Your Options After TBI

Your Options After Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI) is rarely easy. The condition can affect you physically, mentally and emotionally. Since symptoms are often subtle and hard to spot, the full extent of the injury may not become clear for some time.

As you work towards regaining your life with a TBI, you may rely heavily on friends, family, and broader support networks. But that isn’t always enough. If someone was at fault for your TBI, you may be able to take legal action to gain the support you need to get better.

What is TBI?

Traumatic brain injury is caused by impact. A sudden hit, blow to the head, penetrating injury or sudden movement causes the brain to become damaged. TBI may be mild, moderate or severe. Many people living with TBI have a combination of different types of injury, affecting different parts of the brain.

  • Concussion: a mild injury that may cause loss of consciousness;
  • Contusion (coup or contrecoup): bruise to a part of the brain, either at the site of impact or opposite side;
  • Diffuse axonal injury: damage to the nerve cells caused by the movement of the brain inside the skull;
  • Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage: bleeding in the area around the brain;
  • Hematoma: blood clot as the result of a blood vessel rupture.

In some cases, the brain swells in an attempt to heal the injury. This inflammatory response is a secondary brain injury that can further complicate the condition.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive brain disease most associated with athletes, such as boxers, footballers and hockey players, who had repeated blows to the head. In addition to memory loss, impaired judgment and impulse control, CTE can lead to progressive dementia.

What Are the Symptoms?

Some people are not aware they have a brain injury. Others experience rapid changes in their mental or physical condition. Often, it is those around the injured person who spot the signs of TBI before the injured person themselves knows they are affected. Since symptoms of brain injury exist on a range, people may have one or several of these effects.

  • Loss of consciousness, from a few seconds to several hours
  • Confusion, from brief periods to days or weeks
  • Headache, nausea, vomiting
  • Fatigue, drowsiness, sleeping too much or problems sleeping
  • Speech problems, slurred speech
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Light or sound sensitivity
  • Ringing in the ears, blurred vision, bad taste in the mouth, other sensory changes
  • Depression, anxiety, other mood changes
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Pupillary dilation, affecting one or both eyes
  • Clear fluid draining from nose or ears
  • Loss of coordination, numbness or weakness in extremities

Since the list of symptoms is long, it is always essential to see a medical professional as soon as possible if you suspect you may have a TBI. These symptoms may arise after suffering a blow to the head or a sudden jolt after a car accident or other event. Only a doctor can let you know for sure.

How is it Treated?

Treatment for TBI depends on the location and severity of the injury. While those who have a mild TBI may only need rest or over-the-counter medication, those with severe TBI may need surgery and long-term rehabilitation. That rehabilitation can have several aspects, from helping you to regain speech, physical and cognitive skills to assisting with reentering the workforce and engaging in leisure activities.

If your loved one is living with a TBI, your family may need the help of a medical team. That team can assist with day-to-day living and focus on the long-term prognosis for health and wellbeing. Few families can handle this task alone, and no one should have to feel overwhelmed by caring for a loved one.

What if Someone Caused My TBI?

There are many events that may result in TBI. It is not always a mere “accident” that simply came out of the blue. Of the almost unlimited number of scenarios that may give rise to TBI, here are some of the most common:

Sometimes, one person, a group of people, or an institution, fails to act responsibly. If this failure to act accordingly leads to a serious injury like a TBI, you can sue under the law of negligence. Even if you think there was no one at fault for your TBI, speaking to an attorney can help you to explore the full extent of your legal options.

In the case of TBI, legal action can help you to get the resources you need to assist in your recovery. As a family, you may have few options to give your loved one the full support and care they deserve, not just now, but for years to come.

Typically, there is a statute of limitations on bringing a legal claim. That means you only have so much time to file a lawsuit against an individual or insurance company. However, that statute of limitations usually depends on when you understood the full extent of your injuries or had an awareness that you had a potential legal claim.

Where Can I Go for Help?

You may have a long road ahead after a TBI diagnosis. There may be many unknowns. By exploring your legal options with a personal injury attorney, you can try to be prepared for whatever comes. There are many places where you can learn more. See:

Smiley Law Firm works with you and your family to decide what is best for you now and for the future. For a free, confidential consultation, contact us today by clicking the link below. Remember traumatic brain injury is nothing to take lightly. Seek medical help first and reach out to your attorney second.


  1. Seth Smiley

    on July 17, 2019

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  2. Seth Smiley

    on July 17, 2019

    Thank you for the comment. I am sorry to hear about your sister. Please reach out to our firm as we may be able to help. If the accident was not in a jurisdiction where we are licensed then we can help her find a qualified attorney in the proper jurisdiction.

  3. Seth Smiley

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    My brother was injured in a car accident because of a drunk driver. I think I should tell him to hire an auto accident attorney in order to address his concerns with the insurance company. Thanks for mentioning that they’ll be able to help him prove that he was harmed by the driver so that he can get compensation for his injuries.

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  12. Seth Smiley

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    Thank you. We appreciate your comments on our legal guide.

  13. Thomas Jameson

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    It’s good to know that you should hire an attorney to help you press charges if you are injured by someone who is texting and driving. My sister was in an accident the other day, and the other driver was a teenage girl who was most likely texting. I’ll pass this information along to my sister so that she can look further into her legal options.

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    I was in a car accident, and I’m not sure what to do about it. It makes sense that getting a professional lawyer to help with this would be important. They would be able to ensure that I get compensated for this, and can pay my medical bills.

  25. Seth Smiley

    on July 3, 2019

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  26. Gillian Babcock

    on July 3, 2019

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  27. Seth Smiley

    on July 2, 2019

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  29. Seth Smiley

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    Angela, thank you for the comment. If you or your grandmother need help with the texting and driving accident and injury, please reach out to our firm.

  30. Angela Waterford

    on July 2, 2019

    There was a teenager who injured my grandmother due to texting while driving. I think I’ll hire a car accident lawyer because her life had been irreparably changed. Thanks for pointing out that I’ll be able to point out his negligence with the attorney’s help, so I’ll be sure to hire a good one.

  31. Seth Smiley

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    Thank you for the comment, Jackson!

  32. Jackson Bush

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  33. Seth Smiley

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  34. Angela Waterford

    on June 27, 2019

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  41. Stefan Bradley

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  44. Shayla Cademis

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    I didn’t know you could get compensation for things like losing a job, having difficulties with mortgage payments, or getting a divorce after an auto accident. My brother-in-law was in a car accident last week after another driver ran a red light at an intersection. He’s definitely had a few medical bills, but I’ll have to let him know he should be aware of other possible compensations. Hopefully we can help him find a good attorney in his area. Thanks for the info!

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    on May 30, 2019

    […] questions you might have regarding your claim or policy. For example, you might want to know about injury claim values at this stage, as you could be curious about the amount your insurance company will be paying out […]

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