Nashville Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
Nashville TBI attorneys fighting for you
Our brains determine how we walk, how we think, how we talk, and how we process the world. When the brain suffers an injury, even a seemingly minor one, it can lead to consequences far more severe than we might think – consequences that can affect our quality of life forever. Most TBI victims require immediate surgery. Many TBI victims live with the catastrophic consequences of never being able to work again and never being able to live a normal life again. Many TBI victims live with a lifetime of physical, cognitive, and emotional pain.
At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our dedicated Nashville brain injury lawyers have served the best interests of our clients throughout Tennessee for years. We work with neurosurgeons, neurologists, psychologists, occupational therapists, and other healthcare providers to fully verify all the ways your traumatic brain injury has made your life extremely difficult. If you or your loved one is suffering from a TBI, contact us in Nashville today for a free consultation – and get a Gladiator on your side.
How can we help?
- What is a traumatic brain injury?
- Are brain injuries common?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury?
- How are Nashville brain injuries treated?
- What medical providers help TBI victims across Tennessee?
- What types of accidents cause brain injuries?
- Who is responsible for a TBI in Nashville?
- How much is my TBI claim worth?
- What is the time limit for filing a TBI claim in Tennessee?
- Do you have a TBI attorney near me?
"When I was a teenager, Dad got hurt. Insurance company wouldn't pay. We lost our house. But, Dad got a lawyer and we got justice. That's the moment I decided to become an attorney. As a lawyer, I have dedicated my life to helping injury victims."
What is a traumatic brain injury?
TBIs occur in the following ways:
- Open head injury. These injuries occur when an object penetrates the skull. You are likely to see them after an auto accident, on a worksite, or as victims of violence.
- Closed head injury. A closed head injury often occurs after a motor vehicle crash, a fall, sports injury, etc. where there is no penetration to the skull, but blunt force trauma occurs.
- Diffuse axonal injury. A car crash is one of the primary mechanisms for a diffuse axonal injury. It occurs when the soft, malleable brain is slammed against the inside back of the skull and then against the inside of the front of the skull. This rapid movement can cause diffuse axonal shearing, swelling, and bruising of the brain. Axons are nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, and during impact these nerve cells can be stretched and compressed and sometimes torn which causes the neuron to die.
- Exposure to toxic chemicals. Lead poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning, and exposure to other toxic chemicals can damage the neurons in the brain and spinal cord.
Many TBI victims suffer two sets of brain injuries. A primary brain injury involves the injury due to impact – such as immediately after a car accident. A secondary brain injury occurs hours or days after the primary brain injury. Secondary brain injuries include “an entire series of steps or stages of cellular, chemical, tissue, or blood vessel changes in the brain that contribute to further destruction of brain tissue.”
The lack of oxygen flowing to the brain (hypoxia) for just a few minutes can result in significant brain damage, cognitive and memory deficits. Brain tumors, infections, and stroke are other factors that can bring about brain injury.
Are brain injuries common?
A brain injury is more common than some people might think because unless the person has suffered an open head injury, the signs and symptoms can be difficult to recognize. The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 176 people died – each day – in 2020 from a traumatic brain injury. Around 223,000 people were hospitalized for a TBI in 2019.
Johns Hopkins Medicine states that a TBI:
Happens when a sudden, external, physical assault damages the brain. It is one of the most common causes of disability and death in adults. TBI is a broad term that describes a vast array of injuries that happen to the brain. The damage can be focal (confined to one area of the brain) or diffuse (happens in more than one area of the brain). The severity of a brain injury can range from a mild concussion to a severe injury that results in coma or even death.
What are the signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury?
Not all brain injuries are apparent; in fact, some people do not experience the signs or symptoms of a brain injury until long after the injury took place. By learning what to look for, you may be able to help yourself or a loved one avoid further damage by seeking treatment more quickly.
Some of the signs and symptoms of brain injury include, but are not limited to:
- Confusion and disorientation
- Trouble walking or maintaining balance
- Memory problems or memory loss
- Ringing in the ears
- Speaking incoherently or slurred speech
- Nausea and vomiting
The consequences of a TBI can include:
- Cognitive deficits. These include a coma, confusion, memory difficulties, judgment problems, a short attention span, decreases in self-awareness and awareness of others, loss of space and time, and other problems.
- Motor deficits. These include paralysis, weakness, difficulty with balance, an inability to plan motor movements, spasticity (tightening and shortening of the muscles), difficulty swallowing, and tremors.
