Did You Suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury? Munley Law Can Help
A brain injury – also known as traumatic brain injury, brain damage, head trauma, or concussion – can be catastrophic, especially in the case of child brain injuries. Often, they take an immense physical, psychological, and financial toll on victims and their families. If you or someone you love suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, you will need help getting the compensation you need to cope with the aftermath.
The traumatic brain injury lawyers at Munley Law have decades of experience winning cases involving complex brain injuries. Since 1959, the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law have fought for victims of serious head injuries and their loved ones. We have represented clients throughout Pennsylvania and nationally, and have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts. Our award-winning legal team has earned rankings among the Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms (U.S. News and World Report), and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
If you or someone you love have suffered a brain injury, we welcome the opportunity to help. Call or fill out our contact form. There is no charge for the consultation, and we do not collect a fee unless we win your case.
Statistics on Pennsylvania Traumatic Brain Injuries
The Pennsylvania Department of Health formed the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Advisory Board (Board) in 2000. According to data from their 2020 TBI Advisory Board meeting, the following findings were recorded:
- 209,880 people are living with brain injury related disabilities
- 138,600 adults and children sustain a brain injury every year
- 1,980 die from brain injuries each year
- 11,088 are hospitalized following a brain injury
- 15,840 of Emergency Room visits are related to a brain injury each year
- 17,107 Pennsylvania children aged 19 and under have sports-related brain injuries
- More than 85% of all TBIs can be prevented by utilizing seat belts (57% effective); or by wearing properly fitted helmets (88% effective).
- Over half of all Pennsylvania brain injuries are related to alcohol and drug abuse
- Nearly 20% of older adult falls result in a brain injury
What Causes a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Brain injuries can result from a variety of accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following as the top causes for these types of personal injury:
- Slip and falls: According to the CDC, 1 out of every 5 falls causes an injury, including a brain injury.
- Unintentional blunt trauma: For example, getting hit with a falling item at a construction site would constitute unintentional blunt trauma.
- Motor vehicle accidents: Car accidents and truck accidents account for 14% of brain injuries. They are also responsible for 26% of all deaths related to traumatic brain injury.
- Physical assault: Approximately 10% of all brain injuries were caused by violence.
- Medical malpractice: Failure to properly monitor a patient, or accidental oxygen deprivation during a medical procedure may result in serious brain damage.
- Sports or recreation: It is estimated that 10 percent of traumatic brain injuries occur because of a sports or recreation accident, including those involving children.
What Are the Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Closed Head Injury
A closed head injury is a TBI in which the skull remains intact. These injuries can be extremely serious and result in a concussion, brain bleed, pressure on the brain, or other trauma. Common causes include falls, blunt force, and car accidents in which the impact causes the head and neck to jolt forward or backward, causing the brain to strike against the skull. Closed head injuries are the most common type of traumatic brain injury.
Penetrating Head Injury
A penetrating head trauma involves a fracture or breaks in the skull, often against the ground or by a foreign object. A penetrating head injury can be the result of a projectile such as a bullet or can be bone fragments from the skull being driven into the brain.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or to the body which causes the head to move back and forth. Often, a concussion can result in a bad headache, loss or altered state of consciousness, etc. Concussions are graded by levels by medical professionals in the following order:
- Grade 1: (Mild) Symptoms last less than 15 minutes and no loss of consciousness
- Grade 2: (Moderate) Symptoms last longer than 15 minutes and no loss of consciousness
- Grade 3: (Severe) Person loses consciousness, even if just for a few seconds
In some cases, what appears to be a concussion could actually be brain bruising which can also be severe if left undetected.
The symptoms of a concussion are not always apparent immediately which is why those who have been involved in a collision or other personal injury event should seek medical attention immediately.
A brain hemorrhage is a closed head injury that results in bleeding and swelling in the brain after an artery in the brain has burst. Brain hemorrhages may be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Signs a brain hemorrhage has occurred are:
- Sudden and severe headache(s)
- Weakness in an extremity(s) or tingling/numbness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of coordination and balance
- Changes in vision
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing
- Difficulty reading and/or writing
- Loss of fine motor skills
- Loss of consciousness
What Are Symptoms of a TBI?
Brain injuries are more common than many people realize, and they often go undiagnosed. The CDC estimates that more than 1.5 million people suffer a brain injury each year. Of those, 85,000 suffer a long-term disability, and 50,000 die.
Severe head trauma can impair physical and cognitive functions or even render the victim comatose, but even seemingly minor accidents can lead to serious brain injuries. Know the signs and symptoms in order to diagnose and treat a head injury as quickly as possible:
- Memory loss
- Changes in vision or hearing
- Sleep problems
- Slurred speech, trouble finding words
- Emotional changes, depression, etc.
