TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury

Head injuries are among the most unpredictable injuries you can suffer after a serious accident. The brain is our control center, and because of its complexity, there is much that is still unknown about how it works and how it heals after damage.

As a result, victims who experience head pain after an accident may not know what to expect. Perhaps they’ll suffer a concussion that will heal on its own in a matter of days and leave no trace. Maybe they’ll have difficulty concentrating or managing their emotions for the rest of their lives. They may find that focusing on work leads to painful headaches or migraines. In extreme cases, they may not be able to verbally communicate or take care of their own personal care needs.

If you or someone you love has sustained a traumatic brain injury because of an accident, contact our team of top injury lawyers in California. We’ll discuss your options with you during a free case evaluation. Call Russell & Lazarus at 949-438-2652 to talk about your case with one of our personal injury lawyers.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is any disruption to the brain’s normal function caused by penetrating or non-penetrating head trauma. They are commonly caused by jolts, bumps, or other blunt trauma. Penetrating trauma includes stabbing or an object piercing the brain during a crash.

Traumatic brain injuries run the full gamut of severity and outcomes. Some resolve fully on their own without medical intervention, while others leave patients with mild symptoms for a long time after treatment. The most severe injuries can permanently impact an individual’s independence or communication abilities, or even lead to fatalities.

Types of TBIs

Traumatic brain injuries are typically categorized as either open or closed. An open TBI occurs when the skull is fractured or penetrated by an outside object, such as a bullet, knife, or vehicle part. Depending on the size of the penetrating object and where it strikes, victims may suffer localized damage or generalized damage that impacts overall brain function.

Closed TBIs are caused by blunt trauma that does not penetrate the skull. In this context, examples include the head striking the ground during a fall, hitting the dashboard during a car accident, being thrown from a motorcycle onto asphalt, or being struck during an assault.

Traumatic brain injuries are also categorized by their severity. The levels of severity as follows:

  • Mild: A mild brain injury may lead to a brief loss in consciousness and produce normal brain imaging results. Concussions are typically included in this category.
  • Moderate: After a moderate brain injury, a victim might lose consciousness for up to one full day and have abnormal brain imaging results.
  • Severe: Severe brain injuries cause coma or loss of consciousness for more than 24 hours and also produce abnormal brain imaging results. Severe injuries include coma, minimally responsive state, vegetative state, and persistent vegetative state.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries

One of the primary issues with traumatic brain injuries is that many of the symptoms are extremely vague. Unless you are already familiar with traumatic brain injuries and the myriad ways they present, you may attribute your persistent headache to the stress of an accident or assume that your fatigue is normal, when both are commonly caused by TBIs. If you’ve been involved in an accident, look out for these TBI symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Nausea or dizziness
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Issues with balance
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Unexpected depression and anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating or processing information
  • Confusion
  • Getting lost in familiar areas

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The following symptoms are more commonly seen among moderate and severe TBI patients:

  • Memory issues
  • Poor executive functioning, including the ability to plan, solve problems, and organize
  • Difficulty engaging in social interaction
  • Impulsiveness
  • Perseverating on topics or worries
  • Unawareness of one’s own cognitive difficulties
  • No motivation
  • Apathy
  • Sudden emotional dependence on others
  • Physical paralysis or weakness
  • Spasticity of muscles
  • Loss of vision or hearing
  • Reduced sense of taste or smell
  • Chronic pain

Clearly, many of these issues can be explained away as normal reactions after a serious accident. Depression, anxiety, irritability, and changes in mood might be expected after an accident. However, this does not mean that these symptoms don’t warrant a checkup. They may point to more serious brain trauma.

Seeking Damages After an Orange County Accident

If you sustained your traumatic brain injuries in an accident caused by another party, you may be able to seek compensation from the other party or parties. Our team of top injury lawyers can investigate your case and help you figure out if you can seek damages.

Liability is at the core of your personal injury case. You must be able to demonstrate that the other side is liable for the injuries you have sustained. This involves:

  • Proving that the other party had a duty of care to you
  • Showing how they failed in that duty
  • Demonstrating how that failure led to the accident that caused your injuries
  • Showing how the accident caused your injuries
  • Outlining the losses you have suffered as a result of your injuries

In some cases, this is fairly straightforward. If someone runs a red light and strikes your car while you are legally crossing an intersection, then they have breached their duty to operate lawfully and their regard for others’ safety. Prompt medical care and ongoing treatment can connect your injuries to the accident. Documentation of your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and inability to carry out your daily activities can demonstrate your losses.

Other cases are more complicated. For example, an investigation may find that the party seeking compensation is actually responsible for the crash and therefore cannot seek damages from the other party. An accident may be attributed to both an individual’s actions and other issues, such as defective products. Your initial evaluation is when we will explore these issues.

Proven Results in Traumatic Brain Claims

On serious traumatic brain injury cases, victims need to have attorneys who are familiar the lifelong effects such injuries will have on a person.  In a case handled by Russell & Lazarus, a motorcycle accident victim sustained a serious traumatic brain injury.  The defendant vehicle operator’s insurance carrier immediately offered their $100,000.00 liability policy limit.  This amount was not enough to pay the injured victim’s past medical expenses and provided nothing for future medical care or pain and suffering.

At Russell & Lazarus, before considering a settlement offer, the experienced attorneys at Russell & Lazarus examined whether or not there are additional resources to pay for the injured victim’s harms and losses or additional parties who ought to be accountable for the damages inflicted.  

In the example of the severe brain injury caused to a motorcyclist, the attorneys took the deposition of the defendant driver, and the deposition testimony revealed that the driver was driving her vehicle in the course and scope of her employment on behalf of a corporate entity which afforded the injured victim additional coverage to pay for the harm caused and the past and future medical care costs.

The case went to trial.  Thanks to the hard work by the attorneys at Russell and Lazarus, the injured motorcyclist with a traumatic brain injury was awarded over $15,000,000.00 in damages, affording the victim more than 100 times more than was initially offered by the defendant driver’s insurance carrier.

Why Choose Russell & Lazarus?

Whether in Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County Kern County, or Ventura County, when you start looking for an attorney to bring top value to your injury claim or the claim of a loved one, we know that trying to choose the right attorney might be overwhelming. However, once you look at how Russell & Lazarus handles every one of our client’s cases, it’s clear that we are the top injury lawyers in the region.

We build a strong case from the start, anticipating that your case could end up in trial. This involves looking at every type of evidence available and creating a plan to prove the extent of the harms sustained as well as the other party’s liability.

Whenever you have questions, concerns, or new information, you can reach out to us and discuss your needs. We are with you from the beginning of your case until it is resolved.

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Traumatic brain injuries can forever change the course of your life and the assistance you need to live independently. If someone else is responsible for that outcome, they must be held accountable. Let us help—our dedication to personal injury law has helped us secure compensation for many TBI victims. To schedule a free consultation now, please contact us online or call 949-438-2652. We look forward to connecting with you.

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