California Brain Injury Attorneys
Have you or someone you love suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in an accident that wasn’t your fault? Discover the highest level of service when you choose Wilshire Law Firm’s award-winning team of more than 100 legal professionals for your personal injury case. Our brain injury lawyers will protect your legal rights while you focus on what actually matters—healing.
The time you have to file your claim is limited, but don’t trust your case to just anyone. For proven legal strategies that get results, call Wilshire Law Firm today at (800) 522-7274—or fill out our online contact form—to get started with your FREE case consultation.
Why do Traumatic Brain Injuries Occur?
Your brain works hard for you. From regulating your nervous system to controlling your breathing, your brain plays a role in just about every part of your life. But what if your brain could no longer perform all of these tasks, forcing you to need permanent help with everyday tasks? For most of us, that would be incredibly frightening. But for the more than nearly 5 million Americans living today with a Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI)-related disability, that’s their reality.
Worse yet, more than 2.5 million Americans each year sustain a traumatic brain injury, defined here as a head injury that damages brain tissue. Known as “The Silent Epidemic”, traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of several different causes, the most likely of which are:
Brain injuries range in severity from mild, which is commonly referred to as a concussion, to more moderate or severe neurological injuries, which often have long-lasting or permanent effects. In addition to this, head trauma injuries are further classified as being either an open TBI, where an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain, or a closed TBI, in which the victim experiences a violent, non-penetrating blow to the head. The resulting brain swelling may starve the victim’s brain of oxygen, causing what is termed a hypoxic brain injury.
How Are Traumatic Brain Injuries Prevented?
You CAN prevent traumatic brain injuries. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a number of tips that will reduce your chances of sustaining a traumatic brain injury. In addition to always wearing a seatbelt when riding in a motor vehicle, the CDC recommends taking the following steps to prevent TBI:
- Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Wear a helmet or appropriate headgear during activities such as bike riding or snowboarding
- Seat children in the proper car or booster seat to lower the risk of TBI
Older adults and parents with young children should take additional safety measures throughout their homes, as children and seniors are two groups at high risk of suffering a brain injury. Safety bars, safety gates, and window guards all help prevent accidents around the home and reduce the risk of TBI.
What are the Common Symptoms of Brain Injuries?
While a severe traumatic brain injury is usually obvious, identifying and diagnosing mild to moderate brain injuries can be more challenging, particularly if any superficial injuries have also occurred. Several psychological symptoms are danger signs of a brain or brain stem injury, including:
- Trouble recognizing people or places
- Difficulty concentrating
- Confusion, restlessness, or agitation
- Unusual behavior
These symptoms may present themselves right away, but it’s also possible that head injury symptoms won’t appear until days later. After a head injury or other brain trauma, it’s important to keep an eye out for any physical manifestations of a brain injury in the immediate aftermath of a head trauma event. Some of the typical physical symptoms of TBI are as follows:
- Persistent headache
- Loss of consciousness
- Convulsions or seizure
- Nausea and vomiting, particularly in children
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Slurred speech
- Dizziness or loss of coordination
- Changes in vision
- Different sized pupils
- Clear fluids leaking from the nose or ears
- Hearing loss or hypersensitivity to sound
- Numbness or weakness in the fingers or toes
The symptoms of a brain injury are frequently tied to the areas of the brain that have been damaged. Commonly damaged locations in the brain include the:
- Frontal lobe
- Temporal lobe
- Orbitofrontal cortex
- Occipital lobe
- Angular gyrus
- Parietal lobe
- Sensory cortex
- Olfactory bulb
Measuring the severity of a traumatic brain injury involves subjecting the victim to various stimuli and measuring their eye-opening, verbal, and motor responses using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). Head injuries are classified under this system as mild head injuries, moderate head injuries, and severe head injuries, with catastrophically injured victims offering few responses during testing.
It’s crucial to remember that there are many signs of a traumatic brain injury, some of which might not appear right away. The most important thing you can do following a traumatic brain injury is to monitor for any changes in the victim’s physical or mental condition, seeking immediate medical attention when something changes or doesn’t seem right.
What are the Long-Term Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Everyone responds to a brain injury differently. Some symptoms may appear right away, while others will gradually become more apparent. Worse still, some head injury effects may not show up until years later and may even be permanent, eventually requiring special equipment or care and affecting a victim’s ability to work and live independently. In a majority of cases, the long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries in adults and children will present in one or more of the following ways:
- Physical Impairments such as difficulty eating, breathing, and exercising can occur, and treatment may require special rehabilitation programs or expensive mobility devices.
