According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 176 Americans died from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) every day in 2020. In 2019, the number of people hospitalized with traumatic brain injuries reached 223,000. While recovery is possible in some cases, many people who sustain a TBI are left with lifelong disabilities.
These injuries are often inflicted by careless people who thoughtlessly injure others through their own negligence. If you or your loved one has been injured by a distracted driver or a negligent doctor, the Kansas City personal injury attorneys at Brown & Crouppen can help.
How can a Kansas City brain injury attorney help?
You should not have to pay for someone else’s negligence. A Kansas City brain injury attorney can ensure the responsible party compensates you fairly and reasonably for the harm they caused. At Brown & Crouppen, we fight aggressively to maximize your compensation.
The insurance company will seek to pay the lowest compensation possible and may even offer an early settlement. Our personal injury attorneys near Crestview and Raytown will thoroughly assess your injuries and calculate the minimum settlement you should accept.
We will deal with the insurance company for you and negotiate a settlement that will fully compensate you for your losses. If a fair and reasonable settlement cannot be reached, our attorneys will fight for you in court.
Why is Brown & Crouppen the best choice in Kansas City?
Since our founding in 1979, we have grown to one of the largest personal injury law firms in the midwest, with more than 250 legal professionals laser-focused on getting results for injured people. Our compassionate care for our clients has allowed us to recover more than $1 billion on their behalf.
Below are just a few examples of the case results our personal injury attorneys have achieved for our deserving clients:
- $19 million for a woman whose son suffered a brain injury during birth
- $7 million for the parents of a child who suffered catastrophic injuries after being hit by a school bus
- $6 million for a man injured in a commercial motor vehicle accident
- $2 million for the family of a boat mechanic who died of suffocation after being trapped by an improperly repaired outboard motor
- Super Lawyers
- Top 100 Personal Injury Lawyers
- Top 10 Trucking Lawyers
- Missouri Lawyers Media’s Winningest Plaintiff Attorney
Helping people is more than just a business to us. We are committed to improving the lives of the people in the communities we serve. We live out this commitment by donating our time, services, and finances to worthy causes such as the following, among many others:
- Humane Society of Missouri
- Huntington’s Disease Society of America
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving
- Alzheimer’s Association
- UCP Heartland
Perhaps the most important factor in determining how much compensation you will recover is the attorney you choose. The skilled and passionate attorneys at Brown & Crouppen truly care about our clients and have the necessary resources to maximize your case value.
What is my Kansas City brain injury case worth?
Calculating your case value will require a detailed one-on-one assessment of your case. When evaluating compensation, our Kansas City personal injury attorneys consider the following:
- The severity of your injuries
- The length of your recovery
- Whether your injuries are permanent
- Your earnings prior to the accident
- Your earning capacity after the accident
- The pain and suffering your injuries have caused
Types of Compensation for Brain Injuries
The types of compensation you may be able to claim for your brain injuries include the following:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages
If your family member has passed away because of brain injuries, you may be eligible to hold the negligent party responsible for the death by recovering wrongful death damages.
Economic damages are the verifiable monetary costs of your injuries. These damages typically include lost wages and medical expenses.
Lost wages include time missed at work and wages you could have earned in the future were it not for your injuries. You can also recover the value of domestic services you can no longer provide.
Medical expenses include all health care costs incurred because of the injuries. This may include the following:
- Emergency and hospital care
- Doctor visits
- Physical therapy
- Psychological therapy
- Personal care
- Assistive devices
- Projected future care
Non-economic damages are subjective damages that cannot be measured monetarily. This includes pain and suffering, loss of society, loss of consortium, and loss of bodily functions. If your case goes to trial, a jury determines the amount.
There are no limits on non-economic damages in most personal injury cases in Kansas City, with the exception of medical malpractice cases in Missouri. In these cases, the limit is adjusted by 1.7 percent annually. The 2023 limit is $457,749 for most injuries and $801,061 for catastrophic injuries.
