Michigan Brain Injury Lawyer
The long-term care necessary to treat a severe brain injury is expensive. If you or a loved one has suffered this type of injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should not have to pay for medical treatment. Filing a claim against the responsible party is the first step you can take toward receiving fair compensation. In order to do this, you’ll need help from an experienced brain injury lawyer in Michigan.
We can help. At Lipton Law, our attorneys are dedicated to our clients. That is why we will help you obtain the full compensation to pay your medical bills and cover other expenses. Our lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience and a proven record of success with complex personal injury matters in Michigan. If you’re suffering from the aftereffects of a traumatic brain injury, the Michigan personal injury attorneys at Lipton Law are here for you. To schedule your free consultation with us, please call 248-557-1688 today.
What Is a Brain Injury?
An acquired brain injury (ABI) is one that occurs after birth and is not the result of degenerative, hereditary, or congenital conditions. They are also not caused by trauma during birth. These injuries often affect one’s neurons, or brain cells. When the brain tissue and neurons suffer serious head injuries, this can affect the functionality, activity, and physical integrity of the neurons. Two main types of brain injuries exist, which are traumatic brain injuries and non-traumatic brain injuries. We’ll go into these in more detail below.
Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Injury
It’s important to be able to identify the telltale signs of a brain injury if you suspect one. Although a mild traumatic brain injury may affect the cells temporarily, the symptoms can worsen without prompt treatment. The symptoms associated with a traumatic brain injury span a wide range of both psychological and physical effects. Some symptoms occur almost immediately following the brain injury, while others take time to appear.
- Nausea or vomiting
- A loss of balance
- Problems speaking
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Ringing in the ears, blurred vision, and other sensory changes or problems
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Changes in moods or mood swings
- Losing consciousness for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes
- A dazed, disoriented, or confused state
- Problems concentrating or remembering things
- Feelings of depression or anxiety
- Sleeping more than normal
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Any of the above symptoms
- Losing consciousness for several minutes to a few hours
- Headaches that persist or worsen with time
- Seizures or convulsions
- Recurring nausea or vomiting
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- A loss of coordination
- Fluids draining from the ears or nose
- Being unable to wake up from sleep
- Feelings of numbness or weakness in the fingers or toes
- Intense confusion
- Strange behaviors, agitation, or aggression
- Comatose state
- Slurred speech
- Depressed moods
- Changes in nursing or eating habits
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Loss of interest in their favorite activities
- Changes in attention span
- Crying persistently
Types of Brain Injuries
As we stated before, there are two main types of brain injuries. These are traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and non-traumatic brain injuries. We outline their differences below, as well as some of the common forms of each.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury is one that is caused by an outside force and results in changes in brain function or anatomy. These injuries are also divided into two sub-categories, which are closed head injuries and open head injuries.
Closed Brain Injury
A closed head injury occurs when there is no break in the skull. Instead, the brain itself and the surrounding soft tissue can suffer damage. This can lead to brain trauma, a brain bleed, and even swelling within the skull. A closed head injury usually occurs as a result of rapid forward and backward movement of the brain.
Penetrating Brain Injury
A penetrating or open head injury is one in which the skull is broken, and the brain space is entered. They are also considered orthopedic injuries since the bony skull is affected.
A concussion is perhaps the mostly widely-recognized term when it comes to traumatic brain injury cases. When the head suffers an impact strong enough to result in brain damage, this is known as a concussion. Generally, when head trauma occurs, the force is great enough to cause the brain to hit the walls of the skull. Although one concussion may not affect someone for more than a few days, suffering multiple concussions can lead to permanent brain damage. Approximately 30% of victims with concussion will develop post concussion syndrome.
Edema is swelling either of the brain or of the surrounding tissues. Any form of brain injury can cause swelling. Edema is more serious when it occurs in the actual brain tissue. The skull is hard and rigid, which means it cannot expand in order to relieve pressure from the swelling. When this pressure builds up too much, it can press the brain against the hard skull, causing injury.
