In terms of duration, vehicle collisions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) could not be more different. A collision may last only a fraction of a second. Victims may not even realize what has happened until it is over. A TBI, on the other hand, may last a lifetime. Some victims will never fully recover – physically, emotionally, or financially. So how are victims and their families supposed to cope with such a sudden and drastic change in their lives?
There is no simple answer to this question, of course. But anyone struggling with a TBI should understand two crucial facts. First, you are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.7 million Americans sustain a TBI each year. Second, support is available. Many TBI resources, including those described below, are available right here in Orange County.
Choosing the right hospital or rehabilitation facility is one of the first decisions facing families in the aftermath of a TBI. It is also one of the most important. Here are some factors to consider:
- Is the facility sufficiently specialized in the area of TBI rehabilitation?
- Does it offer the appropriate level of care (inpatient, outpatient, follow-up)?
- What experience does the facility have treating individuals with this same injury?
- To what extent are family members able to be involved in the rehabilitation?
- Will insurance cover all costs associated with rehabilitation at this facility?
Care providers in Orange County include:
Education & Support
Most people do not anticipate the possibility of being involved in a serious car accident, let alone one that results in a TBI. Fear of the unknown can therefore be a significant source of distress following a diagnosis.
Victims may also struggle with the fact that the injury resulted from someone else’s careless conduct (if that was the case). Distracted driving, intoxication, and other forms of recklessness are often to blame for TBI accidents. In these circumstances, it is normal for survivors to experience feelings of shock, disbelief, sadness, and even anger toward the responsible party.
If you are a brain injury survivor dealing with these issues, remember there is strength in numbers. Joining a support group will allow you to learn about TBI and to share your personal experiences with similarly situated individuals.
Support groups in Orange County include:
Brain injury claims should be handled by an attorney with the necessary skill and resources. To see why, consider the four steps of a TBI case. The victim must prove:
- The other party failed to exercise due care.
- The failure to exercise due care caused the accident.
- The victim was injured in the accident.
- The extent of the victim’s injury, now and in the future.
These steps are not unique to TBI litigation. They are the same four elements a victim must prove in any vehicle accident or negligence case. It is the nature of the proof required – particularly at steps three and four – that distinguish brain injury cases and make retaining experienced counsel a must.
For instance, the victim’s attorney will need to present expert witness testimony to explain the type of TBI suffered, how it occurred, what treatment is necessary, and the cost of that treatment. The attorney must also demonstrate how the brain injury affects the victim’s quality of life, and why justice requires that the other party be held responsible.
With so much at stake in a TBI case, survivors should take care to seek legal assistance only from qualified and reputable entities.
Legal resources in Orange County include: