San Antonio Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
A brain injury is one of the most serious consequences of any personal injury. In one short instance, you or a loved one can suffer a permanent injury that can change the course of your life. Your brain is not like most other organs or tissues in the body — it cannot always heal over time and sometimes does not heal. Accordingly, brain injuries result in some of the higher settlements and jury awards that you will see in a personal injury case. Given the stakes, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to handle high-dollar cases. Wyatt Law Firm has obtained results for brain injury victims, including:
- $9,729,995 for a brain injury and wrongful death claim stemming from a traffic crash
- $2,063,448 for a brain injury from carbon monoxide exposure
- $3,263,919 for a brain injury from a defective helmet
- $1,178,586 for a head injury due to oil field negligence
Reach out to learn what we might obtain for you.
Table of Contents
- HOW TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES HAPPEN
- LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY TO GET COMPENSATION
- HIRE AN EXPERIENCED LAWYER TO FIGHT FOR COMPENSATION
- SAN ANTONIO TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY FAQS
- CONTACT A SAN ANTONIO BRAIN INJURY LAWYER TODAY
How Traumatic Brain Injuries Happen
You can suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in numerous ways. The injury usually happens when you suffer a violent jolt or blow to the head, including the following:
- Your head hitting something
- A violent motion of your head and neck where your brain hits against your skull
- An object or a shard of an object pierces part of the brain
- A pressure wave passing through your brain
- A contusion on the brain from impact
In addition, oxygen deprivation for any length of time can cause brain cells to die. When that happens, the brain cells will permanently die.
Accidents That Can Cause a TBI
TBIs can occur in:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Sports injuries
- Swimming pool accidents
- Premises liability injuries
- Pedestrian accident
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
There Are No Minor Brain Injuries
Some people classify a brain injury as “minor” or “mild.” There is no such thing as a brain injury that is not serious. Even if you can recover from the brain injury, it will take some time, and you may never be the same again. Once you have suffered one brain injury, the effects of subsequent brain injuries will be even more significant. Anytime there has been trauma to the brain, there may be some long-term effects. Even if there has only been some damage, it is never a good thing to have an injury to your brain.
Complications from a TBI
When you have suffered a TBI, many of your injuries may be permanent. Even with rehabilitation, you may never be what you were before your accident. TBIs can cause:
- Fluid buildup in the brain
- Loss of cognitive ability
- Loss of memory
- Loss of ability to speak
- Constant headaches
- Loss of executive function abilities
- Communication problems
- Loss of ability to learn
Your Life With a TBI
Some TBIs can cause permanent and degenerative brain injury, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. TBIs can shorten the life expectancy of a patient or make them more susceptible to other injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control, those who survive a moderate TBI can have a life expectancy reduced by nine years. Here are some of the effects of a TBI:
- One or more return trips to a hospital
- Loss of a job and the inability to go back to work
- Needing help from others for everyday activities
- A general lack of satisfaction with life
- A greater chance of a substance or alcohol abuse problem
If you or a loved one have suffered a TBI, there is more than a 50 percent chance that you will suffer from at least one of the consequences on the list above. TBIs may even cause deaths, as 64,000 Americans die yearly from brain injuries. In many car accidents, a TBI is the cause of death. Although older adults are the most likely to suffer a TBI because they have the highest rate of falling, children may also be particularly susceptible because of the impact of an injury on a developing brain.
You Must Demonstrate Legal Responsibility to Obtain Compensation
If you or a loved one have suffered a TBI, you must first prove that someone was to blame for your accident before you can receive financial compensation. No matter how the TBI happened, the standard in every case is the same. You must prove that someone else was negligent in the events that caused your accident. Negligence involves a four-part test where you must be every element to win your case. The four elements of the test are:
- The other party owed you or your loved one a duty of care
- They breached the duty of care by acting unreasonably under the circumstances
- You suffered an injury
- You will not have suffered an injury had it not been for the acts or omissions of the other party
For example, if you suffered a TBI in a fall injury, you can hold the defendant negligent. They could be negligent because they created a dangerous condition on their property or they did not take action to remove a hazardous condition in a reasonable amount of time. In a car accident case, someone else will be negligent when they rear-ended your car at high speed, causing you a severe case of whiplash.
Proving Negligence Means Producing Evidence
To prove someone else’s negligence, you need evidence demonstrating what someone else did to cause your accident. You need something more than your word to show what someone else did. For example, you can have a witness who saw you fall and noticed that there was something slippery on the floor before you fell and received a concussion.