Diffuse Axonal Injury
Also called sheer injuries, diffuse axonal injuries result in no bleeding, but the brain cells suffer damage. When the brain cells suffer damage, they are no longer able to function properly. If brain injury victims suffer from both a diffuse axonal injury and edema, this can cause even more damage. Even though it may not seem as serious at first glance, sheer injuries are some of the most dangerous forms of brain injuries. Those who suffer a diffuse axonal injury could also suffer from permanent brain damage or even death.
Hematomas are basically blood clots outside of the blood vessels in the brain. When this clotting is severe, it can lead to a significant buildup of pressure. This pressure could lead to a loss of consciousness or even permanent brain damage.
It’s important to note that the skull, unlike other bones in the body, does not have bone marrow running through the center. This means that the skull is much stronger and difficult to fracture. However, skulls also cannot absorb any of the impacts once they’re broken, so this makes brain damage a more likely outcome.
Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries
Coup brain injuries occur on the point of the brain that is directly beneath the point of impact. Contrecoup brain injuries occur on a point of the brain that is opposite the point of impact. Both of these injuries tend to result in bruising of the brain. Coup-Contrecoup brain injuries affect both points of the brain under the point of impact and opposite the point of impact. Because they affect both sides, they are the most severe of the three types. They also pose the highest risk of permanent brain damage.
Non-Traumatic Brain Injuries
A non-traumatic brain injury occurs for reasons other than external head trauma. Usually, these injuries occur due to oxygen deprivation, brain aneurysms, drowning accidents, certain illnesses, cardiac arrest, or other circumstances. Cancerous tumors and lead poisoning can also cause non-traumatic brain injuries.
While the signs and symptoms of a non-traumatic brain injury can be similar to those of a traumatic brain injury, they have notable differences. Although there is no direct head trauma, the cells of the brain are still affected by these injuries. A traumatic brain injury might affect a certain portion of the brain, while a non-traumatic brain injury can spread to all the cells of the brain.
Hemorrhages are uncontrolled bleeding either in the space around the brain or within the brain. Bleeding around the brain is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage, while bleeding within the brain is called an intracerebral hemorrhage. Subarachnoid hemorrhages are known to cause vomiting and headaches, while the effects of intracerebral hemorrhages largely depend on how much blood builds up.
Hypoxic and Anoxic Brain Injury
These injuries are characterized by brain damage that occurs due to oxygen deprivation. Anoxic brain injuries occur when oxygen flow to the brain is completely cut off. Brain cells begin to die after around four minutes when they have no oxygen.
Hypoxic brain injuries occur when oxygen flow to the brain is reduced, but not completely cut off. When this happens, the brain cells die or suffer impairment much more gradually. While they are both commonly associated with strokes, they can also occur for other reasons.
Strokes are also called “brain attacks.” These occur when something impairs the flood of blood to a part of the brain, causing the blood vessel to burst. When a stroke happens, a part of the brain usually dies or suffers damage. Stroke victims can suffer debilitating brain damage, disability, and even death. This is especially true if a stroke misdiagnosis prevented the early diagnosis of the issue.
What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries?
At Lipton Law, our traumatic brain injury lawyers have seen brain injury lawsuits resulting from a number of scenarios, including car accidents, accidental falls, sports injuries, assaults, and even child abuse. No matter the cause of your injury, Lipton Law is here to help you file a traumatic brain injury claim to recover compensation for your losses. We believe that brain injury survivors deserve full and fair compensation for the personal injuries they suffered.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
A motor vehicle accident is one of the top causes of head injury. If someone gets into a car accident or other form of motor vehicle accident, there is always a possibility that they could suffer from a concussion or another type of brain injury. When this happens, you need a Michigan car accident attorney on your side.
Slip and Fall Accidents
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can also occur as a result of slip and fall accidents. Falls can occur almost anywhere, such as at the workplace, at a nursing home, or in a public place with poorly-kept sidewalks. Those who suffer nursing home falls should speak with a qualified Michigan nursing home abuse lawyer. Falls in nursing homes are often related to nursing home negligence, which means that staff members did not take all necessary precautions to prevent falls and other injuries.
