Your health and well-being are our top priority. If you've experienced a brain injury in Missouri, don't hesitate to contact Martin & Wallentine for legal assistance.
According to the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, an estimated 16,500 traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur each year in the state. That's thousands of people who experience lifelong physical, emotional, and financial consequences, sometimes due to negligence by an outside party.
A brain injury can impact a person's life in countless ways. The physical effects can range from headaches and dizziness to seizures and paralysis. The emotional toll can be just as significant, with depression, anxiety, and mood swings common among brain injury survivors. Medical expenses, lost income, and ongoing care costs can quickly spiral out of control, leaving victims and their families struggling to make ends meet.
At Martin & Wallentine Law Firm, we understand the devastating effects that brain injuries can have on individuals and their loved ones. We believe no one should face the aftermath of a brain injury alone, especially when the injury was caused by someone else. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers is dedicated to fighting for the rights of brain injury victims in Missouri.
If you or someone you care about has suffered a traumatic brain injury in Missouri, and you believe another party is responsible for your injury, seek legal advice to take action as soon as possible to protect your health and financial well-being. Our team of experienced St. Louis brain injury lawyers is here to help you get the compensation you need to cover medical bills, income loss, and ongoing care costs. Contact us today at 913-754-9700 to schedule a consultation, and let us fight for your rights as a victim of someone else's negligence.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries in Missouri
A brain injury is a disruption of normal brain function caused by a blow, jolt, or penetrating injury to the head. It can also result from a lack of oxygen or exposure to toxic substances. Brain injuries can range in severity from mild, such as a concussion, to severe, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs can result in long-term cognitive, physical, and emotional impairment. Here are some of the main causes of brain injuries.
- Car Accidents - Car accidents are one of Missouri's leading causes of brain injuries. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, TBIs are a significant health concern in the state, with an estimated 18,000 hospitalizations and emergency department visits due to TBIs in 2021 alone. Of these cases, motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes. Many of these injuries were likely brain injuries caused by the accident's impact.
- Slip and Fall Accidents - Slip and fall accidents are another common cause of brain injuries in Missouri. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls account for over 8 million emergency room visits yearly, with many of the injuries sustained to the brain.
- Sports Injuries - According to a study published by the National Library of Science, sports activities are the second most frequent injury mechanism after falls, with rugby, football, and horse riding being the most prevalent. Another study found that sports are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury in teens, with football, soccer, and basketball being the most common sports resulting in TBIs.
- Workplace Accidents - According to a research article on Pubmed, work-related traumatic brain injuries are on the rise, even though work-related injuries are declining overall. Industries with the highest workplace accidents include construction, manufacturing, warehousing, and agriculture.
Types of Brain Injuries: Understanding the Different Forms of Brain Damage and Their Effects
Brain injuries can occur in various forms, each with its own symptoms, potential complications, and long-term consequences. Here are the most common types of brain injuries and their effects on those who experience them:
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the brain's normal function. TBIs can range from mild, such as a brief change in mental status or consciousness, to severe, such as an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury.
The effects of a TBI can include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Cognitive impairment
- Physical disabilities
- Emotional disturbances
A concussion is a mild form of TBI that occurs when the brain gets jolted inside the skull. This can happen due to a blow to the head or body, a fall, or any other impact that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth.
Symptoms can include:
- Difficulty concentrating
Sometimes, a person may experience emotional disturbances such as anxiety, depression, and irritability.
A contusion is a bruise on the brain that occurs when the brain slams against the inside of the skull. This can happen due to a blow to the head or body, a fall, or any other impact that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth.
The effects of a contusion can include:
- Loss of consciousness
In severe cases, a person may experience significant cognitive impairment, physical disabilities, and emotional disturbances that can last a lifetime.
A hemorrhage is a brain injury that occurs when bleeding occurs in or around the brain. This can happen due to a blow to the head or body, a fall, or any other impact that causes the brain to move rapidly back and forth. Brain bleeds can be particularly dangerous because they can lead to increased pressure in the brain and a lack of oxygen to the affected area.
The bleeding effects can range from mild to severe, depending on the location and amount of bleeding. Symptoms can include:
- Loss of consciousness
The most severe cases result in a person experiencing severe cognitive limitations, physical handicaps, and emotional distress lasting a lifetime.
Treatment Options for Brain Injuries
Noah was an active software engineer who loved spending his weekends hiking and camping at Mark Twain National Forest. However, his life took an unexpected turn when he suffered a traumatic brain injury after a car accident caused by the fault of another driver.
As Noah lay in his hospital bed, he couldn't help but wonder what the future held for him. Would he ever be able to walk again? Would he be able to return to his beloved outdoor activities? Most of all, John wondered what treatment options the healthcare system could provide to get his life back on track.
The following are the most common recovery options for head injury victims:
Surgery: A Critical Option for Treating Severe Brain Injuries
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove blood clots or relieve brain pressure. While surgery can be a critical step in saving the life of a brain injury victim, it may not always be a viable option, depending on the severity of the injury and other factors.
