Last month, Bob Saget, a beloved actor and comedian, was found dead in his Florida hotel room. The autopsy confirmed that he passed away due to head trauma, or brain injury. His family concluded that he probably accidentally hit the back of his head on something, did not think he was seriously injured, and then went to sleep. The autopsy further revealed that he had fractures around his eye sockets, a fracture at the base of his skull, and an abrasion on his scalp. His brain also showed signs of bruising and bleeding.
How Common are Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a penetrating injury, such as a gunshot wound to the head. There are three primary levels of severity of traumatic brain injuries — mild traumatic brain injuries or concussions, moderate traumatic brain injuries, and severe traumatic brain injuries. Brain injuries can be some of the most challenging injuries to treat. Many people who suffer a traumatic brain injury may assume that they are not seriously injured and may not seek treatment.
Many people were understandably shocked that Bob Saget died from a seemingly minor brain injury. However, brain injuries are far more common than many of us realize. Every year there are nearly 61,000 deaths related to traumatic brain injuries in the United States. Nearly 166 Americans die from traumatic brain injuries every day. The CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has estimated that as many as 5.3 million Americans live with a disability because of a traumatic brain injury.
Slip and fall accidents are among the most common causes of brain injuries. Falls lead to over half of traumatic brain injury-related hospitalizations. Motor vehicle accidents and assaults are other common ways people incur traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to short-term or long-term health problems. When children experience traumatic brain injuries, the injuries can impact their development and limit their ability to participate in school and other activities.
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What to Do if You Have Experienced a TBI Caused by Someone Else’s Negligence
If you believe that you may be suffering a traumatic brain injury, the most important thing you can do is seek medical attention. Older adults are more likely to become hospitalized or pass away from traumatic brain injuries. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries are commonly missed or misdiagnosed in older adults because the symptoms can overlap with other medical conditions.
For people of all ages, symptoms of a traumatic brain injury may not show up immediately after the accident. The shock and adrenaline caused by the accident can cover up some of the symptoms that would indicate a traumatic brain injury. If you have been in an accident, we recommend being evaluated by an emergency medical responder. If an EMT recommends that you go to the hospital for treatment, do so. If not, we still recommend scheduling an appointment as soon as possible with your doctor. Write down all of your symptoms and share them with your medical provider. Ensure that you get the medical attention you need to avoid the severe consequences of a traumatic brain injury.
Recovering Compensation After a TBI
After receiving the medical attention you need, we recommend discussing your case with a personal injury attorney. If another person or company’s negligence caused your traumatic brain injury, you might be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, you may be able to pursue compensation through the at-fault party’s insurance policy. For example, if a drunk driver collided with your vehicle, causing your traumatic brain injury, you can pursue compensation through that driver’s insurance policy.
Insurance companies are notorious for denying claims or making initial offers far too low. We recommend discussing your case with an attorney before signing any settlement agreement with the insurance company. There is a significant chance that the insurance company has made you a bad offer. An attorney can help you negotiate a better settlement agreement. When necessary, an attorney can take your case to court.
Contact an Alabama Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
Traumatic brain injuries can cause unexpected long-term symptoms, and even death. If you or your loved one have experienced a traumatic brain injury caused by another person, it is crucial that you reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Contact Heninger Garrison Davis today to schedule your initial consultation and learn more about your rights.