Sports such as football, soccer, and ice hockey are notorious for concussions and other head trauma. High school athletes, college athletes, and professional athletes suffer thousands upon thousands of head injuries each year, sometimes more than once in a single year. Multiple concussions can lead to long-term brain trauma and other serious problems.
What Are the Elements of a Brain Injury Lawsuit?
In any personal injury lawsuit, there are certain elements you must prove in order to have a valid claim. You and your traumatic brain injury lawyer must be able to prove four crucial elements in order to recover compensation for the damages you suffered.
- Duty of Care: The responsible party owed you a certain duty of care that you must work with your traumatic brain injury attorney to prove. Basically, the person whose negligence caused your injury was acting in a negligent manner when they should not have been. Let’s say that a nursing home staff member notices a puddle of spilled water on the floor in a hallway. They decided not to clean it up and instead left it for someone else to clean. This staffer owes a duty of care to every resident in the nursing home, so failing to clean the puddle is a violation of that duty.
- Violation of the Duty of Care: Failing to clean the puddle of water would be an obvious violation of the duty of care owed to nursing home residents. The staffer should have cleaned the spill right away or put up a wet floor sign if they were unable to clean it at that moment.
- The Violation Directly Caused Your Injury: You must then connect your injury with that violation. In keeping with the above example, if a resident suffers a broken hip after slipping and falling from the wet floor, this is an easy connection to prove.
- You Suffered Actual Damages: Lastly, you must show that you suffered actual damages from the injury. These damages could be medical bills, physical therapy costs, and much more.
Damages Caused by Traumatic Brain Injuries
Depending on the severity of the damages that the brain injury victim suffered, they could be left with a mountain of medical costs after they fully recover, if full recovery is possible. After a severe TBI or a cerebral contusion, some patients need surgery to correct the problem. This just adds to the growing list of medical expenses. It’s important to work with experienced brain injury attorneys to ensure that you are able to fight for full and fair compensation. Below, we outline some of the damages that we may fight for in your personal injury case.
- Medical care costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Cost of household services while the victim recovers
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the incident
Keep in mind that most states have no cap on economic damages in a traumatic brain injury lawsuit. In Michigan, there is only a cap on non-economic damages, which we discuss below.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional anguish
Many states place a cap on non-economic damages, also it only applies to cases of medical malpractice in some states. In Michigan, there is a cap on medical malpractice non-economic damages. In fact, there are two different caps that apply in different situations. The standard cap sits at $476,600 for most medical negligence cases.
In cases where one of the following applies, the cap is raised to a higher limit of $851,000.
- The incident led to a brain injury or spinal cord injury which caused hemiplegia, paraplegia, or quadriplegia with total permanent loss of a limb’s functionality.
- The plaintiff was left with permanent impairments to their cognitive ability which prevents them from making reasonable decisions or performing daily life activities independently.
- Permanent damage or loss of a reproductive organ has inhibited the plaintiff’s ability to have children.
How Can a Michigan Brain Injury Lawyer Help Me?
In TBI cases, it is imperative that you work with experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys as soon as possible after your injury. Many people are unsure of how to move forward after suffering a brain injury. At Lipton Law, our traumatic brain injury lawyers are here to prioritize your needs above all else. We understand that even the simplest of personal injury cases can be stressful to handle on your own. That’s why we pledge to fight for your right to just compensation from the start of your claim to the very end. Below, we explain a few ways in which our brain injury attorneys work to support our clients.
- We will help you navigate the complicated claims process, the intricacies of brain injury law, and the Michigan legal system. After a serious injury, you deserve to know the depth of your legal rights. We’re here to make sure that you’re well informed of those rights.
- We will also investigate the facts of your case, gather and examine medical records to support your claim, and build a strong case with strong evidence. Our wealth of experience as personal injury lawyers will help you greatly in this regard. This is especially true if the defense requests that you attend an independent medical examination.
