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Chicago Brain Injury Lawyer | Head Injuries and Traumas

The human brain can suffer irreparable damage if it gets struck or shaken, or if a foreign object penetrates. Serious brain damage may also result from a lack of oxygen – a problem that often arises from medical errors during a child’s delivery and birth.traumatic brain injury causes

traumatic brain Injury due to error during Labor and delivery At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we assist those who have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to the negligent or intentional acts of others. We understand how TBI can change the lives of victims and their family. We work with the injured to pursue compensation that will help them to move on in their lives with a sense of peace and financial security. Since we founded our law firm in 1982, we have recovered more than $1 billion in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients.

TBI Lawyer Patrick A. SalviMatthew L. WilliamsTBI Lawyer Tara R. DevineBrain Damage Lawyer Patrick A. Salvi, IIAtty. Jeffrey J. KrollAtty. Jennifer L. Ashley

 

 

 

If you or a loved one has suffered TBI due to the wrongdoing of another in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois, contact us today. An experienced Chicago brain injury lawyer from our firm can provide a free consultation and help you to understand your legal rights and options.

Chicago Brain Injury Laws

Chicago brain injury laws state that the injured party must file a lawsuit within 2 years of the date of the brain damage. The statutes of limitations for personal injury and medical malpractice cases in Illinois is 2 years, and these apply for most traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases.

You may be eligible to file a personal injury claim in Chicago if you have suffered TBI due to the intentional, reckless or negligent wrongdoing of another person, business, government agency or similar entity. The damages you seek may include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost income and diminished earning capacity
  • Caretaking costs
  • Disability or loss of normal life
  • Physical and mental pain and suffering
  • Increased risk of future harm
  • Shortened life expectancy.

It is important to work with a lawyer who has the skill and resources to conduct a thorough investigation of your TBI. The lawyer should also work with experts to determine the cause of the injury and to assess the impact on your life.

For instance, at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we often work with experts who can prepare a life care plan. This plan provides a detailed description of a patient’s medical and personal care requirements (and costs) for the future. The plan may cover anticipated medical treatment, medication, assistive devices, home modification and more. A life care plan may also address the costs of needed in-home personal assistance or nursing care, professional case management assistance and an eventual move to a nursing home or other assisted living facility.

At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., our lawyers can ensure that all costs identified in a life care plan are properly calculated, documented and demanded in a personal injury claim based on TBI.

What Are Common Causes of Head and Brain Injuries?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, each year in the United States, traumatic brain injury causes:

  • 5 million emergency room visits
  • 282,000 hospitalizations
  • 56,000 deaths.

The CDC also reports that:

  • TBI is a contributing factor in almost one-third of all injury-related deaths
  • Costs a total of $76.5 billion in direct medical costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity
  • The cost of fatal TBIs and TBIs requiring hospitalization accounts for approximately 90 percent of total TBI medical costs.

Traumatic brain injury arises in many different situations, including:

Motor vehicle accidents –

Brain Injury in motor vehicle accident
A person may suffer a closed- or open-head injury from the impact of a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian accident. Each year, more than 15 percent of traffic crashes in Illinois involve an “A” class incapacitating injury such as TBI.

Slip-and-falls –

slip and falls brain injury
Falls can occur when negligent property owners allow dangerous conditions to exist on their property. Fall injuries are a particular concern in our nation’s nursing homes, leading to an estimated 1,800 deaths per year.

Workplace accidents –

falls from heights injury
Falling from heights, getting struck by tools and equipment and getting into collisions with forklifts, trucks or other motor vehicles at construction or industrial sites can cause brain injuries.

Medical negligence –

TBI due to medical negligence
Many children suffer permanent brain damage due to the negligence of doctors, nurses, midwives and others during delivery and birth. Traumatic injury to a fetus’ or newborn infant’s brain, whether caused by lack of oxygen or improper force or pressure on the child’s head, can cause cerebral palsy, a permanent physical and mental disability.

Sports and recreation –

sports and recreation TBI injury
The CDC reports that nearly 174,000 children ages 19 and younger receive treatment in U.S. emergency rooms each year for TBI, including concussions. Many children suffer these injuries while playing sports or engaging in recreational activities. Young athletes may suffer permanent brain damage due to the failure of coaches and/or trainers to provide proper protective equipment to them or to manage concussions after they occur.

The CDC reports that falls are the leading cause of TBI, while motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of TBI-related deaths.

Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms and Levels

Symptoms of TBI can be mild, moderate or severe. It depends on the extent of damage to the brain.

Mild TBI –

mild TBI Symptoms

A person with a mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. Other symptoms of mild TBI include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision or tired eyes
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • A change in sleep patterns
  • Behavioral or mood changes
  • Trouble with memory, concentration, attention and/or thinking.

