Recovering from a traumatic brain injury is one of the most profound struggles a person can face. The brain is the control center for everything we do — from essential life functions such as breathing and heartbeat to higher-level activities such as thinking, feeling, and forming memories. With a brain injury, many of the everyday things one takes for granted can be lost. The road to recovery is often long and uncertain and can require years of rehabilitation, therapy, and support.
If you or a loved one has suffered a severe head injury due to someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer on your side. Since 1979, the Brown & Crouppen Law Firm of St. Louis has helped catastrophic injury survivors recover the restitution they deserve. As one of the Midwest’s largest personal injury law firms, we have recovered over $1 billion for our clients.
Get started with a free consultation with one of our skilled personal injury lawyers today.
What Is Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is harm to the brain caused by a violent external force. TBIs can occur when someone:
- Strikes their head on an object or gets hit by an object
- Experiences a sudden, violent jolt to the head or body
- Gets struck by an object that penetrates their skull
A moderate or severe TBI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), can affect how a person:
- Thinks, learns, and recalls information
- Senses the world around them through vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell
- Communicates and interacts with others
- Controls their mood, emotions, and behavior
Many people who experience a TBI can recover from their injuries and lead healthy, productive lives. Others may experience long-term disabilities that drastically reduce their quality of life and require costly, ongoing medical care.
Signs & Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury symptoms can range from mild concussions to more severe brain injuries resulting in an extended period of lost consciousness (coma), amnesia, or death. The signs and symptoms of a TBI may appear immediately after the injury occurs or develop gradually over time.
If you or someone you know has suffered a blow to the head, watch for these signs, and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Common signs and symptoms of a mild TBI may include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Ringing in the ears
- Changes in mood, behavior, and personality
Common signs and symptoms of a more severe TBI may include:
- Loss of consciousness for more than a few minutes
- Profound confusion or disorientation
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in the extremities
- Loss of coordination
- Severe headache that does not go away
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
Even if you think your concussion is minor, it is still essential to seek immediate medical attention. Concussions can have serious long-term effects, and the sooner you seek medical care, the better your chances of making a full recovery.
How Common Are Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of preventable death and disability in the United States. According to the most recent data from the CDC:
- In 2019, there were approximately 223,135 TBI-related hospitalizations.
- An estimated 64,362 TBI victims died from their injuries in 2020.
- In 2014, there were about 2.5 million TBI-related emergency department visits.
And according to the Brain Injury Association of Missouri, 118,000 Missourians are living with a long-term disability due to brain injury.
Who Is at Risk for a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Anyone who experiences a blow to the head or a sudden, violent jolt to the body is at risk of sustaining a brain injury. However, according to the CDC, certain groups are more likely to experience TBIs than others.
In 2014, annual rates of TBI-related emergency room visits were highest among:
- Seniors aged 75 and older who experienced 1,682 ED visits per 100,000 people
- Children aged 0–4 years averaged 1,619 ED visits per 100,000
- Teenagers and young adults between 15-24 averaged 1,010.1 ED visits per 100,000
Males were also significantly more likely than females to be hospitalized for brain injuries. In 2019, males were nearly twice as likely to be hospitalized and three times more likely than females to die from a TBI.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
As we know from over 40 years of experience representing victims of catastrophic injuries, many brain injuries are preventable and caused by another’s negligence. Determining the cause of your TBI is essential to building a solid case, giving you the best chance to recover the compensation you deserve.
According to the CDC, slip-and-fall accidents are the leading cause of severe head injuries. Each year, they account for nearly half of all emergency room visits for traumatic brain injuries in the United States.
Elderly adults are particularly at risk for brain injury in a slip-and-fall accidents which commonly occur as a result of nursing home abuse or negligence. Nursing home managers and staff must take special care to prevent falls among residents.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car crashes, motorcycle, and truck accidents contribute to a large share of TBI-related emergency room visits yearly. According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are the third leading cause of emergency room visits for traumatic brain injuries.
