Fort Lauderdale Brain Injury Lawyers
Personal injury attorneys representing Broward County, Florida
Injuries to the brain are among the most severe types of trauma accident victims may sustain. The extent of injury may range from mild to severe and can even cause death. Managing and, whenever possible, recovering from this type of injury often requires long periods of extensive treatment. If an accident victim is able to return to work after brain trauma, it is likely he or she has accumulated tremendous medical expense, which is often reflected in the payouts plaintiffs receive in brain injury cases. In a case involving an automobile striking a pedestrian, the plaintiff was awarded $4,900,000 as compensation for her injuries. A knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale brain injury lawyer can help accident victims receive the compensation and support they need following a traumatic injury.
Symptoms of brain injury
During an accident, brain injury may occur if the head is suddenly jerked, makes contact with an object, or if the skull is penetrated. A person who experiences mild brain trauma may lose conscious awareness for a short period of time. Indicators of severe brain injury include memory loss or an extended period of unconsciousness following the incident.
Loss of consciousness
In most cases of permanent brain damage, the injured person will lose consciousness. Loss of consciousness may be as subtle as experiencing a slightly dazed state to a more pronounced event such as lapsing into a coma. The longer the injured party remains unconscious, the more the likelihood of severe brain damage increases.
An accident victim who is diagnosed with a concussion may experience an altered sense of awareness. They may complain or exhibit signs of dizziness, nausea, disorientation, and forgetfulness.
Edema and hematoma
In some cases of brain injury, edema, or swelling inside the brain, may occur. The swelling may increase pressure, which may damage blood vessels and reduce the circulation of important molecules to the brain. Damaged blood vessels or torn tissue may allow blood to collect in the brain, creating a hematoma. Pressure may be relieved by administering medication or drilling into the skull if the condition does not respond to medication. Hematoma and edema may arise days after the accident which caused the injury has taken place.
Memory loss, or amnesia, may prevent an injured person from remembering events that took place after or even before the traumatic accident occurred. More extensive brain damage is typically marked by longer periods of amnesia. A person who suffers amnesia will likely require help with managing his or her medical care and monitoring the progress and effectiveness of his or her treatment plan.
Reducing the risk of brain injury
The most proactive measure an individual can take in reducing the risk of brain injury in an automobile accident is to wear a properly-fitting seat belt. Seat belt use prevents the body from being propelled into other objects within the vehicle, thereby minimizing trauma to the head. Children should also always be properly secured in a car seat or booster seat, depending on the age and size of the child. Although Florida law makes an exception for legally insured individuals who are 21 or older, motorcycle riders should always wear a helmet to reduce the risk of debilitating and potentially fatal head trauma in the event of an accident.
Seek medical help; then contact an attorney
Individuals who have been involved in an accident should always be immediately examined by a medical professional. Even if a person feels as if he or she has not been injured, signs of injury may not be readily observable by the average person within the first few hours and days of an accident. Waiting to be properly evaluated may allow an undetected injury to worsen unbeknownst to the accident victim. After seeking medical attention, the next phone call should be to a Florida injury attorney to arrange a free, confidential consultation. A civil litigation lawyer can advise accident victims if they have cause to pursue legal action and, if necessary, the best approach to seeking legal remedy. Personal injuries are subject to statutes of limitations — deadlines by which legal action must be filed. Therefore, it is imperative that accident victims consult a lawyer as early as possible following the accident.