Brain Injury BookJourney Toward RecoveryJourney Toward Recovery is a family's comprehensive guide to working their way through a brain injury. From what to expect to legal issues to coping with the day to day, this guide helps survivors and families tackle the issues big and small as effectively as possible.
Brain Injury ArticleOut of the shadows into survivalJourney Toward Recovery is a family's comprehensive guide to working their way through a brain injury. From what to expect to legal issues to coping with the day to day, this guide helps survivors and families tackle the issues big and small as effectively as possible.Read the Article Here
When most people think of Solana Beach, the following images come to mind: picturesque bluffs that overlook the ocean, live music, the Coaster railway, historic Highway 101, and some of the best shopping areas and restaurants in the region.
One thing that most people don’t think of in Solana Beach, however, is brain injuries. Unfortunately, brain injuries happen in beautiful places, too. Many types of activities and accidents cause them.
Suffering a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a life-changing event. The aftermath of a TBI can create enormous physical, cognitive, emotional and financial challenges for victims and their families. Traumatic brain injuries undoubtedly cause physical pain. In addition, permanent brain damage from a severe TBI may require lifelong treatment and permanent care. Even concussions can cause lifelong struggles. This is especially true when children experience concussion because our brains are not fully developed until we reach our mid-twenties.
Have you, your child, or loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury as a consequence of another party’s carelessness or negligence in Solana Beach? If so, an experienced Solana Beach personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for any losses incurred as a result of the injury. Contact the award-winning legal team at Gomez Trial Attorneys for a free consultation. We will discuss the details of your claim, or a claim you want to file on behalf of your loved one.
Meanwhile read on for more information about brain injuries, the many complications and costs that come with them, and how Gomez Trial Attorneys can help you recover damages if you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury in Solana Beach.
About Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a bump, jolt, or blow to the head or body. This is one of the most serious and life-altering injuries that an individual can suffer. The brain, along with the spinal cord, is part of the central nervous system, which sends messages to the rest of the body and regulates both voluntary and involuntary responses.
Because the brain has only a limited ability to repair itself after injury, damage to the brain can result in permanent disability. The impairments caused by the injury are determined not only by the severity of the injury, but also by the area of the brain in which the damage occurred and even the side of the brain that sustained the injury.
Frontal lobe: As the name suggests, the frontal lobe is located in the front portion of the brain. The frontal lobe controls important functions such as attention, concentration, organization, the ability to speak, awareness of abilities and limitations, personality, emotions, inhibition of behavior, and problem-solving. An injury to the frontal lobe can result in difficulties controlling emotions, impulses, and behavior, as well as difficulty speaking.
Occipital lobe: The occipital lobe controls vision. Injuries to this part of the brain can result in trouble seeing and perceiving the size and shape of objects.
Temporal lobe: The temporal lobes are located in the front, side portion of the brain (the same area as your temples), and they control functions such as memory, the ability to understand spoken language, sequencing, hearing, and organization. An injury to this area of the brain can result in difficulties with memory and communication.
Parietal lobe: The parietal lobe, located in the upper portion of the brain, controls functions such as the sense of touch, depth perception, and the ability to identify shapes, sizes, and colors. Damage to the parietal lobe may cause difficulty with the five primary senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing.
Cerebellum: The cerebellum, located in the back part of the brain just above the brainstem, controls functions such as visual perception, balance and coordination, and skilled motor activity. An injury to the cerebellum can affect balance, coordination, and movement.
Brain stem: The brain stem controls the body’s involuntary responses, such as breathing, heart rate, and consciousness, which are necessary for survival. Damage to the brain stem is catastrophic and generally results in death if mechanical assistance is not provided.
The brain also has two distinct halves: left and right. Each side provides certain traits and functions.
Left brain: The left brain controls the movement of the right side of the body and is responsible for traits like analysis, logic, organization, detachment, and literal thinking. An injury to the left side of the brain can result in difficulties with understanding spoken language and speaking, impaired logic, catastrophic reactions (such as anxiety and depression), and loss of control of the right side of the body.
Right brain: The right brain controls the left side of the body, as well as traits like creativity, imagination, intuition, empathy, and figurative thinking. Injuries to the right side of the brain result in a decreased awareness of deficits, altered creativity and music appreciation, loss of “big picture” thinking, and loss of control of the left side of the body.
While brain injuries are categorized as mild, moderate, and severe, it is important to note that any injury to the brain is serious and can result in permanent damage and disability.
Falls: Falls, whether from heights or from the same level, are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, accounting for nearly half of all brain injury-related visits to the emergency room. Children and older adults are at the most risk of suffering a brain injury due to a fall.
Motor vehicle accidents: Around 20 percent of hospitalizations that result from a traumatic brain injury are caused by traffic-related crashes.
Being struck by or against an object: 17 percent of all brain injury-related emergency department visits are the result of people either getting hit in the head by an object or striking their heads against an object. This is of particular concern at construction sites, where being struck by an object is among the leading causes of workplace injury.
Violence: Violent acts, including domestic abuse, child abuse, and assault, is another common cause of brain injuries.
Sports and recreation: Contact sports, including football, as well as extreme recreational activities, including diving and surfing, account for traumatic brain injuries each year.
Military deployment: Military members in training and deployment can experience brain injuries, including from explosive blasts.
