The brain, the most vital yet sensitive organ of the human body, controls how we think, learn, function, move, and do just about anything else. If this essential organ takes a hit, the consequences can be life-altering. A brain injury can turn your life upside down.
If this injury results from an accident or negligence on someone’s part, the injured party may have the right to receive compensation for health and income loss and to manage their medical expenses.
Contact the personal injury attorneys at Ashley Injury Lawyers, based in Sacramento, California, to get an idea of your legal options and see how much compensation you or your loved ones might be entitled to. Our team of lawyers can help determine the eligibility of your case and seek legal compensation for your injuries.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury? (TBI)
A traumatic brain injury or TBI is a sudden injury that can disrupt the brain’s normal functioning by damaging it. It is caused by a blow, jolt, or bump to the head. The head violently hitting an object or by an object piercing the skull to enter the brain tissue also causes a TBI. People who experience hemorrhages, concussions, unconsciousness, comas, or skull fractures have suffered from traumatic brain injuries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBI caused a total of 2.87 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States.
According to neurologists, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is usually the first injury in a significant accident but almost always the last one to be diagnosed. As dangerous as it might sound, the reason behind this is that the symptoms of a TBI are not noticeable right away and might only be diagnosed days, weeks, months, and in some cases, years after the accident.
The family members, close friends, and coworkers are the first to notice the symptoms of a TBI. That is so because their extreme familiarity with the injured makes them notice when behaviors change and things look different than expected after the accident.
Proving the existence of a traumatic brain injury is tricky. The difficulty in the case requires the injured party to hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury law. Suppose you or a loved one are suffering from a brain injury. In that case, you should immediately talk to an attorney at Ashley Injury Law.
Types of Accidents That Can Result in Brain Injuries
As explained above, traumatic brain injury results from an external force applied to the head. Head injuries can cause brain dysfunction, affecting the injured and their family; the injured person may suddenly start exhibiting signs of distress after acting entirely normal for hours.
Not only that, but traumatic brain injuries are difficult to diagnose and treat. There are causes of traumatic brain injuries. A few of them are:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motor Vehicle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability cases
What Are the Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic Brain Injuries are usually caused by blunt force trauma to the head. As expected, a mild brain injury may only cause headaches, short-term memory problems, and loss of taste and smell, among others. The more severe cases have long-term repercussions that may vary from person to person depending on the type of brain injury.
The recovery time might be a few weeks or months for people suffering from mild brain injuries. In comparison, permanent disability and life-changing issues await those suffering from severe brain injury. Not just that, behavioral disabilities follow soon after. People in the unconscious or vegetable state will require round-the-clock care for the rest of their lives.
Traumatic Brain Injuries can be further divided into five primary types:
- Concussions: The most common and least dangerous kind of TBI, concussions impact memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance, and muscle coordination. Apart from a direct blow, violent shaking of the head can also stretch the blood vessels in the brain, damaging the cranial nerves. People suffering from concussions may also report amnesia-like symptoms. In severe cases, concussions can cause permanent damage to the memory of the injured party.
- Contusion: This injury damages blood vessels under the skull and results in a bruised brain. The removal of a large contusion might require surgery.
- Coup-Contrecoup: Coup-contrecoup injuries are the most severe TBIs, affecting both sides of the brain. The injuries occur to the site under the impact, and the opposite side after the brain hits the skull after a jolt. Often misdiagnosed, coup-contrecoup injuries result in only one area being treated while overlooking the other.
- Diffuse Axonal: A diffuse axonal occurs when the brain’s nerve fibers (axons) tear. This is caused when the brain shifts and rotates inside the skull, causing severe damage. This tearing releases a chemical that causes the injured party to fall into a coma and disrupts brain function.
- Penetration: When a sharp object forces its way into the brain, it causes a penetration injury. A bone fragment or a sharp metal object may result in penetration injury and damage the affected area of the brain.
What Are the Symptoms of Brain Injury?
The symptoms of TBIs are mostly only invisible to those not suffering from them. These symptoms are misdiagnosed, even by experienced medical professionals, which leads to a lack of proper treatment.
Depending on the extent of brain damage, the intensity of the TBI symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild cases may cause a brief minor change in brain functioning. In contrast, severe cases may lead to extended unconsciousness, comatose state, or even death.
