Florida Brain Injury Attorneys

florida brain injury attorneysTraumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Unlike other injuries, brain injuries are often permanent and disabling.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Facts:

Young children and the elderly are at most risk of TBIs. The leading causes of TBI continue to be falls, motor vehicle crashes (car, truck, motorcycle), and assaults. The violent shaking of an infant or toddler (shaken baby syndrome) is a leading cause of serious brain injury in young children. Other TBI can occur due to medical malpractice and negligence (birth delivery, drug use). Open head injury, closed head injury, deceleration injuries, chemical/toxic, hypoxia, anoxia, tumors, infections, and strokes are also common causes of brain injuries.

 

How to Reduce/Prevent Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Automobile Accidents – Choose a car, truck, or SUV with a good crash test safety rating and properly maintain your vehicle. Check your tires regularly and replace as needed. Wear your seatbelt and make sure that children are properly restrained (child safety seat, booster seat). Follow all traffic safety rules (speed limit, traffic signs) and be aware of inclement weather conditions and road construction. Also eliminate driver distractions (texting and driving, talking on the cell phone, eating while driving) and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Gun/Firearm Shootings – Children and teenagers are curious and adventurous, which can lead to accidental shootings if proper safety measures are not taken. Every day, approximately five children are injured or killed on a nationwide basis as a result of handguns. Adults with firearms should keep all firearms stored unloaded in a locked cabinet or safe and they should store bullets in a separate secure location.

Slip and Fall Accidents – Remove tripping hazards such as small area rugs and loose electrical cords. Ensure handrails are in place and in working order. Where appropriate, install window guards or child safety gates. Use non-slip mats in the bathroom near the toilet, shower, and tub areas and install grab bars for easy entrance and exit. Use an appropriate ladder for reaching items up high. Be aware of weather conditions, uneven curbs, and construction areas. Wear appropriate footwear for your activity (shoes, sneakers, flip-flops).

Sports-Related Accidents – Concussions are the most common brain injuries and are often the result of a hit or fall that causes temporary brain function problems (headache, loss of consciousness, and seizures). Medical professionals refer to concussions as a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Using the proper protective equipment is the best way to prevent these. Helmets should be worn for any contact or risky sport (football, hockey, lacrosse, baseball, biking, skateboarding, and horseback riding).

Recreation Accidents – Make sure children’s playground equipment (swing set, slide, bounce house, trampoline) is not broken or outdated and properly maintained (use mulch and sand instead of concrete). Ensure that swimming pools have the necessary fencing and alarm systems. Make sure recreational activities are age-appropriate (ATV’s, jet skis, parasailing) and that the appropriate safety equipment is used. Never leave young children alone at play; always make sure there is proper adult supervision.

Choking and Strangling – Choking can cause brain damage from lack of oxygen to the brain. People should watch what they eat, especially young kids. Children under three should avoid foods like hot dogs, grapes, and hard candy and they should not play with toys that have small, removable parts.

What type of proof is needed to prove that there was negligence involved with a brain injury?

If there was negligence involved that results in a spinal or brain injury, then that individual may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. In addition, an individual may still receive compensation with a deduction if they were the ones at fault for negligence to begin with.

This is why it is critical to work with a qualified South Florida brain injury attorney to help prove negligence of the other party and to prove the innocence of the injured individual. Below are some of the common ways in which negligence can be proven:

 

What are some of the more common brain or spinal injuries that are typically reported?

One of the most common forms of brain injury is a mild concussion. Mild concussions are most commonly a result of both professional and school sports. Because of this, stricter safety standards are being put in place to help protect athletes, especially in contact sports such as football or hockey. In fact, brain injuries may not appear in an annual physical because the trauma can occur over time after multiple hits and lead to diminished cognitive ability over the years.

It is important that an individual who has been affected by TBI receives the assessment and support they deserve so that they can receive full compensation and treatment for their injuries. A South Florida brain injury law firm is able to assist you with all of this and more.

Symptoms of a Brain Injury

Some of the most common symptoms that are seen when an individual has suffered a traumatic brain injury are as follows:

• Memory loss
• Vision and hearing problems
• Headaches
• Seizures
• Dizziness
• Nausea
• Seizures
• Mood changes

Severe injuries would likely include:

• Sensory and perceptual confusion
• Speech difficulty
• Physical, emotional, and social changes

No matter the severity of a brain injury, if a person receives this injury because the negligence of another person, they deserve to get help. They deserve compensation, and they deserve to have all of their questions answered. As a person is struggling to deal with their brain injury, getting answers to their questions and the compensation they deserve can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task. The person who caused their injury or insurance companies may not be cooperative and this can be extremely difficult for anyone to deal with, especially a person who is suffering from something as serious as a traumatic brain injury.