And when bicyclists and pedestrians share the road with drivers who are distracted, speeding, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are at an increased risk of suffering a severe brain injury in an accident.
Tens of thousands of workers suffer traumatic brain injuries in workplace accidents each year. Workers in construction and other high-risk industries are particularly vulnerable to brain injuries on the job. Any worker can be injured if their employer fails to provide a safe working environment or neglects to follow safety protocol.
Concussions and other brain injuries are relatively common among athletes, particularly those who play contact sports such as football, hockey, and boxing. Wearing proper protective gear is essential to preventing sports-related brain injuries. Coaches, trainers, and team managers must be responsible for ensuring that their players are adequately protected.
Brain injuries can also be caused by medical negligence, whether due to a failure to diagnose a condition or complications during surgery. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, you may be entitled to compensation.
Treatment & Cost of Brain Injuries
The treatment and recovery process for a traumatic brain injury will vary depending on the severity of the damage. For most mild brain injuries, rest and over-the-counter medication may be sufficient to manage symptoms.
For moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries, treatment may require medical care that includes:
- Emergency treatment
- Imaging scans (CT or MRI)
- Surgery to relieve pressure on the brain
- Intensive care
- Medication to alleviate pain and prevent seizures
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
- Counseling for cognitive, behavioral, and emotional issues
- Ongoing nursing care
Treatment for a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury typically begins with emergency care at the hospital. The patient will likely undergo imaging scans to assess the extent of the damage and may require surgery to remove debris, relieve pressure on the brain, and repair skull fractures.
After surgery, TBI patients will likely need months or years of physical, occupational, and speech therapy to regain cognitive and motor function. These treatments may be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis, depending on the severity of the injury.
In some cases, doctors may also recommend cognitive behavioral therapy to help the injured person adjust to the changes in their life caused by the brain injury.
Treatment costs can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars even for patients who can fully recover from a TBI within months after a head injury. But lifetime care costs can be several million dollars for patients with more severe head injuries.
How Brown & Crouppen St. Louis Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help You
At Brown & Crouppen, we understand the profound and lasting impact a brain injury can have on your life. You may be facing significant medical bills, time away from work, and the need for long-term care. You may also be dealing with emotional and psychological consequences from your injury.
As you grapple with these challenges, it’s vital to have a dedicated advocate in your corner who will fight for your rights. That’s where we come in. When you hire Brown & Crouppen, we will:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to determine who is liable
- Work with financial and medical experts to calculate the cost of your current and future medical needs
- Identify all sources of insurance coverage that may be available to you
- Aggressively negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
- If necessary, we will take your case to trial
We aim to obtain the fair and just compensation you need to focus on your recovery and move forward with your life.
To speak with one of our skilled St. Louis brain injury attorneys today, call us anytime at (314) 501-9510. Or reach us through our online form to schedule your free case evaluation today.
What Damages Can I Recover for My Traumatic Brain Injury Case?
Getting you a fair settlement or verdict in your brain injury case is our top priority at Brown & Crouppen. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be entitled to recover damages for:
- Medical expenses: This includes hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and ongoing care costs.
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity: If your injury has prevented you from working, we will seek compensation for your lost wages and any future income you may have earned if not for your injury.
- Pain and suffering: You may be eligible for damages for the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by your injury.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: If your injuries have interfered with your ability to participate in activities you once enjoyed, we will seek compensation for that loss.
- Wrongful death: If your loved one died due to their TBI, we would seek damages for your loss, including funeral and burial expenses.
How Much Is My Brain Injury Lawsuit Worth?
Based on Brown & Crouppen’s injury settlement amount data between 2016 and 2021, the average personal injury settlement amount is approximately $62,600. But like all personal injury cases, the settlement value of a brain injury case depends on many factors.
For example, the severity of your injuries will play a role in the value of your case. If you have suffered a mild concussion, you will likely recover less money than someone who suffered a traumatic brain injury that has left them in a vegetative state.