Observing one or more of the following signs indicates an alteration in normal brain function:
- Altered or blurred vision, or blindness
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of smell or taste
- Difficulty swallowing
- Body numbness
- Droopy eyelids or facial weakness
- Deafness or partial loss of hearing
- Long- or short-term memory loss
- Personality changes
- Confusion or cognitive issues
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Memory Loss, slow thinking, difficulty concentration
- Irritability, Emotional unpredictability, temper tantrums
- Slurred speech – difficulty choosing words
- Loss of manual dexterity and physical reflexes
- Paralysis, coma
- Physical disability
- Emotional instability
If you experience any of the above brain injury symptoms, seek medical and legal assistance right away. If your head trauma was due to negligence caused by another person, Ashley Injury Law is the place to go for help. Their lawyers are well-versed in Sacramento’s injury laws. They can assist you in determining the kind of compensation you’re eligible for.
Compensation You May be Able to Collect
Treatment for traumatic brain injuries alone costs approximately $76.5 billion annually. The complications associated with TBIs require extensive testing, research, and hospitalization.
The medicines required to treat seizures and most other complications are expensive. The overall cost of post-surgery care and recovery can amount to thousands upon thousands of dollars. It is safe to establish that treating a traumatic brain injury makes the injured and their family take a massive financial hit from which they might never recover. Add to it the trauma of a loved one going through pain and suffering, and the monetary value of the actual trauma might never be correctly estimated.
Sacramento brain injury lawyers at Ashley Injury Law understand the devastating after-effects of traumatic brain injury cases. Their team of attorneys, medical professionals, and economists liaise to come up with a fair compensation that justly defines the total expenditure considering how much damage was caused and how much money would be required for the injured and their family to lead a comfortable life. These include the money needed for medical bills, medical care, income loss, emotional damage, etc.
Your designated traumatic brain injury attorney will also review the facts and figures surrounding your case and help determine how best to plan a course of action depending on your circumstances. It would be best if you were not putting yourself and your family in a financial bind because of someone else’s negligence.
In general, you may be granted maximum compensation for the following:
- Loss of income
- Current medical expenses
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
The physical and emotional effects of a TBI can be overwhelming and can hurt your job, relationships, and financial situation. With the help of your personal injury lawyer at Ashley Injury Law, you can hold those people responsible for their actions that have caused you unnecessary pain and suffering.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
After being involved in an accident that causes you to suffer a brain injury, time needs to pass before the nature and severity of the injury become apparent. Before filing a case for TBI, you should be able to assess its full impact on you and your loved ones’ lives. Severe brain injuries require prolonged medical treatment and the bills accumulate faster than they can be repaid.
You will not be able to demand compensation by filing a personal injury claim without a complete diagnosis and treatment plan. Getting the case started early is beneficial, but you need to consider that you might run into some unforeseen medical treatment due to misdiagnosed symptoms. If this starts sounding confusing, it might be time to contact your lawyer, who will give you the exact time frame depending upon your unique case.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The personal injury statute of limitations refers to the time allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you haven’t filed a claim and the statute of limitations runs out, you can lose your right to file a lawsuit. However, certain exceptions might extend that period. The few exceptions to the two-year limit are:
- In the accident, the injured person was a minor (less than 18 years of age).
- Delayed symptoms appearance and diagnosis of injury
- No idea of the negligent party who caused the accident and injury
- If you, time is frozen until you receive authorization for court. When you receive the approval, the timer continues to run.
- Time gets frozen when you file the injuries claim with PIAB during the two-year window, and they send you an acknowledgment letter.
A personal injury suit cannot be filed through a court without following the exact claim process outlined by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).
Maximum Medical Improvement and Settlement
Once you’ve reached MMI – maximum medical improvement – you can now accept settlement offers from a representative of the insurance company or the defendant. MMI means that you have achieved full recovery in the wake of your injuries.
The compensation you deserve will include the cost of required future medical care from now onwards and the lasting financial impact of your injuries. This is where your personal injury law attorney comes into play. Discuss your case with them before you’re made to sign any documents and accept any offer.
In most cases, your attorney can run the negotiations for compensation with an insurance company on your behalf. Usually, personal injury cases are settled outside of court because the insurance companies want to avoid lengthy court battles.
Suppose the insurance company or negligent party does not agree to the fair terms of the settlement. In that case, it becomes necessary to file a case and go to court to recover the compensation you rightly deserve.
Why Should You Hire Ashley Injury Law?
Ashley Injury Law has served and protected its clients for the past 40 years. Their continued trust in our abilities has made us fiercely protective of them. Our well-resourced team of attorneys, lawyers, paralegals, and the rest of the staff go above and beyond to offer you the help you need and deserve.
We understand that in the process of recovering from a severe brain injury, you also have medical bills, the loss of a permanent job, issues with your insurance company, property damage, and more to deal with. We at Ashley Injury Law are prepared to take this matter out of your hands, letting you focus on your recovery.