Hallandale Beach Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
An experienced Hallandale Beach traumatic brain injury attorney who understands the complexities of TBI claims can help you and your family through this difficult time. Contact the skilled legal team at the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn at 1-866-HIRE-JARED for a free consultation to discuss the circumstances that led to your brain injury, determine your eligibility for compensation, and learn how we can help you seek the justice you deserve.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be life-changing events that leave victims with permanent challenges. They vary from mild concussions to potentially fatal penetrating wounds. Some concussions heal completely, and victims make a full recovery, while others cause permanent brain damage. In the most severe cases, TBI victims might spend time in a coma or a permanent vegetative state if they survive the injury.
TBI victims and their families face a wide range of challenges after a brain injury. The emotional distress and economic burden that comes with a traumatic brain injury can be overwhelming and, for some, worse than the physical pain of the injury. If you have suffered a brain injury or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, Florida law permits you to file a personal injury claim if the TBI occurred from intentional harm or negligence.
The Law Offices of Jared Spingarn Advocates for Brain Injury Victims in Hallandale Beach
The skilled personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn have extensive experience settling, negotiating, and litigating claims for those who have suffered injuries due to negligence, including traumatic brain injuries. The firm’s dedication to helping injured people seek justice is rooted in Jared Spingarn’s personal experience. He suffered serious injuries in a near-fatal accident during his teenage years, leading him to seek a career that allowed him to help others who have suffered injuries.
Jared Spingarn and his team have helped clients recover tens of millions in compensation for damages from settlements and jury awards. We cannot guarantee a financial outcome for your traumatic brain injury claim; each case has unique facts and circumstances that add to and detract from the value of the claim. However, the experienced team at the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn will diligently pursue the best outcome possible for your claim, giving you the best chances of receiving the maximum amount of compensation available for your case.
Table of Contents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a traumatic brain injury refers to a wide range of injuries that people can suffer after an indirect or direct trauma to the head. The trauma disrupts brain function, sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently. Examples of TBIs include concussions from slip and fall accidents, car accidents and other events, and penetrating injuries from car accidents, industrial accidents, or gunshot wounds.
The CDC estimates more than 200,000 people get hospitalized each year for brain injuries, resulting in more than 50,000 deaths. After a bump on the head, some assume they will be okay in a few days and recover completely. This is true in many cases. However, seemingly mild injuries sometimes cause lifelong struggles. Additionally, untreated TBIs sometimes lead to death.
Many Situations Can Lead to a Traumatic Brain Injury
A TBI can occur anywhere at any time. However, some behaviors and events put people at higher risk for brain injury. According to the CDC, older adults are especially vulnerable to suffering traumatic brain injuries, and so are toddlers. Both of these groups struggle with walking, sometimes leading to dangerous slip and fall accidents. However, anyone can suffer a traumatic brain injury.
Examples of situations in Hallandale Beach and other places that could lead to a traumatic brain injury include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle, bicycle, and scooter accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Defective product injuries
- Playing full-contact sports
- Physical abuse
- Physical assault
According to the CDC, falls are the most common cause of TBI-related injuries, making up almost half of all TBI-related hospitalizations.
One of the best ways to prevent further damage after head trauma is to seek immediate medical attention. However, those who suffer moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries have already suffered damage and likely face long-term effects. Children are especially vulnerable to long-term complications from TBIs because their brains are not fully developed, and the injury can halt or slow development.
Examples of long-term effects that some people experience after suffering a brain injury include:
- Struggles with logical reasoning and remembering
- Numbness or loss of sensation
- Impaired vision, hearing, taste, and smell
- Difficulty with balance or vertigo
- Struggles with speaking, forming sounds, and making sentences
- Difficulty with understanding and expressing abstract ideas and feelings
- Personality changes—often increased anger and aggression
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental health struggles
- Difficulty with social appropriateness and impulse control
- Permanent vegetative state (PVS)
The CDC also reports that those who suffer a moderate to severe TBI have a life expectancy that is nine years shorter than average, even after receiving inpatient rehabilitation services.
People who suffer from TBIs are:
- 50 times more likely to die of a seizure.
- 11 times more likely to die of drug poisoning.
- Nine times more likely to die from an infection.
- Six times more likely to die from pneumonia.
Traumatic brain injuries are expensive to treat, especially when victims need lifelong treatment or care. Fortunately, Florida law permits those who suffer a TBI to take legal action if their injury occurred because of another party’s intentional harm or negligence. Although rare exceptions exist, victims of negligence who suffer a TBI have two years to file a lawsuit against the responsible party to seek compensation for damages.
