Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer in Washington, DC
Put 90+ Years of Combined Experience on Your Side
A traumatic brain injury is any damage to the brain caused by an external force, such as a car or truck accident, or a fall. You do not need to have struck your head to be diagnosed with a brain injury. The brain can be injured if the force causes your head to be thrown in different directions, causing your brain to strike the inside of your skull.
Even a so-called mild traumatic brain injury can lead to months or years of misery, and can sometimes cause permanent problems that can last a lifetime. What is particularly sinister about brain injuries is that their effects might not be known until long after the injury occurs -it could be days, weeks, or even months, and often the injury is invisible – e.g. you cannot see the damage to the brain in diagnostic imaging.
Two of our partners are founders of the Brain Injury Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC, and the current President and Vice President. With our extensive brain injury experience, you can be confident that this is an area for which we are truly passionate. We are well-qualified to handle your brain injury case.
About Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C.
The Washington, D.C. brain injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. are ready to help if you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence. You will work with an experienced brain injury lawyer who knows how to help victims recover compensation for head injuries. Two of our partners founded the Brain Injury Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC, and Partner Joseph Cammarata currently serves as the President of that organization. In addition, Partner Joseph Cammarata is currently chair-elect of the American Association of Justice’s (AAJ) Brain Injury Litigation Group. Partner Allan M. Siegel currently serves on the Board of Directors of AAJ’s Brain Injury Litigation Group. AAJ’s Brain Injury Litigation Group is a national organization, whose members consist of some of the best lawyers from across the country who handle brain injury litigation. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is proud to have such significant leadership positions with such a prominent group. Partner Ira Sherman also served many years on the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America, and the law firm is proud to be recognized as “Preferred Lawyers” by that organization. With our extensive brain injury experience, you can be confident that this is an area for which we are truly passionate and well-qualified to handle your brain injury case.
What Are Common Side Effects of a Head Injury?
A traumatic brain injury can occur after an auto accident or some other kind of event that exposes the head or body to an external force. Traumatic brain injuries must always be taken seriously, and victims should always seek immediate medical attention.
Accident victims who suffer a traumatic brain injury will often suffer several common symptoms. These include the following:
Common side effects of TBI include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentration, speaking, or multitasking
- Blurred or double vision
- Change in personality
- Dizziness, disorientation, nausea, and vomiting
- Severe headaches
- Ringing in the ears
It is not necessary to have suffered a loss of consciousness to suffer a brain injury, but there usually is some alteration of consciousness, such as being dazed or confused.
Often people will describe a feeling of being disoriented, being “out of it” or “not themselves.” While there may not be loss of memory of the incident, there may be portions of the events following the occurrence that cannot be recalled, or is not clear.
When there are no obvious signs of a head injury, brain injuries often go unnoticed. Even a skull fracture could be overlooked if there is no blood or any other indication of a problem. Brain injuries diagnosed in a timely manner can often improve with treatment. But if victims don’t seek medical attention immediately, it is possible for a brain injury to have devastating effects.
If anyone close to you has suffered a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence, a brain injury attorney with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. will be ready to help. Our brain injury attorneys are passionate about helping victims and their families obtain justice, and we are experts in all facets of brain injury law.
One of our brain injury lawyers will listen to the details of your case and can advise you whether we can help you obtain compensation for medical and other expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our law firm is available 24/7 if you would like a FREE consultation of your brain injury claim. When you need legal advice, we’ll be here for you.
Brain Injury Statistics
Brain injury statistics are troubling, to say the least. More than a million people suffer a traumatic brain injury every year, with 50,000 deaths. About 80,000 traumatic brain injury victims suffer long-term disabilities. Not only are the victims of severe brain injuries impacted, but their loved ones are as well.
Here are just a few other brain injury statistics.
- The age groups more likely to suffer a traumatic injury include children between 0-4 years of age, adolescents between the ages of 15-19, and adults 65 and older.
- Falls are the most common cause of brain injuries in people 45 and older and between the ages of 0-14. In adults younger than 45, and adolescents that are between 15-19 years old, the leading cause is motor vehicle accidents.
- Brain injuries contribute to an estimated 30 percent of US injury-related deaths.
- Men are about two times as likely as women to suffer brain injuries.
- The odds of the average American suffering a traumatic brain injury are 160-1.
Understanding the Severity of a Brain Injury
The term “severity” doesn’t just refer to the initial damage caused by the brain injury, but also any long-term damage that may develop. When this type of injury occurs, it will usually be classified under one of these three categories:
TBI severity is often classified under these categories:
- Mild Brain Injury: A mild brain injury can occur with no loss of consciousness or very brief loss of consciousness, and leaves the victim feeling dazed or confused.
- Moderate Brain Injury: A moderate brain injury causes a loss of consciousness for several minutes or several hours, and confusion which may last for weeks or months.
- Severe Brain Injur y: A severe brain injury causes a loss of consciousness that lasts for days, weeks, or months, and can result in a coma, vegetative state, or “locked-in” syndrome.