Moderate-to-severe TBI –

moderate to severe TBI Symptoms

A person with a moderate or severe TBI may show the above symptoms above as well as:

  • A headache that gets worse or does not go away
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • An inability to awaken from sleep
  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness or numbness in the extremities
  • Loss of coordination and increased confusion
  • Restlessness or agitation.

Qualified medical personnel should promptly assess any blow to the head. To minimize the harm brought on by TBI, a victim should be tested, diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

A person with severe TBI may require hospitalization, surgery to repair damaged brain tissue and extensive rehabilitation. The person may also face a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or other degenerative brain disorders.

Types of Brain Injury

If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury in an accident, you may have been told by doctors that the injury is one of these common types of TBI:

Concussions Brain Injury
Concussions – A concussion is a mild form of TBI. The victim may have suffered a few seconds or minutes of unconsciousness or maintained consciousness while being dazed, confused and disoriented. A concussion can lead to painful headaches, balance problems and dizziness as well as personality changes, depression, anxiety and other emotional issues. A single concussion makes the victim vulnerable to additional concussions. Repeated concussions may lead to dementia or a degenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

brain bleeding
Contusions –

A contusion, or bruise on the brain, occurs when a person’s head suffers a direct impact. The swelling, or brain herniation, associated with a contusion is extremely dangerous. The injury may require surgical intervention in order to release pressure and keep oxygen flow to the brain at a safe level.

brain bleeding
Bleeding on the brain – Bleeding in the membrane that protects and cushions the brain may also be described as a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Undiagnosed and unrelieved pressure from bleeding on the brain can cause severe cognitive or neural impairment or death.

Concussions Brain Injury
Focal brain injury – This is a TBI that affects a single area within the brain – usually at the site where a specific injury has occurred. A single, severe blow to the head such as in a fall or a violent assault may cause this type of injury.

Diffuse axonal injuries

Diffuse axonal injuries –

This type of TBI involves widespread brain damage. It typically results from a severe jolt, shaking or sudden and powerful rotation of the head such as what happens in a vehicle accident. As the head moves, the brain lags behind in motion and essentially slams against the interior skull and suffers damage in multiple places. Diffuse axonal injury occurs in about half of all severe head traumas.

Diffuse axonal injuries

Anoxic brain injury –

Anoxic brain injury is also called cerebral hypoxia or hypoxic-anoxic injury (HAI). It is a serious, life-threatening injury that occurs when the brain lacks enough oxygen. When oxygen levels are significantly low for four minutes or longer, brain cells begin to die. After five minutes, anoxic brain injury can lead to permanent cognitive and physical disabilities.

Penetrating brain injuries

 

 

 

 

Penetrating brain injuries – When some form of impact has broken the skull, pieces of bone and/or a foreign object (such as a bullet) may enter the skull cavity and severely damage brain tissue. The shearing and rupture of nerves and tissue in the brain can lead to permanent impairment or loss of life. These injuries are considered a severe form of TBI and typically require brain surgery to remove foreign objects and repair the skull. The damage may be permanent and cause significant disability.

Treatment and Costs of TBI

A person who has suffered TBI may require medical care that includes:

  • Emergency medical treatment
  • X-rays, MRIs or CT scans
  • Surgery
  • Intensive care
  • Medication
  • Lengthy convalescence
  • Rehabilitation
  • Use of assistive devices
  • Ongoing care and counseling.

An interdisciplinary team of professionals should provide care for a patient with severe TBI, including a primary care physician, neurologist, surgeon, physical therapist and psychologist. The patient may receive treatment at a trauma hospital and be moved later to a brain injury clinic.

Rehabilitation may begin while the patient is hospitalized and continue on an outpatient basis for several months. Rehab may focus on regaining or strengthening a patient’s physical strength, speech, mobility and memory or cognitive abilities. It may also include psychological counseling that teaches coping skills to a TBI victim.

The costs of this treatment can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars within only a few months’ time after the injury. The costs may be several million dollars over the course of a victim’s lifetime – again, depending on the level of TBI as well as the victim’s age.

Additionally, many victims are left permanently disabled with a severe injury that progressively worsens toward a premature death. They may be unable to go to school or work for a living. Their families are, in turn, faced with the burden of caring for them or placing them in an assisted-living facility, with the latter option eventually proving to be unavoidable in many cases.

Contact Our Chicago Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to the negligent or reckless conduct of another, you have the right to seek full and fair compensation for your costs and losses, including all current and anticipated medical costs and compensation for pain and suffering.

Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. Team

An experienced and compassionate Chicago personal injury lawyer at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. can help with your traumatic brain injury lawsuit. For a free, no-obligation consultation through our offices in Chicago and Waukegan, call us today or submit our online contact form.

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