We recently wrote about the Tampa MOVES initiative and how it aims to make our roads safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. This comes at a good time, as the Governors Highway Safety Association recently named Florida one of the deadliest states for pedestrians. These numbers are based on 2022 accident reports, and cite Florida as third in the ranking of deadliest roads for individuals on foot. In Pinellas County alone there were over 100 fatal cases in 2022, and we believe those numbers are unacceptable. Sadly, these statistics don’t take those left injured into account, and among them, pedestrian traumatic brain injuries are common.
Pedestrian Collisions Commonly Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries
When a vehicle hits you, whether on foot, on a bicycle, or in another car, you experience forces that can lead to injury of your brain tissue. This doesn’t always look like a direct blow to the head or penetration by a foreign object. In addition to skull trauma, TBI injuries frequently result from whiplash, sudden stopping and/or jerking, or strong rotation of the head. When a driver hits a pedestrian, traumatic brain injuries are an especially pertinent concern. The sudden impact, jerking force of being thrown, and the collision of the victim’s head with surfaces often prove catastrophic.
What usually causes TBIs?
Traumatic Brain Injuries, or TBIs, are the result of trauma to the head. They can be caused by:
- car accidents
- pedestrian collisions
- slip-and-fall accidents
- falls (typically from heights)
- assault/physical blows
- sports accidents
and they result in inflammation of the brain and surrounding areas. As mentioned above, blows to the head don’t cause all TBIs. Whiplash is another major contributor to many pedestrian traumatic brain injury accidents.
Are traumatic brain injuries obvious?
In some cases, yes. However, in pedestrian accidents, TBIs aren’t always evident immediately after the accident. Inflammation of the brain tissue and/or bleeding could take hours, or even days, to cause symptoms in some victims. It’s important to know the signs of a traumatic brain injury so you can monitor yourself or a loved one after their accident.
According to The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, you should watch for:
- blurry vision
- balance issues
- sensitivity to light/sound
- mental fog (struggles to focus)
- sudden anxiety, moodiness, or emotional outbursts
- trouble with memory
If you notice any of these signs, get medical attention as soon as possible. TBIs can rapidly damage your brain, leaving you or your family member with irreparable damage. Even if your accident was weeks before, it’s still vital to seek treatment immediately if you begin to experience the above symptoms. In addition to getting help from your medical team, you’ll need to seek help from your lawyer to make sure the responsible party is held accountable.
How much time do I have to file a traumatic brain injury claim?
Many victims worry that they “missed their window” following their accident if their symptoms didn’t show up immediately. This is not true and is why you should always contact a trusted brain injury lawyer following any pedestrian collision. In Florida, a victim has up to 4 years (from the date of the accident) to file a TBI personal injury claim. This period, known as the statute of limitations, is your window to seek justice and compensation for your, or your loved one’s, injuries and suffering.
What will a TBI claim mean for me and my family?
If you or a loved one experienced a traumatic brain injury due to a pedestrian collision, you have the right to pursue justice and have the guilty party held accountable. At Brooks Law Group, our team fights for you around the table and in the courtroom. We seek to win financial compensation to help you and your family with medical expenses, ongoing treatments, therapies, lost income, and more. From your first free consultation, until the day your case closes, you can count on us to put you first. We make sure you feel informed, supported, and empowered throughout the process, and you never pay unless we win. Call us to speak with one of our Tampa lawyers about your case and how we can help you. When pedestrians are affected by traumatic brain injuries, they know they can Look to Brooks.