Medication: Addressing the Symptoms of Brain Injuries
In addition to surgery, a doctor may prescribe medication to help manage symptoms of brain injuries. Common medications may include pain relievers, anti-anxiety medications, and anticonvulsants.
Therapy: Addressing the Emotional Impact of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can also have a profound emotional impact on the injured person and their loved ones. As a result, therapy may be recommended to address the emotional and psychological toll of the injury. This may include individual therapy, family therapy, or support groups.
Rehabilitation: The Importance of Ongoing Treatment and Support
Rehabilitation may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other specialized forms of treatment, depending on the specific needs of the individual.
A combination of these treatments may be necessary for a successful recovery. Recovery from a head injury can be lengthy, requiring ongoing treatment and support.
Brain Injury Prevention: Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself and Others
Brain injuries are a serious matter, and their consequences can ripple throughout a person's life, affecting their relationships, work, and overall well-being. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent brain injuries. Here are some ways to protect yourself and others:
Wear Protective Gear
Falls and other accidents when participating in sports cause many brain injuries. Wearing the appropriate protective gear, such as helmets when riding a bike or playing contact sports, can significantly reduce the risk of a head injury. Ensure that protective equipment fits properly and is worn correctly.
Follow Safety Guidelines
Following safety guidelines can also help prevent brain injuries. For example, using handrails when walking up or down stairs, wearing non-slip shoes, and keeping floors free of clutter can all help prevent falls. Additionally, following traffic rules and wearing seatbelts while driving or riding in a car can go a long way in preventing accidents. The Missouri Seat Belt Law requires all passengers in a motor vehicle to wear a seat belt. The law aims to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries resulting from car wrecks.
Seek Medical Attention After a Head Injury
Don't take head injuries lightly. Get a medical evaluation soon after an incident if you or someone you know experiences a possible traumatic brain injury. Even a seemingly mild bump to the head can have serious long-term consequences, and immediate medical care can prevent further damage. Brain injury symptoms can include headache, dizziness, confusion, and nausea. Remember, timely medical care is crucial to your recovery.
Resources for Traumatic Brain Injury Prevention in Missouri
There are many resources available to help individuals and communities prevent brain injuries. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services offers a variety of resources on its website, including information on brain injury prevention, help for TBI survivors and their families, and educational materials for healthcare providers and educators. Additionally, the Brain Injury Association of Missouri provides information and support to individuals and families affected by brain injuries and resources for healthcare professionals.
Missouri Brain Injuries Fall Under Personal Injury Law
Missouri's brain injury laws are actually part of the larger umbrella of personal injury law. These laws are in place to protect the rights of those injured and ensure they receive the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury due to negligence by an outside person, it's important to understand these laws and how they can impact your case.
Statutes of Limitations for Brain Injury Cases in Missouri
One law to be aware of is the statute of limitations for filing a brain injury claim in Missouri. According to Missouri law, brain injury victims have five years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the victim dies due to the injury, the statute of limitations is reduced to three years from the date of death.
Comparative Negligence in Head Injury Cases
Another crucial law to consider in Missouri brain injury cases is comparative negligence. Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that determines the degree of fault of each party in an accident. In Missouri, comparative negligence allows victims to recover damages even if they were partially at fault for the accident.
However, the court lowers the amount of damages they can receive by their percentage of fault. For example, if you're 25 percent at fault in a car accident where your total damages are $100,000, you could recover $75,000.
The Legal Process for Seeking Compensation in Missouri
In Missouri, the legal process for seeking compensation for brain injuries involves filing a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries. To prove liability, you must show that the other party's negligence caused your brain injury. Negligence refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care, resulting in harm to another person.
To prove negligence, you must establish four elements:
- Duty - Duty refers to the legal obligation to act reasonably and avoid causing harm to others. For example, all drivers on the roads are expected to follow traffic laws and maintain a regard for the safety of other motorists.
- Breach - Breach refers to a failure to fulfill that duty of care.
- Causation - Causation refers to the connection between the breach of duty and the brain injury. Did negligence cause the accident and lead to the injury you sustained? Can it be proven that this is what happened?
- Damages - Damages refer to the harm caused by the brain injury, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Damages can be proven through medical bills, pay stubs indicating lost wages, and other documentation.
Recoverable Damages for Traumatic Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can have far-reaching consequences, not just for the individual’s health but also their financial status. In Missouri, victims of serious brain injuries caused by another party's negligence have the right to recover damages. This compensation may include the following:
- Medical Bills: This includes all costs associated with the medical treatment of the injury, such as hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, medication, and ongoing care.
- Lost Wages: Victims may be entitled to compensation for any income lost due to the injury, including wages, bonuses, and benefits.
- Pain and Suffering: This covers the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by the injury, including mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and disfigurement.
