Military Veteran Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Service Connected TBI Special Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) refers to any damage to the brain that results from external force, particularly in sudden and traumatic events. While direct impact head injuries can cause TBI (such as when a football player sustains a concussion after a helmet-to-helmet collision), victims can still sustain a brain injury and suffer serious symptoms when there is no actual impact, visible injury, or loss of consciousness. This is why some individuals suffer concussions in car accident involving whiplash, and why many U.S. military veterans sustain TBI in the course of their service.
Traumatic brain injuries in the military are very common, and have even been referred to as the “signature wound” of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. Most TBI reported by service members and veterans involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom have been traced back to Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) used against Coalition Forces, as well as heavy artillery, falls, motor vehicle accidents, and falling objects.
At Biren Law Group, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers maintain an active practice representing military veterans with service-connected conditions, including TBI, that are worsened by new injuries they sustain in accidents as civilians. Due to our experience in this field, as well as the insight and resources we have accumulated while supporting veteran-focused organizations such as the MVAT Foundation, we are uniquely poised to protect the rights of veterans in their civilian personal injury cases, and help them seek a financial recovery of their special damages.
If you are a military veteran with a pre-exiting TBI and were recently injured in a civilian accident that could and should have been prevented, Biren Law Group is available to help you better understand your rights to compensation, including a recovery of special damages. Our firm proudly serves vets and families throughout Southern California.
Call (310) 896-4345 for a FREE consultation.
TBI Symptoms & Consequences
Traumatic brain injuries are notorious for their unpredictable effects, as well as their potential to create serious short- and long-term symptoms and repercussions that can significantly alter the lives of victims. Depending on the severity of an initial traumatic event, TBI can range from mild and moderate to severe. However, those terms describe only the nature of the initial injury and subsequent loss of consciousness, if any occurred, not the actual severity of its consequences. It is an unfortunate truth that there is still much to learn about the human brain, its response to trauma, and the far-reaching impact brain injuries can have on victims.
While symptoms and consequences can vary from person to person, they may include:
- Headaches, including chronic headaches
- Confusion, lightheadedness, loss of coordination, and dizziness
- Vision problems, including blurred vision or eye fatigue
- Ringing in the ears and hearing difficulties
- Behavioral and mood changes
- Vomiting or nausea / convulsions or seizures
- Sleeping difficulties
- Restlessness, fatigue, agitation, and irritability
- Cognitive issues, including problems with memory, attention, or concentration
- Post-concussion syndrome (PCS), long-term and significant changes in cognition and personality
While short-term symptoms may dissipate over time, some victims of TBI encounter more severe and long-term, if not life-long, consequences. These can include substantial physical changes, such as changes in a person’s mood or behavior, and problems with their cognition and thinking skills. In turn, chronic and severe symptoms can drastically impact the lives of victims, especially transitioning service members or veterans who struggle to maintain stability in their post-military lives. Many veterans with TBI also suffer from PTSD, as well as problems involving employment, interpersonal relationships and family life, substance abuse, and more.
Seeking Special Damages in Civilian Personal Injury Cases
Any injured victim who suffered preventable injuries as a result of another’s negligent or wrongful acts (such as a negligent driver) has a right to seek financial compensation for their damages through the personal injury claim process. These damages commonly include things like medical expenses, lost wages caused by missing work, and pain and suffering.
However, veterans with service-connected TBI can suffer additional setbacks and consequences many civilians do not, including:
- Worsening of symptoms – Sustaining a new injury, even if it is not a head or brain injury, can cause a worsening of pre-exiting TBI symptoms. Because there doesn’t have to be a direct impact to the head to cause sudden forces to jolt the brain within the skull, victims involved in motor vehicle accidents or other sudden and traumatic accidents can still experience applied force to the brain. This may exacerbate symptoms, cause them to become more frequent, or make them more severe.
- New TBI – Having a concussion or previous brain injury makes a person more likely to sustain another when they are involved in traumatic events and accidents, including car accidents and falls. Repeat traumatic brain injuries can not only result in new or more severe symptoms, but also put victims at risk of developing serious and life-altering neurological conditions, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), early onset Alzheimer’s or dementia, and others.
- Indirect harms – As with other service-connected injuries, TBI is often a significant hurdle in the lives of military veterans who return to civilian life. In order to cope and manage symptoms, they may seek regular treatment or rehabilitative therapy and / or develop strategies for self-care and management of health, cognitive, and behavioral problems, such as healthy routines, exercise regimens, hobbies, and other habits or practices on a regular or daily basis. New injuries of any type can compromise progress veterans have made in managing their condition, prevent them from participating in therapy or engaging the coping mechanisms they have used thus far, and set them back drastically in their personal and professional lives.
When veterans suffer these and other consequences as a result of new injuries, it is critical those damages are reflected when they pursue compensation from an at-fault party, whether through negotiations with insurance providers representing defendants, or litigating before judges and juries at trial. That’s precisely what our legal team strives to achieve when representing injured veterans.
Place Your Trust in a Firm that Proudly Supports & Represents Veterans
Biren Law Group is comprised of an award-winning legal team that personally and professionally supports members of our armed services. In addition to helping veterans fight for a full and fair recovery of their damages in their personal injury claims, including special damages, we also have the connections and resources to help them as they move forward into their recoveries and civilian lives.
For example, our work with the MVAT Foundation has allowed us to host non-profit events attended by guest speakers who share their insight on issues faced by veterans. This includes one event hosted at the home of our firm’s Founding Partner Matthew B.F. Biren in which the guest speaker was Dr. Chrisanne Gordon. A physician and TBI survivor herself, Dr. Gordon wrote a book on her journey through the TBI recovery process. Such insight proves invaluable when our firm represents veterans and clients experiencing the same issues, allows us to effectively advocate on their behalves, and helps us provide them with additional resources in their personal lives.
We encourage you to learn more about our firm, our work and services for injured veterans, and how we can help with your personal injury case by calling (310) 896-4345 or contacting us online for a FREE consultation. We serve clients throughout Southern California.
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