Punitive damages are awarded in rare cases in which the defendant’s injurious conduct was intentional or blatantly reckless. Economic damages and non-economic damages are known as compensatory damages because they are awarded as compensation for losses.
Punitive damages are considered non-compensatory damages because the purpose is not to compensate the victim but to punish the defendant and deter others from similar behavior. To serve as an effective punishment and deterrent, punitive damages are typically substantial.
Kansas limits punitive damages to the lesser of the following:
- The highest annual gross income earned by the defendant in the past five years or, if a court determines this is insufficient to bring about justice, 50 percent of the defendant’s net worth
- $5 million
Missouri does not limit punitive damages, but in medical malpractice cases, punitive damages are only awardable where clear and convincing evidence shows that the health care provider intentionally caused the injury.
Wrongful Death Damages
Wrongful death damages may include medical expenses of the deceased, burial expenses, and lost wages of the deceased. Lost wages include projected income the deceased could have earned had they survived. Wrongful death damages may also include the following:
- Pain and suffering of the deceased
- Pain, suffering, and grief of the family
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of guidance and support
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
Who is liable in a brain injury case?
Liability for brain injuries is incurred by anyone who breached a duty of care and caused an injury. Depending on the type of case, this may include the following:
- The driver or owner of a motor vehicle
- A ride-hailing company, such as Uber
- A health care provider
- A property owner
- A manufacturer, distributor, or retailer
- An employer
- Workers’ compensation
- A government entity
In some cases, multiple parties may be liable. Our Kansas City brain injury attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case to identify all liable parties and hold them accountable.
What is a brain injury?
A brain injury is damage to the brain that changes how the brain functions, including functional abilities, nerve cells, and metabolic activities.
Types of Brain Injury
Brain injuries can be categorized as traumatic or non-traumatic. Both types can range from mild to severe and can bring about catastrophic effects. A catastrophic injury is an injury that causes a severe permanent disability.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury is an alteration in brain function as a result of an external force, such as a blow to the head or a jolt, that causes the brain to collide with the skull or twist. If this results in a mild traumatic brain injury, it is known as a concussion. Most concussions resolve without complications after a period of rest.
If damage to the brain is more significant, the traumatic brain injury is classified as a moderate or severe brain injury. In moderate and severe cases, the brain may swell excessively and create excess pressure on the brain, or the brain may bleed and damage brain cells.
Traumatic brain injuries may be open or closed. Open injuries are also known as penetrating injuries and occur when an object or a bone in the skull penetrates the brain.
Non-Traumatic Brain Injury
Non-traumatic brain injuries are caused by internal factors, such as oxygen deprivation or exposure to toxins. When the brain is deprived of oxygen, it is called a hypoxic or anoxic brain injury.
In hypoxic brain injuries, the brain receives insufficient oxygen. In anoxic brain injuries, the brain is completely deprived of oxygen. Without sufficient oxygen, the brain quickly suffers damage. Both hypoxia and anoxia can result in significant injury.
Causes of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries are often caused by preventable accidents that occur because of negligence.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries may occur as a result of the following:
- Slips and falls
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports/recreation injuries
- Workplace injuries
Slips and Falls
Older adults face the highest risk of falling and suffering a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries often go undetected in this age group due to symptoms overlapping with other symptoms associated with old age. However, traumatic brain injuries can result from slips and falls at any age, especially if the fall is from a height.
Motor Vehicle Crashes
Car accidents in Kansas City can result in serious head injuries even if you do not hit your head. Whiplash and other forces involved in a car accident can cause your brain to move inside your skull and become injured.
If the vehicle rolls or is crushed or if you are thrown from the vehicle, your risk of a severe traumatic brain injury increases. The forces and risks are even higher if the accident involves large commercial vehicles, such as a truck or bus.
