Experienced South Carolina Brain Injury Lawyer Who Delivers Results
Serious, debilitating brain injuries sustained as a result of motor vehicle accidents, workplace injuries, or medical malpractice leave victims facing a life of disability and special needs. The traumatic brain injury lawyers at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC consult neurologists, health care planners and economic impact analysts to determine the cost of a brain injury to our clients.
When we go to court, we prepare studies and cost analyses that detail the full financial impact of a brain injury – special education costs, future medical treatment, in-home care costs, lost earnings and loss of quality of life. While there is no way to fully compensate someone for a catastrophic injury, easing the financial burden is certainly part of what justice requires.
If you have questions regarding your case and how we can help you, contact the South Carolina injury attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC today. Our Rock Hill, Columbia, Sumter and Anderson office locations represent clients throughout Charleston, Orangeburg, Greenville, Myrtle Beach and Sumter.
- Brain Injury Symptoms
- Brain Injuries and Depression
- Brain Injury Rehabilitation Information
- Brain Injury Treatment
Traumatic brain injury symptoms are not always immediately apparent. If you have been in an accident and suffered a head trauma, you should visit a hospital immediately, even if you think you are okay. Symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dilated pupils
- Memory loss
- Disorientation and confusion
- Mood swings and personality changes
- Slurred speech
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of consciousness
Believing the injury is “mild” and therefore not worth an examination is misguided for two main reasons. The first is that symptoms of traumatic brain injury are not always obvious right away. Additionally, the secondary effects of brain trauma, including inflammation and swelling, may start out as a mild but worsen in time if left untreated.
Children, in particular, must be thoroughly checked and monitored after a head injury. They do not always have the capacity to explain their symptoms or alter adults that something is wrong, and TBI can affect their development for years to come if left untreated.
Symptoms of Concussions
- Loss of consciousness for a short time (less than a few minutes)
- Confusion and disorientation
- Memory and concentration problems
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in ears
- Bitter taste in mouth or bad smell
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Mood swings, personality changes
- Depression and anxiety
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Disruptive sleep
Symptoms of Moderate to Severe Brain Injuries
- Loss of consciousness from a few minutes to hours
- Intense confusion
- Unusual behavior, mood swings and personality changes
- Verbal or physical outbursts
- Depression and anxiety
- Difficulty speaking, slurred speech
- Difficulty waking from sleep
- Numbness in arms and legs
- Loss of coordination
- Loss of bladder and/or bowel control
- Persistent headache or worsening headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
Patients with traumatic brain injuries often experience mood or personality swings, but severe depression, in particular, affects patients at alarming rates. Depression in TBI patients can stem from neurological or psychological origins, or a combination of both. If left untreated, depression will hinder a patient’s potential recovery from TBI. Our South Carolina injury lawyers represent patients living with traumatic brain injuries to hold the responsible parties accountable so that patients can live the best quality of life possible.
Studies demonstrate that TBI patients suffer higher incidents of major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety and rates of suicide than the general population. The Journal of Neurotrauma published the following depression and traumatic brain injury statistics:
- MDD is the most prevalent psychiatric disorder after a TBI at 25 percent
- Prevalence of MDD in the first year following TBI is between 33-42 percent
- Prevalence of MDD in the first seven years is 61 percent
- Ten percent of TBI patients attempt suicide in the first year and 15 percent within the first five years
Jesse R. Fann, Tessa Hart and Katherine G. Schomer, Treatment for Depression after Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review, J Neurotrauma, 2009 December; 26(12): 2283-2402.
Patients and families must address the condition from the outset if the following depressive symptoms are present:
- Persistent negative thoughts
- Irrational thinking
- Difficulty sleeping
- Use of drugs or alcohol
Various treatments are available for a patient with traumatic brain injury who is experiencing depression and/or anxiety. Depending on the person’s unique situation, proper treatments must address both the biological and psychological sources of depression. Some patients may benefit from medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both. Many patients suffering with TBI and depression do well in a long term, rehabilitative center with comprehensive depression therapy programs.
After a traumatic brain injury caused by another’s negligence, patients and families need access to the best rehabilitation programs available. Our South Carolina injury attorneys want to ensure that TBI patients and families secure the maximum amount of financial compensation allowed under law to relieve their financial burdens and to improve their lives for the future.
TBI causes not only neurological problems, but other medical issues as well, as the brain is responsible for every action and function of the physical body. Brain injury treatment and rehabilitation will be different for every person, as it depends on the location and severity of the brain injury. The overall health of the patient also influences recovery. Brain injury rehabilitation units are in most major hospitals, as well as in stand-alone centers.
Patients, families and doctors should determine the best course of action and treatment after the initial trauma has subsided. There are hundreds of different programs available to suit the individual’s unique situation, offering different types of therapies to give patients the best chances at making progress and maintaining a quality of life:
- Cognitive therapy
- Physical therapy
- Speech and language therapy
- Emotional and psychological therapy
- Treatment for depression
Unfortunately, the reality is that financial hardship forces most brain injury patients to leave rehabilitation early. This is a tragedy, as many TBI patients are capable of great improvements, but it is a slow progression. Many families sacrifice everything in their lives to pay for rehabilitation and to care for their loved ones after traumatic brain injury.
When a person suffers a traumatic brain injury due to another’s negligence, such as being involved in a car accident, slip and fall accident or construction accident, it is unjust for the person to continue to suffer and not make adequate progress due to financial hardship. A brain injury lawsuit can provide the necessary funds for patients to receive long-term care and live the best quality of life possible.
When a person enters an emergency room for with a traumatic brain injury, the staff must act to minimize bleeding and swelling so the condition does not worsen. Even if the person’s symptoms seem mild, secondary inflammation can worsen a brain injury and has the potential to do even more harm than the initial trauma.
The body responds to head trauma by sending blood and fluids to the injured site, and patients are at risk of extreme inflammation, swelling and seizures. TBI patients can receive various medications to reduce swelling, blood clots and to prevent seizures, if necessary.
In some cases, medication may be necessary to induce a coma. This allows time for the brain to repair itself. Medication-induced comas can be risky and expensive, but are sometimes the best treatment option for a TBI patient.
If there is bleeding occurring inside the skull, surgery may be necessary to halt additional damage. It is common after a brain injury for pressure to build up in the skull, and this pressure must be relieved and drained surgically.
Rehabilitation and long term care is necessary for many traumatic brain injury patients to help them redevelop speech, motor skills and deal with the emotional effects of their injuries, including depression. Financial constraints often limit the amount of time a person can spend in a rehabilitative care facility, which can hinder or halt the recovery progress.
Personalizing Your Case and Tragedy
If you are a traumatic brain injury victim and you end up in court, it is important for jurors to understand the day-to-day challenges and suffering you face. When needed, we produce day-in-the-life videos to explain to the court how our client’s life was impacted and irrevocably changed because of the brain injury. Our personal injury lawyers provide before-and-after pictures to communicate the devastating effects of our client’s condition.