Find A Lawyer Legal Articles Attorney Login

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) From Accidents

Offered by Smith & Hassler

Know your rights if negligence caused your brain injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a severe and debilitating medical condition that can be caused by various types of accidents or injuries to the head. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 1.7 million people in the United States experience a traumatic brain injury each year, with many suffering long-term effects that can significantly impact their quality of life.

TBI occurs when the brain is subjected to an external force that causes it to move rapidly within the skull, resulting in damage to brain tissue. Common causes of TBI include falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, work accidents, and assaults. In some cases, the symptoms of TBI may not appear immediately and can take several days or even weeks to manifest. This is why seeking medical attention immediately after any head injury is crucial.

A serious brain injury can have significant implications for the victim’s physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being, as the effects of TBI can be long-lasting and may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. It can also impact a person’s ability to work, perform daily tasks, and maintain relationships with loved ones.

If you or a loved one has sustained a TBI in an accident due to negligence, it is critical to seek experienced legal representation to fight for the financial compensation you’re entitled to under the law. A brain injury lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process of recovering financial compensation and ensure your case gets the outcome it deserves.

What accidents cause traumatic brain injury?

Traumatic brain injury can be caused by a variety of accidents, including:

  • Slip, Trip, & Fall Accidents – Falls are the leading cause of TBI, particularly among young children (0-4) and older adults (75 and older). When negligent property owners and managers fail to keep their premises safe, falls can occur in parking lots, stairwells, apartment complexes, retail stores, bars, restaurants, and other settings.
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents – Motor vehicle accidents, including car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents, are another common cause of TBI. Negligent driving habits such as speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or failure to follow traffic laws can lead to a crash that causes a brain injury.
  • Workplace Accidents – Work accidents, such as falls from heights, exposure to hazardous chemicals, and accidents involving heavy machinery or vehicles, can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI). Workers in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and agriculture may be at an increased risk of TBI due to these factors, especially when employers don’t take the necessary precautions to prioritize workplace safety.
  • Assaults - Physical assaults, including gunshot wounds to the head, can also result in TBI. These types of injuries are often the result of intentional acts of violence and can have severe and long-lasting effects on the individual’s physical and mental health.
  • Explosive Blasts - Explosive blasts, common in industrial accidents, are another potential cause of TBI. These types of accidents can occur in construction sites, factories, and chemical plants.

A traumatic brain injury can have life-changing consequences for victims and their families, and in many cases, negligence by another party is a contributing factor. Seeking legal representation from an attorney with experience in traumatic brain injury cases can be instrumental in securing the compensation and justice that victims and their families deserve.

Brain Injury Verdicts & Settlements

$2.48 million Houston, TX

$2.48M for an individual who suffered a traumatic brain injury due to a fall from height while working at a plant. Net to client: $2,481,143

$1.38 million Houston, TX

$1.38M for two individuals who sustained mild traumatic brain injuries and other injuries in an accident involving an 18-wheeler. Net to clients: $1,383,753

$537,000 Houston, TX

$537K for an individual whose vehicle was T-boned in an intersection accident resulting in a mild traumatic brain injury and a leg fracture. Net to client: $536,988

Brain injury case results provided by:

Smith & Hassler

1225 N Loop W #525 
Houston, TX 77008
Phone(713) 739-1250

What are the most common TBI injuries?

There are different types of TBI, each with unique symptoms and treatment approaches. The most common brain injuries sustained in accidents are:

