Knoxville Attorneys Helping Victims of Head, Neck & Traumatic Brain Injuries
Aggressive representation for clients in Maryville, Sevierville, Clinton, Lenoir City, and Loudon
A serious injury to your head, brain, or neck can alter your life forever. Based on the severity of your condition, you may be paralyzed, unable to communicate verbally, and experiencing a great deal of pain. As medical bills mount, you and your family may be unsure of what to do.
If your injury was caused by a reckless driver, careless manufacturer, or other negligent party, our legal team at Banks & Jones can assist you with filing a personal injury lawsuit. Given your condition, we know that it is vital for you to receive fair compensation. But while many injury cases are settled out of court, we prepare every case as though it were going to trial.
How is a traumatic brain injury diagnosed?
Properly diagnosing a brain injury is essential in determining effective treatment. Many people do not realize that a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury or TBI. Even a concussion can cause permanent injury if it results in a diffuse axonal injury (DAI), which occurs when the brain’s connecting fibers called axons become severed from the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the gelatinous brain within the bony skull. DAI is a common type of traumatic brain injury. If a concussion causes a blood clot in the brain, it can even be fatal. Our lawyers have extensive experience representing Knoxville-area clients who suffer the most serious brain, head, and other catastrophic injuries.
What are the three levels of brain injury?
Brain injuries are categorized as follows:
- Mild traumatic brain injury. When a person’s brain function is altered and he or she feels dazed or confused after a head injury, that individual has probably suffered a concussion. It is important to realize that while a few seconds or few minutes of unconsciousness is common in concussions, it is not always a determining factor.
- Moderate traumatic brain injury. Most moderate traumatic brain injuries result from a violent shaking of the head or a hard nonpenetrating impact. A moderate TBI can result in physical, cognitive, and behavioral impairments that may last for months or may be permanent.
- Severe traumatic brain injury. Crushing or penetrating blows to the head can cause a severe traumatic brain injury that results in skull fractures, brain hemorrhages, and death. Severe TBIs require immediate and lifelong treatment. Furthermore, severe TBIs can increase the risk for conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
What types of neck injuries are there?
Whiplash is one of the most common types of personal injuries. It occurs when a motor vehicle is forced to stop suddenly because of a collision, causing the head of the victim to swing forward and backward or from side to side. Whiplash can range from minor to severe and is only one type of neck injury. Other examples of neck injuries include:
- Crick in the neck— A crick in the neck is characterized by stiffness or pain in the neck and is experienced usually in the morning following a bad night’s rest. It can also be caused from staring at a computer monitor for too long.
- Muscle strain— Muscle strains occur typically from overuse and overexertion.
- Neck sprain— An overstretching of the joints and ligaments is what causes sprains to occur. Quickly turning your neck to check your blind spots while driving may lead to a sprain. Additionally, falls are known to cause neck and back sprains.
- Neck fracture— A neck fracture occurs when there is a break in the cervical bone. It is usually caused by extreme trauma in an auto accident, fall, or sports accident.
What are the causes of head, neck, and traumatic brain injury?
Head, neck, and traumatic brain injury are often the result of accidents involving speed as in a motor vehicle crash, falls on the same level or from a height, and from blunt force as happens in a sporting accident or acts of violence. Here are some of the common causes of head, neck, and traumatic brain injuries:
Explosions from construction sites or industrial sites can also cause a TBI. Defective products that explode are another possible cause of a TBI.
What does a traumatic brain injury look like?
Unless a person has an obvious gash on the head, a traumatic brain injury may not be clear. A person who has suffered a blow to the head may display some of the following physical, cognitive, and sensory symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- Confusion or disorientation
- Burry vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Slurred speech
- Mood swings
- Memory loss
Anytime a person has sustained a significant blow to the head, he or she should seek medical attention immediately so that it can be determined if he or she has sustained a brain injury and receive treatment immediately.
What are the initial treatments for East Tennessee victims of a TBI?
Anyone who suffers a TBI will usually be first seen by an emergency medical technician (EMT) or by an emergency room physician. Usually, the victim will be treated immediately but some victims don’t display symptoms for days or weeks. According to the Mayo Clinic, emergency care focuses on helping to ensure the victim has enough oxygen and a strong blood supply, keeping the blood pressure constant, and prevent additional head or neck injury.
