a neurological illness, which is typically the case when people suffer from a stroke.
The common causes associated with acquired brain injuries include infection, poisoning/exposure to toxic substances, strangulation/choking/drowning, stroke, tumors, heart attacks, neurological illnesses, aneurysms and illegal drug abuse.
Both TBI and ABI injuries are connected in that they occur after birth. TBI and ABI injuries and their symptoms are the primary focus of this page because, at times, their symptoms can be much harder for people to identify, and more frequently, can lead to litigation. One last type of injury is congenital brain damage which result from birth trauma or genetics.
Categories of Brain Injury Symptoms
There are four primary categories of brain damage symptoms for both TBI and ABI injuries including:
Mild TBI Symptoms
It’s extremely important to distinguish the difference between mild and severe TBI injuries. TBI injuries are technically classified as mild if the victim loses consciousness or is disoriented for less than 30 minutes. Many times, mild TBI symptoms go overlooked, which is common with many concussions suffered through sports injuries, and the symptoms of mild traumatic brain injuries can occur much later than the time of the initial injury.
The cognitive or behavioral symptoms of a mild TBI include:
- Mood changes or swings
- Concentration or memory problems
- Feeling anxious or depressed
The physical symptoms include:
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a couple of minutes
- A prolonged state of confusion or disorientation
- Vomiting or nausea
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Sleeping more than usual
- Loss of balance or dizziness
The perceptual symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Changes in ability to smell
- Ringing in the ears
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Sensitivity to sound or light
These symptoms are often very subtle and not recognized by the injured person or their loved ones because the injured person looks normal and typically moves around normally although they are not feeling or thinking normally. This is why it’s usually the injured person’s family and friends who originally notice the symptoms and changes in behavior before the injured person realizes they have a problem.
Severe TBI Symptoms
Severe brain injuries are defined as brain injuries that result in a loss of consciousness or disorientation of over 30 minutes and can result in the Glasgow Coma Scale at 3 to 8.
There are several factors that come into play when it comes to measuring the impact of a severe TBI, a subdural hematoma, and these include things like the severity of the initial injury, the functions affected, the rate of physiological recovery and much more.
The cognitive symptoms of a severe TBI include difficulties pertaining to:
- Speed of processing
- Language processing
Speech and language problems commonly occur with a severe TBI, including the following symptoms:
- Slurred speech
- Problems reading/writing
- Receptive aphasia (not understanding spoken word)
- Expressive aphasia (difficulty speaking/being understood)
- Speaking very fast or slow
The physical symptoms include the following:
- Loss of consciousness from several minutes up to hours at a time
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Persistent headaches or headaches that get worse over time
- Seizures or convulsions
- Clear fluids draining from ears and nose
- Numbness or weakness in toes and fingers
- Loss of coordination
- Menstrual difficulties
- Sleep disorders
- Appetite changes
- Loss of stamina
The perceptual symptoms include the following:
- Loss or diminished sense of taste or smell
- Loss of hearing
- Ringing in the ears
- Increased sensitivity to sounds
- Partial or total loss of vision (or blurred vision)
- Weakness of eye muscles and double vision
- Involuntary eye movements (nystagumus)
- Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
The emotional/behavioral symptoms include:
- Dependent behaviors
- Lack of motivation
- Denial/lack of awareness of symptoms
- Flattened or heightened reactions or emotions
Acquired brain injuries also exhibit a combination of the symptoms involved in both moderate and severe traumatic brain injuries.
How long do brain injury symptoms last?
How long brain injury symptoms last is unpredictable due to the fact that every injury is unique. Depending on the severity of the brain injury, the symptoms can last just a few weeks up to months and even years. Brain injuries typically require a very slow rehabilitation process, and within that process, the injured person will undergo an entire variety of symptoms as listed above.
Identifying and diagnosing a brain injury as soon as possible is extremely important because it allows the injured person the opportunity to educate themselves about their potential symptoms so that they can better recognize them in the recovery months ahead.