Other factors that may affect the value of your lawsuit include:
- The jurisdiction where your case will be tried
- The strength of the evidence in your case
- The amount of insurance coverage the at-fault party has
- The at-fault party’s willingness to settle your case
There is no way to accurately predict how much your case may be worth without first conducting a thorough investigation.
FAQs About Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuits
When should I contact a brain injury lawyer?
If you suffer a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should contact a brain injury lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can explain your legal rights and options and begin gathering evidence to support your claim.
What if the accident was my fault?
In some cases, you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries even if you were partially at fault for the accident. Missouri follows a comparative negligence law. So even if you were partially at fault for the accident, you might still be eligible to recover damages, but your percentage of fault will reduce your total recovery amount.
Do you want to learn more about how comparative negligence may apply to your case? Determining fault in a brain injury case can be highly complex, and the experienced brain injury attorneys of Brown & Crouppen can help.
Can I pursue a brain injury case on behalf of a loved one?
Yes. If your loved one died from a brain injury caused by another’s negligence, you might be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. You may also be able to pursue a survival action on their behalf. A survival action allows you to recover damages for your loved one’s pain and suffering prior to their death.
How do insurance companies try to reduce the benefits paid to traumatic brain injury victims?
Insurance companies will try several common tactics to lowball brain injury victims and other personal injury plaintiffs. These include:
- Minimizing the severity of your injuries: The insurance company may downplay the severity of your brain injuries by questioning your diagnosis or treatment.
- Disputing liability: They may claim that you were partially or fully at fault for causing the accident.
- Denying your claim: The insurance company may deny your claim, hoping you will not have the resources or knowledge to fight back.
What should I do if the insurance company denies my TBI claim?
Don’t give up hope if the insurance company denies your brain injury claim. Instead, contact an experienced brain injury lawyer who can appeal the denial and get the benefits you need and deserve.
What if the at-fault party does not have insurance?
If the at-fault party does not have insurance, you may still be able to recover damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit. And you may be able to recover damages through your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if you have it.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a brain injury lawsuit in Missouri?
In Missouri, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases, including TBI cases, is five years from the date of the accident.
So if you or a loved one has suffered a TBI in an accident — don’t wait to get help. The law will likely bar you from recovering damages if you miss the filing deadline. Although there are some exceptions to this rule, it’s vital to speak with an experienced brain injury lawyer as soon as possible.
What if I can’t afford an attorney? How much does a lawyer cost?
We understand that people recovering from severe traumatic brain injuries often struggle to make ends meet. That is why we offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis.
You won’t have to pay anything upfront to hire a Brown & Crouppon lawyer. Instead, we get paid only if we recover damages for you. And if your lawyer does recover damages for you, they will take a percentage of the settlement or verdict as their fee.
How long does it take to settle a brain injury lawsuit?
The time it takes to settle a brain injury lawsuit depends on various factors, including the severity of your injuries, the insurance company’s willingness to negotiate, and whether the case goes to trial.
Parties can often settle personal injury claims out of court within one year from the filing date. But if the case involves a disputed liability or complex medical issues, it could take longer to settle. And if the case goes to trial, it could take two to five years to resolve.
How do I choose a St. Louis brain injury lawyer?
If you are considering hiring a St. Louis brain injury lawyer, here are some questions you might ask:
- Do they have a track record of winning fair settlements or verdicts for their clients?
- Are they recognized by trusted professional organizations as leaders in personal injury law?
- Do they have experience handling brain injury cases?
- Can they provide me with a free, no-risk consultation to discuss my case?
The answer should be an absolute “yes” to all of the above.
Request a Free Consultation from Brown & Crouppen
If you or a family member has suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident, act immediately. The sooner you contact a Brown & Crouppen personal injury lawyer, the sooner we can begin investigating your accident, gathering evidence, and building a solid case on your behalf.
Getting started is easy. Get help from our legal team by calling us at (314) 501-9510 or requesting a free case evaluation online.