- Last, but certainly not least, we can help you properly value your brain injury case. It can be very difficult to determine the value of your claim without help from seasoned traumatic brain injury lawyers.
Traumatic Brain Injury FAQs
How Do I Know if I Suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The best way to determine if you have suffered a brain injury or head injury is to seek immediate medical attention. If you cannot get to a medical care center right away, we recommend looking for the common symptoms of brain injury. Some common symptoms include headaches, confusion, amnesia, and confusion. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, try to get medical attention right away.
This is important for more than just your health. The medical records generated from your hospital visit will also help tie your brain injury more closely with the automobile accident or other incident that caused your injury.
How Long Does It Take to File a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit?
This largely depends on the facts of your case. Many people wonder how long their claim will take, especially if they are still recovering from their head injury. This is understandable, as your medical bills are starting to pile up and likely feel overwhelming. The unfortunate reality is that it is very difficult to determine an estimate of how long your case might take. However, working with head injury lawyers from the start can help you develop a better understanding of what factors will affect the length of your case.
How Much Does a Brain Injury Lawyer Cost?
At Lipton Law, your personal injury lawyer will only operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that we don’t accept a cent unless we secure a recovery for you. Obtaining legal representation for your injuries shouldn’t put you further into a financial hole. You’re already struggling with a mountain of medical debt, lost wages, and much more. Our law firm won’t contribute to your losses. For an in-depth understanding of how contingency fees work, we recommend speaking with a traumatic brain injury lawyer with our firm.
What Is the Difference Between Traumatic and Non-Traumatic Brain Injuries?
A traumatic brain injury occurs when external factors, such as a harsh blow to the head, cause brain injury. Non-traumatic brain injuries occur when internal factors, such as oxygen deprivation, cause brain injury.
What Is the Difference Between Closed and Open Head Injuries?
Closed head injuries occur when the injury does not penetrate the skull. These can range from mild traumatic brain injury to very serious problems. Open head injuries, on the other hand, involve fractures of the skull. These injuries are always very serious, and they require immediate medical care.
How Can I Prove Negligence in Brain Injury Claims?
We mentioned before that you and your traumatic brain injury attorney will need to prove four crucial elements in order to have a valid claim. But what are the specific pieces of evidence that you can use to do this? If your injury occurred from an auto accident or other recorded incident, we recommend getting copies of the accident report as soon as possible. This report will include important information, such as information that identifies the at-fault party, eyewitness contact information, date, time, and location information, causes of the accident, and so much more. It may also contain information about the defendant’s insurance company.
Your personal injury lawyer will generally be in charge of obtaining all the evidence and documentation necessary to file and argue your case. However, it’s still important to know what you’ll need. Aside from the accident report, you should also get copies of all of your medical records related to the incident. Other important evidence includes expert witness statements, copies of insurance company policies, and photo and video evidence from the scene.
Does a Brain Injury Qualify for Disability?
It is possible for victims to qualify for disability after sustaining a traumatic brain injury. If you have permanent physical or cognitive impairment from your injury, you may qualify for long-term disability or SSI benefits. At Lipton Law, our SSI attorneys in Michigan can help you determine whether or not you qualify.
Why Should I Choose Lipton Law for My Brain Injury Lawsuit?
At Lipton Law, we are uniquely qualified to handle brain injury and head injury cases. Our traumatic brain injury attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience. This means that we are not only dedicated to our field and our clients, but we also know how to get things done. If you or someone you love has suffered a serious brain injury, a traumatic brain injury lawyer with our firm is here to fight tooth and nail on your behalf.
Contact a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer at Lipton Law
Lipton Law is one of the leading personal injury law firms in Michigan. Our traumatic brain injury attorneys are incredibly passionate about ensuring that clients feel seen, heard, and cared for throughout their case. No matter the source of your injuries, we’re here to inform you of your legal rights and give you the tools necessary to fight for those rights. We’ll do all the heavy lifting while you focus on recovery. To schedule your free consultation with us, please call our head injury lawyers at 248-557-1688 today.