Traumatic brain injuries affect millions of American each year and can significantly impact the lives of those affected. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1.5 million traumatic brain injuries are reported annually. In California alone, there are over 29,000 reported brain injuries requiring hospitalization each year.
These traumatic, frustrating and costly injuries often lead to loss of memory, confusion, dizziness, loss of vision, loss of consciousness, inability to coordinate, slurred speech, inability to comprehend simple or complex ideas and can even affect personality. Typically caused by car accidents, falls or assaults, traumatic brain injuries can be mild or severe depending on how hard your head was hit or jolted in an accident. Symptoms don’t always appear immediately after an incident; in fact, some symptoms can appear months or even years after a significant accident or event.
If you’ve incurred a traumatic brain injury, expenses can quickly add up. Brain damage diagnosis and treatment typically requires a neurologist’s or brain specialist’s expertise. Treatment will usually require extensive rehabilitation and follow-up appointments. These costs are additionally enhanced when your injury prevents you from working or conducting your usual course of business.
You are entitled to seek compensation for your losses if you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury. Working with a Los Angeles brain injury lawyer will ensure you receive effective representation to recover your losses.
In a court of law, negligence is proven when an individual can show there was a failure to behave with ordinary prudence in a given circumstance. If you have experienced a traumatic brain injury due to a car accident, fall or assault, you will be required to establish and prove negligence to recover for your claims. In order to do so, you must be able to demonstrate a sufficient number of facts, establishing that a negligent party caused the accident.
Negligence is established when a victim can show there was a failure to act with a duty of care. A duty of care must be upheld when performing an act that could result in bodily injury or harm. For example, drivers, construction workers, and cyclists are each held to a duty of care when operating machinery or undertaking potentially dangerous tasks.
Once a victim has proven that a duty of care existed in a given circumstance, the victim must additionally identify how that duty of care was breached. Victims are required to show several relevant facts to prove that a duty of care existed and was subsequently violated. Evidence establishing a breach of duty of care might include a blatant disregard for statutory law, witness testimony establishing recklessness or investigations concluding that negligence was likely at play in an accident.
How a Los Angeles Brain Injury Lawyer Can Demonstrate Your Cause of Action
For a brain injury victim to recover their losses, a court will typically require the victim to establish causation. Causation is proven when a victim can demonstrate that a breach of duty of care directly leads to an accident and the resulting injury. In California, causation is proven in two ways:
Traumatic brain injuries can cause a variety of symptoms depending on the severity of impact. It’s imperative to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury and typically occurs when your head is forcefully hit or shaken. Athletes and construction workers are more likely to experience a concussion, but a concussion can also occur in a car accident, fall or assault. Typically, a concussion should be treated immediately after impact because the effects of it remaining untreated can result in serious long-term injuries. Most concussions heal quickly after treatment, but a person suffering from a concussion may have to rest for a substantial time after an incident. As such, concussion victims are typically entitled to recover damages for their medical bills, lost wages and any emotional pain and suffering incurred from the incident. Speak with a Los Angeles brain injury lawyer right away to learn more about your legal options and rights.
Minor head injuries can typically affect your brain’s ability to function normally. These injuries are usually harder to identify because the victim may not recognize that their symptoms are linked to a minor head injury. If you’ve been involved in an accident that significantly impacted your head, it’s important to seek medical counsel for even the slightest symptoms. It’s possible that your symptoms and injury could worsen if left untreated.
Seeking and receiving treatment for brain injuries usually requires specialized care. Depending on the severity of the injury, a highly trained neurologist or brain specialist will monitor and examine your injuries consistently to ensure extensive brain damage is mitigated. Severe brain injuries often require continued rehabilitation treatments to recoup lost motor functions, memory loss, self-care skills, personality changes or calm anxiety. Nutritional and medical needs and medications will need to be managed and administered by the victim or their loved ones. Family members may need to undergo specialized training to ensure they are adequately prepared to offer the support their loved one needs.
Brain injury treatments are typically quite costly and place a significant financial burden on victims and their loved ones. In many instances, all parties affected by the injury are entitled to recover damages for their losses. Contact a Los Angeles brain injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss potential compensation.
In the event of a severe traumatic brain injury, care will be ongoing long after your initial treatment. This long-term care can range from consistent rehabilitation to regain memories or important motor, speech and communications skills; include vocational training to re-learn or learn new skills for gainful employment or ongoing psychological care to mitigate anxiety or depression.
While each circumstance is different, it’s often possible to prevent or minimize the risk of traumatic brain injury by taking several precautions. While operating a motor vehicle, for example, always make sure you wear your seat belt, refrain from texting and driving or talking on your cell phone and be mindful of the road of your surroundings. Avoid using drugs or alcohol if you’re getting behind the wheel, or if these substances tend to result in unpredictable behavior. If you’re an athlete or construction worker, take care to wear a helmet and other protective gear that will minimize injury if an accident occurs. At home, avoid falls, prevent tripping hazards by removing throw rugs and clutter, install handrails in bathrooms and stairways, keep older adults active, use non-slip mats in the bathroom and shower and get regular eye examinations to ensure you can see any obstacles in your path clearly.
Traumatic brain injury victims can typically recover for a variety of legal claims, including:
To recover on these claims, a Los Angeles brain injury lawyer will work with you to prove a few key legal elements. These include:
A statute of limitations requires that brain injury victims initiate a legal claim within a given period of time. Statute of limitations laws typically varies from state to state. In California, traumatic brain injury victims must bring their claims within two years from the date of the accident that caused the injury.
As previously discussed, brain injury symptoms don’t always appear immediately after an incident. Sometimes, an injury might cause a mild headache or symptom that intensifies as time goes on. In these instances, a court may decide to extend the deadline under extenuating circumstances. However, unless a victim can prove that these circumstances significantly impacted their ability to bring a claim, a court will uphold the prescribed statute of limitations. If a victim fails to produce their claim within the specified period, a court will likely prevent a brain injury claim from moving forward.
Because statutes of limitation vary from state to state and usually limit a victim’s ability to seek compensation for their losses, it’s imperative to speak with a Los Angeles brain injury lawyer immediately following an accident. An experienced attorney can make informed recommendations for treating and caring for your injuries, and ensure that your claims are filed on time should you choose to move forward with a lawsuit.
Our accomplished injury attorneys will help you determine liability, calculate damages related to medical bills or lost wages and expedite fair compensation. If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact us today to schedule a free consultation so we can assess your case.