Your TBI Will Cost You a Lot of Money
One of the biggest parts of your brain injury costs is medical bills and other associated expenses. Brain injury victims often need immediate surgery in the days after their accident to stabilize their condition. According to one study, the median in-hospital cost right after a brain injury is $55,000. The average patient will have $87,000 in hospital bills. Initial medical costs can reach as high as $400,000. However, TBI patients may need medical care for the rest of their lives. According to one study, the lifetime care costs for TBIs can reach up to $3 million or more.
Another major associated medical cost is rehabilitation and therapy. In the days after the accident, you may need rehab to either regain some function or learn to live with your TBI. Many TBI patients will need therapy continuously for the rest of their life. They may have extensive:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
Whenever a TBI patient needs extensive medical care, they may go through other things in their life because of the injury. Many TBI patients can never work again. Others may not regain their full capabilities, and they may only do a limited amount of work. Roughly 40 percent of people with a TBI can return to work within a year or two. The responsible party has a legal obligation to pay for your lost wages as part of the settlement or award.
Pain and Suffering From a TBI
In addition, there are high physical and emotional costs associated with a brain injury. You may experience the following as a result of your TBI:
- Physical pain
- Anxiety and depression
- Loss of enjoyment of life compared to what your life was like before the accident
- Emotional trauma
See a Doctor Immediately After Any Head Trauma
If you have suffered any head trauma or a violent neck motion, you should always get checked out for a possible TBI. Some of these serious injuries get missed at first. The accident victim may not know that they suffered an injury, or the signs may not be apparent immediately after the injury. TBI injuries can get worse over time without medical intervention and have symptoms that overlap with other conditions. You may think that you have a headache when something far worse is happening.
You are always on the safest ground when you see a doctor. A doctor may find something concerning in their scans, but they will be in a better position to treat you while there is still time to make a difference. The more time passes, the less chance of success that you will have in your brain injury treatment. The days after a brain injury are when you have the highest chance of recovering with medical treatment.
Hire an Experienced San Antonio Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer to Fight for Compensation
You should contact an experienced brain injury lawyer. When someone has injured you in an accident, you have a legal right to full financial compensation for all effects of your injuries. This legal right is critical, especially when you suffer a serious brain injury. Your brain injury claim will seek money to treat your injuries and pay your expenses, especially if you cannot work. The average family has no idea what a brain injury claim is worth. You may not comprehend that just your pain and suffering damages can be at least hundreds of thousands of dollars. Valuing your case and negotiating for the proper settlement amount are two critical services that your lawyer provides.
If you let the insurance company get the best of you in settlement negotiations, you will feel the effects in the future, perhaps for the rest of your life. There will come a time when you will need money, and you will not have it. We fight for you to get the money now, anticipating what you may need in the future. We know how to value your brain injury case to put you in a position to get the money.
TBI Settlements Are Usually Much Bigger
When you deal with a TBI, your settlement may exceed the average personal injury claim because your injuries are so severe. Insurance companies do not like to write large checks, even if they have a legal obligation to pay for all of the damages their policyholder caused. Therefore, you must be ready for a difficult legal road ahead of you.
The insurance company may do everything in its power to minimize your injuries. They will claim that your prognosis is not as bad as it seems. Alternatively, the insurance company may find a way to blame you for your injuries. Whatever the insurance company has to do to pay you less, you can expect it to happen.
Without a lawyer, you may be powerless to stop the insurance company. Hiring an experienced lawyer to protect your legal interests puts the insurance company on notice that you are serious and that they will not get away with trying to take advantage of you.
Potential Compensation For Brain Injury Victims
Traumatic brain injury victims could be entitled to a number of different claims for damages following a wrongful injury, including both economic and noneconomic losses.
Economic losses are those damages that can be quantified, such as medical expenses, while noneconomic damages deal with losses that are difficult to measure monetarily, such as pain and suffering.
Texas tort reform has placed a cap on noneconomic damages available for a plaintiff to recover in medical malpractice cases. Some of the compensation you may be able to recover includes:
- Cost of Medical Expenses — This would cover the cost of medical expenses past, present, and future in connection with the wrongful injury.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life — People living with brain damage resulting from an act of negligence could claim loss of enjoyment of life due to the diminished ability to enjoy daily activities.
- Loss of Earning Capacity — A brain injury may prevent a person from ever being able to work for an income again. Calculating the financial loss incurred due to the inability to earn a living and loss of earning capacity takes into account factors such as age, health, and occupation from injury to retirement.
- Loss of Consortium — Consortium refers to the benefits and comforts of marriage. A brain injury may limit or completely diminish the ability for marital comfort, companionship, and assistance.