How a Brain Injury Lawyer at Munley Law Can Help
If you or someone you love have suffered a brain injury in an accident, it is important that you speak with an attorney who has experience with these complex cases. We will answer your questions and deal with the insurance companies on your behalf so that you may focus on healing. We work closely with investigators, industry experts, and medical professionals to ensure that you are appropriately compensated for your losses, including:
- Medical bills
- Long-term care
- Lost wages
- Lost earning power
- Pain and suffering
Furthermore, we believe that cost should not stand in the way of your ability to get the best legal representation possible. To that end, we do not charge a fee unless we recover compensation for you. You pay nothing upfront or out of your own pocket.
If you or a family member has suffered a brain injury, contact us for a free consultation by calling, filling out our email form, or chatting live with one of our representatives.
Other ways the traumatic brain injury attorneys of Munley Law can help you in your personal injury case include:
- Defending Your Rights As A Brain Injury Victim: A traumatic brain injury lawyer will work diligently to defend your rights, and those of your family, if you suffered a severe brain injury as the result of someone’s negligence.
- Conducting An Investigation: Negligence in brain injury lawsuits is difficult to prove without the help of personal injury lawyers to run an in-depth investigation about how the accident occurred. This may include visiting the scene of the accident, meeting with witnesses and gathering expert testimony and medical reports, or reconstructing the accident to illustrate that you were the victim and not the cause of the event.
- Negotiating A Settlement: Not all claims have to go to court, instead, most head injury lawyers will try to reach a settlement before it has to go to trial. Finding a fair settlement can be a long and difficult process, but if you or a loved one suffered immense brain damage, it can be the difference between recovery and financial ruin.
Pennsylvania Resources for Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors
Traumatic brain injury survivors and their families are often in need of lifelong resources following their brain trauma. In addition to the legal help provided by brain injury lawyers, brain injury victims and their families can also seek resources through a variety of programs. These include:
- Head Injury Program: The Head Injury Program (HIP) was created in 1988 by the Emergency Medical Services Act of 1985 and helps individuals with a TBI live as independently as possible through funding for qualified individuals to receive head injury rehabilitation services. Brain injury survivors may receive up to 12 months or $100,000 for rehabilitation services, followed by a maximum of six consecutive months or $1,000 for case management to assist with the transition out of the HIP. The age limit to apply for the HIP is 18 years old.
- BrainSTEPS – Child & Adolescent Brain Injury School Re-Entry Program: BrainSTEPS (Strategies Teaching Educators, Parents, and Students) Brain Injury School Reentry Consulting Program is a statewide educational initiative through all 29 Intermediate Units, to assist schools in creating educational plans for students who have an acquired brain injury (ABI).
- The Pennsylvania Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) Prevention Program: SBS is an injury prevention program for PA hospitals and birthing centers that provides parents with educational materials related to the risks and consequences of shaken baby or infant head trauma.
More information on statewide brain injury resources and programs for survivors and families can be found on the Department of Health’s website.
Traumatic Brain Injury Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit?
A: In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for most injury cases is two years, meaning you have two years from the date of the incident to bring a claim against the negligent party. However, every case is different and the statute of limitations for your case will depend on your unique circumstances. A personal injury lawyer can review the details of your situation and determine how long you have to file a claim.
Q: How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer?
A: At Munley Law, we do not collect a fee until we win your case. Our fee is a standard portion of the settlement or verdict we obtain for you, so you pay nothing upfront or out of your own pocket. If we cannot recover your damages, you owe us nothing.
Q: Does a TBI Always Result in Loss of Consciousness?
A: Not always. Traumatic brain injuries vary in severity and symptoms, so it is entirely possible to suffer a mild traumatic brain injury without losing consciousness. In fact, this is one of the reasons these types of injuries can be misdiagnosed or missed. But even a mild traumatic brain injury can lead to serious brain damage and long-term problems if not treated properly. Consult with a doctor, and watch for signs such as disorientation, trouble concentrating, memory problems, and other changes in behavior.
Q: What Should I Do After a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A: If someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury (whether it is mild or severe) get medical attention right away. Traumatic brain injuries can be difficult to diagnose at a glance, and untreated brain injuries can cause long-term cognitive and physical damage. Watch the person closely for any changes in behavior, speech, mood, or other symptoms. Document all doctor visits, prescriptions, and missed time from work, as well as any witness statements that are available. Finally, contact a brain injury lawyer at Munley Law as soon as possible. It is important that you have a lawyer with extensive experience handling these types pf cases because they can be very complex. The consultation is free, so you risk nothing by making the call. Find us in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Philadelphia, Allentown, and other locations.
Q: How Do You Prove Negligence In Traumatic Brain Injury Cases?