The amount of compensation and the exact things a TBI victim receives money for depends on the facts of a claim, the severity of the brain injury, and the likelihood of a full recovery. Damages from settlements and jury awards are made up of economic and non-economic losses. Examples of damages that TBI victims receive for their injuries include:
Medical Treatment Costs
Traumatic brain injuries are among the most costly of all personal injuries, especially with regard to medical expenses. Those who don’t receive treatment at nearby Aventura Medical Center will incur more expenses with travel to and from Fort Lauderdale or Miami.
If you suffered a TBI, you might have received bills for:
- Ambulance rides
- Emergency room treatment
- Surgery and associated costs
- Diagnostic imaging such as MRIs, CT scans, and x-rays
- Lab tests
- Doctor visits
- Transportation costs to and from the doctor/hospital
Estimated Future Medical Treatment Costs. As explained above, a TBI sometimes requires indefinite, ongoing treatment. Some who suffer from a TBI need around-the-clock care for the rest of their life, drastically increasing the cost of future care and medical treatment. Some families can care for their injured loved ones at home, but many times those who suffer a severe TBI must receive in-home nursing care or reside at a long-term nursing care facility. Nursing homes are not covered by insurance unless someone has a separate policy, so costs for this type of care are often included in a personal injury claim.
Rehabilitation services are an essential and often expensive part of recovery for all TBI patients. The exact type of therapy or program depends on the kinds of loss a TBI victim suffers. Physical therapy can help patients recover lost body function in some cases. Occupational therapy helps TBI patients learn how to perform everyday tasks in light of any permanent disabilities. Speech and language therapists help TBI victims relearn how to communicate with others, and some TBI patients need mental health specialists to help them cope with the psychological trauma of their injuries.
Serious brain injuries typically require victims to take time off from work because of hospitalization and recovery. Those who suffer catastrophic brain injuries cannot return to their job or seek future employment. Lost wages and benefits make up a significant portion of many traumatic brain injury claims, especially when someone suffers a permanent injury and loses wages and benefits for life.
Home Modification Costs
Some TBI patients might need to move to a long-term care facility to get the care they need after permanent brain damage; others can return to their homes. Those who return home might have a health aide assist with care, or family members might provide needed care. Each situation is different, but sometimes TBI patients or their families need to make adjustments to the home so it’s more accessible.
The type and cost of changes vary, but some examples of home modification costs include:
- Installing grab bars in the shower or tub
- Installing handrails in the bathroom and other areas in the home
- Building a wheelchair ramp
- Installing special alarms, doors, or locks
- Building an addition or remodeling the main floor for TBI patients who struggle with mobility and cannot use stairs
Costs for Replacement Services. A TBI leaves some unable to perform some or all of the household tasks they performed before their injury. Families sometimes fill this gap, but other times victims or families need to hire outside help to replace the loss.
Examples of people or services a household might need after a TBI injury include:
- Lawn care service
- Exterior maintenance person or handyman
- Pool maintenance person
- Cleaning and laundry service
- Grocery or meal delivery
- Cook or chef
- Nanny or after school childcare
- Tutor for school-aged children
- Personal assistant for errands
TBI victims who suffer severe brain damage that greatly impacts their lives often receive compensation for non-economic damages. These damages, which are not easily quantifiable, include compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, decreased quality of life, loss of consortium, and others that might apply to a particular case.
Sometimes traumatic brain injury victims receive punitive damages as part of the compensation for their injury. Punitive damages serve to punish the defendant for the behavior that led to another’s injuries and deter them from the same or similar behavior in the future. However, Florida courts reserve punitive damages for rare cases. TBI victims must have suffered an injury because of intentional harm or extraordinary negligence to have a chance for the court to award them. Your Hallandale Beach traumatic brain injury lawyer can review your case to see if it warrants suing for punitive damages.
Some who suffer from a TBI do not survive, leading to a tragic and sudden loss for surviving family members. Under Florida law, eligible family members have the legal right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for the TBI. Family members can receive some types of compensation discussed above, compensation for damage to their relationship with the deceased and compensation for funeral and burial expenses. TBI wrongful death claims are notoriously complex because they involve the estate of the deceased. It’s best to consult with an experienced lawyer who can evaluate the facts of your claim and advise you on the best course of action for you and your family during this difficult time.
Hallandale Beach Traumatic Brain Injury FAQ
The brain is a vital organ in the human body. It sends and receives signals through the nervous system and controls thought, memory, and emotion.
One person in the U.S. suffers a brain injury every 23 seconds. In Florida, 1,652 people suffered a brain injury in a recent year. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are responsible for about 30 percent of all injury deaths in the United States. It’s the leading cause of disability and fatalities, especially among children, youth, and older people.
