McAllen Brain Injury Lawyers

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers in McAllen

Few injuries have the potential to upend the lives of McAllen-area residents, workers, and visitors quite so much as a brain injury. The cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments that often accompany a brain injury can get in the way of every aspect of a victim’s day-to-day life.

Brain injuries can happen in all kinds of ways, but the vast majority involve a poor decision or dangerous action by someone other than the brain injury victim. Under Texas law, those victims have the right to hold the responsible individual, company, or government agency financially accountable.

Doctor and attorney Louis Patino of the Patino Law Firm is a top McAllen brain injury attorney who represents local brain injury victims seeking compensation from the parties who caused them harm.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries in McAllen

A brain injury is just what it sounds like: an injury to brain tissue that can disrupt or alter brain function. Medical professionals group brain injuries into two broad categories related to how the injuries happen: traumatic and non-traumatic.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

The defining characteristic of a traumatic brain injury is that it results from an external force that causes the victim to sustain a blow, jolt, or penetrating injury to the head. They’re typically caused by the following:

Except for gunshot and shrapnel wounds that damage brain tissue directly, most traumatic brain injuries result from damage to brain tissue caused by the movement or deformation of the brain inside the skull.

The force of an impact or other blow causes the brain to twist, move back and forth, or change shape inside the skull, which causes tearing, bruising, and bleeding. Traumatic brain injuries frequently involve a primary injury caused by the initial bump, blow or jolt, and a secondary injury caused by bleeding or swelling that increases pressure within the skull.


Non-Traumatic Brain Injuries

The brain can also suffer injuries from events that do not involve an external force but instead inflict damage to brain tissue through swelling, bleeding, infection, or lack of oxygen or blood flow. These are some common causes:

  • Strokes
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Drowning
  • Infectious disease
  • Ingestion of toxic substances (such as lead)
  • Inhalation of toxic fumes
  • Deprivation of oxygen to a fetus during birth
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning.

No matter which form of brain injury a person suffers, our McAllen brain injury attorneys can help get you justice for what happened to you. You’ll get a leading brain injury lawyer with years of local knowledge and experience in this area of the law, so you stand the best chance of getting compensation.

Our Brain Injury Legal Team in McAllen, TX

Dr. Louis Patino’s deep medical and service background brings a unique and valuable perspective to his representation of clients in McAllen who have suffered brain injuries. Unlike so many lawyers, Dr. Patino’s education and life experience help him understand and explain to others exactly what his clients go through when facing the challenge of living with a brain injury.

Dr. Patino also appreciates that the compensation he secures for his clients cannot heal their injuries on its own. Money can, however, provide brain injury victims in McAllen with the support they need as they adapt to new challenges and rebuild their lives.

If you suffered any kind of brain injury in McAllen or the rest of the Rio Grande Valley in an accident that someone else caused, contact the Patino Law Firm online or call 855-LAW-NINJA for a free case consultation.

You can reach us 24/7.

You can reach us 24/7.

What Are The Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries can cause significant disruption in the lives of victims and their families. Many brain injuries make it impossible to work or attend school and inflict huge, unexpected costs on the victim and their family. These are some ways a brain injury can take a toll:

  • Cognitive Impairment – A brain injury to a victim in McAllen can severely affect the victim’s ability to think and reason. Cognitive impairments and struggles that can accompany any form of brain injury include loss of memory, difficulty with logical reasoning, loss of the ability to read or understand language, frequent inattention, and an inability to recognize people or places.
  • Motor Impairment – A brain injury can disrupt a victim’s ability to engage in both gross and fine motor functions. It can cause weakness, paralysis, loss of balance and dizziness, a lack of coordination and muscle memory, loss of fine motor skills like writing or holding a dining utensil, and a lack of spatial sense or depth perception. A brain injury in McAllen may also leave a victim struggling with spasms and seizures.
  • Emotional/Social Impairment – Victims of brain injury in McAllen may also face significant emotional challenges. Brain damage from a traumatic or non-traumatic brain injury can cause marked personality changes, an inability to control anger or other emotions, the onset of depression, anxiety, or paranoia, and a reduction in a victim’s ability to understand emotions in others or to read non-verbal cues. Sometimes, these impairments leave victims feeling like they have become different people, which can often compound the emotional toll on them and their loved ones.

The Severity of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Doctors rank brain injuries in their patients by degrees of severity: severe, moderate, and mild. These rankings help doctors to determine a course of treatment for a brain injury soon after it happens. The rankings are based on a patient’s symptoms immediately after suffering the injury and what diagnostic images of the brain reveal.