- Cognitive Disabilities that affect a victim’s ability to think, organize, and act independently can have permanent effects on both the victim and their family.
- Issues with hearing, reading, writing, speaking, and trouble with numbers can lead to long-term Communication Issues.
- Whether it’s because of the injury itself or the results of the injury on the victim’s life, the Emotional Trauma that results may be something that a TBI victim carries with them for the rest of their life.
- TBI victims may become reckless, impatient, obsessive, or develop other Behavioral Impairments that were not present prior to their injury.
- If the voluntary movement portion of the brain is injured, muscles may become continuously stiff, or Spastic, interfering with the victim’s ability to speak, move, eat, and even breathe.
Victims may suffer through multiple surgeries and lengthy rehabilitation programs, a development that severely curtails a survivor’s ability to hold a job, live on their own, or truly enjoy life. For many, simply reaching the point of Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is a difficult task—TBI survivors and their brain injury attorney may consult with all of the following during the recovery process:
- A neurologist
- A neurophysiologist
- A neuropsychologist
- A respiratory therapist
- An occupational therapist
- A speech/language pathologist
- A recreational therapist
- A physical therapist
- A cognitive therapist
- A life-care planner
- Rehabilitation nurses
The expense of working with so many medical experts is the reason that many victims and their families eventually seek out the services of a brain injury attorney.
Who can be Found Liable for a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Identifying the parties responsible for a traumatic brain injury isn’t as easy as you might think. Brain injuries occur for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways, which means that the parties liable for causing a traumatic brain injury vary greatly from case to case. Depending on the circumstances of the case in question, the following parties may potentially be found liable for a victim’s traumatic brain injury:
- A negligent driver, the vehicle owner, or the driver’s employer
- Product manufacturers
- Shipping companies
- A public entity (e.g. a local or state government)
In many TBI cases, the victim’s family and friends serve as witnesses to the severe toll that brain damage has taken on the victim. Your personal injury lawyer may also consult with medical and forensic experts and arrange for sworn testimony to bolster your case.
What Compensation Is Available for Victims?
Given the serious nature of traumatic brain injuries, victims and their families are often entitled to immense compensation. While there may not be immediate symptoms in the wake of a traumatic brain injury, as the effects play out over time, there can be extensive costs associated with care for the victim. Because of this, there are many damages that victims and their families are entitled to recover, including:
- Medical Bills—This begins with initial emergency care and further includes any rehabilitation and other life-support services.
- Pain and Suffering—No matter if the impairments are short or long-term, if you suffered a traumatic brain injury that affected your enjoyment of life, preventing you from doing activities you once loved, you may be entitled to recover those damages.
- Lost Wages—This covers any time that a victim may have had to take off from work to recover.
- Impairment of Earning Capacity—When a victim’s ability to work for a living becomes diminished, and their likely future earnings are impacted as a result.
- Lifestyle Changes—This is for victims who are no longer able to perform normal activities that added to their quality of life before their injury.
- Future Damages—If a victim is likely to suffer additional problems in the future as a result of their TBI, they are often entitled to compensation for this.
- Life Care—Brain injury victims may never again be able to drive, clean, cook, or take care of other everyday tasks, relying instead on paid services for these tasks.
- Punitive Damages—If the party who caused the victim’s brain injury acted recklessly, or with malice, punitive damages may be awarded to the victim and their family.
Because the legal system is so complex, employing the services of a brain injury lawyer is a TBI victim’s best chance at recovering full compensation. The brain injury attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm compassionately represent and understand the needs of brain injury victims, working tirelessly to ensure that innocent victims receive full compensation for their out-of-pocket costs and future medical care.
For clients without medical insurance or other means of paying, Wilshire Law Firm can help arrange for all required medical treatment by working with doctors and hospitals to accept payment on a lien basis. Our focus is on our clients and achieving the best settlement possible for their injuries. If you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury, call Wilshire Law Firm today at (800) 522-7274 or fill out our online contact form to get started with your FREE case consultation.
Resources for Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors
- Learning Services has compiled a nationwide list of helpful resources for victims and their families
- America’s oldest brain injury advocacy organization, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), seeks improved quality of life for all brain injury survivors
- BrainLine offers information regarding the prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery from traumatic brain injuries
- Brain trauma victims and their families can find a comprehensive directory of suitable rehabilitation facilities through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
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