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Indianapolis Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers in Indianapolis
If you or a loved one sustained a traumatic brain injury, the lawyers at Klezmer Maudlin, P.C. can fight for your rights and help you maximize the compensation you recover. We offer free consultations and can review the circumstances of your injury, determine who may hold responsibility, and assess the value of your case. Our attorneys have over 100 years of experience fighting for injured people and helping them put their lives back together. Let us put this experience to work for you.
Contact the team of Indianapolis traumatic brain injury attorneys at Klezmer Maudlin, PC, for help today.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, as an injury that affects how the brain works. TBIs can happen from an external impact like a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or from an impact that causes the head to jerk back and forth or from side to side. TBIs can also occur from an injury that penetrates the head, like a gunshot wound. Doctors classify TBIs into three main types: mild, moderate, or severe.
Not-So Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries or Concussions
Most TBIs qualify as mild, but even a so-called “minor” TBI can be a severe injury. Doctors call concussions mild TBIs only because they are not usually life-threatening. A mild TBI happens when something causes the head to shake violently and jostle the brain. The movement can make the brain impact the inside of the skull, bruise the brain, cause chemical changes, and damage brain cells.
Symptoms of mild TBIs include:
- Tiredness or lack of energy
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Dizziness or trouble balancing
- Blurred vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty concentrating, thinking clearly, or remembering
- Feeling foggy or groggy
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Feeling irritable, emotional, or sad
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Difficulty falling asleep
Contact a healthcare provider right away if you suspect a TBI, no matter how mild. A TBI may not develop immediately after an accident or show any outward sign of injury to the head. Instead, TBIs may develop slowly and progress into a life-threatening emergency hours later.
People with TBIs often appear normal and do not report any symptoms. After any impact involving the head, car accident, or fall, watch carefully for any TBI symptoms, especially in the elderly or children. If you suspect a TBI, do not hesitate to seek emergency medical care. Healthcare providers can assess and monitor the person or take scans if necessary to rule out more serious injury.
After assessment by a healthcare provider, most people with a mild TBI or concussion can recover safely at home without experiencing lasting symptoms. However, even a mild TBI makes a person more likely to have another TBI in the future. In addition, the effects of repeated concussions can accumulate and result in permanent disability.
Moderate and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
Moderate and severe TBIs can cause serious long-term health problems and even prove fatal. According to the CDC, people diagnosed with a TBI requiring inpatient treatment stood a 78 percent chance of surviving five years. For the other 22 percent, TBIs proved fatal. Thirty percent of those who lived experienced worsening symptoms, while another 22 percent saw no improvement.
Most moderate and severe TBIs result from falls, vehicular accidents, or gunshot wounds. Vehicular accidents top the list as the leading cause of TBIs requiring hospitalization. Falls are the leading cause of TBIs among the elderly and the second leading cause of TBI-related hospitalizations for all age groups.
Intentional acts of violence are the leading cause of fatal TBIs. But even TBIs from falls carry an increased risk of death. Fatality rates for TBIs from falls have climbed in recent years, making falls the second leading cause of TBI-related deaths instead of vehicular accidents.
Newsworthy Traumatic Brain Injuries in Indianapolis
Indianapolis Colts All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a Sunday night game on October 1st, 2022, leaving him benched on concussion protocol. He joined defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis, who reported concussion symptoms after the same game. Just four days later, on October 5th, 2022, Colts running back Nyheim Hines exited a Thursday night game after taking a scary hit to the head. Colts wide receiver Keke Coutee took a blow that left him with a concussion in a game on October 16, making him the fourth player benched because of a TBI in just three games.
Leonard, Lewis, Hines, and Coutee join a growing list of Colts players to suffer TBIs. Former Colts tight end Ben Utecht wrote a memoir detailing his journey through suffering multiple TBIs, which has severely affected his memory. Titled Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away: A Story of Perseverance and Hope, Utecht wrote the book as a love letter to his wife and children—while he can still remember them.
But traumatic brain injuries affect millions of Americans, not just football players. TBIs are a leading cause of death and disability for people throughout the United States. The CDC estimates that TBIs lead to 2.2 million emergency room visits, 280,000 hospitalizations, and 50,000 deaths annually.
Tragically, those most likely to suffer TBIs include the most vulnerable among us—the elderly and children, minorities, and victims of violence and suicide. Falls among the elderly are a leading cause of TBI-related hospitalizations, while at least 15 percent of high school students in the United States report having a sports-related concussion within the last year. TBIs also claim a disproportionate number of minorities, those living in poverty, military service members, and veterans.
Who Is Most at Risk for Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Those most at risk for TBIs include the elderly, those who play contact sports, and those with an increased risk of firearm-related violence. In addition, studies show some people have a higher risk of death or long-term health problems after a TBI.
