Serving Clients from Offices in Providence & Middletown
The signs and symptoms of brain injuries are notorious for not showing up until months or even years after a serious accident. Doctors who do not have an in-depth background and understanding of brain injuries may miss the warning signs or believe that the injury you sustained is not as serious as it may turn out to be.
At Karns & Kerrison, we know the right questions to ask to figure out the true extent of your traumatic brain injury. We are prepared to fight for your right to the full compensation you may need for a lifetime of disability, medical care, and rehabilitative therapy. Attorneys from across the nation refer complex brain injury cases to our firm because of our considerable experience and success in this area.
By applying sophisticated research and well-documented evidence, our firm builds strong cases for brain injury victims that are suffering from:
- Chiari I malformation
- Diffuse axonal injury
- Post-traumatic vertigo
- Sleep disturbances
- Vision problems
Turn to a Firm with Brain Injury Experience
Karns & Kerrison isn't your average personal injury firm. Our founding attorney, Robert T. Karns, is one of the nation's premier advocates for head injury victims. Over the past 45 years, Attorney Karns has conducted extensive research in this area and has established a reputation for successfully handling some of the most complex brain injury cases in the country.
Attorney Karns boasts membership in:
- AAJ Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group
- Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island
- North American Brain Injury Society
- Brain Injury Association of America
If you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury because of someone else's negligence, you are entitled to seek justice and full compensation to cover your medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering. It is crucial that you seek out an experienced lawyer who understands the complexities of traumatic brain injuries.
What is the Cost of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
There is no clear answer as to how much a brain injury might cost you over time. As an estimate, Northwestern University published an article finding the lifetime cost of a brain injury ranges from $85,000 to 3 million for a traumatic brain injury. Acute care for moderate TBIs resulted in a cost of $25,174 to $81,153 while mild cases were between $33,284 and $35,954. Different options for life care determined continued annual costs, with a facility placement ranging from $49,688 to $84,082, depending on the type of facility. If the patient chose care at home, the annual cost was just over $222,000 while rehabilitation increased that number to $450,000.
Recovering the Compensation You Deserve
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) almost always causes temporary or permanent brain damage. This damage can leave a victim with cognitive, emotional, and physical disabilities, including personality changes, memory loss, seizures, and severe headaches. Victims of head and brain injuries may no longer be able to earn a living, and they often require long-term rehabilitative therapy.
When calculating the lifetime cost of a brain injury, it is essential that you consider many factors:
- Loss of learning and earning potential
- Immediate medical costs
- The price of long-term therapy or treatment
- Other costs potentially associated with comatose patients
- The age of the victim
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are not always apparent right away. Some may not be present for months or years. This makes diagnosis more difficult.
If you or a family member has been in an accident that had the potential to cause a brain injury, watch for these symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Tiredness or sleepiness
- A bad taste in the mouth
- A change in sleep habits
- Behavior or mood changes
- Trouble with memory, concentration, attention or thinking
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Nausea or vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Convulsions or seizures
- Enlargement of the pupil (dark center) of one or both eyes
- Numbness or tingling of arms or legs
- Loss of coordination
Common Causes of TBI
A TBI can occur without a loss of consciousness and even without a direct blow to the head if manifested by feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused or having any loss of memory either before or after the accident.
There are many types of trauma that can cause traumatic brain injuries, including:
- Car and truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Construction accidents
- Other workplace accidents
- Boat accidents
- Maritime accidents
Prompt legal action can prove to be the key to a brain injury victim's ability to cope with the lasting effects of an accident. Fair compensation can allow the person to receive high-caliber therapy, get housekeeping help if necessary, replace lost income, and otherwise do what it takes to live a rewarding life despite living with a disability.
The Illusion of Recovery After a Closed Head Injury
At first, it may be difficult to get a clear picture of the accident victim's injuries through conversation and observation. After several weeks or months, other people, including family members, co-workers, neighbors, and even health care professionals may believe a closed head injury victim has recovered. The person may look, act, and talk much the same way he or she did before a car accident or slip & fall accident.
However, over time, it becomes evident that the brain injury has done lasting harm. Brain injury victims often continue to complain of ongoing complications long after the accident is a thing of the past. Many are unable to concentrate well enough to hold down a job. Others encounter difficulty accomplishing everyday tasks such as shopping and have a hard time carrying on as before in their personal and family lives.
Catastrophic Brain Injury & Worst-Case Scenarios
In the worst cases, victims may lose bodily functions, emerging from recovery with ongoing problems such as slurred speech, seizures, or incontinence. A severely injured brain injury victim may be rendered comatose, may be left in a "vegetative state," or may die shortly after a head injury. In addition to interviewing accident victims and/or family members, our Rhode Island brain injury attorneys at Karns & Kerrison consult with experts and conduct in-depth research as we work to build strong cases for our clients' full and fair compensation.
Diagnosing a Traumatic Brain Injury
There are several diagnostic imaging tools used in traumatic brain injury cases. These include:
- CT Scans – Computed tomography is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce slices of the brain. In CT scans the X-ray beam moves in a circle around the head. This allows many different views of the brain. The X-ray information is sent to a computer that interprets the data and displays it in two-dimensional form. CT scans can show injuries to brain structure and brain tissue.
- MRI – Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain is a test that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to take pictures of the head and brain. The MRI can show damage to brain tissue and inflammation to brain tissue.
- fMRI – Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging is an MRI that focuses on function. Using an MRI scanner, it captures the flow of blood to different regions of the brain and shows changes in blood oxygenation and flow. When a brain is more active it consumes more oxygen causing increased blood flow to that area of the brain. An fMRI can depict abnormal brain function.
- DWI – Diffusion-Weighted Imaging is a form of MRI based upon the diffusion of water molecules inside brain tissue. DWI can show brain abnormalities.
- DTI – Diffusion Tensor Imaging is a type of MRI allowing the study of brain tissue microstructure. It gives indications about possible nerve fiber anomalies in white matter in the brain that are not visible in other types of imaging. DTI can show injuries in the white matter of the brain depicting diffuse axonal injury (damage to the axons that connect the neurons – brain cells).
- PET Scans – Positron Emission Tomography is a brain scan that is a type of imaging to test the brain. It uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to look for injury in the brain. A PET scan shows how the brain and its tissues are working and shows abnormalities.
- SPECT Scans – Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography is a brain scan using nuclear imaging to show how blood flows to tissues of the brain. A SPECT scan uses a CT scan and a radioactive material (tracer) to show how the blood flows to the brain tissues. The SPECT scan can show brain abnormalities and brain injuries.
Looking for Hope? Contact a Brain Injury Lawyer in Rhode Island
If you or someone you love has sustained a concussion injury or a more severe brain injury in a serious accident, we invite you to email our office or call 401-841-5300. Schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you understand your rights and options. We are prepared to help you pursue compensation from negligent parties who caused or contributed to your or your loved one's traumatic brain injury.