Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries happen more often than you might think, and depending on the severity of the brain damage, can have major, long-lasting consequences for both injury victims and their loved ones. Brain dysfunction resulting from a traumatic injury can result in serious physical and psychological problems, coma or even death in severe cases. If you suffered a traumatic brain injury and someone else is to blame, you may have a claim against the person or party responsible for causing your injuries. You also have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a family member who is unable to do so because of permanent brain damage. Our reputable brain injury attorneys will guide you through the process of suing the negligent person or party to seek fair and timely compensation for damages like current and future medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Contact our firm as soon as possible to learn more about filing a traumatic brain injury claim in California.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is defined as brain dysfunction caused by an outside force, usually a sudden, violent blow to the head. In most cases of traumatic brain injury, the injury occurs as a result of a severe car accident, slip and fall or sports accident, when the victim’s head forcefully strikes an object, such as a car windshield or dashboard. This is known as a closed head injury. A traumatic brain injury can also occur when an object passes through the skull and pierces the brain tissue. This is called a penetrating injury.
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can range from mild to moderate to severe, and in some cases, it may not be immediately apparent that a brain injury has occurred, which is why any injury to the head should be evaluated by a medical professional right away. This can help you connect the brain injury to the accident later on, if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim. Keep in mind that while it is typically easy to diagnose a visible injury like a broken bone or burn, a brain injury is far more complex and brain injury symptoms can be considerably more subtle.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Every year, as many as 1.4 million people in the United States sustain a brain injury, such as a severe concussion or permanent brain damage. In California, a traumatic brain injury can result from any of the following:
- Car accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Bicycle accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Trucking accident
- Rollover accident
- Slip and fall
- Product liability
- Work accident
- Swimming pool accident
Long-Term Consequences of TBIs
The long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury depend a great deal on the severity of the injury and which part of the brain was damaged. While mild TBIs (concussions) may require no treatment other than rest and over-the-counter pain relievers to treat headache symptoms, people who survive a severe TBI may require extensive rehabilitation. They often need to relearn basic skills, such as speech, balance, talking or walking, and may encounter any number of persistent physical, cognitive or emotional difficulties as a result of the injury. Some TBIs are fatal and some non-fatal TBIs are so severe that victims never become independent enough to perform daily living activities on their own, in which case they may require constant care for the rest of their lives.
Filing a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit
If you think you have a brain injury claim, the first thing you should do is hire a reputable personal injury attorney who has experience with brain injury litigation. Most traumatic brain injury claims arising from a car accident, slip and fall or some other type of accident are based on negligence, a legal theory that in its most basic terms, means someone failed to take proper care in doing something. In order to hold someone else legally responsible for the harm you have suffered as a result of your TBI, you must first prove negligence, meaning the at-fault person or party acted in a careless way, and in doing so, caused the accident or injury. There are four basic parts to a negligence claim:
- Duty – The at-fault person or party (the defendant) owed you a legal duty,
- Breach – The defendant breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way,
- Causation – The defendant’s actions (or failure to act) caused your injury, and
- Damages – You suffered actual damages as a result of the injury.
If you are successful in your personal injury claim, you may be able to recover financial compensation for physical pain, emotional trauma, medical bills, permanent disability or disfigurement, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, lost income, loss of future earning capacity, diminished quality of life and other damages. Brain injury cases generally raise complex legal and medical issues, which is why retaining a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer is critical.
Legal Help for Traumatic Brain Injury Victims
A traumatic brain injury can happen to anyone at any time. Some of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries involve sports accidents, falls and motor vehicle accidents, often caused by someone else’s negligence or carelessness. For example, a pedestrian crossing the street in a crosswalk may suffer a traumatic brain injury after being struck by a motorist who runs a red light, or a construction worker might sustain a traumatic brain injury in a trip and fall accident caused by a workplace hazard. In some cases, there may be multiple liable parties. A person involved in an accident with a semi-truck, for instance, may be able to file a lawsuit against both the at-fault driver and the trucking company that employed the driver. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and you think you may have a personal injury claim, don’t wait to seek legal representation. There is a statute of limitations on injury claims in California, so contact our traumatic brain injury lawyers today and we will get to work on your case right away.