St. Louis Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
Representing victims and families throughout Missouri and Illinois
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, affects more than just the victim. It changes the dynamics of entire families. Some victims live with chronic pain; others are unable to work, care for themselves, or raise their children. When your loved one is living with TBI because of another person’s negligence, you have legal options. At The Hayden Law Firm, we protect the rights of TBI victims, their families, and their caretakers Missouri and Illinois. To schedule a free consultation with a St. Louis TBI attorney, please contact us today.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
A traumatic brain injury is an injury caused by an outside force or object. TBIs are categorized as open (or penetrating) and closed. An open TBI is one in which an object penetrates the skull and damages the brain. A closed TBI occurs when an outside force causes rapid movement of the brain within the skull, resulting in tears, bruises, and/or damage to the blood vessels.
- Diffuse axonal injury: “the shearing (tearing) of the brain's long connecting nerve fibers (axons) that happens when the brain is injured as it shifts and rotates inside the bony skull.”
- Primary brain injury: an injury where the full damage to the brain occurs at the point of impact.
- Secondary brain injury: the damage to the brain that occurs as time passes.
- Concussion: often called a “mild traumatic brain injury,” or mTBI, concussions are caused by a blow or jolt to the head. They are usually temporary but can lead to lingering or permanent symptoms (post-concussion syndrome).
All brain injuries – even those deemed mild or temporary – pose a risk of permanent impairment. For this reason, they are considered catastrophic injuries. Diagnosing and treating a TBI can be a challenge, so working with an experienced personal injury attorney is a critical step to ensuring your loved ones gets the help he or she needs.
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What are the causes of brain injuries?
According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Being struck by an object
- Firearm-related incidents
Who are the victims of TBI?
Anyone can suffer a TBI. CDC’s data indicates that the groups most likely to be affected include people over the age of 75, children, and men (as compared to women in any given age group.) Further data shows that certain groups are more likely to die as a result of a traumatic brain injury, or suffer long-term effects. Those groups of people include:
- Racial and ethnic minorities
- Service members and Veterans
- People who experience homelessness
- People who are in correctional and detention facilities
- Survivors of intimate partner violence
- People living in rural areas
In 2019, there were approximately 166 TBI-related deaths every day. – CDC
When can you hold a person liable for a TBI in St. Louis?
If you or a loved one sustains a brain injury because of another person’s negligence, then the other person (or people) can be held liable. The Hayden Law Firm can help you in negligence claims involving:
- Motor vehicle crashes. We are all responsible for being safe drivers, but often, people forget this duty of care. If you were injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident – as a driver, rider, pedestrian, or cyclist – we can help. We also handle claims involving ATV accidents and rideshare collisions.
- Unsafe premises. Property owners owe a duty of care to their visitors. Failure to uphold his duty is grounds for a premises liability claim. If you fall in a grocery store, are bitten by a neighbor’s dog, or are assaulted on public or private property, you can make a claim for damages.
- Construction sites. While construction employee may be entitled to workers’ compensation, contractors and third-party site visitors must file a personal injury claim in order to secure damages. If negligence leads to crane tips, faulty scaffolding, falling objects, and/or power tool injuries, contact us today.
- City and state governments. Government claims are challenging, and often have a much shorter statute of limitations – but government agencies can be held accountable for injuries stemming from road work, defective roadways, and bus accidents. They may also be held liable if they failed to warn travelers about impending hazards related to bad weather.
- Sports-related injuries. Impact sports like football and soccer get a lot of attention, but they are not the only dangerous activities. Horseback riding causes more than 6,100 head injuries every year; basketball causes close to 39,000. Improper training, defective safety equipment, and inadequate care after a suspected brain injury could all potentially lead to an injury lawsuit.
- Wrongful death. If your loved one dies from severe head trauma, or as a result of a brain injury, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. While no amount of money can ever make up for your loss, it can ensure that your children’s futures are secure, and ease the additional stresses that financial burdens bring.
How can a car accident in St. Louis lead to a traumatic brain injury?
Car accidents often lead to traumatic brain injuries because of the forces involved in the collision. When you hit another vehicle or stationary object, your vehicle should absorb some of the impact – but it will not absorb all of it. If your head snaps back and forth, it can literally jostle your brain; this is why whiplash is a much more serious injury than it is often credited as being. You can also sustain brain injuries from:
- Flying projectiles within the car
- The impact of an airbag deployment
- Hitting your head on the dashboard
- Hitting your head on the head rest
What you should know about teen car accidents and brain injuries in MO
Per CDC data, people between the ages of 15 and 24 are hospitalized for car crash-related TBIs more than any other age group. In Missouri, a 15-year-old can apply for an instruction permit to start learning how to drive.