- Future Care Costs: Some people will require ongoing medical care and assistance, so your lawsuit may include the cost of future care, such as in-home care or long-term care facilities.
Calculating Recoverable Damages in Missouri
Calculating damages in a brain injury case can be complex. In Missouri, the court considers several factors when determining the amount of damages a claimant is entitled to receive. These factors include:
- The nature and severity of the injury: The severity of the injury will impact the amount of damages awarded. Severe injuries will generally result in higher compensation.
- The victim's age: Younger victims may receive more substantial compensation due to the potential for longer-term impacts on their quality of life and earning potential.
- Medical expenses: The court will consider all healthcare costs, including the costs of ongoing medical care, when determining the amount of damages.
- Lost wages: The court will consider the victim's lost income, including past and future wages if the person is no longer able to work.
- Pain and suffering: The court will consider the severity and duration of the pain and suffering caused by the injury.
Challenges in Recovering Damages in Head Injury Cases
Recovering damages in brain injury cases can be challenging due to several factors. One of the most significant challenges is proving negligence. It may be hard to prove that someone else's negligence caused the injury in brain damage cases. Additionally, the long-term nature of head injuries can make it challenging to determine the full extent of damages, particularly with future care costs.
Another challenge is dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies may try to limit the compensation paid out, particularly for future care costs, which can result in a protracted legal battle.
This is why it is so important to seek guidance from a Missouri brain injuries lawyer as soon as possible after you or your loved one experiences a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence.
FAQs About Missouri Traumatic Brain Injuries
What kind of evidence will I need to prove my brain injury lawsuit?
To prove your brain injury case, you must provide evidence that the other party's negligence caused your injury. This proof can include medical records, eyewitness testimony, expert opinions, and other documentation that supports your claim. An experienced brain injury attorney can help you gather and present this evidence in court.
How long will my traumatic brain injury case take to resolve?
Resolving a brain injury claim can be a lengthy process, and the timeline can vary significantly from case to case. Factors that can affect the duration of the case include the case's complexities, the amount of damages sought, and the evidence available. Some personal injury claims can be resolved in months, while others may take several years. A skilled brain injury lawyer can give you a better idea of what to expect based on the specifics of your case.
Can I afford to hire a brain injury lawyer?
Many Missouri brain injury lawyers, in fact most all personal injury lawyers, work on a contingency fee basis for brain injury cases. This means that their fee is taken out of the final settlement or payout amount as a percentage to cover all legal fees, which means you don’t have to pay anything up front for the services of the lawyer and they will cover all expenses throughout the process until you are able to obtain compensation. At that point, you will pay your legal fees and costs to the lawyer as an agreed upon percentage of the total recovery.
The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered head trauma in Missouri, it is in your best interest to seek legal advice from a brain injury lawyer. Here are some of the benefits of working with an experienced brain injury attorney:
- Legal Training: Brain injury cases can be complex, and a top-level attorney understands the nuances of these cases. A Missouri brain injury lawyer can navigate the legal system on your behalf, handle negotiations with insurance companies, and represent you in a court trial if necessary.
- Maximum Compensation: Serious traumatic brain injuries can be incredibly costly in terms of medical bills and lost wages. A seasoned St. Louis brain injury lawyer can help you get the maximum payout possible, considering factors such as ongoing medical treatment and future lost earnings.
- Emotional Support: Dealing with the aftermath of a brain injury can be overwhelming and emotional. A brain injury lawyer can provide compassionate support and guidance, helping you and your family navigate the challenges ahead.
- Case Evaluation: Our experienced lawyers will carefully examine the details of your traumatic brain injury case, identify any potential obstacles, and honestly evaluate your chances of success.
- Time and Stress Savings: Dealing with head trauma can be time-consuming and stressful. Hiring an experienced St. Louis brain injury attorney lets you focus on your recovery while your attorney handles the legal details.
Why You Should Choose Martin & Wallentine Law Firm for Your Brain Injury Case
At Martin & Wallentine Law Firm, we know how devastating it is to suffer the consequences of a brain injury. Our experienced attorneys are here to provide the legal support and guidance you need to get your life back on track. We know that the aftermath of a brain injury can be overwhelming, and we are dedicated to helping our clients navigate the complex legal system to get the compensation they need to move forward.
If you've suffered a brain injury in Missouri, we offer a free consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have. During this consultation, we will listen carefully as you explain your situation, and we will provide honest, compassionate advice on your legal options. We aim to help you understand your rights and make informed decisions about your future.
You Deserve Justice: Contact Martin & Wallentine, Missouri Brain Injury Attorneys Now
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury in Missouri, don't wait to get the legal support you need. Contact Martin & Wallentine Law Firm today, and let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve before the statute of limitations expires for your case.
Head injuries can permanently alter the lives of those injured and their families. You have legal options if you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to someone else's negligence. At Martin & Wallentine, LLC, we are dedicated to helping brain injury survivors and their families get the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation at 913-754-9700.
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