Groups disproportionately affected by TBIs include:
- People who live in rural areas
- People who take blood thinners or with an increased risk of bleeding in the brain
- Children and teens
- The elderly
- Racial or ethnic minorities
- Service members and veterans
- Victims of domestic partner violence
- Unhoused people
- Inmates and detainees
Special Dangers for Children
Special considerations apply to children who sustain TBIs because their brains are still developing. Even a mild TBI can disrupt a child’s development and keep them from participating in school or sports.
TBIs also affect children differently from adults. According to the CDC, TBIs in children can cause changes in health, thinking, and behavior. These changes can impede the learning abilities, self-control, and socialization skills that are important to becoming a productive adult. The long-term effects of TBI can have devastating effects on children and their families.
Children and teens also engage in more activities with an increased risk of TBIs than the rest of the population. These include not just contact sports but also riding bicycles, skateboards, and powered scooters. Speed correlates directly to a person’s chances of sustaining a TBI in a crash. Make your child wear a helmet whenever they use a vehicle of any kind.
In addition, falling from a height even a few feet above the floor can increase the odds of a child sustaining a TBI exponentially. Never leave an infant or toddler unattended on any surface above the floor. Safety-proof your home to ensure children cannot climb the furniture or fall through railings, down stairways, or out of taller beds. Exercise extreme caution with tall furniture like bunk beds and bookcases that encourage climbing. Finally, supervise children when climbing playground equipment like jungle gyms, and choose playgrounds with equipment designed for children your child’s age.
How To Recover Compensation After a Traumatic Brain Injury
Depending on the circumstances, you could recover compensation if you or a loved one sustained a traumatic brain injury. For example, if the injury occurred in a car accident, you could file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s policy. If the injury occurred elsewhere, you might have personal injury coverage under your homeowners’ or renters’ policy. That coverage protects everyone who lives in your home and should apply whether the accident happened in your home or another location.
If the injury occurred in someone else’s home or at a business, the property owner might have insurance that provides coverage. If the injury occurred while playing a sport, potentially liable parties include the organization that organized the sport, the facility where the game took place, and other players.
But the last thing you should have to do after a traumatic brain injury is to try to determine who could share responsibility, who carries insurance, and which policies provide coverage. Talk to a lawyer with experience handling cases involving traumatic brain injuries. A lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of your case, find potential sources of coverage, handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies, and help maximize the compensation you can recover.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you could recover compensation for:
- Ambulance expenses
- Emergency room care
- Medical expenses
- Prescription medications
- Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation
- Lost wages while unable to work
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- In-home assistance with daily activities
- Assisted living facility expenses
- Nursing home care
A traumatic brain injury attorney can evaluate your situation and estimate the total value of the compensation you could recover in your case based on its unique circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Should I Seek Emergency Medical Care?
Traumatic brain injuries can rapidly progress into a life-threatening emergency. Seemingly mild symptoms could hide a blood clot or swelling inside the brain, which could prove fatal.
Seek emergency medical attention if you notice any of the following danger signs:
- Loss of consciousness
- Persistent, worsening headache
- Weakness or numbness
- Lack of coordination
- Difficulty balancing
- Convulsions or seizures
- Repeated vomiting
- Slurred speech or strange behavior
- One pupil dilated to a different size than the other
- Not recognizing familiar people
- Confusion, agitation, or restlessness
- Extreme drowsiness or tiredness
- Inability to wake the person up
- In children, inconsolable crying or refusal to nurse or eat
How Much Does a TBI Cost?
The long-term costs of a TBI depend on a number of factors, including your age, the severity of the injury, and how quickly you get medical treatment. Lifetime expenses range from $85,000 to $3 million, according to a professor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
When Should I Call an Attorney After a Traumatic Brain Injury?
If you or a loved one suffers a traumatic brain injury, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The effects of a TBI can last a lifetime and lead to substantial expenses. You should not have to pay the cost of an injury that was not your fault.
Indiana’s statute of limitations on personal injury claims gives you just two years from the date of your injury to seek compensation from the at-fault party. While two years might sound like a long time, TBI cases are often complex and require considerable time to prepare. The sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the sooner they can start work on your case.
Get in Touch with an Experienced TBI Attorney Today
The TBI attorneys of Klezmer Maudlin, PC, have over 100 years of experience helping injured people recover compensation for their injuries. We can help when you need it most.
We offer free consultations during which we will evaluate the circumstances of your case and determine who may be responsible. If you decide to work with us, we can help you seek the compensation you or your loved one needs to live as full and comfortable a life as possible. Contact the team of Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Klezmer Maudlin, PC, today, at (317) 569-9644.
Klezmer Maudlin Indianapolis Office Location
8520 Center Run Dr
Indianapolis, IN 46250
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