Why You May Be Eligible for Compensation

The forceful blow to your head that caused the TBI is most likely no fault of your own. Personal injury compensation is a special type of reimbursement that the courts issue to people who receive debilitating injuries because of neglect. Therefore, you may be eligible for such compensation if you were involved in an auto accident because the other driver was distracted, drunk or disobedient. You might be eligible for compensation if you were in a fight with another person and that person struck your head. Any situation that is the result of negligence is eligible for personal injury compensation. You will want to speak with an attorney about the validity of your case even if you are unclear about it.

Types of Covered TBI

Small children are more susceptible to traumatic brain injuries than adults are. However, millions of adults still suffer from such incidents. Traumatic brain injuries fall into five categories:

Each type of traumatic brain injury has a variety of symptoms and complications. Therefore, no two cases are alike in terms of compensation.

Contact The South Florida Personal Injury Attorneys at Zimmerman & Frachtman

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) or any form of brain or head damage in a loved one can place a family under tremendous financial and emotional stress. TBIs are often devastating and have far-reaching implications for readjustment to daily living and rehabilitation. In some cases, long-term or indefinite care is required for injuries too severe for a full recovery.

If you or a loved one has experienced a head or brain injury due to the negligence or criminal action of someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, home health care, attendant care, special support for the family (counseling), rehabilitation (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, vocational rehabilitation), and pain and suffering.

If you would like to discuss a potential claim involving a traumatic brain injury or head injury, please contact us for a free consultation at (954) 509-1900. We only charge you if we win your case.

Brain Injuries & Head Injury FAQs

How Much is a Florida Head Injury Case Worth?
The long-lasting impact for individuals suffering a head injury during an accident can be debilitating and lead to huge past and future medical expenses. Often, the attorneys for negligent parties seek to offer what seems like a fair offer, but their main interest is in simply making this problem disappear. Closed head injuries, often referred to as mild traumatic brain injury can have longstanding or even lifelong effects. Doctors are just now beginning to understand the long term consequences of a concussion.

The Concept of Special Damages
For example, when it comes to special damages, the aforementioned medical expenses are a key facet of what’s become commonly known as “out of pocket” losses. In addition to those costs, aspects like income lost from being unable to work or the long-term impact on not working due to disability or death are considered.
Also, property damage related to the accident is factored in, as is the tragic consideration of expenses for a funeral and burial in the case of death.

Explaining General Damages
From the standpoint of general damages, the suffering endured and the emotional devastation need to be calculated. Other areas focus on more uncertain areas like damage to one’s reputation or self-esteem, the loss of companionship for a family, or in the case of spouse, the loss of consortium. Given that actual bills or receipts will be a part of these costs, those litigants need to save all items to accurately calculate the costs incurred. For general damages, some record-keeping that carefully documents instances of all accident-related pain will be helpful in showing the true impact.
Due to the nebulous nature of coming to an accurate amount with general damages, the amount calculated can range wildly to 50 percent more than the special amount to as much as five times that number.

Crunching Numbers

Once those two numbers have been determined, adding them together provides the actual claim amount. That number should then have expected legal fees removed and a gauging the chances of actually winning.

Weighing Options

The final settlement is often determined by a confluence of factors. Among them are where the case is heard, determination of actual liability and the number of those at fault. In some cases, the level of guilt by the defendant or the plaintiff’s image may be an issue or whether the plaintiff own medical treatment is at fault.

Comparing the Numbers
Another area to consider is gauging verdicts that have come down in the past few years. A competent attorney will be able to perform a verdict search to see amounts of jury awards in similar cases. This is often the best barometer.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a blow, jolt, or bump to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.
A person with a mild traumatic brain injury (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; a bad taste in the mouth; fatigue or lethargy; a change in sleep patterns; behavioral or mood changes; and trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking.
A person with a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) may show these same symptoms, but may also have 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.
A closed head injury is a type of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by movement of the brain within the skull. Causes may include falls, motor vehicle crashes, or being struck by or with an object.
An open or penetrating head injury is a type of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a foreign object entering the skull. Causes may include firearm injuries or being struck with a sharp object.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. You don't have to pass out (lose consciousness) to have a concussion. Some people will have obvious symptoms of a concussion, such as passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury, where others won't. With rest, most people fully recover from a concussion, and recovery can take hours or weeks.

