Seeking Help for a Family Member With a Brain Injury

This video features Samantha L. Pryor, Esq., a Business Law attorney based in Colorado.

Colorado Brain Injury Attorney

Video Transcript:

Samantha Pryor: 

A lot of times, the injured victim isn't able to always identify that there's something... They know that something is wrong or off, but they don't necessarily know until they go and speak with their medical provider.

Rob Rosenthal: 

Why are traumatic brain injuries sometimes missed at first, and how can the sufferer get help? Well, that's what we're gonna find out right now on this episode of Ask The Lawyer. My guest is Denver attorney Samantha Pryor. And I remind you at first, if you wanna ask Samantha, at any point, questions of your own, all you gotta do is go to askthelawyers.com, click the button up at the top that says Ask a Lawyer, and it'll walk you right through the process. Or you can simply call the phone number you see on the screen during our conversation. Samantha, it's always good to see you, thank you for helping us out.

Samantha Pryor: 

It's good to see you too. Thank you so much for having me.

Rob Rosenthal: 

So someone's in a motor vehicle crash, maybe there's a head injury or brain injury, are these always detected right away and... Or does sometimes, does it take some time? And why or why not?

Samantha Pryor: 

So good question. The answer really is it depends. It depends on the severity of the traumatic brain injury and whether or not you have a loss of consciousness, so sometimes those symptoms for a traumatic brain injury won't really be identified until days or weeks after in the initial concussion, but then sometimes especially if there is a severe concussion, those symptoms can come pretty quickly. And if they are reported to the emergency room physicians or the medical providers, then they're usually in a position to diagnose concussions pretty early on, and then they go on and refer you to a neurologist to confirm and actually determine the severity of the concussion.

Rob Rosenthal: 

Got you. What are some of those symptoms maybe people should be looking out for after such an accident?

Samantha Pryor: 

Yeah, so traumatic brain injuries can be very serious, and so some of the different symptoms to look out for would be headaches, loss of memory, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, confusion, high emotions, we've seen. We've handled a lot of traumatic brain injury cases at the Halliburton law firm, and unfortunately it can take a toll on the injured victim. And a lot of times, the injured victim isn't able to always identify that there's something... They know that something is wrong or off, but they don't necessarily know until they go and speak with their medical provider.

Rob Rosenthal: 

That's interesting, it you would... Yeah, it seems like probably sometimes the injured person may not even realize that there's something wrong. It's the family members or other people that are around them all the time, they notice something's off. Is that the case?

Samantha Pryor: 

Yes, that's very true. So oftentimes, depending on the nature and severity of the concussion, the symptoms, like I said, can be very subtle. But family members oftentimes notice differences when their loved one is injured or sustained or suffered from a concussion. Some of those things could be they're noticing that their loved one can't remember things, and so they're repeating themselves a lot, or they're highly emotional. There are certain things that family members will notice sometimes before the injured victim will see, and so it's really important, even when you're involved in an accident to just always be paying attention to your symptoms. You don't always have to hit your head in order to sustain a concussion, and so it's really important that after an accident that you are paying really close attention to how your body is feeling.

Rob Rosenthal: 

Something you mentioned that I... Maybe not a lot of people realize, if they haven't been through this, is that the family members oftentimes become the caregivers for the person who suffered the injury. Unlike maybe some injuries, this is a kind of injury that affects the entire household. Does it not?

Samantha Pryor: 

That's correct. Absolutely, and again, it really goes back to how severe the injury is. We've seen people with really mild symptoms where they're able to just have some therapy, cognitive rehabilitation and things like that, where they're able to move on, but certain individuals who may have pre-existing conditions or who have just suffered a very severe brain injury, that can take a significant toll on the family because brain injuries can change the way people behave, the way we respond, and just... It can absolutely impact people's day-to-day activities, and the enjoyment of their life is greatly diminished in those times.

Rob Rosenthal: 

Obviously, they'd be paying for medical bills, but are there other types of damages that could be recovered in these kind of cases, what other things might there be damages recovered for?

Samantha Pryor: 

Yes, absolutely. So in any car accident case, or if you're able to establish that it was someone else's fault, the incident and the incident caused you to sustain injuries, and then the law allows you to recover economic and non-economic damages. And so the economic damages are those damages that are more easily quantifiable, and they're usually based on, for example, your medical expenses. The ambulance ride is usually something that you can recover from, and then all of those expenses, mileage, even going back and forth to your doctor's appointments, any out-of-pocket expenses that you incur, like pharmaceutical expenses, but in addition to the economic damages, an injured victim is also entitled to non-economic damages, and that's compensation for those more hard, difficult-to-quantify types of damages like loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, stress, emotional distress. A lot of these cases can really take a toll on an individual and their families, and so that is something that the law allows you to recover as an injured victim. Now, if there's enough evidence to show that the at-fault party was acting in a reckless way, then you could potentially also seek punitive damages later on in a civil action.

Rob Rosenthal: 

Very helpful information, Samantha. Thank you for taking some time and answering our questions.

Samantha Pryor: 

Yes, you're welcome. Thank you so much for having me.

Rob Rosenthal: 

That's gonna do it for this episode of Ask The Lawyer. My guest has been Denver attorney Samantha Pryor. Don't forget, if you'd like to ask Samantha any questions about your situation, just go to askthelawyers.com, click the button up at the top that says, Ask a Lawyer, and it'll walk you right through the very simple process right there. It doesn't cost anything to ask your questions. Thanks for watching, everybody. I'm Rob Rosenthal with Ask The Lawyers.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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