\The human brain is the body’s most complex internal organ. It serves an important role in how we function and interact with others. The brain controls all aspects of physical and cognitive functioning. When there is blunt force trauma to the head, the impact causes the brain to bounce back and forth within the skull. The impact of the brain against the skull can cause significant damage.
When the brain becomes injured due to a car accident or other traumatic event, your life can change forever. If you or someone you love experiences a serious injury due to the negligence of another, contact a brain injury attorney.
Common Causes of Brain Injury
A serious brain injury may occur in a variety of circumstances. If the negligent act of another causes your brain injury, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim.
Here are just a few examples of how a brain injury can happen due to no fault of your own:
Slip and fall accidents – When someone invites you to visit their property, owners are expected to keep the property safe for you and others. Whether visiting a friend or shopping at the mall, no one expects to suffer a serious brain injury due to a fall. However, brain injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents are far from uncommon.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of serious brain injuries.
Injuries that occur due to the negligence of a property owner fall under premises liability. Examples of premises liability where a brain injury is possible are:
- No handrails along stairs.
- Poor lighting in a parking lot.
- A wet floor from a leaking roof or spilled substance.
- An extension cord across a major walkway or path.
- An open and unmarked hole on a neighbor’s property.
Other examples of premises liability claims are electrocution or near-drowning of a child in an unsecured swimming pool. Both types of injuries can deprive the brain of oxygen, resulting in permanent brain damage.
Vehicle accidents – The CDC lists vehicle accidents as among the second leading cause of brain injuries. Drivers and their passengers are at risk from accidents involving drivers who are:
- Driving under the influence
- Driving while drowsy
- Texting behind the wheel
- Speeding or ignoring traffic laws
Reckless and careless driver’s behind the wheel can also endanger motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. A California driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. When people fail to pay attention or to exercise caution while driving, they put others at serious risk of harm.
Sports injuries – A brain injury can occur during almost any sport. However, some sports have higher instances of brain injuries than others. Examples of sports that place players at risk for a brain injury include:
In the United States, an estimated 3.7 million brain injuries result from competitive sports and recreational activities. The true number of brain injuries associated with sports injuries is unknown. Researchers estimate as many as 50 percent of concussions from sports activities go unreported.
Children are most at risk of acquiring a serious brain injury while playing sports. Because children have less-developed brains along with other age-related factors, they are more susceptible to brain injury. Children are among the highest age group for visiting emergency departments with traumatic brain injuries. Children and teenagers together account for 70 percent of those who visit the emergency department with concussions.
Any accident that causes you to experience blunt force trauma to the head can possibly cause a brain injury. If you or someone you love experiences a serious brain injury due to the reckless actions or negligence of another person, a brain injury lawyer can help you recover the compensation you need to pay for treatments and services to improve your quality of life.
Types of Brain Injuries
A brain injury of any type requires immediate medical attention. Because brain injuries are internal by nature, only a trained medical professional can properly diagnose and treat them. All types of brain injuries are serious and often life-changing. Some common types of brain injuries include:
Acquired brain injury (ABI) – is brain damage caused by events after birth, rather than as part of a genetic or congenital disorder such as fetal alcohol syndrome, perinatal illness or perinatal hypoxia.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – A traumatic brain injury is one type of acquired brain injury. The CDC defines a traumatic brain injury as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. Any brain injury may result in the following problems for the survivor:
- Cognitive function – Impaired cognitive function can cause problems with memory and problem-solving skills.
- Motor function – Victims of TBI often experience muscle weakness and a loss of balance.
- Sensation – Important sensations involving hearing, vision, taste, and touch can diminish or result in permanent loss.
- Emotions – Your loved one who was once happy and out-going may experience anxiety and be prone to bouts of anger.
Concussion – A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. Symptoms of this type of brain injury can range from mild to moderate to severe. One of the more frightening facts about a concussion is that symptoms are often slow to appear. The first signs of symptoms may show up days or weeks after enduring a concussion. Even if you or a loved one feel fine after enduring trauma to the head, seek medical attention anyway. Symptoms such as confusion or dizziness may not develop until hours, weeks, and sometimes months later.