If surgery is required, a neurosurgeon is likely to be called in to perform the surgery. A neurologist will help with the victim’s diagnosis and prognosis.
Some of the medications that may be prescribed include:
- These drugs help minimize the fluid in tissues and increase urine output. They also help reduce brain pressure.
- Anti-seizure drugs. Doctors may use these drugs in accident victims who have a severe or moderate TBI to help avoid any new seizures.
- Drugs that induce coma. A comatose brain requires less oxygen to function – which is why doctors may use drugs to induce a temporary coma.
Possible surgical procedures are aimed at addressing the following problems, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Removing hematomas (blood clots)
- Repairing fractures to the skull
- Stopping bleeding in the brain
- Creating a skull window to relieve skull pressure
What kinds of long-term care will TBI victims need?
Generally, the first six months after a TBI are when the patient improves the most. Between six months and two years, there is also a reasonable prospect of improvement. After two years, most TBI victims have reached maximum medical improvement.
Once the victim’s surgeries are complete, TBI victims generally treat with a variety of health providers to help manage their pain, their loss of cognitive ability, and any loss of function. This therapy usually starts in the hospital and continues (for months, years, or even a lifetime) on release from the hospital.
Rehabilitative therapists generally include:
- Physical therapists, who help with mobility, exercise, walking, and balance
- Occupational therapists, who help victims perform everyday tasks such as eating and using a pen or pencil
- Speech therapists, who can help the victim with communication issues and assistive communication devices
- Physiatrists, who oversee the rehabilitation process and prescribe medicine if needed
- Neuropsychologists, who assess cognitive impairment, help the victim cope, and manage emotional issues
- Social worker or case managers,who help the accident victim enroll or gain access to service agencies – and who help coordinate care with the health providers and family members
- Rehabilitation nurses, who help with discharge planning from hospitals and facilities and provide other ongoing care
- TBI nurse specialist, who help educate the family about the TBI recovery process and help coordinate care
- Recreational therapist,who helps with leisure activities
- Vocational counselor,who help the victim return to work – if possible
In addition, many TBI victims need to treat with psychologists or psychiatrists to help manage their fears, anxiety, depressions, and ability to cope. Some TBI victims may also have Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD).
What are the treatments for neck pain?
Neck pain treatments vary depending on the severity of the pain, the cause of the pain, and whether there are any other related injuries such as a traumatic brain injury.
Possible remedies, according to Spine-Health, include:
- Self-help remedies.
- Rest for short periods of time – a few days
- Ice and/or heat. Generally, ice helps reduce swelling. Heat helps relax muscles and increases blood flow
- Moderate soft stretching. Some exercises may help
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy can help with neck strength and flexibility. Multiple sessions each week are often the norm until the exercise can be done at home.
- Over-the-counter medications such as “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen, are typically tried first for neck pain.” Physicians may prescribe stronger NSAIDS, muscle relaxants, or opioids – though there are severe cautions about using opioids because of their addictive qualities.
- Alternative therapy. This includes:
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic or osteopathic manual manipulation
- Meditation and mindfulness therapies
- Therapeutic injections.
- Pain management doctors may inject cervical epidural steroids to reduce inflammation or tissues and nerve roots.
- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA).“If a facet joint is the confirmed pain source, RFA may be considered.” RFA, when it works, generally provides longer-term relief.
- Trigger point injection. A very thin needle is used to “help calm an irritated muscle bundle or trigger point.”
Get help from a skilled Knoxville traumatic brain injury lawyer today
If you sustained a serious head, neck, or brain injury in an accident, a personal injury attorney can represent you in your effort to recover compensation from the party responsible for causing the accident. After investigating the incident and determining who is at fault, an experienced traumatic brain injury attorney will represent your interests as he/she pursues justice on your behalf. If your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, you can get legal help to recover compensation for your medical expenses, your lost wages at work, the pain and suffering you have endured from your injuries, and other losses related to the accident.
Contact Knoxville injury lawyers who uphold the rights of TBI victims in Tennessee
A head, brain, or neck injury can significantly affect your life and the lives of the people you love. At Banks & Jones, our accomplished legal team fights aggressively to get you the compensation you need to pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of income. For more information on our services, contact us or call 865-546-2141 to schedule a prompt appointment.