If you are the parent of a teen driver, the best thing you can do is model good driving behaviors. This can reduce the risk of your teen or young adult child sustaining a TBI in a car crash. Those behaviors include:
- Keeping your phone off or locked while you are driving.
- Always wearing your seat belt.
- Using your mirrors and your turn signals when you need to merge.
- Never getting behind the wheel if you are impaired.
Brain injuries can have long-lasting repercussions, and the effects on a still-developing brain can be significant and irreversible. A brain injury can affect your child’s educational opportunities, as well as his or her future employment. If your child is injured in a wreck with another driver, contact us immediately so we can discuss your legal options.
What are the signs of traumatic brain injury?
The signs and symptoms of brain injuries will vary based on the victim and the severity of the injury. The Mayo Clinic categorizes the following TBI symptoms as mild or moderate-to-severe:
Mild traumatic brain injury symptoms
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Problems with speech
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell
- Sensitivity to light or sound
Cognitive, Behavioral, & Mental
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
- No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
- Memory or concentration problems
- Mood changes or mood swings
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping more than usual
Moderate to severe symptoms
- Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
- Persistent headache or headache that worsens
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
Cognitive & Mental
- Profound confusion
- Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
- Slurred speech
Please note that younger children may experience different symptoms, or be unable to articulate what is wrong. If you suspect your child has a brain injury, seek medical attention immediately.
What are the complications associated with TBI?
Aside from the symptoms listed above – which can become chronic – traumatic brain injuries can also lead to:
- Swelling in the brain
- Loss of motor skills
- Loss of speech
- Vegetative state
- Minimally conscious state
- Brain death
Is there any treatment for traumatic brain injury?
There are some treatments, though they vary based on the injury itself. In some cases, all that will be required is rest. In other cases, a TBI may require surgical intervention, a course of antibiotics (if an infection sets in after a penetrating injury), or physical and/or occupational therapy. In severe cases, there may be no treatments available that will restore your loved one’s ability to function on his or her own.
The good news is that every day, science improves our understanding of how a TBI may be treated. New procedures, new medications, and new therapies are constantly being tested and revised to help TBI victims.
Is your brain injury lawyer near me?
The Hayden Law Firm is located in St. Louis, but we serve all Missouri and Illinois.
Rest assured, however, that if you are critically injured and unable to come to St. Louis, we will travel to visit you in the hospital or rehabilitation center. We also offer virtual conferences and telephone consultations.
What will a St. Louis TBI lawyer do for me?
At The Hayden Law Firm, we work with your doctors to better understand the nature of your injuries, the course of treatment you will require, and the realistic scope of improvement you face. We work with accident reconstructionists to create a full picture of what led to your injuries. We also work with financial planners and economists to show what your future earning potential losses will be, as well as the expenses associated with your treatment and care. This includes loss of earning potential for family members who must become full-time caregivers, the cost of ongoing therapies and/or home reconstruction, and the cost of full-time outside care.
We do this because it helps us paint a more effective picture for insurance companies and juries about what type of recovery you will likely have, and how this will affect the rest of your family’s life. This ensures that we seek a just compensation package for you – one that includes economic losses as well as your non-economic losses, such as loss of companionship and pain and suffering.
How much is my St. Louis TBI case worth?
While it is impossible, not to mention unethical, to say your claim is worth a specific amount, it usually follows that the more severe and impactful an injury is, the more compensation you are entitled to receive. A brain injury which heals fully over the course of weeks is vastly different from an injury which leaves its victim unable to walk, talk, or feed him or herself.
How long do I have to file a claim for a TBI in St. Louis?
You typically have 5 years to file a personal injury claim for a TBI in Missouri. The statute of limitations may change in certain circumstances, however, so it is best to call an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner we can get started on your claim, the better.
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Work with an experienced St. Louis traumatic brain injury attorney
If you or your loved one suffered a brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence, The Hayden Law Firm wants to help. Please call our office in St. Louis at 314-480-3100 or fill out our contact form for a free, no-risk consultation. Proudly serving clients throughout Missouri and Illinois.