- Pain and Suffering — It can be difficult to assign a dollar value to suffering, but that is what a plaintiff is attempting to do with a pain and suffering claim. Factors considered include the extent and severity of the injury, how much pain it caused (emotionally and physically), and how long the pain and suffering is expected to continue in the future.
- Attorney’s Fees — It can be important in a personal injury claim for the plaintiff to ask for attorney fee compensation. Most personal injury lawyers base their fees on a percentage of the total recovery; requesting attorney fee compensation reduces the chance that the client’s compensation for pain and suffering will be reduced by lawyer fees.
- Punitive Damages — Punitive damages act as a form of discipline to hold the defendant accountable for their negligent act or omission. These are not awarded in every case.
A concussion can affect a person’s physical health, cognitive abilities, and emotional condition for many weeks or months. The effects can be unpredictable, and concussion victims need to be monitored long after the accident that caused the initial injury. At Wyatt Law Firm, we have experience in cases involving Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3 concussions and post-concussion syndrome.
Our attorneys are conscience-driven and dedicated to helping injured people, and their families recover physically, financially, and emotionally. Our attorneys are fully versed in medical science concerning concussions and other types of brain injuries. This enables them to explain difficult medical concepts in terms that jurors can understand. We use a variety of visual aids to help us in this task, including three-dimensional depictions of MRIs. A 3-D MRI allows us to clearly demonstrate how an injury has affected a person’s brain. We do not hesitate to invest in these and other visual aids because they can smooth the path to a good recovery.
Some personal injury lawyers are schedule-driven when placing a value on their clients’ losses — they determine this much money for a fractured skull and that much for a concussion. We do not take that approach. Instead, when composing our demand letter, our brain injury lawyers look at the totality of our client’s losses and suffering — including the loss of physical function, loss of earning power, and emotional suffering.
COMPLICATIONS OF CONCUSSIONS
Brain bleeding and swelling (hypoxic and anoxic brain injuries) – In the days and hours following even mild TBIs, brain bleeding may result in sudden swelling. This swelling compresses the brain within the skull, cutting off its oxygen supply. Brain cells begin dying after only 4 minutes without sufficient oxygen and may cause irreparable brain damage. Brain injuries present at birth often result from oxygen loss and associated medical malpractice.
Second impact syndrome – This fatal condition occurs when the injured claimant experiences another traumatic brain injury while recovering from the first. In the ten days following the initial concussion or head trauma, the brain releases specialized chemicals. Triggering another release during this vulnerable period often causes irreparable brain damage and immediate death. Athletes have the highest risk of developing second impact syndrome.
Epilepsy (post-traumatic seizures) – TBI patients may experience mild seizures after the initial injury. About 25 percent of these patients continue suffering from seizures in the months and years following their accidents. These epileptic seizures require continuous medication and medical treatment. Most epileptic patients cannot drive, operate heavy equipment, or engage in previously enjoyed activities.
Many claimants can recover substantial compensation for the life-altering impact of concussions and other seemingly mild brain injuries. Connect with the experienced San Antonio brain injury lawyers at Wyatt Law Firm to discuss your condition.
Long after a person has recovered from a concussion injury, the symptoms of concussion can persist. Physical symptoms can include headaches and neck pain, dizziness, sensitivity to light, nausea, and motion sickness. Patients may experience memory problems and difficulty in concentration. They may also suffer emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, and irritability. The persistence of concussion symptoms after brain recovery indicates a related but distinct type of brain injury called post-concussion syndrome (PCS).
Medical science is still unraveling the mysteries of PCS, and much about the syndrome remains to be learned. However, PCS is very real, and it can dramatically affect the physical, cognitive, and emotional state of people who suffer from this condition. Wyatt Law Firm in San Antonio is dedicated to helping injured people get the medical care, rehabilitation services, and compensation they need to rebuild their lives.
San Antonio Traumatic Brain Injury FAQs
Some of the most common accidents in the United States —car crashes and falls — are also the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). This complex and serious medical condition often results in unseen symptoms that dramatically impact daily life. From personality changes to blindness, San Antonio claimants often ask Wyatt Law Office’s dedicated TBI attorneys these questions. Call us today to discuss the unique answers to these questions in your brain injury case for free.