A “mild” brain injury — also called a concussion, when it results from external trauma — is the least severe of the three rankings. However, patients and their loved ones should not make the mistake of thinking that means their injury will have little or no impact on their lives. Even a “mild” brain injury can take a profound toll on a victim’s health, livelihood, and wellbeing, by causing cognitive struggles, fatigue, depression, sleep disruption, and a host of other problems.

At Patino Law Firm, Dr. Patino knows that every client’s brain injury is a serious condition that has the potential to take a heavy toll. He fights to make sure victims of brain injuries in McAllen — no matter what level of severity a doctor assigns to them — receive the justice and compensation they deserve.

Seeking Compensation for a Traumatic Head Injury in McAllen

The common effects of a brain injury listed above, though numerous, cannot fully capture the significant physical, emotional, and financial toll a brain injury can take on a victim in McAllen. Living with a brain injury is agonizing, unpredictable, and frustrating. Symptoms of the injury can come and go or may change over time. Recovering from a brain injury often feels like taking two steps forward and one step back, over and over. Holding down a job, going to school, or simply enjoying life may become difficult, if not impossible.

Under Texas law, victims of brain injuries in McAllen may have the right to take legal action, seeking compensation from anyone whose careless, reckless, or intentional actions caused them harm. At the Patino Law Firm, our McAllen brain injury attorneys start each case by focusing on who owes damages to our client and the types of compensation our client should get.

Who Can Be Held Accountable for a Brain Injury in McAllen?

Doctors and medical professionals may be legally liable for brain injuries to patients resulting from medical malpractice, such as when a doctor prescribes or administers the wrong medication or fails to diagnose a condition that leads to a stroke.

Motorists can be subject to legal liability for causing an auto accident that results in a brain injury to a driver or passenger in another vehicle.

Residential property owners can owe damages to young people who suffer brain injuries in accidents in unlocked, unmonitored backyard swimming pools.

Commercial property owners may face legal liability if a customer slips, falls, and suffers a brain injury because of an unsafe condition on the owner’s premises.

Criminals, in addition to facing prosecution, can also owe compensation to their victims, such as when an assault inflicts a brain injury.

These are just a few examples of who may be legally liable to a brain injury victim in McAllen. Speak with Dr. Louis Patino, a specialist brain injury lawyer, today to explore the facts of the incident that led to your or a loved one’s brain injury and to determine who may have a legal obligation to compensate you for your injuries and losses.

Our McAllen-Based Attorney Can Calculate Damages for Brain Injuries

Dr. Patino works closely with his clients and their families to understand the full scope of harm they have suffered because of a brain injury. Many of them express surprise when they learn just how wide a range of damages they may have the right to recover.

Every case is different, and Dr. Patino can never guarantee that a client will recover compensation, but in general, a victim seeking damages after a McAllen brain injury can often seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses related to a brain injury and any health complications it causes, including emergency care; hospitalization; physical, occupational, and psychological therapy; surgery; medication; and doctors’ visits.
  • Other expenses the victim has incurred because of a brain injury, such as the cost of purchasing special equipment or modifying their home to accommodate the impairments caused by the injury, or of hiring someone to help out with day-to-day tasks.
  • Lost wages due to missing work after suffering a brain injury and an inability to return to work because of disabilities caused by the brain injury.
  • Physical pain, emotional suffering, and overall diminished quality of life owing to the toll the brain injury takes on a person’s everyday existence and relationships.
  • In some cases, exemplary damages are “awarded as a penalty or by way of punishment” under Texas law when someone’s “fraud, malice, or gross negligence” caused a brain injury.

By spending time with clients and their families, Dr. Patino explores each of these categories of damages to ensure that if and when he takes legal action on their behalf, he seeks the maximum damages allowable in their case under Texas law.

Traumatic Brain Injuries: Frequently Asked Questions

The amount of compensation you may be entitled to if you have suffered a traumatic brain injury could be substantial, from a few thousand to well over a million. Medical expenses, lost wages, exemplary damages, and other factors will all be considered. Speak to an experienced brain injury lawyer in McAllen to see how much your case might be worth.

A traumatic brain injury is best proved through medical records. The initial severity of a potential traumatic brain injury is typically assessed either by a doctor or other emergency medical personnel using the Glasgow coma scale. The scale runs from three to fifteen, with higher scores indicating a less severe injury. This can be a starting point for a case, but more evidence will usually be required to prove a traumatic brain injury in court.

Two imaging tests can be used to show a traumatic brain injury. A person suspected of having had a brain injury might have a Computerized tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan is often used in the emergency room because it can quickly reveal fractures and indicate bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage), blood clots (hematomas), bruised brain tissue (contusions), and brain tissue swelling.