All injuries cause pain and hardship, but a TBI affects your brain, arguably the most important organ in the human body. Such an injury may affect your personality, mental ability, and every aspect of your life. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most serious injuries that a person can sustain, with the very real potential to alter someone’s life permanently.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
According to Florida Health, “A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal brain function. The severity of traumatic brain injuries can range from mild to severe.”
Even a “mild” TBI, however, can cause permanent damage, so don’t let that term mislead you.
What are the leading causes of traumatic brain injury?
The Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention list main causes of traumatic brain injuries as:
- Falls: These cause the most traumatic brain injuries in older people (79 percent) and young people (54 percent).
- Striking or being struck by an object: People ages 5 to 14 years often suffer a TBI after something hits them in the head.
- Motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents: Motor vehicle accidents cause devastating brain injuries in all age groups. However, those aged 15 to 44 years of age are particularly at risk.
- Suicide: About a third of TBI-related fatalities are suicides.
- Violence: Violence, such as gunshot wounds, domestic abuse, and violent shaking, causes many TBIs.
- Sports and recreation: Approximately 70 percent of all recreation concussion injuries happen to teens and children. Many more go unreported. In the U.S., about 3.8 million concussions occur annually during competitive sports and recreational activities. Many of these result from bicycle crashes. However, helmet use reduces the risk by 88 percent.
- Construction site and workplace accidents
- Product negligence
- Combat-related injuries. In those serving in the military, explosions and head injuries can cause a TBI.
What are the common types of traumatic brain injuries?
There is a wide range of severity in traumatic brain injuries.
Common types include:
- Concussion. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury “caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.” Even a mild concussion can have lasting effects. Concussion victims may also suffer second impact syndrome. This happens when the victim (often an athlete) resumes playing without fully recovering from the first injury. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is also common in athletes and can lead to attention deficits, psychiatric disturbances, and suicidal behavior.
- Extra-axial Hematoma. This intracranial hemorrhage or bleeding within the intracranial space occurs within the skull but outside of the brain tissue itself. It can be acute or chronic.
- Contusion. A contusion, or bruising of the brain, is a potentially serious injury since it causes bleeding and swelling in the brain. It can be a coup or contrecoup type. Coup contusions occur at the site of impact, whereas contrecoup injuries typically take place on the opposite side of the brain from where the impact occurred.
- Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (SAH). Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhages occur around the brain following some head injuries. Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) bleeds into the fluid-filled space around the brain called the subarachnoid space. Medical professionals consider a subarachnoid hemorrhage a life-threatening medical emergency.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI). Shaking or strong rotation of the head by physical forces, such as a car crash, cause DAIs. The injury occurs because the unmoving brain lags behind the movement of the skull, causing nerve structures to tear, which disrupts the brain functions.
How do medical providers diagnose and treat traumatic brain injuries?
Typically, it is difficult to diagnose a TBI because even someone who is severely injured may not show it outwardly. Therefore, healthcare providers use a variety of tests and measures in their diagnosis. The medical provider will likely perform diagnostic tests, including x-rays or MRIs. Another commonly used diagnostic tool is the Glasgow Coma Scale, which measures an individual’s ability to speak, open their eyes, and move.
In addition to immediate emergency care, treatments range from rest for a mild TBI to medications, surgery, and rehabilitation. The specifics of treatment, including the type, setting, and length, depend on how severe the injury is and the area of the brain that was injured. Treatments may require significant time, and improvements may be difficult to measure.
What is often misunderstood about traumatic brain injuries?
Many people do not fully understand traumatic brain injuries. Misconceptions can be dangerous because people may not recognize and obtain proper treatment for a brain injury.
Incorrect assumptions include:
- If the injured person is conscious, they must not have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
- If someone appears to be functioning normally right after the accident, there is no brain injury.
- The accident was “minor,” and the impact of the blow was relatively low, so the person wasn’t injured.
- The results of their neurological tests seem to be normal, so they are okay.
- They return to work, and their brain injury doesn’t cause the difficulties they experience.
What are the common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury?
Traumatic brain injuries are different from other injuries because the signs are often subtle. Therefore, it is sometimes called the invisible injury. The injured person may downplay their symptoms or claim they are fine when all the while they are struggling with headaches, confusion, or balance issues.
Severe head injuries occur in many ways, and symptoms may appear days, weeks, or months after an accident, so it is essential to seek medical attention if you suffered a head injury or show symptoms after an accident.
Over time, you may develop symptoms if you have a TBI, and these can include:
- Blurred vision
- Balance issues
- Personality changes
- Speech impairment
- Cognitive Impairment
- Loss of consciousness
Even mild TBIs can cause several physical, behavioral and mental issues such as cognitive decline, problems with speech and language, depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues.