  • Concussion: A mild form of TBI that usually resolves within a few days or weeks. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, confusion, and memory problems. Post-concussion syndrome is a relatively rare condition in which symptoms persist for weeks or even months after a person has sustained a concussion.
  • Contusion: A bruise on the brain caused by a direct impact to the head. Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the injury and may include seizures, loss of consciousness, and difficulty speaking or moving.
  • Penetration injury: Occurs when an object, such as a bullet or a piece of shattered skull, penetrates the brain. Symptoms can be severe and life-threatening, including loss of consciousness, seizures, and paralysis.
  • Diffuse axonal injury (DAI): Caused by rotational forces that shear the axons, or nerve fibers, in the brain. This is a severe brain injury that can cause a coma, vegetative state, or loss of cognitive and motor function.
  • Coup-contrecoup injury: Occurs when the brain moves rapidly back and forth within the skull, causing injury to both the site of impact and the opposite side of the brain. Symptoms may include confusion, memory loss, and difficulty with coordination and balance.
  • Hematoma: A collection of blood outside the blood vessels that can cause pressure on the brain. There are several types of hematomas: epidural hematoma, which occurs between the skull and the outermost layer of the brain; subdural hematoma, which occurs between the brain and the protective membranes that surround it; and intracerebral hematoma, which refers to the accumulation of blood inside the brain tissue. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, confusion, and seizures.
  • Hemorrhage: A type of bleeding that occurs within the brain tissue. Hemorrhages can be caused by a rupture of a blood vessel due to a head injury. Severe headache, vomiting, seizures, and coma are among the symptoms that may be experienced.
  • Second-impact syndrome: A rare but life-threatening condition that occurs when a person sustains a second concussion before the first concussion has fully healed. Second-impact syndrome can cause rapid brain swelling and can be fatal within minutes. Symptoms may include loss of consciousness, seizures, and respiratory failure.
  • Brain stem injury: The brain stem controls many of the body’s basic functions, such as breathing and heart rate. Injuries to the brain stem can be life-threatening and may result in coma, vegetative state, or death. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, abnormal eye movements, and weakness or paralysis in the limbs.

How brain injuries are diagnosed and treated

To diagnose a traumatic brain injury, a doctor typically begins with a physical examination and review of the patient’s medical history. The doctor may also perform imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI, to assess the extent and location of the brain injury.

In addition to a physical examination and imaging tests, doctors may also use the Glasgow Coma Scale to assess the severity of a TBI. This scale measures a patient’s level of consciousness, eye and motor responses, and verbal communication. Neurological tests, such as cognitive tests and reflex testing, may also be used to assess brain function and identify any areas of impairment.

Treatment options for TBI vary depending on the severity and type of injury. For mild TBI, such as a concussion, an essential step is to rest and avoid activities that could worsen symptoms. In some cases, over-the-counter pain relievers may be recommended to manage headaches or other mild symptoms.

For more severe TBI, hospitalization may be necessary, and the patient may require close monitoring to prevent further damage to the brain. In addition, surgery may be needed to remove any blood clots or hematomas that are putting pressure on the brain. Along with medical treatment, rehabilitation is often necessary to help the patient recover. This may include physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.

Traumatic brain injury compensation

Individuals who suffer brain injuries may be entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Among the types of damages that could be pursued are:

  • Medical bills: Medical bills can be a significant expense for victims and may include costs related to hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and doctors’ visits.
  • Lost wages: Brain injuries can lead to lost wages if victims are unable to work for an extended period. They may also be able to receive compensation for any damage to their future earning capacity.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: TBI victims may be unable to participate in activities they once enjoyed and may need to modify their daily routines.
  • Pain and suffering: Brain injuries can have a profound impact on a victim’s life. In some cases, brain damage or amnesia can lead to lasting physical or emotional pain. As a result, victims may be eligible to pursue monetary damages for these types of damages.
  • Wrongful death: If a brain injury is fatal, certain members of the victim’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue compensation for financial damages resulting from their loved one’s death, such as funeral costs or lost wages. Family members may also be able to file their own lawsuits to recover damages for their losses, including pain and suffering and loss of companionship.

Contact an experienced brain injury lawyer

Navigating the legal system after a TBI can be complex, and insurance companies may try to minimize your claim. That’s where an experienced attorney can help.

A brain injury lawyer knows the physical, emotional, and financial toll a TBI can have and understands the work it takes to build a strong case to secure the best possible outcome.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact an experienced attorney in your area today to review your legal rights and options.

Traumatic Brain Injury
Smith & Hassler
Power Profile

Founded in 1989 by attorneys Michael Smith and Al Hassler, Smith & Hassler is a personal injury law firm dedicated to fighting for injured Houstonians. We have decades of experien...