St. Louis Brain Injury Lawyers
A brain injury can leave accident victims with a range of cognitive, physical, and emotional symptoms. It can cause permanent intellectual and mental disabilities that prevent you from working or tending to your needs.
As a result, you might need substantial resources to cover your medical costs and day-to-day expenses. To learn how injury compensation could help you meet your needs, contact the brain injury lawyers at NST Law.
Here is an overview of brain injuries and how a St. Louis personal injury attorney can help you.
Table of Contents
What is a traumatic brain injury?
Your brain floats in your skull surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) happen when a jolt damages your brain. TBIs can occur in many ways including:
Blunt Force Injuries
Blunt force injuries happen when something hits your head without piercing your skull. For example, hitting your head on the airbag or dashboard could jolt your brain. Your brain may even strike the inside of your skull.
Acceleration-deceleration injuries happen when your brain sloshes in the CSF. During a rapid deceleration, the CSF exerts pressure on your brain to cushion it. A concussion happens when the pressure damages brain cells and causes inflammation in your brain.
During especially forceful acceleration or deceleration, the whipping motion of your brain can tear the neurons, leading to coma or death. This injury is known as a diffuse axonal injury (DAI).
What are the warning signs of brain injury?
TBIs affect three main areas of brain function. Some cognitive symptoms of TBIs include:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Brain fog
The physical and sensory symptoms of a TBI may include:
- Dizziness and nausea
- Blurry vision
- Slurred speech
TBIs can also produce emotional symptoms such as:
- Emotional outbursts
- Personality changes
Some TBIs do not produce any major symptoms. Others cause delayed symptoms. After a violent car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you should seek medical attention to determine whether you have a TBI.
Can you have a brain injury and not know it?
TBI symptoms often appear gradually over a few hours or days. Many symptoms occur when:
- Brain cells die from lack of circulation
- Accumulated fluid in your skull squeezes the brain
- Damaged brain tissue swells
It takes time for these processes to produce symptoms.
You should always err on the side of caution if you do not feel right after an accident. In the Saint Louis area, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Mercy Hospital St. Louis, and SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital have Level 1 trauma centers that can diagnose TBIs.
How do people sustain brain injuries in motor vehicle accidents?
Motor vehicle accidents are the second-most-common cause of TBIs in Missouri. Annually, Missouri has about:
- 274 TBIs from car accidents
- 15 TBIs from pedestrian accidents
- 11 TBIs from motorcycle accidents
- 5 TBIs from bicycle accidents
Your odds of a TBI in a Missouri motorcycle accident are about 0.5% — more than double your odds of a TBI in a car accident. This difference arises because motorcyclists have little protection in an accident. As a result, they can suffer brain injuries in the initial crash with a vehicle or a secondary crash into the pavement.
What treatments are available for a brain injury?
Treatment depends on the severity of the brain injury. In many cases, doctors can do nothing except monitor the patient. If the brain swells too much or too much fluid accumulates in the skull, doctors may operate.
Otherwise, treatment for TBIs is primarily supportive and rehabilitative. After a severe TBI, you need recovery time and therapy to help you recover any lost functions.
What are the long-term effects of a brain injury?
Different areas of your brain control different functions. In some situations, TBIs affect critical functions like respiration and heartbeat, leading to death.
The long-term effects of a brain injury on survivors depend on the affected areas. Unfortunately, doctors can do little to heal a brain injury. Instead, your brain will need to remap itself to compensate for the damaged regions.
But in many cases, you never recover fully. You might experience chronic depression, amnesia, or a permanent loss of control over certain body regions.
Your disabilities might prevent you from working or training. You might not be able to participate in activities you enjoy. You may need a mobility device, service animal, or other assistive technologies to meet your daily needs.
Can I receive compensation for a brain injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident?
You could receive compensation if your accident arose from someone else’s negligence. To prove negligence, you must show the other driver failed to exercise ordinary care and as a result, injured you.
A St. Louis brain injury lawyer proves negligence with witness testimony explaining how the accident happened. A lawyer proves causation using your medical records and testimony from medical experts about your injuries.
Your compensation can cover economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses include the lifelong medical expenses of treatment and therapy for your TBI. Non-economic losses cover your diminished quality of life due to pain, suffering, and permanent disabilities.
Can I sue for compensation for my family member who died from a brain injury?
Missouri allows family members or someone appointed by a court to sue for wrongful death.
- Lost financial contributions
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of services and companionship
The compensation gets allocated among the victim’s survivors.
How long do I have to file a St. Louis brain injury lawsuit?
You have five years after your accident to sue for a brain injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident. You have two years after a medical error to sue for a brain injury due to medical malpractice.
Why should I hire NST Law to handle my brain injury case?
NST Law has experience representing clients with catastrophic injuries from motor vehicle accidents. The lawyers at NST Law have recovered over $1.5 billion for accident victims since the firm opened over 35 years ago.
The firm’s St. Louis brain injury lawyers work with expert witnesses who can tie your TBI to your accident and describe the substantial expenses you face. Contact NST Law today for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
TBIs take many forms and raise many issues. Here are a few frequently asked questions and answers about them.
If you get appointed as your family member’s legal guardian or conservator, you can file a lawsuit on their behalf.
Missouri uses comparative fault to allocate damages. Thus, if you bear 15% of the blame, you can only recover 85% of your damages.
Motorcyclists 25 and younger must wear a helmet. Motorcyclists over 25 with health insurance can ride without a helmet.
In 2020, unhelmeted riders in Missouri got injured in 79.4% of crashes compared to 76.5% of crashes for helmeted riders. Death rates showed a similar disparity, with unhelmeted riders dying in 6.9% of crashes and helmeted riders dying in 4.8% of crashes.
No. In a contingency fee, the lawyer does not get paid until the lawyer wins or settles the case.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 75% of personal injury cases settle without reaching a trial verdict.