What are some long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury?
Long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury, such as headaches, dizziness, or cognitive impairments, can last for months and sometimes even years post-injury.
Factors that influence the potential long term effects of a head injury include:
- The severity of the injury.
- The cause of the injury, including the extent and location of the impact.
- The immediate treatment received after the injury.
- Any delays in treatment
- The health of the victim at the time of the accident.
- Quality of subsequent medical care.
- Health issues/complications developed while recuperating from the injury.
In some cases, even “mild” injuries can suddenly worsen, new symptoms may appear, and all symptoms may persist for years. It is extremely difficult for healthcare providers to know how damage to a particular area of the brain will affect brain function.
An injury may trigger a degenerative process so that the victim later starts to suffer from seizures. Serious TBI symptoms such as loss of consciousness, chronic depression, and more can further damage the brain. Unfortunately, doctors have no way to predict this. The damage may be cumulative.
For example, this is common when athletes suffer repeated concussions. It is also difficult to predict whether and how a TBI will interact with prior health conditions and past injuries. In some cases, the risks of treatment outweigh its benefits. In that situation, the victim may have to simply live with the effects of the injury. In addition, a TBI can also greatly increase the victim’s risk of suffering from neurodegenerative problems such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
What elements are necessary to prove negligence?
Most traumatic brain injury lawsuits involve negligence, a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. If someone causes a brain injury through negligent actions or omissions, the individual or entity at fault can be liable for the resulting losses.
For example, those at fault may include vehicle drivers; manufacturers, if a design or manufacturing flaw caused the injury; property owners, if a hazardous condition on someone else’s property caused the injury; or employers if the injury occurred on the job. In the case of an employment injury, worker’s compensation benefits may apply.
Proving negligence means establishing:
- Duty: The defendant had a duty of care.
- Breach of duty: The duty of care was not exercised or fell below an acceptable standard.
- Causation: The breach of duty is the cause of the accident.
- Damages: Due to the breach of duty, the victim suffered injury and losses.
What kind of compensation can I get in a brain injury lawsuit?
After a brain injury, medical expenses and other regular bills can pile up at an alarming rate, causing additional stress for the injured person and their family. Because the treatment and prognosis differ for each person, nobody can accurately predict future expenses.
The nature of the injury and individual circumstances affect the cost of caring for a person with a traumatic brain injury. Some studies estimate that average lifetime medical costs may range from $85,000 for a mild brain injury, $941,000 for a moderately severe injury, to $3 million or more for a severe brain injury, not including emotional and other damages.
The court may award:
- Past and future medical expenses. These include everything from emergency treatment to surgeries, ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, adaptive equipment, and modifications to your home and vehicles.
- Past and future loss of income. Someone who has suffered a TBI may be unable to return to work for a long time. In some cases, they can never return to work or resume their previous career.
- Pain and suffering. This is a type of non-economic damages, which means it attempts to compensate you for the detrimental effect the injury has had on your life, instead of direct financial losses. The term refers to the physical pain and mental and emotional suffering experienced by someone who was injured.
- Loss of consortium. Typically, spouses, parents, and children of injured parties who die or suffer a life-altering injury can claim compensation through loss of consortium. The purpose is to compensate people for intangible losses, such as loss of affection, enjoyment of life, or childcare services, that they suffer because of the loss of their loved one or their loved one’s loss of ability to function in a certain way.
- Emotional distress. Not all injuries are visible. Therefore, in some cases, the court may award damages for emotional distress caused by the injury.
- Loss of enjoyment in life. After a brain injury, the injured person may be unable to lead the type of life they led previously. Their ability to enjoy the life they experienced in the past diminishes, and they may become socially isolated.
- Punitive damages. In rare cases, Florida courts may award punitive damages to punish the defendant for their egregious behavior.
What is the statute of limitations?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury actions depends on the claim type. However, if you fail to file a lawsuit within the appropriate deadline, you can’t file your claim.
Brain trauma is challenging to diagnose and difficult to prove. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone’s negligence, consult an experienced, compassionate lawyer with a proven record of success.
If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury, let the skilled legal team at the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn handle the finer details of your case while you focus on healing and recovery. An experienced Hallandale Beach traumatic brain injury attorney can guide you through the legal process, investigate the event that led to your TBI, and fight for the maximum compensation possible for your case. Contact us today online or at (866) HIRE-JARED for a free consultation to discuss the details of your traumatic brain injury and to learn more about how we can help.
“What a great team. Took care of my accident case and got me a very great settlement. Thank you so much to the team for their great efforts and always being transparent with all the information they provided. Highly recommend they will take care of you like family.”
2500 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., #808
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009