- Perceptual or sensory deficits. These include sensory changes, a “loss of sensation or heightened sensation of body parts,” difficulty understanding where the limbs are, and other difficulties.
- Communication and language deficits. These include difficulty with speech, choosing the proper words, reading, writing, vocabulary, and forming sentences.
- Functional deficits. These include difficulties with daily living tasks- driving, operating machinery, paying bills, and shopping.
The physical consequences can include:
- A concussion is a relatively mild injury that may cause a short period of unconsciousness but will not usually cause permanent damage after just one occurrence.
- Bruising and bleeding of the brain often occurs in car accidents when the strong forces push the brain forward and then backward against the skull.
- Hematoma occurs when the brain tissue is injured, and blood collects within the skull.
- Edemais swelling inside the brain, which causes a rise in intracranial pressure.
- A contusion is a bruise to the brain caused by the forceful impact of the crash.
Other complications include social difficulties, regulatory disturbances (such as sleep and going to the bathroom), and personality or psychiatric changes.
What are the medical causes of a TBI?
When your brain cells die off or degenerate outside the normal realm of cell death, the result is a brain injury. Sometimes the effects are temporary, and the brain will heal itself; other times the results are long-lasting or permanent, and the victim of the brain injury may need life-long care to survive. Some of the more common causes of brain injuries or damage include:
- Oxygen deprivation. The brain deprived of oxygen only has about 4-6 minutes before the damage becomes permanent. Oxygen deprivation can occur in myriad circumstances, including in childbirth.
- High fevers and infections of the brain can “fry” your cells. In some cases, the damage caused by the infection is permanent. Meningitis and encephalitis are serious infections that can have long-term consequences and may prove to be fatal if left untreated.
- Degenerative diseases and conditions. Some brain injuries come from the degeneration of the cells – and no one quite knows why it happens. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, and Huntington’s Disease are all degenerative conditions with no cure and no real explanation for why they happen.
Medical science does not know all the reasons why people have seizures, but they are usually the result of a brain injury. That injury can be caused by a blow to the head, can develop over time, or can be related to an infection or a fever.
A stroke can cause your brain to bleed and swell or can deprive your brain of oxygen. Depending on how severe the bleeding is, or how quickly the swelling and/or oxygen deprivation can be addressed, the damage can be permanent, resulting in months of rehabilitation or years of ‘round-the-clock care.
How are Nashville brain injuries treated?
Doctors use the Glasgow Coma Scale or similar tests to help determine the severity of a TBI. CT scans and MRIs may also be used – though MRIs are usually delayed until the patient’s condition stabilizes.
The treatments for a TBI, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:
- Medications including anti-seizure medications, coma-inducing drugs, and diuretics.
- Surgery includes removing blood clots, repairing skull fractures, bleeding in the brain, and opening a window in the skull.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there are many different types of treatment programs, rehabilitation programs, transitional and independent living programs, day programs, and behavior management programs. There are also several resources for TBI victims here in Tennessee, such as The Brain Injury Association of Tennessee, as well as resources for caretakers. If a traumatic brain injury caused the death of your loved one, we can help you find support and resources to help you through the healing process.
What medical providers help TBI victims across Tennessee?
The brain injury rehabilitation at many hospitals and rehabilitation centers includes:
- Neurologists, neurosurgeons, internists, neuropsychologists, psychologists, and physiatrists.
- Rehabilitation providers. Rehabilitation nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, recreational therapists, and other therapists.
- Other professionals. Social workers, audiologists, vocational counselors, case managers, and religious professionals.
Often caretakers need to work with professionals because taking care of a loved one with a TBI can be very stressful.
What types of accidents cause brain injuries?
Some of the common causes of TBI include:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Car accidents, truck accidents, and other types of motor vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of traumatic brain injury in the United States. When you are riding in a car that is traveling at 55 miles per hour, your body is also moving at 55 mph – even though it feels like you are sitting still. When the vehicle crashes into another object, and the forward motion of the vehicle is halted instantaneously, your body continues its forward momentum until it comes into contact with something stationary that stops it. When the head that is in motion crashes into the windshield and then snaps back, the brain gets rattled inside the skull. That forward thrust and backwards snap are what causes the severe brain trauma. Our car accident attorneys have dedicated their lives to protecting the rights and the futures of people in and around Nashville, and throughout Tennessee who have been injured in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence.
