Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) affect millions of people throughout the country, including in North Charleston and the surrounding areas. More than 223,000 Americans went to the hospital for traumatic brain injuries in one recent year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. Many people who sustain brain injuries face long-term health issues. After a brain injury, their independence, ability to earn a living, and quality of life may never be the same.
If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI because of someone else’s wrongful or negligent actions, Joye Law Firm is ready to fight for fair compensation for your injuries and all your related losses. We can bring more than 250 years of combined legal experience to your case and a proven record that includes millions of dollars recovered on behalf of our clients. Our results show our experience handling complex personal injury cases. To learn more about how a North Charleston brain injury lawyer from Joye Law Firm can help you demand justice and accountability, contact us today.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries
Some of the most common causes of brain injuries in North Charleston, SC, include:
- Car accidents — Many car accident victims suffer TBIs when they hit their heads against the steering wheel, dashboard, or back of a car seat. In some cases, the force from the impact can jostle a person’s brain and cause a concussion or other injury.
- Motorcycle accidents — Motorcyclists face a higher likelihood of suffering traumatic brain injuries in wrecks because their bodies are more exposed. If the motorcyclist gets thrown from the bike in a collision, they may hit their head on the ground. Wearing helmets can save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) reports that un-helmeted motorcyclists are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash.
- Semi-truck accidents — Semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles are significantly bigger and heavier than passenger vehicles. They may weigh as much as 20 times more than the typical car on the highway. All that extra weight causes semi-trucks to hit hard in crashes and increases the risk of a traumatic brain injury. Even a low-speed collision with a semi-truck can lead to brain damage and other severe injuries.
- Bicycle accidents — Bicyclists have little to protect them if they are struck by a car or other vehicle. The lack of protection greatly increases the risk of a TBI. While bicycle helmets provide some protection, they are not always enough to entirely prevent a traumatic brain injury.
- Pedestrian accidents — Pedestrians are at heightened risk of injury when collisions occur. A pedestrian may suffer a head injury by being knocked down by a car and hitting their head on the ground.
- Slip-and-falls — According to the CDC, falls cause roughly half of all hospitalizations related to TBIs. In many cases, the person who falls does not immediately realize they have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Symptoms may take time to appear. For this reason, failing to get prompt treatment after a fall may be catastrophic.
- Construction site accidents — Many hazards can cause a head injury at a construction site, including falling objects, malfunctioning equipment, power tools, and being struck by heavy construction vehicles.
- Workplace accidents — Traumatic brain injuries often happen in everyday settings, including at work. A slippery surface, cluttered floor, loose electrical cord, or falling item could cause a TBI. Brain injuries at work can also happen if co-workers are roughhousing or act carelessly.
- Sports injuries — Contact sports such as football and soccer cause traumatic brain injuries. Athletes assume some degree of risk. However, they should be provided with proper equipment. Schools and clubs should follow proper protocols for responding to head injuries and never force a concussed athlete to play.
- Falling objects — Falling objects at work, home, retail stores, and other locations can cause traumatic brain injuries if they land with enough force.
- Nursing home abuse and neglect — Nursing home residents may suffer a traumatic brain injury because of a hard fall or due to neglect by staff members. A brain injury can worsen the effects of an underlying neurological ailment like dementia.
- Physical violence — Assaults and other acts of violence can cause a brain injury if someone suffers a blow to the head or a hard fall during the fight.
Types of Brain Injuries
Common types of brain injuries in North Charleston include:
- Penetration injuries — A penetration injury occurs when something breaks through the skull and lodges itself in the brain. As the object penetrates the brain, it destroys cerebral tissue and potentially causes severe internal bleeding. A penetration injury may prove fatal if the victim does not receive immediate medical attention.
- Skull fractures — A hard blow to the head can cause the skull to crack, leading to a brain injury. If the skull splinters, bone fragments may penetrate the brain and cause significant harm. If the skull cracks, it can lead to unsafe pressure on the brain, which can be fatal if it goes untreated.
- Concussions — A concussion is a bruise on the brain that forms after it hits the inside of the skull. Concussions are usually caused by the body experiencing a sudden blow or impact.
- Hemorrhages and hematomas — Hemorrhages and hematomas are two types of brain injuries caused by internal bleeding. A hemorrhage is usually caused by a hard blow to the head, while a hematoma is generally caused by a burst blood vessel. In either case, serious side effects or death are likely if the injury is not treated quickly.
- Edemas — A cerebral edema is an injury caused by fluid buildup putting severe, unsafe pressure on the brain. If this pressure is not relieved quickly, it can be fatal.
- Shear injuries— Shear injuries occur when the brain is shaken or experiences a sharp, severe rotation. These injuries are also called diffuse-axonal injuries and involve the stretching or tearing of fibers that transmit nerve impulses.
- Coup-contrecoup injuries— A coup-contrecoup injury is a rapid series of concussions caused by the brain bouncing from side to side within the skull. The multiple impacts can lead to successive injuries, causing severe brain damage.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
A patient’s symptoms after a traumatic brain injury depend on the severity of the injury.
Symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury include:
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Difficulty speaking
- Increased drowsiness or fatigue
- Changes in your sense of smell or taste
- Sensitivity to sound or light
- Feeling confused, dizzy, or disoriented
- Nausea or vomiting
- Insomnia or sleeping more than usual
- Memory problems
- Difficulty focusing
- Anxiety and depression
- Mood swings.
A more severe brain injury can result in symptoms such as:
- Intense headaches
- Convulsions or seizures
- Repetitive vomiting
- Intense nausea
- Numbness or weakness in your fingers and toes
- Clear fluid draining from your ears or nose
- Dilated pupils in one or both eyes
- Losing consciousness for several minutes or longer
- Strong feelings of confusion
- Slurred speech
- Feeling uncoordinated when moving
- Feeling agitated, combative, or other sudden mood swings
Traumatic brain injuries in young children or infants are harder to diagnose because they may not be able to communicate what they are experiencing. Their symptoms may include:
- Persistent crying while being unable to be consoled
- The child is unusually or easily irritated
- Depressed mood
- Changes in the child’s sleeping habits
- Drowsiness or an inability to pay attention
- The child loses interest in their favorite activities
- Changes in the child’s nursing or eating habits.
Filing a Brain Injury Lawsuit in South Carolina
If another party caused you or your loved one to suffer a TBI, you may demand compensation for the harm you suffered by filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. However, you must prove that the injuries resulted from the at-fault party’s negligent or intentional behavior. Some of the evidence to support your claim may include:
- Police reports
- Photos from the accident scene
- Eyewitness accounts
- Surveillance footage
- Medical records
- Expert testimony.
If you suffered a brain injury at work, you may be able to claim workers’ compensation benefits. Typically, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer for a workplace injury. However, if someone other than your employer or a co-worker caused the injury, you may potentially file a third-party claim, seeking compensation. An experienced attorney at Joye Law Firm can review your case and determine your options.
Brain Injury Compensation
Workers’ compensation in South Carolina is limited to medical and wage-loss/disability benefits. However, an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit may provide a broader range of compensation, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Punitive damages, in certain circumstances.
Our North Charleston Brain Injury Lawyers Are Ready to Serve You
Joye Law Firm is committed to helping brain injury victims in North Charleston pursue fair compensation for the harm they have suffered through no fault of their own. Contact us today to speak with us about your case in a free consultation.