Have you or a family member suffered a brain injury in an accident in Tampa, FL? Call Catania & Catania, P.A., for immediate assistance. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and suffering – and our Tampa brain injury lawyers can help you fight to maximize your recovery.
We put families in Tampa first and have since our founding in 1992. We understand the impact a traumatic brain injury can have on your life, now and for years to come. That’s why we’re here to help you fight for the money you deserve.
How Catania & Catania, P.A., Can Help If You’ve Suffered a Brain Injury in Tampa
An injury to the brain can have long-lasting consequences. When a TBI is the result of an avoidable accident, those at fault must be held accountable. That’s where Catania & Catania, P.A., can help.
Insurance companies don’t want our attorneys on the other side of the negotiating table. They know that we don’t have the tolerance for lowball offers and that we’re always prepared to take a dispute to trial, if necessary.
When you hire our lawyers to handle your brain injury case, expect us to:
- Be there to guide and support you during this difficult time
- Coordinate an independent investigation into the accident that caused your brain injury
- Work closely with experts and injury specialists as we analyze, build, and value your case
- Negotiate aggressively on your behalf, working to secure settlement terms that are favorable to you
- Have our award-winning trial lawyers try your case before a jury, if necessary.
Let us handle your pursuit of compensation. Let us help you move forward with hope. You take this opportunity to focus on getting better. Call our Tampa law office to get started today.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a type of head injury caused by trauma. This can include a fall, blow to the head, or a penetrating injury like a gunshot.
Most brain injuries are mild. In fact, the symptoms may not even be noticeable and go away after a few days. However, traumatic brain injuries can also be catastrophic, with permanent, life-changing consequences.
What Are the Different Types of Brain Injuries?
There are two broad forms of brain injuries: traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI). Traumatic brain injuries are caused by some type of trauma or external force. Acquired brain injuries are caused by internal factors, including a stroke, aneurysm, lack of oxygen, infectious disease, or a near-drowning.
Traumatic brain injuries are categorized as closed or open injuries which penetrate the skull. They are further classified into several types.
Common types of brain injuries include:
- Concussions are the most common form of TBI. Symptoms can be mild to severe.
- Localized (focal) brain injuries are confined to a small region of the brain.
- Diffuse brain injuries damage many areas of the brain.
- Diffuse axonal injuries (DAI) are injuries to both sides of the brain when it is rotated inside the skull. They are among the most severe TBIs.
- A brain contusion is a bruise of the brain tissue with mild bleeding.
- Coup-contrecoup injuries are brain contusions in two parts of the brain. This type of TBI results from two separate injuries: an initial coup injury at the point of impact and a contrecoup injury on the opposite side of the brain.
- Intracranial hematomas can result from a contusion that does not heal. They are essentially large collections of blood in the brain outside the blood vessels.
Finally, a brain injury can be considered primary or secondary. A primary injury is a sudden and profound injury after trauma. A secondary injury happens over time after the primary injury has occurred.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Brain Injuries?
The severity of a brain injury is measured using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), which scores an individual based on consciousness after a TBI.
Brain injuries are classified into four levels of severity:
- Mild TBI with a GCS score of 13 to 15
- Moderate disability with a GCS score of 9 to 12
- Severe disability with a GCS score of 4 to 8
- Persistent vegetative state with a CCS score of 3 points
No two brain injuries are alike. Symptoms will depend on the severity of the injury and where it occurred.
A mild brain injury can cause:
- Blurred vision
- Sleep difficulties
- Tinnitus or ringing of the ears
- Difficulty with balance
- Trouble with concentration and memory
Serious brain injuries can result in:
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Changes to personality or behavior
- One pupil that is more dilated than the other
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Memory loss
- Trouble walking or speaking
Not all brain injuries present symptoms immediately; symptoms may not develop for hours or even days after an accident. This is why it is important to seek medical attention right away after an accident, even if you feel fine.
What Are the Long-Term Consequences of a Brain Injury?