- Slip and fall injuries. Falls from heights are a common cause of serious injuries. Some of these fall hazards are occupation-related, such as construction workers or electricians working on a multi-story building. People fall from many different places, and the severity of their injuries depends on the height of the fall, what they land on, and how they land. Some common hazards for falls from heights include buildings, balconies, windows, roofs, construction sites, scaffolding, stairs, ladders, and vehicles. Elderly adults over age 65 are at a high risk for falls due to factors such as poor vision, unbalanced gait, problems with their feet, lower body weakness, and hazards in the home. Young children are also at risk for falls from heights if they routinely play on trampolines, use playground equipment or jungle gyms, or dive into swimming pools or lakes. Nursing homes may be liable for a TBI if an elder resident slips and falls. Nursing homes should anticipate that many of their residents have mobility problems.
- Negligent security. Property owners in Nashville, Hendersonville, and Clarksville have a duty to anticipate that some criminal or violent activity may occur on their property – such as at places where large amounts of money change hands or places where alcohol is served. Victims who suffer a TBI due to any type of violent act may have the right to hold the property owners liable for their injuries.
- Sports-related injuries. Children and adults who play sports as part of an after-school program, a community program, or organized competition are at risk of traumatic brain injuries. The sports mostly likely to cause a TBI are:
- Contact sports such as football, hockey, boxing, wrestling, and martial arts
- Sports where falls are likely such as skiing, horseback riding, and bicycling
- Soccer because that sport includes contact between the soccer ball and the child’s head
According to the Brain Injury Institute, about a quarter of the 300,000 sports-related concussions reported each year involve high school students playing contact sports. Nearly a fifth of all college football players have had multiple concussions.
We also represent workers who suffer a traumatic brain injury while doing their job. At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our Nashville TBI lawyers work with investigators, the police, and other witnesses to determine how your TBI happened, and who is responsible.
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Who is responsible for a TBI in Nashville?
If your loved one is being neglected in a nursing home, or if your child suffered a brain injury because of oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery, or if you have suffered a tragic loss because a medical professional failed to perform at the expected level of care, you can rely on us to advocate for you. The Rocky McElhaney Law Firm fights to protect your rights.
We file personal injury claims against:
- Drivers of vehicles
- Owners of vehicles
- Property owners
- Manufacturers of defective products
- Nursing homes
- Birth delivery doctors
- Anyone else that may be responsible for your TBI
How much is my TBI claim worth?
We demand full compensation for all your injuries. Since most TBI victims live with their injury for their lifetime, our demand includes all your future damages. In Tennessee, claimants can seek compensation for all their:
- Medical bills
- Lost income and benefits – including permanent disability benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of life’s pleasures
- Loss of function of any body part
- Loss of consortium (marital pleasures)
What is the time limit for filing a TBI claim in Tennessee?
The best course of action is to contact our Nashville TBI lawyers as soon as possible. Early involvement increases our ability to investigate the accident, review your healthcare options, answer your questions, negotiate a settlement, and try your case in court.
Generally, TBI victims only have one year to file their personal injury claim. Different time limits may apply – so it’s best to contact us as soon as possible.
Do you have a TBI attorney near me?
The Rocky McElhaney Law Firm has three convenient locations. We do meet clients who are immobile at their home or a healthcare facility when necessary:
545 Mainstream Dr #105
East Nashville Location
615 Main St., B21
475 Saundersville Rd.
2197 Madison Street, Suite 103
Our personal injury attorneys have developed a reputation throughout Middle Tennessee for our willingness to fight on behalf of our clients. It has earned us the nickname “Gladiators in Suits,” and we are proud of that moniker. We’re willing to take the challenging cases because we believe that every victim deserves to have his or her voice heard. We don’t back down to the insurance companies because we know that your family’s future could be riding on the outcome of the case, and that you should get what you deserve – not what some penny-pinching insurance companies want to pay.
Speak with a respected Nashville traumatic brain injury lawyer today
Living with a brain injury is hard; choosing the right lawyer shouldn’t be. Rocky McElhaney Law Firm is proud to represent brain injury victims in and around Nashville, Hendersonville, Murfreesboro and Clarksville. When you have questions, we have answers. If you suffered a TBI as the result of another person’s negligence, or if you have questions about filing a personal injury lawsuit, please call us at 615-425-2500 or fill out our contact form.