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All About Brain Injuries Caused by Accidents in Los Angeles


Brain injuries are extremely serious and will always require immediate medical attention. Even a minor concussion can lead to permanent cognitive and behavioral issues. The most serious brain injuries can result in permanent physical disability, paralysis, and even death. Unlike most body organs, the brain cannot heal itself by regenerating new cells. 

Many victims of brain injury will literally never be the same, and even brain death is a possibility. It goes without saying that a brain injury is physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. A brain injury victim may be entitled to compensatory damages for:

1. Brain Injury Symptoms


Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have wide ranging symptoms, including physical, psychological, and emotional effects. TBI has become a recent health crisis, and there are new federal and California laws in place to prevent such injuries. Further adding to the complex nature of brain injuries is the reality that some adverse signs or symptoms may appear immediately, while many others take days or weeks to manifest. Fortunately, there are medical tests to determine whether someone has suffered a concussion or traumatic brain injury.

According to data quoted by Statista, there were 61,131 cases of traumatic brain injury-related deaths in the US in 2017.

If you or a loved has suffered any type of head injury, we recommend immediate medical treatment. Below is a broad overview of brain injury symptoms. If you or a loved one has displayed any of these symptoms, we strongly recommend seeking immediate medical treatment.

  • Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
  • Physical Symptoms:
    • Headaches
    • Speech issues
    • Sleeping difficulties
    • Vomiting and or nausea
    • Poor balance or dizziness
    • Drowsiness and or fatigue
    • Loss of consciousness lasting a few seconds to a few minutes
    • Consciousness retained, but confusion and disorientation are present
  • Mental/Cognitive Symptoms:
    • Depression or anxiety
    • Mood swings and/or mood changes
    • Memory and/or concentration issues
  • Sensory Symptoms:
    • Noticeable sensitivity to sound and/or light
    • Ringing in the ears, blurred vision, or changes in smell or taste
  • Moderate To Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries may include symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury, and can also include the following symptoms that may appear within hours or days after sustaining an injury:
  • Cognitive/Mental Symptoms:
    • Slurred speech
    • Severe confusion
    • Combativeness, agitation and other unusual behaviors
  • Physical Symptoms:
    • Constant headaches
    • Seizures or convulsions
    • Dilation of one or both pupils
    • Inability to awaken from sleep
    • Loss of balance and coordination
    • Persistent vomiting and or nausea
    • Clear fluid draining from the ears or nose
    • Numbness and or weakness in fingers and or toes
    • Loss of consciousness, lasting from several minutes to hours

1.1 Brain Injury Causes


A traumatic brain injury usually occurs as a result of a violent blow or jolt to the head. Objects such as bullets or shattered skull fragments can also penetrate through delicate brain tissue and cause a traumatic injury. A mild traumatic brain injury has the potential to temporarily affect a victim’s brain cells, while more serious brain injuries can result in torn tissue, bruising, bleeding, and other permanent damage.

Below are five common reasons for traumatic brain injuries:

  • Car accidents - accidents involving cars and motorcyclists, cyclists, or pedestrians are all common causes of many traumatic brain injuries.
  • Falls - more common in young children and the elderly, falls in the bath, from a bed, ladder, or down stairs can all cause a traumatic brain injury.
  • Explosive blasts - injuries caused by an explosive blast are common among active duty military personnel. Many researchers have theorized that the pressure wave passing through a victim’s brain can significantly disrupt brain functioning.
  • Sports injuries - extreme and high impact sports can all cause concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.
  • Violence - physical assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and gunshot wounds are all common causes for a brain injury.

1.2 Steps To Take After A Brain Injury


The majority of head trauma accidents involve minor injuries that don't require hospitalization or special treatment. However, even a minor head injury can cause persistent headaches or difficulties in concentration that can be indicative of serious trauma. Head trauma that includes symptoms such as nausea, severe headaches, or difficulty concentrating must be immediately evaluated by a medical professional.

Here’s what to do after experiencing head trauma:

  • Minimize movement. Make sure an injured person remains lying down with their head and shoulders slightly elevated. Do not move the person and avoid moving their neck. If a head trauma victim is wearing a helmet, do not remove it for any reason.
  • Stop the bleeding. Use sterile gauze or a clean piece of cloth to apply firm pressure to the wound. Make sure not to apply any direct pressure to the wound if you suspect there may be a skull fracture.
  • Monitor breathing and alertness. Begin CPR immediately if a person shows no signs of breathing, coughing, or movement.
  • Prevent choking. If a person is vomiting, roll their head, neck, and body onto their side. This will also protect the spine.