The Glasgow Coma Scale is a clinical scale often used by emergency medical technicians and emergency rooms in hospitals to measure a person’s level of consciousness. The Glasgow Coma Scale should not be used to predict the severity of a brain injury or a person’s outcome.
Factors that Affect the Severity of a Brain Injury
Even a supposedly “mild” brain injury, requiring little or no medical treatment, can cause long-term disability.
The area of the brain that is damaged also impacts the deficits a person may experience. Here’s a quick look at how a brain injury to different portions of the brain, can cause different deficits:
- Frontal lobes – The frontal lobes are the largest in the brain. A brain injury that affects these lobes can result in cognitive issues, such as difficulty speaking, memory issues, and more.
- Cerebellum – Cerebellum damage due to brain injuries will often affect coordination, and could also result in the loss of muscle tone.
- Brainstem – This is one of the most devastating types of traumatic brain injury. It can make it impossible for the body to control swallowing, heart rate, breathing, and other critically important functions.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injury
Any type of brain injury can have serious long-term consequences. Some brain injuries do not involve visible head injuries, and often go undetected and untreated, leaving the victim vulnerable to further damage and additional injuries. An impact to the head is not necessary for a traumatic brain injury to occur.
Some of the most common types of traumatic brain injury include:
- Concussion: Concussions are the most common form of traumatic brain injury. They can be caused by an impact to the head or sudden and violent movement. People tend to believe that a concussion is a fairly minor injury and that any danger or damage from a concussion goes away within 24 hours or a few days. This could not be farther from the truth. A concussion is, in fact, a brain injury. It can cause substantial damage to the cranial nerves and can take months or years to heal, or even result in permanent problems.
- Contusion: A contusion is a bruise to the brain itself. It is a very serious brain injury and is usually caused by a direct blow or impact to the head. A contusion causes bleeding and swelling inside the skull, around the area where the impact to the head occured. Brain bleeding can cause serious and long-term damage.
- Coup-Contrecoup Contusion: A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when the body suffers a force which causes the head to be thrown or jerked around. The force can cause the brain to hit the inside of the skull even if there was no blow to the head. The brain can be damaged if the impact is forceful enough to jar the brain, causing it to strike the other side of the skull.
- Penetration: A penetration brain injury is just what it sounds like – an injury caused by an object penetrating the skull and entering the brain.
- Diffuse Axonal: If a violent or rapid movement causes the skull to move faster than the brain, nerves and other brain tissue can be torn. This is called a diffuse axonal injury. Whiplash can cause this type of brain injury.
- Anoxic Brain Injury: An anoxic brain injury takes place when brain cells start to rapidly die off because of a lack of oxygen. Anoxic brain injury victims can often start to experience brain damage when oxygen deprivation lasts for as little as 30 seconds. After two minutes, there is almost a certainty that brain damage will occur. If oxygen deprivation lasts for four minutes or longer, that will usually be fatal.
In addition to these primary types of traumatic brain injury, second impact syndrome can occur after any type of brain injury. Second impact syndrome simply means sustaining a second brain injury before the first brain injury has healed. This is typically far more damaging than the original injury and can often result in permanent disability or death.
Treatment for a Traumatic Brain Injury
While the effects of a traumatic brain injury can be catastrophic, there are treatment methods that can help make a victim as comfortable as possible. Brain injury treatment takes many forms. If an initial brain injury is severe, then immediate care from skilled healthcare providers will be necessary in order to preserve as much brain function as possible.
One potential treatment option could be emergency surgery to stop bleeding in the event of a skull fracture or other severe traumatic brain injury. It may be necessary to remove part of the skull so the brain can swell. If this isn’t allowed to happen, that could lead to permanent loss of brain function. Once the swelling subsides, the portion of the skull that was removed can be attached – oftentimes, there won’t even be a visible scar once the victim’s hair grows back.
The Potential Long-Term Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury
The long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury can be incredibly debilitating, both from a mental and physical perspective.
For example, a person who suffers a brain injury may not be able to relate to friends and family members in the same way they did before the accident occurred. Brain injuries can make it nearly impossible to maintain their personal and professional relationships, or to participate in any kind of social activities whatsoever.
Brain injury victims may not be able to enjoy the leisure or recreational activities they once did, or even be able to keep a job. A brain injury victim may not be able to speak as before as well. All of these issues can make people who suffer a traumatic brain injury feel more and more isolated over time.
Physical Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain injuries of any kind can have profound physical effects. These are magnified even more when it comes to a traumatic brain injury. People with severe brain injuries can experience seizures, and these seizures can lead to even more damage. Even if a person with a brain injury doesn’t experience seizures, they can still become physically disabled to the point where they can’t maintain as healthy a lifestyle as they used to lead. A brain injury victim can also be at a higher risk for other health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, thyroid problems, and others.
Long-Term Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Options
When brain injuries require long-term treatment, this usually includes options such as medication to treat cognitive deficits, seizures, anxiety, depression, and other forms of emotional distress, and other issues. There are also many forms of rehabilitation that can be effective when someone suffers a traumatic brain injury. Many victims of traumatic brain injuries will often go through one or more of the following types of rehab:
- Physical therapy will be designed to help restore a traumatic brain injury victim’s coordination, flexibility, and other physical skills.
