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Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Even though doctors classify Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) as mild, moderate, or severe, every brain injury is a serious injury. Whether you or your loved one suffered a concussion that seemingly resolved in the first few weeks or months, or a severe TBI with permanent neurological impairments, retaining a lawyer that is familiar and experienced with TBIs to handle your case is imperative. Our lawyers are very involved in helping people impacted by TBI and have represented numerous survivors of brain injuries -- we are here to help.

Many TBIs are accompanied by other injuries, including spine and spinal cord injuries, orthopedic injuries, and soft tissue injuries. Our lawyers understand the multi-disciplinary treatments of TBIs and the other injuries that often accompany TBI.

Washington Statutes on TBI

The effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) do not stop with the TBI survivor. Personality changes, depression, memory loss, irritability, loss of senses, changed sleep patterns, fatigue, etc. have a real impact on loved ones, as well.

Washington law defines Traumatic Brain Injury:
"Traumatic brain injury" means injury to the brain caused by physical trauma resulting from, but not limited to, incidents involving motor vehicles, sporting events, falls, and physical assaults. Documentation of traumatic brain injury shall be based on adequate medical history, neurological examination, mental status testing, or neuropsychological evaluation. A traumatic brain injury shall be of sufficient severity to result in impairments in one or more of the following areas: Cognition; language memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; or information processing. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

RCW 74.31.010(4).

Washington law further recognizes the many harmful effects of sustaining a Traumatic Brain Injury:
The center for disease control estimates that at least five million three hundred thousand Americans, approximately two percent of the United States population, currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of a traumatic brain injury. Each year approximately one million four hundred thousand people in this country, including children, sustain traumatic brain injuries as a result of a variety of causes including falls, motor vehicle injuries, being struck by an object, or as a result of an assault and other violent crimes, including domestic violence. Additionally, there are significant numbers of veterans who sustain traumatic brain injuries as a result of their service in the military.

Traumatic brain injury can cause a wide range of functional changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions. It can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age. The impact of a traumatic brain injury on the individual and family can be devastating.

The legislature recognizes that current programs and services are not funded or designed to address the diverse needs of this population. It is the intent of the legislature to develop a comprehensive plan to help individuals with traumatic brain injuries meet their needs. The legislature also recognizes the efforts of many in the private sector who are providing services and assistance to individuals with traumatic brain injuries. The legislature intends to bring together those in both the public and private sectors with expertise in this area to address the needs of this growing population.

RCW 74.31.005.