Q. How can I tell if I suffered from brain trauma in an accident?
Sudden concussions often result in blackouts, confusion, and memory loss. Many claimants don’t even remember hitting their heads. Seek immediate medical treatment if you begin experiencing these brain trauma symptoms:
- Lost consciousness/blackouts
- Memory loss and confusion
- Dizziness and blurry vision
- Head pain, headaches, and migraines
- Visual bleeding, bumps, or bruising
- Sudden vomiting and nausea
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Unexplained anxiety, depression, or irritability
These symptoms indicate the accident victim experienced at least mild head trauma. Symptoms may worsen in the hours or days following the accident, which could indicate a more serious brain injury or potential swelling. The signs of moderate and severe brain trauma frequently include:
- A few minutes or hours of lost consciousness
- Sudden confusion, irritability, and personality changes
- Extreme and worsening headaches
- Slurred speech, incoherent sentences, and difficulty communicating
- Clear fluid dripping from the nose
- Numbness or weakness in extremities
- Inability to fall asleep or wake up
- Memory problems
- Sensory loss, such as blindness or deafness
Claimants should always seek medical attention if they experienced an accident, including falls, tackles, or car crashes, and present with any of the above symptoms.
Q. Can I recover compensation if I only suffered a mild brain injury?
When doctors discover brain trauma, they initially diagnose the TBI as mild, moderate, or severe. These labels are used for diagnostic purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the serious nature of your injury or prognosis.
Even initially mild TBIs, such as concussions, can have fatal complications and lasting effects. If you are diagnosed with any brain injury, from mild to severe, watch for long-term symptoms of Post-concussion syndrome (persistent post-concussive symptoms. Most mild concussions resolve within a few weeks or months. However, claimants experiencing these persistent symptoms might have developed this frustrating condition:
- Light and noise sensitivity
- Irritability and anxiety
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
- Headaches and migraines
- Insomnia and fatigue
- Sensory changes (blurry vision, ringing in the ears, and taste/smell deficits)
Claimants often return to work in the week following mild concussions but find that these symptoms begin interfering with their career and home life. Always monitor for signs of this secondary syndrome and seek continued treatment. An attorney may help you recover needed compensation for cognitive and occupational therapy.
Q. What are the most common causes of brain trauma in San Antonio?
According to the CDC, the leading causes of brain trauma differ by age group. Elderly Americans and young children most frequently suffer from fall-related brain injuries. These generally occur due to caretaker abuse or neglect. Such cases often support nursing home/private nursing liability or school district/preschool liability. Attorneys might help these claimants and/or families demand compensation in premises liability or general negligence lawsuits.
For younger teenagers and student-athletes, car and recreational sports accidents frequently cause traumatic brain injuries. Older teens and adults often suffer from life-altering TBI in car crashes and physical assaults. Paula Wyatt and her team of dedicated TBI lawyers might help claimants recover damages, including potential punitive damages, in many of these cases.
Q. Can I demand damages for a family member or friend suffering from a disabling TBI?
Many devastating brain injuries result in comas, vegetative states, or the substantial loss of cognitive function. If the claimant cannot meaningfully participate in the legal process, an attorney may help loved ones petition for legal guardianship. This process generally gives the guardian authority to file litigation on behalf of the injured claimant, helping the claimant recover essential compensation for long-term medical care and treatments. The state might even appoint guardians on behalf of severely disabled claimants.
Likewise, next-of-kin might work with TBI counsel at Wyatt Law Firm to bring wrongful death litigation. Serious brain injuries often result in sudden death, especially after car accidents or fatalities following comas. Provided the death resulted from the initial head trauma, Texas law generally allows spouses, parents, and children of the deceased to bring litigation. Estate administrators might file a wrongful death case if these family members decline to file litigation within three months.
Q. How long does it take to recover from brain trauma after an accident?
This depends on the severity of the brain injury and any secondary conditions. Mild concussion symptoms generally resolve after a few weeks or months. Claimants experiencing any lasting symptoms, including personality changes, headaches, and depression, might have suffered more serious damage. Moderate TBI may resolve within a few months or years, depending on the area of damage and treatment plan. The damaged area generally dictates available treatments and your overall disability.
For example, injuries to the back of the head may damage the occipital lobe and cause visual impairment. Injuries to the front of the head, containing the frontal lobe, may impact personality and mood. Because the brain is extremely complex, claimants may require advanced cognitive therapy. This often involves contacting San Antonio neurologists or even traveling to specialized brain injury centers. Sometimes health insurers refuse to cover these out-of-state therapies or treatments, leaving claimants struggling with medical and travel expenses. Most severe brain injuries result in death or permanent loss of cognitive function. Long-term disabilities can include:
- Vegetative state
- Brain death
- Locked-in syndrome
These conditions generally require 24/7 in-patient care costing families hundreds of thousands each year. Even claimants who partially recover from severe brain trauma often cannot live independently. Our compassionate San Antonio head injury lawyers might help families recover damages to cover needed treatments and caretaker expenses.