- Occupational therapy is designed to help someone with decreased brain function relearn basic, everyday tasks. These include cooking, bathing, cleaning, getting dressed, and more.
- Victims of brain injuries will often go through vocational counseling as well. This will help them regain the skills they need in order to return to work – whether or not they have long-lasting brain tissue damage from their head injury.
- Traumatic brain injury victims will often require cognitive therapy. This involves improving skills that might have been diminished, such as judgment, memory, attention span, learning, and others.
Traumatic Brain Injury and Children
The hard truth is that innocent children can sometimes suffer a substantial amount of harm due to someone else’s negligence. When children suffer traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, they arguably need to be taken even more seriously.
As with adults, concussions have to be addressed as quickly as possible. Brain injuries of any kind can lead to severe consequences. Concussions, for instance, can accumulate over time, with the effects getting worse and worse the more often that a head injury occurs.
Many children love to participate in organized sports. Thankfully, most youth sports organizations have detailed protocols in place to deal with children who suffer concussions. No child with this type of brain injury should ever be allowed to return to competition until being medically cleared by a healthcare provider.
If an organization, such as a school or a youth football association fails to follow those protocols, the parents of a child with a brain injury could sue that organization for negligence. This is one of the many reasons that people need the help of an attorney who is an expert in brain injury law.
The Washington, D.C. brain injury lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. can provide the help you need to understand all of your options when pursuing a brain injury claim. Call today for a free consultation.
Brain Injury FAQ
Every brain injury attorney at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. will be accessible. You’ll be able to get in touch with your brain injury lawyer whenever you have any questions or concerns. These are just a few of the questions our brain injury attorneys receive on a regular basis.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive from a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit?
There are many, many factors that go into determining how much a victim of a brain injury can expect to obtain. No brain injury lawyer will be able to tell clients exactly how much they’ll receive if they win their case.
If you’re successful, your compensation could include money for past and future lost wages, if applicable, past and future medical expenses, if applicable, and pain and suffering.
How Long Will it Take for Me to Recover Compensation?
Again, there are a lot of different factors that will also determine how long your case will take to conclude. When you schedule a free consultation with a brain injury attorney at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we will be able to tell you more.
In most cases, however, the faster you get in touch with a brain injury attorney, the faster you will be able to obtain compensation if your case is successful.
Who is to Blame for My Brain injury?
There could actually be multiple parties that could be held liable for the accident that led to your brain injury. If you were in a car accident, for example, the other driver could have been distracted or impaired. There could have been some sort of mechanical failure due to a defective part.
A skilled brain injury attorney will be able to conduct a thorough investigation into the accident and find out exactly who is to blame. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we know how to negotiate with insurance companies in order to obtain a fair settlement offer on behalf of our clients.
However, there are some instances where insurance companies will fail to make an equitable offer, and the brain injury claim will have to go to court as a result. Our brain injury attorneys are skilled in a courtroom setting, making the compelling arguments – and delivering the required proof – to help our clients win.
Why Do I Need a Brain Injury Attorney in the First Place?
If someone else’s negligence caused your brain injury, the last thing you are going to want to deal with is trying to act as your own legal representative. If you do, you’ll be going up against incredibly skilled professionals – such as insurance company adjusters and lawyers – who will very likely be able to pick your case apart.
In order to have the best chance of obtaining compensation, you’ll need the experience of a brain injury attorney. Brain injury cases are incredibly complex and require professional legal assistance.
Whether you’ve suffered a skull fracture or any other type of severe injury that has affected your brain, the most important thing you can do is to focus on your recovery. Leave the rest to a brain injury attorney.
Call Our Washington DC Brain Injury Lawyers Today
Our legal team has proven we have the tools, resources, and unwavering dedication to support victims and families through these tough times. Although we have been recognized for our professional abilities and skills as successful trial lawyers, our greatest reward is helping others.
Recent Brain Injury Case Results
- $6 million settlement obtained on behalf of a man who suffered a brain injury as a result of a rear-end collision.
- $5+ million lump sum payment obtained on behalf of a 14-year-old as a result of a failed embolization of an arterial-venous malformation in her brain, causing profound permanent brain damage.
- $2.4 million obtained on behalf of a woman who suffered a brain injury as a result of being struck in a crosswalk.
- $1.8 million obtained on behalf of an already paralyzed stroke victim, against a wheelchair transport company which dropped him on his head from the van onto the sidewalk during transport.
- $1 million obtained on behalf of a 19 year old client who was a passenger in a vehicle that lost control.
- $950,000.00 obtained on behalf of a man who was struck on the head by a hotel security guard causing permanent brain damage.
- $450,000.00 on behalf of minor child provided ten times the prescribed amount of anti-seizure medication by a local pharmacy resulting in permanent brain injury.
We’re Standing By to Help
If you are looking for the highest level representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.
Our legal team has been selected as “Preferred Attorneys” for the DC Metro area by the Brain Injury Association of America. Call Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today at (202) 659-8600 to receive a free case consultation.