About a quarter of a million Floridians live with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Our emergency rooms diagnose about 120,000 cases each year. Of these, 23,000 are hospitalized. About 10,000 suffer long-term disabilities. Nearly all these brain injuries were caused by accidents of various kinds. Consequently, brain injury claims are a mainstay of personal injury law.
TBI is among the most serious of all injuries. The brain, of course, is active in nearly every aspect of living. Movement, thinking, speech. Hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and feeling.“Automatic” operations, too, that we’re not even aware of. Brain trauma, therefore, can disrupt just about anything the body does. The severity and duration range from mild and transient to catastrophic and lifelong.
Boca Raton personal injury attorneys are familiar with TBI. We’ve learned that the details of a TBI are key to pressing claims of negligence and recovering financial damages for our clients. One important factor is the location of the brain damage.
BRAIN INJURY CLAIMS: FRONTAL LOBES
The frontal lobes are located behind the forehead. Like many brain structures, they come in pairs, left and right. One section of the frontal lobes is active in controlling body movement. The rest is dedicated to higher, very human functions like thinking and self-awareness.
Damage here shows in many ways. It can, for instance, disrupt emotional control. Victims can become unmotivated, but at the same time easily provoked. Inhibitions weaken. Some victims can’t recall in what order to do simple tasks. The toll on personal relationships can be crushing.
BRAIN INJURY CLAIMS: TEMPORAL LOBES
The left and right temporal lobes are just below the temples, on the sides of our head. Here, the skull bone is especially thin. These lobes support language, hearing, perception, and memory. Perhaps not surprisingly, therefore, personality also resides here. We are, in a sense, what we see, hear, and remember. Hence, injuries to this lobe can distort or destroy any of these basic functions.
PARIETAL LOBES AND OCCIPITAL LOBES
The parietal lobes are under the top of the skull. The bone there is also thin. If there’s a “control room” in the brain where all the sensors feed their data, this is it. This is, in essence, where we figure out what’s going on around us. Hence, an injury here damages a victim’s ability to navigate from place to place. Clumsiness often results. So can left-right confusion. In addition, the parietal lobes also store vocabulary and interpret language.
The thick bone at the back of the head protects the pair of occipital lobes. These lobes are our “visual computers”, in a sense. Damage can result in bizarre visual distortions. Things can look bigger or smaller than they really are. Colors change. In fact, hallucinations are not uncommon. If an injury affects coordination with the parietal and temporal lobes, the result can be word blindness. That is, the victim sees familiar words but can’t recognize them.
BRAIN INJURY SETTLEMENTS
Clearly, TBI causes damage that can be extreme and long-lasting. Not only to the injured person, moreover, but also to those around him or her. Some TBI victims will need a high level of care for the rest of their lives. Additional damages can accrue indirectly, sicknesses or injuries due to the effects of TBI.
This is why it is crucial for TBI victims and their families to hire an experienced brain injury attorney at the earliest possible stage. If negligence was the cause of the injury, the victim is entitled to monetary damages. We know the short- and long-term costs of damage to various parts of the brain. We can, therefore, choose the expert witnesses and organize the evidence that will get the victim just compensation.