Philadelphia Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
The Highest Awards of Any Pennsylvania Personal Injury Law Firm
For over 60 years, The Beasley Firm has set the standard for representing injured persons, including obtaining the two highest compensatory damage awards in Pennsylvania.
Here are a few recent highlights of our more than 300 hundred jury trial verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million:
- $100 million verdict for medical malpractice that resulted in severe brain damage and arm amputation (the largest medical malpractice verdict in Pennsylvania history).
- $37 million verdict for a baby who suffered severe brain damage from oxygen deprivation.
- $12.6 million verdict for a young boy who was left severely brain damaged by an umbilical cord prolapse.
Our Philadelphia brain injury attorneys work with doctors, nurses, and other experts to develop the strongest cases possible for injury victims. Call (215) 866-2424 to speak with our staff in a free consultation-it requires no obligation, and it allows us to help you decide what you'll want to do next.
The Myth of "Brain Injury Law"
Just as there's no such thing as "spinal cord injury law," there's no such thing as "brain injury law." The applicable law depends on the circumstances of the injury, not the size of the damage caused. If someone hurts their wrist in a fender bender, the same law applies to their claim as if they had been put into a coma by a tractor-trailer with defective brakes. If a hospital negligently causes a rash by administering a medicine to which the patient is allergic, the same law applies as if an anesthesiologist didn't properly intubate a patient during surgery, causing hypoxia and brain damage.
The law for brain injury and head injury cases is the same as for every other personal injury case-what makes them different is the intensity and cost of the litigation. TBI lawsuits are high-stakes cases. The damages inflicted are extraordinary, the injuries life-changing, the future treatment and rehabilitation expensive. The insurance companies know that, so they fight tooth-and-nail to limit the plaintiff's compensation or deny them recovery entirely.
A "brain injury lawyer" thus doesn't have to know any different laws from your ordinary workplace accident, premises liability, or personal injury attorney, except for one thing: their skill, perseverance, and dedication, including their willingness and ability to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation costs (like hiring experts and investigators, conducting tests, deposing witnesses, examining electronic evidence, et cetera) to put together the very best case for a judge and jury.
Our Philadelphia brain injury attorneys have consistently and effectively poured vast resources into every case we take on in order to make sure our clients are taken care of for the rest of their lives.
The Three Main Causes of Brain Injury
Most brain injuries are either traumatic brain injuries, hypoxic brain damage, or are the result of a medical condition.
- Traumatic brain injuries are the result of head trauma, broken down into open head injury (a depressed, basilar, diastatic, or linear skull fracture), closed head injury (concussions, contusions, or intracranial hemorrhage), and a particular type of closed head injury common in rapid deceleration situations like transportation accidents or sports injuries called diffuse axonal shearing. Perhaps surprisingly, most of the nearly 1.7 million traumatic brain injury suffered by Americans every year were caused by falls, rather than by automobile accidents. Unsurprisingly, the fatal falls are typically workplace injuries caused at industrial or construction sites, like falls from scaffolding.
- Hypoxic brain injuries all have the same mechanism-anoxia, a lack of oxygen to the brain-but a variety of causes, including smoke inhalation during a fire or after an explosion, near-drowning in water, defective products producing excessive carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide, or medical malpractice, like in birth injury, where anesthesia is administered improperly during surgery, or where diabetes is improperly controlled by a hospital following a procedure.
- Certain medical conditions and diseases can also cause brain injuries, most commonly encephalitis, meningitis, tumors, and, most of all, stroke. If the condition was improperly treated or was misdiagnosed (as is common with stroke), then the resulting brain damage could be the subject of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our Philadelphia traumatic brain injury lawyers would be able to help if this is the case.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury vary depending on how serious the injury is and how much damage is done. These types of injuries are categorized into three levels: mild, moderate, and severe. When something serious happens, the doctor will perform various tests to determine the severity. Each level of TBI has different symptoms.
For instance, a mild TBI usually results in minimal or no loss of consciousness, headaches, nausea, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, or fatigue. Moderate TBI has similar symptoms but may also include a longer period of unconsciousness, seizures or convulsions, worsening headaches, or loss of coordination.
The worst of the symptoms are associated with a severe TBI, which often results in slurred speech, agitation, inability to awaken from sleep, weakness or numbness in extremities, or in some serious cases, coma.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Brain Injuries
A brain injury is typically simple to diagnose, particularly traumatic brain injuries because there is a clear event that likely caused the harm in the first place, i.e. the trauma, hypoxia, or medical condition. Similarly, it is easy to use an MRI or CT scan to identify an intracranial hematoma or other abnormalities in the brain's anatomy. The degree of injury, however, whether mild or severe or in between, is often hard to diagnose, in part because of the difficulty of assessing symptoms.
The Glasgow Coma Scale rates eye response, verbal response, and motor response on 1-6 scales and then adds them up. (There's a pediatric version adjusted for children's differing reactions.) The Ranchos Los Amigos Scale evaluates the patient's awareness, cognition, behavior, and interaction with the environment all in one measurement and then puts the patient at one of eight levels of consciousness ranging from "purposeful-response" to "no response."
Neither test is wholly objective, nor do they need to be; the point is to get a general sense of the person's cognition and neurological control to determine the appropriate rehabilitative treatment and therapy and to track recovery. Tests like these are part of how our Philadelphia brain injury attorneys determine the appropriate compensation for our clients. Our staff, which includes experienced doctors and nurses, help us understand how to build our clients' cases most effectively.
Recovery from a brain injury is possible, though, even mild traumatic brain injuries can cause permanent damage from which the affected individual never fully recovers. There are thus government benefits for brain injury victims, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Generally, though, these benefits are limited, and so most individuals who suffer a brain injury in a car or truck accident, in a fall at a business, an accident in the workplace or at hospital, or as the result of other negligence, receive most of their care through the compensation provided by a brain injury lawsuit.
Handling Complex TBI Cases in Philadelphia
We know how to win cases, but our law firm is about more than just winning. Our aim is to be a part of our community, to help the vulnerable and forgotten receive both justice and compensation for their suffering. We fight for our neighbors because it's the right thing to do, and we are honored to do it so effectively on their behalf.
If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury, contact the Philadelphia brain injury lawyers at The Beasley Firm at (215) 866-2424.