In rare cases concussions cause more serious problems. Repeated concussions or a severe concussion may require surgery or lead to long-lasting problems with movement, learning, or speech.
A person with a brain injury can experience a variety of symptoms. Common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can include, but are not limited to:
  • Spinal fluid coming out of the ears or nose
  • Loss of consciousness (may not occur in some concussion cases)
  • Dilated or unequal size of pupils
  • Vision changes (blurred vision or seeing double, not able to tolerate bright light, loss of eye movement, blindness)
  • Dizziness/balance problems
  • Respiratory failure
  • Coma (not alert and unable to respond to others) or semicomatose state
  • Paralysis, difficulty moving body parts, weakness, poor coordination
  • Slow pulse
  • Slow breathing rate, with an increase in blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy (sluggish, sleepy, gets tired easily)
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Ringing in the ears or changes in ability to hear
  • Difficulty with thinking skills (memory problems, poor judgment, poor attention span)
  • Inappropriate emotional responses (irritability, easily frustrated, inappropriate crying or laughing)
  • Difficulty speaking, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing
  • Body numbness or tingling
  • Loss of bowel control or bladder control
1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year.
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by falls (35%), car crashes (17%), workplace accidents (16%), assaults (10%), and other accidents (12%).
No two people are exactly alike, and therefore, no two brain injuries are exactly alike. For some, brain injury is the start of a lifelong disease process. The injury requires access to a full continuum of medically necessary treatment and community-based support furnished by interdisciplinary teams of qualified and specialized clinicians working in accredited programs and appropriate settings. Changes and improvement continue, although sometimes they are so slight they are hard to notice. It can take days, weeks, and years to see improvement. Some of the deficits may remain for a lifetime while others may improve to the point that they are no longer a major factor in day-to-day living.
  • Auto Accidents: Choose a car, truck, or SUV with a good crash test safety rating and properly maintain your vehicle. Check your tires regularly and replace as needed. Wear your seatbelt and make sure that children are properly restrained (child safety seat, booster seat). Follow all traffic safety rules (speed limit, traffic signs) and be aware of inclement weather conditions and road construction. Also eliminate driver distractions (texting and driving, talking on cell phone, eating while driving) and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Gun and Firearm Accidents: Children and teenagers are curious and adventurous, which can lead to accidental shootings if proper safety measures are not taken. Every day, approximately five children are injured or killed on a nationwide basis as a result of handguns. Adults with firearms should keep all firearms stored unloaded in a locked cabinet or safe and they should store bullets in a separate secure location.
  • Slip and Fall Accidents: Remove tripping hazards such as small area rugs and loose electrical cords. Ensure handrails are in place and in working order. Where appropriate, install window guards or child safety gates. Use non-slip mats in bathroom near toilet, shower, and tub areas and install grab bars for easy entrance and exit. Use an appropriate ladder for reaching items up high. Be aware of weather conditions, uneven curbs, and construction areas. Wear appropriate footwear for your activity (shoes, sneakers, flip-flops).
  • Sports-Related Accidents: Concussions are the most common brain injuries and are often the result of a hit or fall that causes temporary brain function problems (headache, loss of consciousness, and seizures). Medical professionals refer to concussions as mildly traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Using the proper protective equipment is the best way to prevent these. Helmets should be worn for any contact or risky sport (football, hockey, lacrosse, baseball, biking, skateboarding, and horseback riding).
  • Recreational Accidents: Make sure children's playground equipment (swing set, slide, bounce house, trampoline) is not broken or outdated and properly maintained (use mulch and sand instead of concrete). Ensure that swimming pools have the necessary fencing and alarm systems. Make sure recreational activities are age appropriate (ATV's, jet skis, parasailing) and that the appropriate safety equipment is used. Never leave young children alone at play; always make sure there is proper adult supervision.
  • Chocking and Strangling Accidents: Choking can cause brain damage from lack of oxygen to the brain. People should watch what they eat, especially young kids. Children under three should avoid foods like hot dogs, grapes, and hard candy and they should not play with toys that have small, removable parts.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a complex brain injury with a broad spectrum of symptoms and disabilities. The impact on a person and his or her family can be devastating. Typically TBI’s are caused by an outside force, for example, a violent blow to the head or object penetrating the skull.

When TBI’s do not result in death such injuries are catastrophically disabling. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), TBI is a major cause of death and disability in the U.S., contributing to about 30 percent of all injury-related deaths.  Those that survive a TBI can face effecting lasting a few days to disabilities, which may last the rest of their lives.

However, not all blows, bumps or jolts to the head result in TBI.  The severity of a TBI is measured by a variety of factors and can range from “mild,” commonly called concussions to “severe” where there is an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury.

Measuring the Severity of TBI A variety of measurements are taking to assess TBI due to the delicate nature of traumatic brain injury and to the differences in patient's symptoms of TBI.  Glasgow Coma Scale Score, Imaging Technology and Neurological Assessment can help assess the severity, location and type of injury to the brain.

