Enduring a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have a profound impact on both the victim and their loved ones. It often leads to significant life changes, requiring extensive treatment and causing severe emotional distress.
At Peerali Law, we understand the gravity of these injuries. That’s why we dedicate ourselves to helping victims pursue the compensation necessary to heal and move forward.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
According to the Centers for Disease Control, falls account for nearly half of all traumatic brain injury hospitalizations. However, any physical trauma to the head or violent shake can cause a brain injury, including those caused by:
- Slips and falls,
- Car accidents, and
- Sports injuries or collisions.
Generally speaking, these incidents can cause anywhere from mild to severe brain injury.
Brain injuries are sometimes tricky to catch during their early phases. It’s important to see a doctor if you experience symptoms of a TBI after any incident causing sudden head movements or causing your head to collide with another object. This even includes injuries that may not seem serious at first, like whiplash.
Symptoms of TBI
TBI symptoms vary greatly depending on the severity of the injury itself.
One particularly common sign of a brain injury, according to the Cleveland Clinic, is loss of consciousness or feeling dazed after a blow. However, more mild TBIs may not have symptoms for several days. These symptoms include:
- Severe mood changes,
- Dizziness or fatigue,
- Light sensitivity,
- Slurred speech,
- Sleep disturbances,
- Blurred vision, and
If you or a loved one suspects a brain injury, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Certain types of brain injuries are deadly, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Types of TBI
There are a few different types of TBI. One common type is a mild concussion, which accounts for three out of four TBIs per year. However, there are other types as well, such as:
- Contusions—bruising of the brain’s surface;
- Extra-axial hematomas—any abnormal bleeding that occurs in the epidural or subdural spaces of the skull outside of the brain;
- Subarachnoid hemorrhages—bleeding from small capillaries in the space just outside the brain; and
- Diffuse axonal injuries—shearing or twisting of the brain’s nerve fibers.
Diagnosing and treating these conditions can be very complicated, which is why it’s essential that you seek medical attention following a suspected brain injury.
Diagnosis and Treatments
There are a few different tests doctors may complete to determine if you have a traumatic brain injury. This includes an MRI or CT scan to check for brain swelling or bleeding, as well as a neurological evaluation. In some instances, a doctor may also do a blood test for proteins that may indicate a concussion or other type of TBI.
After diagnosis, treatments may vary widely. This completely depends on the severity of the brain injury and what difficulties it causes.
For example, if the brain has a hemorrhage or significant swelling, the victim often needs surgery to prevent it from being fatal. Other injuries may cause permanent issues with memory, coordination, or even speech, requiring years of therapy and rehabilitation.
In cases where the brain injury causes emotional regulation issues, victims may need consistent counseling and other medical treatments.
All in all, many brain injuries can greatly reduce the victim’s quality of life. In these cases, it’s important that you have a Pasadena brain injury lawyer to help hold the responsible party accountable for the injury and its complications.
Compensation for TBI Victims
Filing a lawsuit against another person for a brain injury is possible depending on the circumstances. Generally, if the injury occurred as a result of the negligence of another person, the victim may seek both economic and noneconomic damages for their injury. Simply put, economic damages are the financially measurable losses from the incident, including the following:
- Medical bills. When recovering from an injury, victims may be entitled to compensation for several medical costs including hospital bills, surgical costs, rehabilitation, prescriptions, and other expenses.
- Reduced earning capacity. Some injuries cause temporary or permanent disability and make it impossible to return to work. In this case, victims could claim losses if they can’t return to the same type of work or lost wages during recovery.
- Property damage. While this doesn’t apply to all brain injury cases, it is quite common in car accidents. A totaled vehicle, a broken phone, or other types of damage may be included in this category.
In contrast, victims may also pursue noneconomic damages, which are losses that can’t be measured financially. This is commonly referred to as “pain and suffering.” This includes things like:
- Physical pain,
- Emotional suffering,
- Mental anguish,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Permanent disability, and
- Severe disfigurement.
Both economic and noneconomic damages fall under the category of compensatory damages in California. While punitive damages are also possible in personal injury cases, they are somewhat rare and are reserved for cases of excessively gross negligence by the defendant.
How Long You Have to File a Brain Injury Claim in California
Like other states, California has a statute of limitations for personal injury cases involving a brain injury. Under CCP § 335.1, victims have two years from the date of the injury to file a case. This means that it’s important to collect evidence for your claim as soon as possible. Thankfully, brain injury attorneys understand this and can help gather the evidence you need.
How a Pasadena Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help
There are several challenges that TBIs pose for victims.
First, diagnosing a brain injury is difficult because they aren’t always obvious on scans or medical tests. Second, symptoms may not appear right after the injury. This means that victims often need proof that their injury originated from the accident in question. Finally, navigating the complex legal system is usually taxing for victims and their families, especially during recovery.
These factors frequently result in a perfect storm that overwhelms those affected by a TBI.
However, working with an experienced brain injury attorney helps alleviate some of that pressure. Since physical recovery takes several months, if not years, hiring an attorney can ease some of the legal burden during that time. An attorney can:
- Investigate the accident scene,
- Conduct interviews with potential witnesses,
- Understand the complex legal requirements under California law,
- Manage communication and negotiations with the defense, and
- Assist you in finding the highest quality of medical care possible.
Overall, fighting a lawsuit on your own is intimidating, especially if you or a loved one is recovering at the same time. By hiring a brain injury attorney, you can keep your focus on your family while a professional works to obtain the compensation you need.
Peerali Law Is Here to Guide You
Whether you are the victim or a loved one, the aftermath of a brain injury is often very traumatic. In some cases, full physical and emotional recovery isn’t possible, and lifelong complications result.
At Peerali Law, we understand how alone families can feel after this type of injury. Our Pasadena brain injury lawyers are passionate about helping victims navigate the California legal system and fighting for the best outcome possible. From investigating the incident to helping you seek medical care, we want you to be informed and empowered every step of the way.