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All About California Traumatic Brain Injury Legal Legislation

As the name implies, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious injury that is typically caused by a strong blow or jolt to the head. This can interrupt normal brain functioning. TBI’s are mainly caused by falls, being struck by objects, and car accidents.

These types of injuries will range from mild, moderate, and severe injuries. Mild injuries are usually characterized by a momentary disruption in awareness, while severe injuries are a longer lasting state of amnesia or unconsciousness. The very worst TBIs may cause permanent disability, or even death.

Below, our experienced brain injury attorneys will discuss important federal and California laws that address the serious issue of TBI. If you have suffered a TBI, West Coast Trial Lawyers is always here to answer any questions you may have about brain injuries and available damages.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2014 

In 2014, the TBI Reauthorization Act was passed to reduce TBIs, encourage more research on prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, and finally, to create more access to rehabilitation services. This law is backed by federal funding and is implemented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Administration for Community Living (ACL).

California Specific Legislation

Pedestrian Deaths in Los Angeles

Cal. Penal Code §13515.36 (2010 SB 1296)

This law requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to take action in order to assess necessary training for peace officers when it comes to returning veterans and any other individuals who are suffering from traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The law also requires the Commission to disseminate online training bulletins to specific law enforcement agencies on TBI and PTSD, as well as reporting back to the legislature regarding the way peace officers are being trained on interacting with individuals who are suffering from TBI or PTSD.

Cal. Education Code §49475 (2011 AB 25)

This law requires any school district that offers sports to remove athletes from physical activity when it is suspected that they have suffered a concussion or head injury. Furthermore, such athletes are not allowed to come back to physical activity unless they have been cleared by a healthcare provider.

Cal. Welfare and Institutions Code § 4354; 4354.5; 4355; 4356; 4357; 4357.1; 4358.5; 4359; 14132.992 (2009 AB 398)

This removes the State Department of Mental Health from the responsibility of administering services to those with TBI and places the responsibility with the Department of Rehabilitation. The Department of Rehabilitation is to fund a variety of services for adults with TBI. This entity is also responsible for collecting data, as well as monitoring and evaluating their service providers.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Punitive Damages
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help 

If you are a brain injury victim and need help getting legal advice, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced brain injury attorneys that will help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more.

No fees are paid until your case is settled. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation at our firm. Reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected].


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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