Being able to recognize the symptoms of a serious head injury and administer first aid care has the potential to save someone's life. For any moderate to severe head injury get medical help immediately if a victim:

  • Vomits repeatedly
  • Behaves strangely
  • Loses consciousness
  • Cannot move an arm or leg
  • Becomes sleepy or falls asleep
  • Has pupils that are of unequal sizes
  • Develops a stiff neck or a severe headache

1.3 What NOT To Do After a Head Injury


As important as it is to know what to do in the event of a head injury, it’s also crucial to avoid unintentional mistakes that can make an injury worse. When in doubt, follow these recommendations:

  • DO NOT pick up a child with a head injury
  • DO NOT move a person unless it is necessary
  • DO NOT wash a deep or bleeding head wound
  • DO NOT shake a person if they are disoriented
  • DO NOT remove objects sticking out of a head wound
  • DO NOT consume alcohol within 48 hours of a head injury

2. Filing a Brain Injury Claim


If your brain injury was caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party.

Lawsuits for brain injuries typically fall into two categories: negligence and faulty or defective products.

The law defines negligence as the failure of a person to act in a reasonable way when they had a legal duty to do so. Negligence is essentially a wrongful act committed by an individual, company, or group that caused harm to someone.

In order to successfully pursue a brain injury claim, a victim must prove that:

  • the defendant owed the victim a duty of care,
  • the defendant failed to comply with this duty of care
  • the defendant's failure to comply with their duty of care was the significant factor that caused a brain injury victim’s losses.

Here’s an example of a brain injury caused by negligence:

Let’s imagine that Joe is driving south on the 101 during rush hour traffic. Joe is driving at a reasonable speed and is focused on driving safely. The flow of traffic is classic stop and go.

Steve is driving directly behind Joe. Steve is watching the road, but is also texting with a friend. Steve is doing his best to pay attention to the road and only checks his text messages when traffic is at a standstill. However, Steve glances down at his phone and doesn’t notice the sudden stop of traffic.

Steve slams on the brakes but cannot avoid slamming into the back of Joe’s car. As a result of the accident, Joe experiences severe injuries, including brain damage. In this example, Steve’s negligent behavior was texting while driving. Texting is not a criminal behavior, but it was the cause of the accident and of Joe’s injuries. Therefore, Steve will be held liable for Joe’s injuries and losses.

California is a comparative negligence state, which means that a brain injury victim may still recover some damages even if he or she is found partially liable for the accident. A brain injury victim’s available damages will of course be reduced by his or her degree of fault.

For example, let’s revisit the above scenario. Imagine the same circumstances. But this time, let’s pretend that Joe was looking up an address while the accident happened. In this case, both Steve and Joe would be responsible for the collision, even though Joe suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Both parties were negligent. Joe was negligent for looking up an address and not driving safely, and Steve was negligent for texting. Liability will therefore be divided up accordingly, and damages will be divided according to individual degree of negligence.

There are also product liability claims. A company who produces or sells a defective product that causes or contributes to causing a brain injury may be held liable for any losses caused. According to product liability law, anyone involved in the chain of distribution — including product designers, manufacturers, or sellers — can be held strictly liable for injuries caused by the faulty product.

Strict liability cases typically revolve around:

  • Defects in the design process  
  • Defects in the manufacturing process
  • Lack of adequate warnings about a hazard and/or proper instructions about how to use that product

In order to successfully pursue a product liability lawsuit after a brain injury, a victim must prove that the:

  • Brain injury victim used this product in a reasonable way
  • Defendant designed, manufactured, or sold a defective product
  • Product defect was the significant factor that caused a victim’s brain injury
  • Product already had a design, manufacturing, or warning defect when it left the defendant

For example, if someone suffers a brain injury after purchasing and safely using a defective bicycle helmet, he or she would likely be able to file a claim for damages against the helmet manufacturer and distributor.

3. Available Damages in a Brain Injury Claim


About 2% of the American population — or approximately 5.3 million people — require lifelong assistance with daily tasks because of a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries change everything about a victim’s life. Most victims are usually forced to radically alter life plans, give up their independence and often become cut off from enjoying life’s pleasures.

In addition, victims may need multiple surgeries, regular physical therapy, or round-the-clock care. Sadly, many victims’ families may not have the necessary financial resources to adequately provide for their loved ones’ medical needs. Brain injury settlements vary and will depend on the specific circumstances. 

