Traumatic Brain Injuries FAQs

If you or a family member has been involved in an Oregon accident or sustained traumatic brain injuries because of the fault or actions of someone else, then you may be entitled to seek compensation in a court of law. Portland traumatic brain injury attorney Travis Mayor is committed to providing individual service to accident victims who need it most. If you have any questions about a recent accident or need help in thinking about your options for recovering fair compensation, please call locally at (503) 610-0005, or Toll-Free (800) 949-1481 or simply email us to request a free consultation.

What are traumatic brain injuries?

Answer:  Doctors categorize traumatic brain injuries into 3 general categories based upon the severity of the injury – mild, moderate TBI, or severe TBI. Most traumatic brain injuries are mild in nature, with symptoms persisting for weeks or months, In about 15% of mild TBI cases, the symptoms last for a year or more. Moderate brain injuries occur when the injury results in a loss of consciousness for 20 minutes to 6 hours, and severe brain trauma cases are characterized by a loss of consciousness for more than 6 hours.  For moderate to severe brain injury, recovery may take months or years depending on the specifics of each case. Unfortunately, the most severe brain trauma cases may result in permanent brain damage, with symptoms persisting for a lifetime. Currently, the CDC estimates at least 3.2 million Americans are disabled with permanent brain damage as a result of traumatic brain injuries, and that 52,000 die each year.

Why is it so difficult to predict the outcome of traumatic brain injuries?

Answer:  Medical science has advanced our understanding of treatment options, but we still have limited knowledge about the brains capacity to heal following an injury. Brain injuries do not heal like other injuries. They are not like a broken bone that heals and functionality is restored. With a traumatic brain injury (TBI) the brain may heal, but the functionality controlled by the brain may be permanently affected. Once the patient is stabilized and no longer in need of acute medical care, the rehabilitation process can focus on achieving specific outcomes such as regaining speech, muscle coordination, sexual function, and changes in the senses. There are no “quick fixes” that can restore the brains functionality, only professional rehabilitation programs. Because the success of any rehabilitation program is different for each individual, predicting current and future expenses needed to restore an individual to pre-accident functionality is difficult and requires an experienced Portland Personal Injury Lawyer.

What are the leading causes of traumatic brain injury?

Answer:  According to the CDC, the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries are:

  • Falls 35%;
  • Motor vehicle accidents 17%;
  • Struck by/against — Concussion Brain Injury 16%;
  • Assaults 11%;
  • Unknown/other 21%.

While most of the headline-grabbing news has to do with sports injuries and concussion brain injury, instead of falls and motor vehicle accidents, these stories are effective in illustrating how the brain, head, and health of an individual can be affected over the long term, and may not appear until years after the injuries are sustained. Compare a football player with protective gear being hit by a 250lb player running 15mph, to a driver with no protective headgear, being hit by a 6000lb. SUV at 65mph. Basically, the force (kinetic energy) absorbed by the driver and vehicle is 456 times greater than the football hit, but both can be deadly to the head and brain.

Increased incidence of traumatic brain injury among our veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has also captured news headlines. Some estimates place TBI injuries related to blast injuries from IEDs at 10 and 20% of Iraq veterans, or 150,000 and 300,000 service members.

What is the cost of caring for someone with a traumatic brain injury?

Answer:  Cost of caring for individuals with traumatic brain injuries varies substantially based on such factors as the severity of the injury (mild, moderate, and severe) and the age and health of the individual affected. Several studies developed by the CDC have projected average medical costs as follows:

  • Mild brain injury — $85,000;
  • Moderate brain injury – $941,000;
  • Severe brain injury — $3,000,000+.

These costs do not include emotional and physical issues, lost income, and other types of costs, which can add substantially to any settlement. In addition, the cost of providing long-term care for a head injury survivor is between $600,000 and $1,875,000 over the patient’s lifetime.

Where can I learn more about understanding car accident insurance coverage?

Answer:  No settlement will be able to “undo the damage and suffering” caused by a traumatic brain injury, but you can obtain a settlement that will help you financially recover from your injuries and assist with future medical, care, and living expenses. The settlement process is never a quick or simple negotiation. Insurance carriers and their lawyers are skilled and experienced in tactics designed to limit their liability and minimize their costs. They are good at representing the at-fault party and their shareholders. On your side are laws, the legal system, and your legal team with the focused objective of obtaining a fair and reasonable settlement from the at-fault party’s insurance and personal assets that cover your recovery costs from your accident caused injuries. By law every driver in Oregon is required to maintain the following types of insurance:

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability
  • Personal injury protection (PIP)
  • Uninsured motorist

There are required minimum amounts, but most policy limits can be much higher. In addition, other insurance policies such as homeowners insurance, “umbrella policies”, and corporate liability policies may be used depending on specific circumstances of the accident. The best way to understand potential insurance coverage is to talk to a personal injury lawyer and review the facts of the case.

You can read more about understanding car accident insurance coverage in our FAQs.

Do I need an Oregon Brain Injury Attorney to represent me or can I deal directly with insurance company adjusters?

Answer:  There is no simple answer to this complex question. The answer depends on many factors such as:

  • Complexity of the accident – a simple fender bender where the fault is clear, versus a hit-and-run with serious injuries;
  • Type of damage – property only, versus bodily injury or wrongful death;
  • Settlement process – negotiate with an insurance adjuster, versus pursue arbitration or litigation with a jury trial;
  • Financial settlement goal – pay for damage to my car, versus recover lost wages and future expenses for medical treatments;
  • Personal Risk – none, my insurance will cover the damages, versus the guy that hit me is underinsured;
  • Negotiation approach – I have the time and knowledge to negotiate, versus a team of legal professionals who have extensive experience in dealing with insurance companies and their legal teams;
  • Monetary value needed to recover – small, less than $10,000, versus million dollar settlements.

Our recommendation is to always speak with an experienced Personal Injury Attorney to evaluate your specific case factors, your situation, and the appropriateness of retaining a lawyer. Remember, when you deal directly with an insurance company, you are dealing with a large, corporate entity, specifically staffed with lawyers and specialists trained in techniques to minimize the value of your claims. They utilize many techniques that are very effective in reducing the value of their offers to you. You can read about numerous examples of case results were settlement offers increased by a factor of ten or more when clients have legal representation.  Do not give up your only leverage in dealing with an insurance company; you’re right to legal representation and due process.  We provide an initial free consultation and personal injury case evaluation for all potential clients and will give you an honest assessment of the case including a potential value and strategy to win your case.

Where can I find additional resources on Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Answer: Here are a few of the better resources on Traumatic Brain Injuries available to you on the web:

Brain Injury Association of America

Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide, by Dr. Glen Johnson

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at Oregon Health and Science University, Neurology & Neurosurgery Center

Portland Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer, Travis Mayor at Mayor Law

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Travis MayorContact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.  At Mayor Law, LLC, we fight for justice for injury victims of Oregon traumatic brain injuries, and we fight to win! You pay nothing up front and nothing unless you win your TBI accident case. Visit our Mayor Law FAQs to learn more about why you should choose Travis Mayor to represent you.