Another tool that can be used to check for injuries to the brain is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). While a CT scan uses X-rays, an MRI scan uses radio waves to create a detailed image of the brain and is an appropriate tool if someone is in a stable condition or if the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury don’t improve over time. If there are images from either a CT or an MRI scan, it may be possible to use these in court to demonstrate the severity of a brain injury.

Brain damage refers to the destruction or deterioration of brain cells. If a person has brain damage due to a traumatic brain injury, there could be lasting effects. There are four main categories of brain damage symptoms: cognitive, perceptual, physical, and behavioral/emotional.

Someone with cognitive symptoms of brain damage may have issues processing information, expressing thoughts, understanding, paying attention, making decisions, and memory loss. Someone with perceptual brain damage has issues with vision, hearing, touch, and balance. Someone with physical brain damage may experience symptoms like fatigue, headaches, paralysis, and loss of consciousness. Lastly, someone with behavioral/emotional brain damage symptoms may be erratic, aggressive, impatient, or unpredictable.

If you think that you or someone you know might have a traumatic brain injury, it’s best to be seen by a qualified medical professional as quickly as possible. A CT scan or an MRI scan might be able to confirm the injury. In some cases, an Intracranial Pressure Monitor can be used to monitor swelling in the brain.   

It might be obvious to you that a loved one’s behavior has changed after an injury, but it can be difficult to prove in court that a traumatic brain injury has caused the change. That’s why it’s important to speak to an experienced brain injury lawyer who can maximize your chances of winning. An experienced lawyer will be able to build a case based on eyewitness accounts, expert testimony, and medical records to prove that a brain injury has occurred. 

Yes, you can qualify for long-term benefits as a result of a traumatic brain injury. As we’ve mentioned above, a traumatic brain injury can cause ongoing issues in many different areas (cognitive, physical, perceptual, and behavioral/emotional). In some cases, these issues can be permanent and make it impossible for a person to work. In that situation, a person affected by a traumatic brain injury may be eligible for a long-term disability insurance claim. 

Yes. White matter disease is a serious condition that can make it impossible for a person to work. To qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits in Texas, you must be unable to do any substantial work because of your medical condition. That condition must have lasted or be expected to last one year or to result in your death. White matter disease is a serious condition, and if you are significantly affected by white matter disease, you may be eligible for disability benefits. 

The causes of white matter diseases are not yet fully understood. White matter disease is common and present in more than half of people aged 60 and over. It’s thought to be related to blood flow in the brain. Certain lifestyle factors, such as high blood pressure and smoking, can increase the risk of white matter disease.

Yes, encephalomalacia can be considered a disability. Encephalomalacia is a softening of the brain and can cause permanent cognitive and motor function issues. A person affected by encephalomalacia might need lifelong 24/7 care. 

Encephalomalacia is typically caused by trauma to the brain, bleeding on the brain (cerebral hemorrhage), or cerebral ischemia (loss of blood flow to the brain). It often occurs during birth as a result of complications during labor or delivery. It can also be caused by a traumatic brain injury sustained during a car accident. If you or a loved one has suffered encephalomalacia due to someone else’s actions, you may be entitled to a settlement. Speak to an experienced brain injury lawyer to learn more.

Yes. A serious brain tumor can cause disability. This is because a brain tumor can cause brain damage and make it impossible for a person to do substantial work. A brain tumor may cause a non-traumatic brain injury. While a traumatic brain injury is caused by an external force, such as in a car accident, internal factors, such as a tumor, a lack, of oxygen, or exposure to toxins may cause a non-traumatic brain injury or acquired brain surgery.

A traumatic brain injury is one of the categories of disability recognized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA is a federal law that has been in effect since 1975 that requires public schools to provide free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities aged 3 to 21.

Helping someone with a traumatic brain injury is not always easy. A traumatic brain injury is not a visible injury, like a broken leg, so it’s not easy to see and understand the problem. Each traumatic brain injury is different, and it will take time to learn how you can best help someone. 

It’s important to get appropriate support from a medical professional. If the traumatic brain injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or deliberate harm to you, the law allows you to obtain compensation from the responsible person. This amount you receive will factor in medical expenses resulting from the traumatic brain injury.

A traumatic brain injury affects the whole family, not just the person who suffered the injury. If the person affected by a traumatic brain injury was the main breadwinner, there can be serious financial complications for the whole family if that person is no longer able to work. 

Caring for someone with a traumatic brain injury can be physically and mentally exhausting. It’s normal for caregivers to experience negative emotions like stress, anxiety, anger, and depression. If you are a caregiver to someone with a traumatic brain injury, it’s important to recognize the stress that you might be under and to ensure you have an adequate support network to help you manage this. 

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