Because symptoms of concussion may be delayed, it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately after the injury. For patients with previous concussions, the cumulative effects can cause long term issues with memory, concentration, and depression. After experiencing one concussion, you are more susceptible to repeated concussions.
Second Impact Syndrome – Second impact syndrome occurs when a patient experiences a second head injury before fully recovering from a previous head injury. Second Impact Syndrome is especially common among high school and college football players. Many injured players may feel pressured to return to the game, placing them at risk for a second brain injury.
Diffuse axonal injury – This type of injury when long brain fibers—called axons—stretch and shear due to trauma from a high impact event. A diffuse axonal injury causes acute changes in the brain that are often difficult to detect with MRI or CT scans.
Penetrating head injury – A penetrating head injury, or open head injury, is a head injury in which the dura mater, the outer layer of the meninges, is breached. This is opposed to a closed head injury where the dura and skull stay in tact.
Brain injuries affect our quality of life. These types of serious injuries can disrupt how we walk, talk, and how we feel. Some patients never enjoy the taste of their favorite dish again. Others may not recall special memories or major life events.
If you experience the serious trauma of a brain injury, due to no fault of your own, we can help. Gomez Trial Attorneys are highly experienced with brain injury cases. We understand how difficult this time is for you and your family. When a brain injury leaves someone you love in a coma or struggling to relearn basic skills, it isn’t fair. Pursuing a personal injury claim is your right under the law.
Brain Injuries Can Be Expensive Medically
There is no “quick-fix” for a serious brain injury. In severe cases, a full recovery isn’t always possible. The ongoing need for medical care can drain your finances very quickly.
If your loved one requires constant care, a skilled nursing facility may be the only option. Such a facility can average between $8,300 and $9,600 per month. The expense of 24-hour care for your loved one is something you should not have to bear.
Other expenses you may encounter throughout your loved one’s lifetime include:
- Frequent hospitalizations
- Medical equipment
- Personal care
- Home modifications
Your loved one deserves quality care from the moment they become injured. Identifying those liable for your loved one’s brain injury is essential to the success of your claim. Seek the advice of a skilled personal injury attorney to ensure your claim includes all responsible parties. Collecting and reviewing evidence, speaking with witnesses, and gathering information takes time. It is important to consult with our legal team as soon as possible.
How a Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help You
It is not uncommon for aggressive insurance company representatives may contact you in the days and weeks following the accident. Insurance companies like to settle cases quickly and for the least amount possible. While their initial offer may seem large sum, it will rarely compensate you for your future medical needs.
Insurance companies are looking out for their best interests, not yours. Before speaking with insurance company representatives, contact an experienced brain injury lawyer who knows tactics insurance companies use to delay and deny claims. Your legal team can handle the insurance companies on your behalf. Knowing your case is in good hands can help you focus on your health or that of your loved one.
Brain injury cases are quite complex and require the skills of a highly experienced legal team. Representing yourself in negotiations with an insurance company is a sure way to lose out on the compensation you deserve. Look for personal injury attorneys who understand the impact a brain injury can have on you and your family, someone who always treat clients with the utmost respect and compassion while aggressively fighting for a fair settlement. Finally, look for a brain injury lawyer who is unafraid and willing to go to trial if they are unable to reach a settlement out of court.
With cases involving a severe brain injury, you may need to serve as an advocate for your loved one. Depending upon the severity of their injury, they may be unable to relate specific information about their case.
Pursuing a personal injury claim takes time, yet time is not on your side. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in California is short, and the clock starts on the date of the accident that caused your brain injury. You should not delay.
Taking Your Next Step
A brain injury is a serious health matter. There is no excuse for the negligent actions that changed your life, or the life of your loved one, forever. No one should pay out-of-pocket for medical and personal care related to a serious brain injury, nor should they suffer physically, financially, and emotionally due to the negligence of another person. Your life may never return to the way it was before the accident. However, access to quality therapies and other services can help to improve your quality of life.
If you or someone you loved experienced a brain injury and you want to pursue justice, contacting a brain injury lawyer to schedule your free case evaluation is a positive first step. The sooner your lawyer can review your case, the sooner you can decide on the best course of action.