Pittsburgh Brain Injury Lawyers

Pittsburgh Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers

Caring advocates for Pittsburgh accident victims who injure their head or brain

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Traumatic brain injuries are often life changing. A severe TBI often means that an accident victim’s life is never the same as it was before the accident. TBI victims often require surgery just to prevent further damage and to save the victim’s life. Anyone with a TBI is likely to suffer physical, cognitive, and emotional difficulties every day, potentially for the rest of their life. Many TBI victims cannot work again. Many are unable to perform simple tasks without help.

Traumatic brain injury cases require experienced, tough personal injury lawyers who can fight for every dollar of medical care, lost income, and pain and suffering you (or your loved one) needs to live the best life possible. At Carmody and Ging, Injury & Accident Lawyers, our Pittsburgh TBI lawyers work with your doctors and our network of physicians and health care providers to verify the severity of your TBI, show what medical care you will need for the rest of your life, and to demonstrate all the ways your traumatic brain injuries are affecting your ability to function and live. We also work aggressively to prove that the defendants caused your injuries. We file personal injury claims against drivers, property owners, manufacturers, and other responsible parties.

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How is a traumatic brain injury defined?

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) defines a traumatic brain injury as a  “severe, violent strike to the head that causes the brain to bump against the inside of the skull. It can also occur when an object, such as a bullet or a piece of the skull, penetrates the brain.”

Traumatic brain injuries are divided are categorized as either one of the following:

  • Open head injuries. Here, a fractured skull or the membranes around the skull “have been breached.” These injuries often necessitate surgery to remove pieces of the fractured skull and implant synthetic pieces.
  • Closed head injuries. These injuries (which include concussions) generally don’t break the skull. They’re often caused by a blow to the head.

Both categories of TBIs require expert medical help to reduce the amount of brain damage. According to UPMC, nearly 1.7 million people suffer a TBI each year. About 275,000 people need to be hospitalized.

How do Pittsburgh doctors diagnose a TBI?

The severity of a TBI is generally categorized as:

  • Mild. A brief change in cognitive status or consciousness. A score more than 12 on the Glasgow Coma Scale.
  • Moderate. A score between 9 and 11 on the Glasgow Coma Scale.
  • Severe. A low score on the Glasgow Coma Scale, a test used to determine the severity of a TBI.

Generally, patients with a mild or moderate TBI are released in a few days after hospitalization – though some may be at risk for “delayed posttraumatic intracerebral hematomas or brain swelling. Identification of these patients requires careful neurologic assessment and liberal use of the CT scan.”

Some of the signs and symptoms of mild and severe TBIs according to Penn Medicine are:

  • Mild TBI symptoms. A short loss of consciousness, lightheadedness, dizziness, memory problems, sleep difficulties, and blurry or tired eyes.
  • Severe TBI symptoms. Severe headaches that won’t go away, lack of coordination, nausea and vomiting, seizures, and weakness in the victim’s extremities. 

CT scans are often taken in an ER to create a detailed view of the brain. The CT can show if there are any fractures, bleeding in the brain, blood clots, and swelling or bruised brain tissue. MRIs are generally used after the victim’s condition stabilizes to create another detailed view of the brain.

What difficulties do traumatic brain injury victims in Pittsburgh face?

The symptoms of traumatic brain injuries can include physical, social, cognitive, and emotional difficulties. Some of the complications that your doctors and our lawyers review include:

  • Cognitive challenges. These include difficulty thinking and remembering. Other challenges include difficulty talking and expressing yourself.
  • Behavioral and social difficulties. These include feelings of restlessness and agitation. Pittsburgh traumatic injury victims may experience personality changes. Victims may exercise poor judgment, have a lack of impulse control problems, and anger management issues. Victims may also have mood swings.
  • Physical problems. These include difficulties with movement and motor control including difficulty walking and caring for yourself.

UPMC also lists the following affects that brain trauma can have on speech and communication:

  • “Aphasia, which affects your ability to understand spoken and written words and sentences. You may also struggle to recall words or make sentences.
  • Dysarthria, which affects the muscles you use to form words and speak. You can think of what to say but can't speak, or your speech may slur or be slow.
  • Prosodic dysfunction, which affects intonation or inflection. This makes it hard to convey meaning such as irony, sarcasm, or emotion.”

Other difficulties include a lack of endurance, difficulty swallowing, vision problems, difficulty paying bills, difficulty shopping or driving, and many other difficulties

Are there ways to treat a TBI in Pittsburgh?

Generally, the initial treatment involves transporting the Pittsburgh accident victim to a local ER – safely. Once at the hospital, surgeons work on the skull fractures. They also work to reduce any swelling, remove blood clots, and stop any bleeding.

Once the patient’s brain has been able to heal, a Pittsburgh TBI victim will work with a rehabilitative team that includes many different types of health care providers including:

  • Physical therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Vocational therapists
  • Physiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Rehab nurses
  • Case managers
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Speech therapists
  • Social workers
  • Nutritionists

Rehabilitative care includes care immediately after surgery, long-term, transitional living programs, and independent living programs. Most severe TBI victims require a lifetime of care to cope and to ensure their condition does not worsen. Many TBI victims (and families) also benefit from participation in TBI support groups.

What are common causes of TBI in Pittsburgh?

Our Pittsburgh traumatic brain injury lawyers begin each claim by working to show how the accident caused your TBI, and why the responsible parties should pay for your damages.

Traumatic brain injuries are often caused by:

We file negligence claims, product liability claims, and workers’ compensation claims against the people and companies that caused your TBI.

What damages can I seek in a Pittsburgh brain injury case?

The thing about brain trauma is that it presents differently for everyone. A person with a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) may have symptoms for a few hours or even a few weeks but may ultimately heal. Another person with mTBI, however, may become more susceptible to other conditions, or suffer permanent damage to, say, their vision, even when all other symptoms have cleared up. This is why you can seek damages for your medical expenses – present, as well as those you will have in the future. 

People with severe TBI, however, may never be the same – and that means their families won’t, either. You may be unable to work, and someone in your family may end up becoming your caretaker. As such, you can seek compensation for your lost wages and loss of future earning potential

Finally, you can make a claim for your physical and mental pain and suffering, as well as your property loss. Your spouse may make a claim for loss of consortium, too. If your loved one dies because of brain trauma, you can seek damages for funeral and burial expenses

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Do you have a traumatic brain injury lawyer near me?

Carmody and Ging is located at 801 Vinial Street in Pittsburgh, on the 3rd floor of the Deutschtown Center building. We’re located directly across the street from Penn Brewery. There is plenty of convenient parking nearby, though you can also take the bus to the Troy Hill Road stop. Since many TBI victims have mobility problems, we do arrange to see TBI victims at their homes, hospital, or rehab facility. Video conference discussions are also possible.

Our Pittsburgh traumatic brain injury lawyers understand how frightened you are. A severe TBI is a life-changing experience. Rest assured that we understand the time limits for filing your claim (generally within two years of the accident date), how your injuries affect every aspect and every day of your life, and all the types and lengths of medical care you will need. We’ll guide you through each step of the claims process.

Talk with our caring experienced Pittsburgh TBI lawyers now

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At Carmody and Ging, we’re ready to help you from day one. Our lawyers have an impressive record of settlements and verdicts – many for six and seven figures. We’ll talk to you, your doctors, your family, and your witnesses. We have the experience and resources to help TBI victims obtain justice. We’re a local firm with strong Allegheny County ties. To schedule a free consultation with a respected Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer, please call 412.281.2929 or use our contact form.

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