Brain injury victims are entitled to receive compensation for:

  • Lost wages
  • Humiliation
  • Property loss
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Loss of past and future income

4. Read More Brain Injury Resources


  • What Types of Brain Injury Cases Do We Handle? There exist many different types of brain injuries, but there are a couple that are particular to accidents and personal injury. Some of the brain injuries resulting from personal injury include those that are caused by car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bike accidents, bus accidents, pedestrian accidents, Uber and Lyft Accidents, scooter accidents, and slip and falls.
  • Left Brain Vs Right Brain Injury and Recovery The left brain, for example, maintains language, reasoning, numbers, scientific skills, and right hand control. This side primarily expresses language, words and sentence structure. Damage to both sides will result in the individual displaying random acts that they are unaware of.
  • Concussion First Aid Kit: How to Prevent a Brain Injury If an individual is dealing with this type of problem, they are recommended to step away from everyday activities and focus on resting. Any other additional symptoms that continue to recur, such as nausea or unsteadiness, should be brought to the attention of a medical expert.
  • Brain Injury Fatigue Scale For those who experienced moderate to severe injuries, fatigue may continue for years. It can negatively impact an individual’s ability to work, study, and enjoy life. There are different levels to brain injury fatigue — the more severe the injury, the more severe the fatigue and impact on a victim's everyday life.
  • Child Head Injury: When to Worry Children do various outdoor activities such as skateboarding, riding their bikes, and roller skating. They are also involved in sports, such as football, hockey, basketball, and soccer. These physical activities have a high chance of causing some sort of concussion or head injury.
  • Working After a Brain Injury One of the most common problems with victims of brain injury is that they return to work too soon. They are not fully aware of the effects of their brain injury and how it may impact their work performance.
  • TBI Patient Behavior For some people with a brain injury, it can become difficult to control their emotions. From the outside, a person in the middle of such a moment can come across as unpredictable and explosive.
  • How a Brain Injury Can Impact Your Life

    Sustaining a brain injury can be life altering. It can result in loss of certain cognitive and motor skills, and even changes in personality. It can also cause fatigue for the victim, making it difficult to work and live as they did before.  

  • Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms Traumatic brain injury can present through a number of different symptoms, that can be physical, sensory, or cognitive. It is important to recognize these symptoms to know when to get medical attention immediately.
  • Common Types of Brain Injury Symptoms While some brain injury symptoms might appear more subtle than others, there are some brain injury symptoms that are more common than others. The most common types of brain injury symptoms include, though are not limited to: concussion, hemorrhage, and skull fracture.
  • Common Causes of Brain Injuries   A brain injury can occur as a result of a number of different accidents.The most common causes of brain injuries include, though are not limited to the following: motor vehicle accidents, falls, and physical violence.  
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment   Traumatic brain injuries require medical attention and special treatment which can include prescribed medications, surgery, and rehabilitation. It is important to get the proper medical attention and follow the directed instructions for proper recovery.  
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery Statistics  
    Traumatic brain injuries can be life altering and even fatal. However, there are chances of survival and recovering from a traumatic brain injury. These statistics are important to know in order to understand how life can be impacted due to a traumatic brain injury.
  • Brain Injury Statistics and Facts
    Living with a brain injury can be frightening. Click the link to learn about brain injury statistics and facts so you can know what to expect surrounding your injury and know that you are not alone.
  • Brain Injury vs Concussion
    What is the difference between a brain injury and a concussion? One could be life long, while the other could be temporary. Both of them could show symptoms that something is wrong and should be checked by a medical professional.
  • Brain Injury Settlement  Brain injury settlements can be won if the insurance companies aren’t offering their fair share for the damages victims experience from their injuries. Compensation for a brain injury settlement includes lost wages, lost earning capacity, medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and possibly, punitive damages.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Legislation In the state of California, there are some laws put in place to prevent traumatic brain injuries from happening, help people more susceptible to those injuries, and offer treatments for those with traumatic brain injuries.
  • Brain Dead - What Does it Mean? A person can survive an accident, but become brain dead as a result of a traumatic brain injury. This means that their body can no longer partake in activity, but their brain can.
  • Concussion Test After a head injury, you might be feeling a little out of sorts. You should take this brief concussion test to see if there are any symptoms. You should receive medical attention as soon as possible if any of the symptoms appear.
  • Brain Injury and Personality Changes After experiencing a traumatic brain injury, the brain changes and can affect the way the victim of the brain injury expresses their personality. These changes can include though are not limited to the following: mood swings, and constant survival responses.
  • What to Do After a Head Injury The aftermath of a head injury can be a bit of a blur. However, there are several important steps to take to ensure that you can get the medical attention that you need and build your insurance claims and/or lawsuit.
  • How to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury Traumatic brain injury requires medical attention and the different kinds of traumatic brain injuries have their own specific treatments. Some of these treatments include, though are not limited to: medications, surgeries, and rehabilitation.

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If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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