Doctors typically can only guess how long symptoms will last during the first couple of months after a severe brain injury. After about six months, an injured person will see the greatest amount of visible progress in their symptoms. Although much of the alleviating of symptoms does occur within the first six months, it is a common misconception that recovery ceases after about two years.
Today, it is perfectly normal for people to see significant decreases in their symptoms after two years of recovery, and usually people never stop re-gaining their skills and decreasing their symptoms.
Emotional/behavioral symptoms typically last the longest because they are subtle and more difficult to rehabilitate within shorter timeframes.
What happens when you have brain damage?
No matter how severe the brain injury, anyone who suffers from a brain injury must get immediate medical attention.
The first thing that typically happens when someone has brain damage is that they’ll receive a neurological exam, like an MRI or CT scan, and doctors will use these assessments to make sure that the patient can prevent further injury, ensure blood and oxygen are flowing correctly throughout the brain and also ensure that the patient’s blood pressure is under control.
Within a person’s damaged brain something called brain plasticity occurs, which essentially details how other areas of a person’s brain will take over the activities of the damaged areas. During this process, new nerve pathways can be established using undamaged brain cells, and engaging in certain rehabilitation activities helps the new nerve pathways to develop.
This is why most patients who suffer from brain damage benefit greatly from physical therapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and psychological support, among other forms of rehabilitation.
Many times, the symptoms of a specific brain injury are connected to the specific region of the brain in which the injury occurs. Although it can be hard to distinguish, there are specific symptoms that are connected to the frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal lobes, as well as the brain stem and cerebellum.
Essentially what happens when you have brain damage is that the areas of your brain that don’t typically function towards a specific purpose are then used for those purposes to counterbalance the damaged brain tissues and nerves, which then results in specific symptoms, like memory loss.
Can brain damage heal?
One of the major issues with brain damage is that brain cells do not regenerate once they are destroyed like almost all other cells within the body. Through brain plasticity, brain damage can heal. The major issue with the healing process of brain damage is that it simply takes time, and within the time frame of recovery a patient can undergo ebbs and flows that can be frustrating, and ultimately lead to more symptoms.
When it comes to healing a damaged brain, it’s crucial for the rehabilitation process to help the brain develop more alternative ways of functioning and essentially minimize the long-term effects of the brain injury.
Healing from brain damage also has a lot to do with coping successfully with symptoms and disabilities, and ultimately living life to the fullest potential post-injury.
Treatment & Recovery for Brain Injury in Children
Recovering from a traumatic brain injury can take expensive medical treatment and long-term rehabilitation. In some instances, life-long care is required to maintain a good standard of living for the victim. We also understand the connection between pediatric brain injuries and education. Children who suffer brain injuries, especially subdural hematoma, often require additional education or educational opportunities tailored to the disabilities they have sustained as a result of their injury.
Typically, a pediatric TBI will require a detailed analysis of speech, vocational and physical therapy, or accommodation in the classroom. Most often, necessary accommodations are documented in a form of an Independent Educational Plan, also known as an IEP. It is critical that parents and caregivers know their rights and those of pediatric brain injury survivors. It is also critical parents understand what a TBI means for their children.
Our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys will skillfully seek the full compensation and benefits you are entitled to for medical expenses, rehab expenses, and other damages if your child suffers a traumatic brain injury because of another's negligence.
Call Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers with Knowledge and Experience
If your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you do not have to face your child's injury alone. Our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys bring tremendous experience to our practice. We are dedicated to helping brain injury victims get the fair compensation they deserve and have worked closely with the Brain Injury Association of Indiana for more than 30 years.
Contact Our Indianapolis Brain Injury Lawyers for a Free Initial Consultation
To discuss your legal options with a compassionate, experienced Indianapolis brain injury attorney from our firm, call us toll free at (800) 269-3443 or contact us online.
*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.