Glasgow Coma Scale Score A common method used to measure the severity of a traumatic brain injury is the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score.  The GCS rates a patient's level of consciousness from 3 (worst) to 15 (no impairment) based on a patient's ability to open his or her eyes, talk, and move. The GCS is typically given by a healthcare professional upon admission to the emergency room or intensive care unit.  However the test does have some shortcomings.  Factors such as drug use, alcohol intoxication or low blood oxygen can alter a patient’s consciousness and lead to an inaccurate GCS score.

Imaging Technology CT scans and MRI are the most common forms of imaging technology that is used to diagnosis and measure the severity of traumatic brain injury.  Cranial tomography (CT) is an X-ray procedure that scans the brain and detects disorders such as bruises, blood clots, and swelling of the brain.  This procedure is usually for people with moderate to severe TBI and a patient can expect to have several CT scans during the course of a hospital stay to track any lesions that were discovered.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are also a valuable tool in measuring the severity of TBI.  MRI creates a picture of the brain based on magnetic properties of molecules in tissue. Use of an MRI might be restricted if there is any metal around the person, such as metal parts in medical devices.

It’s important to note that these technologies while informative also have their limitations in measuring the severity of TBI.  It is possible to have a severe TBI and be in a coma and to have normal scan results in both CT and MRI.  This is because the scans cannot detect all the types of brain injury due the the complexity of tissues in the brain.

Neurological Assessment The neuropsychological assessment is a specialized task-oriented evaluation of human brain-behavior relationships. It relies upon the use of standardized testing methods to evaluate sensory-motor processes, mathematical assessment, spatial coordination and higher cognitive functioning. Evaluations are performed by neurologist and a neuropsychologist and go into great detail to review the patient’s case history, hospital records, and acquire about how the individual was before the injury.
Brain injury is the leading cause of death in children—that’s why it’s so important that you understand how these injuries occur and what to do when they happen. Since the skulls of young infants is much softer than our own, they are more susceptible to damage when shaken, played with too roughly or in minor accidents. You child may be at risk if they've suffered:
  • Falls
  • Shaking
  • Rough Play
  • Sudden Stops
  • Trauma
If your child has been the victim of a brain injury you may not see external cuts or bruising. Always seek the help of a qualified doctor if your infant shows blindness, cognitive difficulty, slowed speech, too much or too little crying or their eyes don’t focus. It’s important that you child get immediate help – to get help as quickly as possible, use a law office like Zimmerman & Frachtman to defend you and your child.
If your child has been the victim of a brain injury you may not see external cuts or bruising. Always seek the help of a qualified doctor if your infant shows blindness, cognitive difficulty, slowed speech, too much or too little crying or their eyes don’t focus. It’s important that you child get immediate help – to get help as quickly as possible, use a law office like Zimmerman & Frachtman to defend you and your child.

Contacting Zimmerman & Frachtman will raise your chances or pursing legal action against the guilty parties. Your child’s life may change forever and uncertain times are ahead make sure you have the financial support you need to care for your child during these troubled times. Zimmerman & Frachtman will be your partner assisting you in getting the expert advice and testimony you need then getting you the financial compensation you and your child deserve.
Courts and juries have sought the expert advice and specialized knowledge of life care planners to educate all parties involved about the long-term effects of debilitating injuries and the associated economic damages of such cases.  Due to their expert opinion, a life care planner can be an integral expert witness for attorneys representing traumatic brain injury clients.
No family is ever prepared for the drastic, life-altering changes that a brain injury can cause.  Life care planners clarify and detail future needs and expenses to consider for an individual suffering with a traumatic brain injury.  Creating a life care plan outlines the many factors that TBI patients (and patients with other chronic, debilitating conditions) and their families need to consider.  For example, the life care plan addresses medical, therapy, evaluation, transportation, equipment and supplies, medications and other needs of the person and all associated costs.
Life care planning is a process for evaluating the patient and disability in order to establish and anticipate any and all needs by the onset of the disability. Careful consideration is given to the goals, the needs and interest of the patient, the needs of the family and the realities of the patient’s location.
Life Care Planners are usually certified in their primary disciplines (for example, nursing, psychology and case management) with foundational experience in rehabilitation and case management.   Most also carry a board certification in life care planning (CLCP) which is governed by the Commission on Health Care Certification.
While the Life Care Planner plays an integral role in determining traumatic brain injury patients' rehabilitation plans, it is important to note that life care planners are educators, not advocates.  An advocate is a person who “intercedes on behalf of another person.” Life care planners are educators, as they offer an expert opinion or information on what to do.  The Life Care Planner clearly communicates the extent of the patient’s disability, effects of the disability, and the limitations that patient are expected to endure for the rest of their life.