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Brain Damage & Head Injury

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Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is broadly defined as any trauma or blow to the head that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. In some instances, a TBI is one of the most devastating injuries a person can experience because of the deficits it may cause. These deficits may include cognitive or learning problems, changes in personality, loss of vision, hearing or taste, and in the most severe cases, seizures and paralysis. Brain injuries are unpredictable and difficult to treat. Although the causes and outcomes of a TBI may vary, many head injury survivors struggle for years with physical, emotional and psychological impairments.

If a TBI suffered by you or a loved one was caused by the negligence or misconduct of another person, you have the right to seek compensation for the injury. This often includes all medical costs, rehabilitation expenses, lost income, impaired future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Brian Dretke has litigated traumatic brain injury cases and understands the devastating nature of these injuries. He has helped his clients obtain settlements and verdicts that pay for surgeries, medications and rehabilitation therapy. He strives to ensure his clients achieve the best possible quality of life after these debilitating injuries.


Concussion:  A concussion is the most common type of brain injury. It is caused when an external force strikes the head or when the skull and brain shake back and forth rapidly. A concussion can cause an instant loss of awareness and can be difficult to detect when the victim does not lose consciousness. While a concussion is not usually life-threatening, serious symptoms can occur as a result and immediate medical treatment is recommended.

Brain Contusion: A contusion is essentially a bruise, which is mild bleeding under the skin. These often occur when someone suffers a concussion. If the contusion does not stop bleeding on its own, it may need to be surgically removed. The extent of damage associated with a brain contusion depends on the size of the bleed, its location, and the length of time it lasts.

Traumatic Brain Injury: These head injuries occur after sudden significant impact or force. There are two types of traumatic brain injuries. An “open” head injury occurs when there is an open wound or skull fracture as the result of a blow to the head. A “closed” head injury does not involve an open wound or fracture but may more serious due to the possibility of swelling of the brain. A closed head injury also poses a risk of the development of a subdural hematoma which occurs when pooled blood pushes on the brain. It can lead to unconsciousness and death.

Penetrating Brain Injury: These injuries occur when an object penetrates the skull and brain, and often prove fatal if not promptly treated because they cause severe bleeding, blood clots and a lack of oxygen to the brain. Those who survive this type of injury often require several surgeries, high doses of antibiotics, and extensive post-injury therapy.

At The Dretke Law Firm we understand that all brain injuries are serious for the person who has sustained one. We are dedicated to helping our clients move forward and recover for the harms they have experienced. 

If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury, it is crucial to undergo a complete medical examination immediately. In many cases such as a significant car crash, other injuries like broken bones and internal injuries are the focus of emergency treatment. However, if untreated a TBI can result in a lifetime of symptoms so catching a brain injury early can significantly reduce a negative outcome. It is critical to watch for the following symptoms if you or a loved one suffered head trauma:

  • Persistent headache
  • Difficulty with coordination
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • Seizures
  • Vision problems
  • Depression
  • Inability to focus on tasks
  • Change in personality or temperament

If any of these symptoms are present after head trauma, seek medical attention immediately. In some cases magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will confirm a TBI, so be sure to tell your health care provider about all symptoms so the appropriate tests can be administered.

Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by a wide range of incidents. Common causes include:

  • Car collisions, motorcycle wrecks, auto-pedestrian collisions, and bicycle crashes. A brain injury can result from the force of the impact, from being ejected from a vehicle, or being struck in the head by debris during the event.
  • Falls. Falls are a leading cause of brain injuries, particularly in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
  • Construction accidents. Workers are exposed to many hazards on a construction jobsite. Even with a hardhat in place a worker can suffer a TBI from a significant blow to the head from equipment used on the job or the carelessness of other workers.
  • Sporting injuries. Sports accidents can cause an immediate head injury. Skiing, snowmobiling, and 4×4 accidents account for many of these injuries, even when a helmet is used. Repeated blows to the head while playing sports or during practice increases the chance of a brain injury developing over time.

Many of these causes of brain injuries occur because of the misconduct or negligence of someone else. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury under these circumstances, you may be able to take legal action to recover for your injuries and losses.

The Dretke Law Firm Has Experience in Brain and Head Injuries

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious brain injury, we understand the emotional, physical and financial toll you are experiencing. You need a competent legal professional representing you. Brian Dretke has the compassion, experience and tenacity to take on the insurance companies and secure you and your family the compensation necessary for long-term care and therapy, loss of income, and pain and suffering. Brian will work diligently to resolve your claim through settlement, but if the case does go to court you can be assured that you will be represented by an attorney with 25 years of courtroom experience as both a litigator and state circuit court judge.


A nuts and bolts website providing information on traumatic brain injuries sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This site, sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, provides information on prognosis and treatment of traumatic brain injuries.

Also sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, this is an excellent resource for those seeking up-to-date information on the causes and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries, and the research into available prevention and treatment.

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