The Complications Caused by Brain Injuries
Not only can experiencing a brain injury result in permanent disability, but brain injuries can produce complications that result in further need for medical treatment.
Some of those complications include:
Altered consciousness: Traumatic brain injuries can result in permanent changes to an individual’s consciousness, awareness, and responsiveness. Some consciousness disorders that can result from brain injuries include coma, vegetative state, minimally conscious state, and brain death.
Seizures: A portion of brain-injured individuals will experience seizures after their injuries. While most of these seizures occur early on in the recovery process, some may persist for months or even years after the injury occurs. Recurrent seizures in these circumstances are referred to as post-traumatic epilepsy.
Hydrocephalus: Fluid build-up on the brain, known as hydrocephalus, is another common complication of brain injuries. This condition places pressure on the brain that can result in further damage. It is generally treated by surgically placing a shunt to drain the fluid to other parts of the body.
Infections: Most commonly occurring in patients who have suffered a penetrating injury, infections can manifest in the protective tissues that surround the brain. Doctors may suspect infections in individuals who experience fever after their injuries, though other issues, including damage to the portion of the brain that regulates body temperature, may cause fevers.
Blood vessel damage: Brain injuries can cause damage to small and large blood vessels, placing the individual at risk of stroke, blood clots, and other damage.
DVT: Deep vein thrombosis is another type of blood clot, which can appear in the deep veins of the legs of the brain-injured individual as a result of immobility following the injury. DVT can lead to a potentially fatal condition known as pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a clot breaks free and travels from the leg to the lungs.
Headaches: Frequent headaches are common in brain-injured patients. Often appearing shortly after the injury occurs, these headaches can become chronic.
Vertigo: Dizziness, also known as vertigo, is another common—and sometimes long-lasting—complication of brain injuries.
Degenerative brain diseases: Individuals who have suffered a brain injury may be at higher risk of suffering a degenerative brain disease, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.
Heterotopic ossification: As a response to the injury, some individuals suffer heterotopic ossification, which is the abnormal growth of a bone in non-skeletal tissues, including muscles or tendons. These bones often form in the joints of the hips or shoulders, resulting in pain, inflammation, and loss of range of motion.
The Costs of Living With a Brain Injury
More than 5.3 million people in the U.S. are living with disabilities as a result of brain injuries. Brain injuries are extraordinarily expensive, with the lifetime costs of medically treating the injury and associated complications ranging between $85,000 and $3 million.
Unfortunately, many individuals with brain injuries struggle to work following their injury—sometimes for days, weeks, months—even permanently. The combination of the financial burden and the steep emotional impacts that permanent disability can cause result in many brain-injured individuals becoming homeless. Studies indicate that more than half of all homeless people in the U.S. are living with a brain injury.
Beyond the costs, those with brain injuries face impacts on every part of their lives, including:
Work life: Those who can return to work after an injury often find that they can no longer perform the job tasks they performed before the injury. Even individuals who can do so may find that they now require shorter workdays, more days off, frequent breaks, and an extended amount of time to complete tasks.
Home life: Brain injuries have a profound impact on the home life of sufferers and their families. Cherished family roles change as spouses and children of the injured find that they must now take on the duties of a caretaker to assist their loved ones. Spouses may suffer a loss of consortium, which is the physical intimacy and companionship that they previously enjoyed in the relationship. Family members and their brain-injured loved ones often express feelings of isolation and that they feel like no one can understand what they are going through.
Social life: The friends who lined the hospital hallways shortly after their friend’s injury occurred will often fade away in the months or years following the injury, as they realize that they no longer have common interests or hobbies with the brain-injured individual. Physical disabilities created by the injury, along with impulse and behavioral deficits, may result in further isolation from community activities.
School life: Contrary to popular belief, children do not fare any better after a brain injury than do adults. It is always especially scary when a child suffers a brain injury because it can be quite difficult for doctors to treat, diagnose and offer prognosis for children. Children are not as equipped to explain or articulate their symptoms. Further, it is sometimes difficult to recognize symptoms and can take years to determine the true depth of damage caused by the injury, as the child continues to grow and develop. Children who suffer brain injuries often require assistance when returning to school, including a paraprofessional to assist with completing tasks on time, as well as the extra time needed to complete tasks, aids such as recorded lessons to help the child remember the instruction that was provided, and the ability to take tests orally or with multiple choice or true and false questions instead of essay-format.
If You or Your Loved One Has Suffered a Brain Injury, Call Gomez Trial Attorneys’ Solana Beach Brain Injury Lawyers Today
If you or your loved one suffered a brain injury in Solana Beach due to the careless, reckless, or intentional actions of another person, a brain injury lawsuit can help you recover damages.
Brain injury lawsuits are civil actions in which you must prove the legal liability of the at-fault party by demonstrating that:
The at-fault party owed you a duty of care.
There was a breach in that duty of care.
This breach resulted in the accident that caused your injury and subsequent expenses.
Some of the damages you can seek to recover in a brain injury lawsuit include:
Loss of future earning capacity
Physical pain and suffering
Loss of consortium
Note that there are strict time limits on your ability to recover damages. Let our experienced brain injury attorneys help you to understand your legal options. For a free case evaluation, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys online or call us at (619) 237-3490 today, and we can discuss your specific circumstances and evaluate your eligibility to file a claim.