To prove negligence in a traumatic brain injury claim, the victim of the injury must be able to demonstrate that the other party was negligent or at fault for the accident which lead to the brain injury.
The four elements of negligence that must be proven are:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim
- The defendant breached that duty
- The breach caused the victim’s brain injury
- The victim was injured and suffered damages
These cases can be difficult to prove on your own, which is why it is important to hire a brain injury lawyer who has not only the legal claim experience, but the trial experience to bring forth a traumatic brain injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Q: What Evidence is Needed For a Brain Injury Lawsuit?
Because brain injuries may not be obvious right away following an accident, there are certain forms of evidence that can help brain injury victims and their families get the compensation they need for their injuries and losses.
Evidence in brain injury cases can include:
- Medical images (CT scans, MRI scans, x-rays, etc.)
- Brain mapping or diagrams to show brain injury occurred
- Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring to document swelling in the brain
- Diagnostic tests for mental/physical function, cognitive ability, information processing skills, speech control, motor skills, etc.
- Witness testimony
- Medical expert testimony
- Testimony from those who knew the victim before and after the even to illustrate how the brain injury has impacted the victims life
- Testimony from mental health experts
Q. Can I Sue for a Product That Caused My Brain Injuries?
Yes, it is possible to bring forth a product liability claim when a defective or faulty product was the cause of your brain injuries. If successful, you may be able to bring a claim or case against the product makers, manufacturers, or distributors.
Q. What If I Need Brain Surgery?
In some serious cases, a brain contusion, or impact to the head that results in severe bruising or bleeding of the brain, or a cerebral contusion which is a bruise to the brain tissue may require surgery. These surgeries can be needed to reduce intracranial pressure, which otherwise untreated can result in life-threatening or permanent brain damage.
When surgery is required, brain injury attorneys can help you calculate the total value of your recovery for medical treatment and long-term medical costs, loss of wages and future earning potential, and any long-term care that may be needed as a result of the TBI.
Because surgery can mean a long recovery, a traumatic brain injury attorney can represent you in a claim or case on your behalf, while you focus on recovery.
Q. My Child Suffered a Brain Injury at Birth. Can You Help?
If your child suffered a brain injury at birth as a result of medical negligence or birth injury, a child brain injury lawyer from Munley Law is here for you and your family.
We can investigate what went wrong during labor and delivery, if the injury could have been avoided, and who is to blame for your child’s long-term medical needs. Birth injuries are particularly difficult to prove which is why working with a traumatic brain injury lawyer right away will be critical to your child’s care, and your ability to move forward without the worry of financial strain.
Q. Why Should I Hire a Traumatic Brain Injuries Attorney?
Whether you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, a birth injury, a sporting accident, a workplace accident, or another event that lead to severe injury, you should not have to file a brain injury lawsuit alone, nor should you have to wade through the legal jargon without help.
By hiring a head injury lawyer or TBI lawyer, you will be able to focus on your own recovery or the care of an injured loved one who was hurt by the negligence of another.
A head injuries lawyer can manage your claim or case by:
- Determining the cause of your injuries
- Proving negligence was in the hands of another
- Negotiating with the insurance companies or the liable party
- Working with you through the workers’ compensation or disability process
- Taking your case to trial
- Calculating the total value of your current and future losses and needs
- Bringing your claim to a close so you can move forward with life
Q. How Do You Find The Best Brain Injury Lawyers Near Me?
In order to find the best brain injury lawyer near you, it is important that you conduct a thorough search for personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys in your area who have experience with traumatic brain injury legal issues.
Because the injury may be a result of medical negligence, product liability, or a personal injury event like a car accident, understanding brain injury laws is of the utmost importance because evidence from these cases can disappear quickly.
If you are asking yourself, “how do I find a brain injury lawyer near me with the experience and track record for securing high settlements and verdicts,” look no further than Munley Law.
I Need a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Near Me. Can Munley Law Help?
The Munley Law personal injury attorneys have been acknowledged by the Best Lawyers in America for their work securing compensation for personal injury victims throughout Pennsylvania and can do the same for you.
Our personal injury attorneys have represented accident victims in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and throughout the entire Keystone State in claims against motorists, trucking companies, doctors and hospitals, manufacturers as well as property owners whose negligence has caused life-altering suffering to innocent people.
In most cases, a traumatic brain injury can be avoided by just behaving responsibly and ethically towards others. However, these injuries remain some of the most common, and most fatal when left untreated. Because of this, our brain damage lawyers will ensure that your losses are not in vain and that you have the resources needed to move forward.
For a no-obligation, free consultation, contact the Pennsylvania traumatic brain injury law firm at Munley Law by calling 570-399-0406.