A California Brain Injury Lawyer Can Maximize Your Claim
Contact West Coast Trial Lawyers About Your Brain Injury Case
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:
- Emotional Distress
- Lost Wages
- Property Loss
- Medical Bills
- Loss Of Consortium
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.
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 has displayed any of these symptoms, we strongly recommend seeking immediate medical treatment.
- Poor balance or dizziness.
- Loss of consciousness lasting a few seconds to a few minutes.
- Consciousness retained, but confusion and disorientation are present.
- Vomiting and or nausea.
- Speech issues.
- Drowsiness and or fatigue.
- Sleeping difficulties.
- Depression or anxiety.
- Memory and or concentration issues.
- Mood swings and or mood changes.
- Vomiting and or nausea.
- Speech issues.
- Drowsiness and or fatigue.
- Sleeping difficulties.
- Ringing in the ears, blurred vision, or changes in the ability to smell or taste.
- Noticeable sensitivity to sound and/or light.
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:
- Combativeness, agitation and other unusual behaviors.
- Severe confusion.
- Slurred speech.
- Loss of consciousness, lasting from several minutes to hours.
- Persistent vomiting and or nausea.
- Seizures or convulsions.
- Dilation of one or both pupils.
- Clear fluid draining from the ears or nose.
- Inability to awaken from sleep.
- Loss of balance and coordination.
- Constant headaches.
- Numbness and or weakness in fingers and or toes.
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.
- Violence. Physical assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and gunshot wounds are all common causes for a brain injury.
- Sports Injuries. Extreme and high impact sports can all cause concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.
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.
What To Do If Severe Head Trauma Occurs?
- 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:
- Becomes sleepy or falls asleep.
- Has pupils that are of unequal sizes.
- Behaves strangely.
- Develops a stiff neck or a severe headache.
- Vomits repeatedly.
- Cannot move an arm or leg.
- Loses consciousness.
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 move a person unless it is necessary.
- DO NOT wash a deep or bleeding head wound.
- DO NOT remove objects sticking out of a head wound.
- DO NOT shake a person if they are disoriented.
- DO NOT pick up a child with a head injury.
- 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
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 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:
- Defendant designed, manufactured, or sold a defective product
- Product already had a design, manufacturing, or warning defect when it left the defendant
- Brain injury victim used this product in a reasonable way
- Product defect was the significant factor that caused a brain injury victim's losses
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.
4)More Brain Injury Resources
- 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 easily and negatively impact an individual’s ability to work, study, and enjoy 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.
- Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms Years Later / Statutes Of Limitation
In California, it is required for an individual to file a personal injury claim within two years from the date of their incident. Failure to do so will result in their claim being barred. However, there are exceptions