March Is Brain Injury Awareness Month

March Is Brain Injury Awareness MonthMarch is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Awareness of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is important. Why? Because we all should know that the consequences of even a “mild” TBI can be devastating to the person who suffers it and to their friends and family. The person who has suffered a mild to moderate TBI may walk and talk normally. But inside, they know that they are different. They do not feel like themselves. Any one of their 5 senses can be diminished or altered. Their memory, executive function (planning), and ability to reason and think may be slowed. Their attitude and irritability and ability to be happy and enjoy life may be diminished or gone. Their ability or willingness to socialize with people may be diminished or changed. If any of these effects last for more than 6 months after the injury, the effects are permanent. That is, the effects will not go away or get better; they are for the rest of the life of that person.

The lawyers at Hickey Law Firm specialize in handling cases where our clients have a TBI. Our lead trial lawyer, John H. (Jack) Hickey, is a member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group (TBILG). Hickey has lectured other lawyers and has written numerous papers on TBI and how to handle these cases. Hickey is also a member of the North American Brain Injury Association.

The data on traumatic brain injuries

According to the Mayo Clinic, a traumatic brain injury usually arises when an individual has suffered a hard strike or blow to their head or body. Traumatic brain injuries can also occur when an object pierces the brain.

Most of the time, minor traumatic brain injuries (concussions) only cause temporary damage, while severe traumatic brain injuries result in bleeding, tearing, and bruising, which can ultimately lead to death. However, it can take some time to realize how serious your brain injury is, meaning that you should not delay getting the treatment that you need to avoid future consequences.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every single day in 2021, close to 190 people in America died from traumatic brain injuries. In total, over 69,000 people passed away from traumatic brain injuries that year. In 2020, more than 214,000 people were hospitalized.

Of those 214,000+ people, 21,540 of them were hospitalized in Florida. TBI accounted for 99.5 out of every 100,000 people that year. In Miami-Dade County, there were 2,643 TBI-related hospitalizations in 202, accounting for 92.3 out of every 100,000 people in the County.

The Mayo Clinic lists common causes for TBIs as slip and falls, motor vehicle accidents, violence (especially domestic violence), sports accidents, and explosive accidents. Therefore, if you or a loved one has recently experienced any of these types of accidents, it is crucial that you let your medical provider know right away.

Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury

Whenever anyone hits their head or suffers a whipping of the head or a deceleration where the body is in a car or boat and that car or boat comes to an abrupt stop or slow down, and they experience any signs or symptoms of a TBI, get them to the ER at a hospital right away. The hospital should administer a CT scan of the head. The CT will NOT determine if there is a brain injury or TBI. The CT will determine if there is a bleed on the brain (subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, etc.) which requires monitoring or surgery to relieve the pressure in the brain from buildup of blood and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF).

The most common signs of a TBI include:

  • Intense and chronic headaches
  • Nausea
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling dazed or confused within the first 24 hours after the incident.
  • Loss of memory of a part of what happened
  • Speech and communication issues
  • Vision problems
  • Tinnitus (ear ringing)
  • Strange tastes
  • Sound or light sensitivity
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Feeling confused
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Frequent mood changes
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Changes in sleep patterns

Keep in mind that some people never present any symptoms at all. Therefore, it is crucial that you seek medical advice if you believe that you or your loved one have a traumatic brain injury. Do not wait until it is too late.

Long-term consequences of traumatic brain injuries

When individuals suffer brain injuries, they may experience long-term consequences for the rest of their lives. Here are some of the most common consequences that emerge after being diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury:

  • Challenges with learning, solving problems, remembering, making decisions, and retaining information
  • Loss of senses, vision problems, hearing issues, numbness, and tingling
  • Problems with talking, communicating, writing, and reading
  • Trouble socializing, forming relationships, and relating to others
  • Inability to control anger and sadness, mood swings, aggression, irritability, depression, or anxiety

Research has found that TBI also causes or speeds up the process of getting dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Jack Hickey supports organizations that help victims of TBI

TBI cases are not easy. Why? Because the treating physicians in emergency rooms, hospitals, medical and trauma centers, and their offices often do not diagnose TBI. Second, the TBI is not curable and there is no one thing to do and not one pill to take, and not one procedure to perform to make it go away. The Defense therefore always argues that the CT in the ER was normal and there was and has been for years since the injury hardly any treatment. And people with TBI are not right. They can be irritable. Their memory of recent events can be bad. And they can no longer think logically like they used to.

Hickey Law Firm handles these tough cases of mild to moderate TBI. Hickey Law Firm also handles cases of open skull fractures and severe TBI. Hickey and the firm are members of:

  • North American Brain Injury Society
  • Brain Injury Association of America
  • Brain Injury Association of Florida
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice (AAJ)

Hickey is also listed in the Top 25 for the National Brain Injury Trial Lawyers Association, which is part of an invitation-only organization called The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100.

Hickey has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® for his work in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, Medical Malpractice – Plaintiffs, and Admiralty and Maritime Law, and has successfully represented clients with TBIs. He is double Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Civil Trial and Admiralty and Maritime Law, and Board Certified in Civil Trial by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA). Hickey and his team can help if you sustained a TBI because of a:

Have you or a family member been involved in an accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury? If so, the Miami personal injury lawyers at Hickey Law Firm will fight for your legal rights, hold the responsible parties accountable, and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call our office or submit our contact form for a free consultation. You pay nothing until we win. We are here to help you deal with the aftermath of your life-changing injuries.