Motorcycle riders face a heightened risk of traumatic brain injuries during an accident due to a greater likelihood of making direct contact with the road. The National Highway Safety Administration notes that wearing a helmet decreases the risk by 67 percent.
Traumatic brain injuries can happen in the workplace as a result of being struck by objects, being crushed between objects, falls, and motor vehicle collisions. The construction industry has the highest rates of workplace accidents.
Non-Traumatic Brain Injury
Non-traumatic brain injury may result from electrical shock, smoke inhalation, and birth injuries, among other causes.
Medical malpractice in Kansas City is a common cause of non-traumatic brain injury. Medical errors that lead to non-traumatic brain injuries include the following:
- Errors during childbirth or pregnancy
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication errors
Nursing home neglect and abuse can increase the risk of patients choking, falling, suffocating, and experiencing both traumatic and non-traumatic head injuries.
What are the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury?
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions, present with the following symptoms:
- Brief loss of consciousness
- Memory loss
- Speech issues
Loss of consciousness does not always occur with concussions.
Moderate Traumatic Brain Injuries
People with moderate traumatic brain injuries may experience a worsening of the above symptoms and the following:
- Unconsciousness up to 24 hours
- Signs of injury on neuroimaging
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Fluid drainage from the ears or nose
- Inability to awaken
- Loss of sensation
- Loss of coordination
- Profound confusion
- Unusually aggressive behavior
Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries
Severe brain injuries may cause the brain’s nerve fibers to tear. Warning signs of severe brain injuries may include all of the above symptoms plus the following:
- Unconsciousness exceeding 24 hours (coma)
- No sleep/wake cycle while unconsciousness
Signs of a severe traumatic brain injury will appear on neuroimaging tests.
Symptoms in Children
Children may be unable to communicate symptoms, which makes it necessary to watch for outward signs. If you suspect a traumatic brain injury, err on the side of caution and seek medical attention immediately.
- Changes in appetite
- Unusual irritability
- Persistent crying
- New attention impairments
- Changes in sleep habits
- Loss of interest in favorite toys or activities
How are traumatic brain injuries diagnosed?
Traumatic brain injuries are typically diagnosed through a neurologic exam and imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI. Severe brain injuries may be assessed using the Glasgow coma scale.
In milder cases, neuropsychological tests and a series of questions may be used to evaluate brain function.
Long-Term Impact of a Brain Injury
The long-term effects of brain injuries can range from mild symptoms to life-altering disabilities and may include the following:
- Shortened attention span
- Memory problems and amnesia
- Inability to understand abstract concepts
- Swallowing problems
- Communication and language deficits
- Inability to care for your own needs
- Social difficulties
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Personality or psychiatric changes
- Traumatic epilepsy
Is it possible to recover from a brain injury?
Research has shown that damaged brain cells do not regenerate, but the brain can sometimes compensate by rerouting information through undamaged regions. This is most likely to occur in younger patients. However, the degree of recovery is not predictable.
Brain Injury Resources in Kansas City
Kansas City is home to the following resources for brain injury survivors:
- Ability Kansas City – Comprehensive rehabilitation for children, adolescents, and adults
- The University of Kansas Health System – Acute and long-term brain injury care, rehabilitation, and support groups
- The Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City – Information and support for brain injury survivors and family members
How much does a Kansas City brain injury lawyer cost?
Brown & Crouppen provides personal injury services on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay only after we recover compensation for you.
When should I contact a Kansas City brain injury lawyer?
The statute of limitations governs the time you have to investigate, prepare, and file your case.
The statute of limitations in Kansas is two years for most personal injury and wrongful death cases. The Missouri statute of limitations is generally five years for personal injury cases and three years for wrongful death claims. However, there are exceptions in both states.
Contacting an attorney as soon as possible will ensure that you don’t miss these important deadlines. If your case is not filed on time, you lose your opportunity to get justice. Contact a Kansas City brain injury attorney today to schedule a free consultation.