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Lake Charles Attorneys for Permanent Disability from Motorcycle Accidents
Riding a motorcycle is a great way to spend the day. It’s also an economical form of transportation. Parking is easier, and except for a few rainy days, it’s a lot more comfortable than being stuck in a car in hot weather. Motorcycles are great unless you get into an accident. Despite Louisiana’s helmet laws, which require the use of a helmet whenever you ride or are a passenger on a motorcycle, the danger of serious head trauma is a risk whenever you ride.
If you suffer from any head injury after an accident on your motorcycle, you need legal advice. If the accident was caused by another driver’s carelessness, you should receive just compensation for any injuries you may have received. Call the Lake Charles motorcycle accident lawyers of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC at 337-800-8800 for a confidential consultation about your case.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury, or “TBI,” is any injury caused by a violent blow to the skull that results in damage to the brain. The injury itself can range from a mild concussion to a penetrating wound, such as a gunshot or open skull fracture. The harm to the brain is less easily classified.
Whenever there is a blow to the outside of the head, the brain moves back and forth inside the skull. The brain only accounts for about one-third to one-half the volume of the skull; the remainder is filled with blood vessels and cushioning layers called “dura.” These layers protect the brain during normal movements, but in a sudden impact, like a traffic accident, the brain can literally bounce off the skull walls.
When that happens, there are multiple injuries to the brain and to other structures in the skull. The brain itself can be bruised and the brain cells torn or crushed in what is called a cerebral contusion. The blood vessels providing oxygen and nutrients to the brain can be torn, resulting in bleeding between the brain and skull. In serious cases, the dural layers can be torn, and the cushioning fluid can leak out. All these things have serious effects on brain function.
Disabling Conditions Resulting from TBI
Because of the variety of possible damage, even a “minor” concussion is no longer seen as minor. The brain is not as forgiving as previously thought, and damage can lead to permanent disability.
Permanent disability is defined in most insurance policies as a condition that prevents a worker from being unable to carry out the employment duties that they performed prior to the accident or injury that caused the condition. Some policies require that you be unable to perform any employment duties at all. The disability must be long-term. That is, the doctors believe it will last for more than one year or indefinitely.
Some of the problems that lead to permanent disability after a traumatic brain injury are both devastating and difficult to diagnose. We think of permanent chronic conditions like epilepsy or quadriplegia resulting from a serious accident, but the likelihood is that you would receive a disabling condition that is less obvious but just as damaging. They include:
- Behavioral and psychiatric disorders. Anger, depression, and anxiety beyond the person’s ability to control have been reported in serious cases of TBI. These types of disorders are usually neurological (chemical) in nature, but medical science has realized that the physical changes caused by TBI also affect mood and behavior. Many of these disorders can be treated with a combination of medication and therapy but discovering the right combination can take time.
- Cognitive impairment. Sometimes called “brain fog,” this is not like a bad hangover or fatigue. This type of impairment resembles the early stages of Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. The patient may have difficulty planning, organizing, delegating, focusing, and performing other “executive” functions. In today’s high-speed office environment, being unable to think means being unable to work.
- Memory disruption. Anyone who has had even a minor concussion knows it is common to forget the events surrounding the incident. A more severe blow to the head can shake hours or days loose from the memory. In more serious cases, this memory loss can persist for weeks or months after the injury. Sometimes, the person can lose the ability to form or recall memories, called “retrograde” and “anterograde” amnesia.
- Sensory impairment. Depending on the location of the head injury, the brain damage can affect the eyes, ears, speech, hands, or balance. A minor blurring of the vision or ringing in the ears is common after a blow to the head. When it persists for weeks or months, it may be life-altering. These impairments can impact your ability to carry out your daily life activities and prevent you from working as well.
All these conditions have the potential to prevent you from working at your job, and in some cases, in any gainful employment at all. A person who has difficulty paying attention and remembering things would have trouble working at either a Fortune 500 company or a fast-food restaurant. Someone who flies into a rage for no reason should not be a police officer or a dry cleaner. All of them should be getting the medical help that they need.
How We Can Help
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident that resulted in a TBI, and you believe your disabling condition was caused by the brain injury, you will need to show that you are unable to work due to your condition. You will need to show why your injury prevents you from working and that you will be unable to work for some time.
At Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, we understand that this is a difficult and confusing time for you and that the other party’s insurance company or attorneys are making offers of a quick settlement. We want to be sure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, including the ones nobody else can see.
Call our legal team at 337-800-8800 today for a confidential consultation. If you’re unable to work because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, we want you to have the time and resources you need to recover. Call us right away.