Q. How can I estimate the long-term damages associated with severe brain injuries?
Claimants suffering from moderate or severe brain trauma often require years of specialized care. These injuries may impact their independence, career, and overall mental health. It’s difficult to speculate on the full extent of your damages, which is why experienced TBI lawyers often retain expert assistance. Expert neurologists, occupational therapists, and economists have ways of estimating the claimant’s lifetime financial needs following serious trauma.
These calculations often account for advancing therapies, medical equipment, nursing care, independent living assistance, and lost career opportunities. Eligible San Antonio brain injury claimants may recover both past and future damages associated with the trauma, but they must do so within the applicable statute of limitations. This often means making settlement demands or filing litigation while the claimant undergoes continuous treatment. For this reason, it’s essential to work with experts to ensure liable defendants and insurers understand the full extent of your financial demands.
Q. What is the value of my San Antonio TBI case?
Some mild TBI cases, including those involving concussions without associated complications, settle in the five to six-figure range. Because more severe traumatic brain injuries often cause serious life-changing impairments, such injury cases might settle in the six or seven-figure range. Your settlement amount depends on your direct damages and future needs, including your anticipated treatment costs and lost income. Serious brain injuries often result in permanent disabilities, death, and complete loss of life’s enjoyment. These cases often command high-value damages, but most claims settle within applicable insurance policy limits.
An experienced TBI lawyer at the Wyatt Law Firm might help claimants estimate their case’s overall value and expected settlement. We’ve recovered nearly $10 million for one of our clients who died from a traumatic brain injury — and nearly half a billion dollars for our injury clients overall.
Q. How long does it take to recover compensation after suffering a traumatic brain injury?
The average case can take time to settle, but the complexity of brain injury cases often requires additional damage calculations and analysis. An attorney’s help can mean that mild TBI cases without associated complications will settle efficiently and for far more money. The same is true for extremely serious TBI cases. When an accident causes a life-altering brain injury, insurance companies may agree to pay out the applicable policy after accepting liability.
For example, Texas only requires drivers to carry $30,000 of bodily injury insurance, which seldom covers more than a few months of in-patient treatment. The liability adjuster will likely offer this sum quickly, and an attorney might seek additional compensation from other sources. Moderate traumatic brain injury cases, including claims involving secondary syndromes, often take longer to settle. It’s difficult to determine the claimant’s prognosis and calculate the full extent of their damages in such cases.
Insurers often lowball San Antonio brain injury claimants, as adjusters want victims to accept enticing settlements and waive any remaining claims. These tempting offers often leave victims without necessary treatment funds if they don’t recover as anticipated. It’s important to speak with local brain injury counsel about any insurance offers before waiving your TBI claims.
Q. How much does it cost to hire dedicated TBI counsel in San Antonio?
Experienced brain injury lawyers know that injured claimants can seldom afford legal fees on top of their lost wages and medical expenses. As such, Paula Wyatt and her TBI lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis. This means we don’t get paid unless you recover compensation. Our firm will front all necessary expert witness expenses and court costs to help maximize the value of your claims. If we win or settle your case, our lawyers typically take a percentage of your recovery as our fee. This percentage may vary based on the case complexity. Here’s an example of how a contingency fee works:
- Initial settlement offer: $50,000
- Accepted TBI settlement: $1 million
- Attorney’s fee: 40 percent of $1 million = $400,000
- Remaining balance = $600,000
- Legal expenses & expert costs = $35,000
- Medical and other liens = $50,000
- Client take home amount = $515,000
Clients are intimately involved in the negotiation of any settlement amount, and our experienced attorneys can help claimants understand the realistic take-home value of their traumatic brain injury claims. We understand that no amount of compensation can restore the life you once enjoyed. It can, however, help you and your family fund the treatments you need to recover and regain as much independence as possible. At Wyatt Law Firm, our dedicated TBI lawyers fight to hold liable individuals and corporations responsible for life-changing brain injuries. Even spouses might obtain specialized damages for their
emotional and economic losses after devastating accidents. Call us at our San Antonio office for your free traumatic brain injury case analysis.
Contact a San Antonio Brain Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one suffered a TBI, you need a lawyer who will fight for you. Every lawyer says they will go to the mat, but you need one with a track record of doing it consistently. The Wyatt Law Firm has recovered over half a billion dollars for injured clients, and we will put that knowledge to work for you as we seek the money you deserve after your brain injury. For your initial consultation, call us today at (210) 340-5550 or contact us online.
Wyatt Law Firm, PLLC 21 Lynn Batts Lane, Suite 10 San Antonio, Texas 78218