Traumatic Brain Injury

Every Sunday, you used to drive to your mother’s house for Sunday dinner. One Sunday was different and it changed your life forever. You were driving when suddenly the world went black and your life turned upside-down. When you came to, you’d been in a serious car accident.

Your family seemed all right — no visible injuries and no serious complaints. Only later that day, your daughter mentioned that she had a headache and felt sick. In the days after the accident, you noticed a change in her personality.  She seemed to become very forgetful, complained of dizziness and blurred vision and more headaches.  A trip to a doctor gave you the bad news. Your child had suffered a serious injury.

She was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Counter-blow brain injury
Traumatic brain injury can be caused by a counter-blow.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often caused by a sudden trauma to the brain. TBI is often the result of the head abruptly and forcefully hitting something or from an object striking the skull.  Or a contrecoup injury in which abrupt motion of the head causes the brain to strike the inside of the skull.  But there are other causes of TBI, such as the brain being starved of oxygen for too long, a process known as hypoxia.

Your symptoms can be subtle and mild, at least at first:

  • A brief loss of consciousness
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Memory loss
  • Concentration problems
  • Attention or thinking problems

When you suffer a severe head trauma, you may suffer these same symptoms and much more. Your headache won’t go away. You have repeated vomiting, nausea, convulsions, seizures, inability to wake up from sleep, and eye dilation. You may have slurred speech, weakness in your legs or arms, loss of coordination, increased confusion, and agitation.

You will need medical treatment, and it may last a lifetime.

The Causes of TBI

The leading causes of traumatic brain injury include:

  1. Falls
  2. Motor vehicle accidents
  3. Assaults
  4. Self-harm
  5. Being struck by an object

But there are other causes that might not seem so obvious.  Like nearly drowning in a swimming pool, inhaling carbon monoxide, or medical malpractice, such as botched administration of anesthesia in an operating room or a dentist’s office.


Estimates of those with a traumatic brain injury range from 1,000,000 to 2,300,000 per year in the United States. Of those who are treated by a doctor, 50,000 to over 100,000 have prolonged problems. You may not be able to work and/or have problems coping with your life daily.


Even for those who regain physical and language ability, life can be challenging. Up to six million Americans of all ages deal with a lifetime of disability from TBI.

Medical costs are high and out of the reach of the average family. The lifetime medical cost to treat a patient with TBI runs from $85,000 to over $3 million. And these are direct medical costs alone.

There are many other costs to the family and to the individual. Many patients never recover full social independence but still have a normal life-expectancy.

Fifty-two percent of brain injury survivors remain disabled after one year. Like most other survivors, you may be living with your family after four years. You will neither be attending school or working. You may be imposing a significant psychological burden on your family. Your close relationships will be at-risk.

There is little evidence your psychological conditions will improve in the next two to seven years. Your family or relatives might care for you for a lifetime.

We Can Help

Given the consequences of your injury, you’ll need significant resources for you and your family to cope with the future. Liability insurance companies are often reluctant to compensate mental as opposed to physical injuries and medical insurers often attempt to limit coverage for treatment.

That’s where we come in.

We can help you:

  • We will help you get the medical evaluation you need;
  • We will advise you if you have a valid legal claim and how much a potential claim is worth.
  • We can deal with insurance companies in coverage issues and liability disputes
  • We understand the legal process.
  • We will improve your odds for a just financial recovery.
  • We are motivated to help you.
  • We can take your claim to trial if necessary.

Our Pledge to You

When you work with us, your case is all about you. Our focus is on the best possible outcomes for you and your family.

You can and should expect that we will:

  • Give you the best advice we can about your case.
  • Keep you informed about your case.
  • Tell you what we will think will happen with your case.
  • Allow you to make the important decisions about your case.
  • Give you an estimate of what your case should cost and how long it will take to resolve.
  • Assist you in any cost-benefit analysis that you may need.
  • Keep in communication with you.
  • Inform you of any changes, delays, or setbacks.
  • Give you the information you need to make good decisions.
  • Prepare you for your case including deposition and trial preparation.

Our Attorneys

The team of attorneys dedicated to your case will be:

Chip Wagar has more than three decades of experience in civil trial litigation. He has successfully managed difficult and complex cases in medical malpractice and product liability. He is based in the New Orleans area, but his casework has taken him across the nation to many other states and cities. His case preparation is meticulous. His courtroom advocacy for you his clients is passionate, and he is the consummate professional.

Sarah Hickman’s legal career began long before she went to law school. Sarah worked for her firm in one capacity or another since she was a high school intern, then a legal assistant and an attorney since October 2014. She began attending and assisting at trials in her teens. She understands the degree of preparation and attention to detail that governs her success as an attorney today.

Chip and Sarah are attorneys with the firm of Wagar Richard Kutcher Tygier & Luminais, LLP.

Call us today at 504-830-3838 to arrange a free screening of your case or use the convenient form for that purpose.