Many people fully recover from a mild brain injury with no long-term symptoms. However, a brain injury can also be disabling and catastrophic. Prompt treatment is crucial to improve the prognosis.
Potential long-term consequences of a TBI may include:
- Behavioral, emotional, and personality changes
- Cognitive impairment
- Physical impairment
- Disrupted development in children
- Post-concussion syndrome (PCS)
- Locked-in syndrome
- Vegetative state or coma
The full impact of a brain injury may not be known for months or years. Moreover, the same injury may result in permanent impairment in one person and only mild lasting effects for another.
What is My Brain Injury Case Worth?
It depends. Typically, the most influential factor is the seriousness of your brain injury. A case involving a severe TBI will usually be worth more than a case involving a mild TBI.
However, there are a lot of different factors that are important to consider during the valuation process:
- Has your brain injury affected your ability to work or generate an income?
- Will your brain injury result in a temporary or permanent disability?
- Will you require assistance performing daily tasks, such as showering, eating, or using the toilet?
- Will you need medical support devices, such as a wheelchair or power lift on your car?
- How has your brain injury affected you emotionally? Do you experience PTSD or mental health issues?
Our attorneys will carefully evaluate all aspects of your brain injury case. We’ll work closely with brain injury experts and medical professionals so that we can better understand the details of your trauma. Taking this comprehensive approach will allow us to prepare a demand for compensation that fully reflects your damages – both present and future.
What Compensation Can I Get For a TBI in Florida?
The financial consequences of a traumatic brain injury can be significant. Fortunately, Florida law gives you the right to seek compensation from others if you were injured through little to no fault of your own. Typically, this means asking for economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are awarded to make you financially whole again after you’ve suffered a brain injury.
They can cover costs of:
- Medical bills
- Lost income and wages
- Funeral and burial (or cremation) costs, if a brain injury is fatal.
Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate for consequences of a brain injury that don’t have a set financial cost.
This can include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
In limited instances, punitive damages might also be available. However, these awards are limited to cases where a defendant’s conduct was grossly negligent or intentional.
Note that under Florida’s comparative fault law, your financial award will be reduced if you share fault for the accident that caused your brain injury. Catania & Catania, P.A., will defend you at every turn, working to disprove claims that you share blame or limit how much fault you’re ultimately assigned.
How Common Are Brain Injuries?
There are more than 1.5 million traumatic brain injuries in the United States every year. These injuries are responsible for 230,000 annual hospitalizations and about 56,000 deaths.
Anyone can suffer a brain injury, particularly in a serious accident. However, children and seniors are most at risk of brain injuries.
TBI is the leading cause of injury-related disability and death in the United States.
What Causes Brain Injuries?
Nearly any type of accident or intentional harm can result in a traumatic brain injury.
The most common causes of TBI are:
- Motor vehicle accidents including car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents.
- Gunshots and violence
- Slip and fall accidents
- Sports injuries
Slips and falls account for almost half of all TBI-related ER visits. Falls are the leading cause of TBI among children and seniors. Among seniors, falls are responsible for 81% of traumatic brain injuries. They cause nearly half of TBI in minors.
Traffic accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury. They are the top cause of TBI-related ER visits, hospitalization, and death for adults between 15 and 34.
Nearly 12% of all fatal traumatic brain injuries are caused by violence. This includes gunshots (both self-inflicted and homicide) and aggravated assault. Overall, suicide is the leading cause of TBI deaths in the U.S.
How Long Do I Have to File a Brain Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
The statute of limitations for a Tampa personal injury lawsuit is four years. There are only a few exceptions that can shorten or extend this deadline.
It’s crucial to begin working on your case as soon as possible to gather and preserve evidence.
Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
You should not be burdened with the financial impact of a brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence. Catania & Catania, P.A. is prepared to fight for you.
Contact our law office to schedule a free consultation with a Tampa brain injury lawyer who cares about you. You do not pay anything out-of-pocket for skilled legal representation unless we recover the compensation you need.