According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death among young adults and one of the most common causes of disability and death across all age groups. An estimated 1.5 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury each year in the US, with over 50,000 cases being fatal.
A TBI is an injury that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. These injuries often have a devastating and long-lasting effect on all aspects of a victim’s life. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI as a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing, you deserve justice and the financial support to ensure your future and wellbeing.
At the Crockett Law Group, we understand how dire your situation is, and our Irvine traumatic brain injury lawyers are prepared to fight for your rights to the very end. Call us today at (800) 900-9393 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.
How Do I Know if I Have a Brain Injury?
The only sure way to determine whether you’ve suffered a brain injury is through a medical examination by a licensed health care professional. Symptoms of mild TBI can be hard to detect and may take a long time to manifest. But if not addressed early enough, they can develop and get worse over time. The symptoms of a mild TBI can worsen gradually over months or years and cause irreversible damage.
If you experience any of the following symptoms soon after a head injury, you should rush to the emergency room immediately:
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of vision
- Speech problems
- Difficulty waking up from sleep
- Fluid leaking from the nose or ears
- Difficulty breathing
- Uncontrollable bleeding
- Dilation of pupils
- Limb numbness
If you notice any of these signs, you could be suffering from a severe TBI, so, it is important to be on the lookout for such symptoms. However, as noted earlier, you should always seek medical attention immediately after suffering any type of head injury to ensure that you are safe.
What Are Some of the Leading Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries can arise from a wide range of incidents, including vehicle accidents, slip and falls, physical violence, sports accidents, workplace accidents, drowning, sickness, and so on. It is important to note that even seemingly minor accidents can result in traumatic brain injury. Basically, if there is a jolt or blow to the head or a penetrating head injury, the risk of a TBI is always high.
Traumatic brain injuries are grouped into different categories depending on how they occur:
- Open Injury: This type of brain injury occurs when a foreign object penetrates the brain, for example, a bullet wound or shrapnel from an exploding airbag.
- Closed Injury: This is whereby the brain gets injured but the skull isn’t penetrated. It is often caused by the sudden movement or shaking of the brain inside the skull leading to the tearing of blood vessels of brain tissue. This type of brain injury is common in auto accidents.
- Deceleration injury: This type of brain injury happens when the body comes to an abrupt stop and the brain (still with forward momentum) is slammed violently against the skull.
- Chemical Injury: Constant exposure to harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide, pesticide, lead, and other toxins can lead to brain damage.
- Hypoxia: For the brain to stay healthy and function properly, it requires a consistent supply of oxygen. The lack of oxygen for a certain amount of time can lead to irreversible brain damage, for example, when drowning.
- Medical Injury: Certain conditions such as strokes, infections, tumors, can lead to brain damage.
What Are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Some symptoms of a TBI can manifest immediately after the traumatic event while others take time to develop. Besides how they occur, traumatic brain injuries are also classified according to their severity: mild and moderate/severe.
Here are the common symptoms of a mild TBI:
- Brief loss of consciousness
- Neck pain
- Ringing in your ears
- Blurry vision
- Slow reflexes
Symptoms of moderate/severe TBIs can include:
- Persistent nausea and vomiting
- Persistent headaches
- Dilated pupils
- Inability to wake up
- Slurred speech
- Numbness in your limbs
- Fluids leaking from your ears or nose
Why Is It Important to See a Doctor After a Head Injury?
It is quite common for people to feel completely fine and normal after suffering a head injury. This is especially so for closed brain injury victims. It is crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as possible to ensure that you haven’t suffered a potentially serious brain injury. And if so, getting early treatment will help minimize the risk of suffering irreversible damage. In addition, getting medical treatment will provide proof of your injuries when filing a claim.
Should I Hire a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer?
Traumatic brain injuries often require extensive and costly medical treatment. What’s more, such an injury can severely affect all aspects of your life, significantly degrading your life. As a result, TBI personal injury cases typically involve huge compensation amounts.
So, it goes without saying that the at-fault party and their insurance company will go out of their way to fight your claims and deny you the compensation that you deserve.
An Irvine traumatic brain injury lawyer will help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure the best outcome for you. We will investigate your case, offer our expert legal advice and guidance, determine how much you are owed, collect and organize all the necessary evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you get a favorable settlement amount. If need be, we will fight your case in court and ensure that the verdict is in your favor.
We have extensive experience handling personal injury cases and we know what it takes to secure maximum compensation.
Can Insurance Companies Obtain My Past Medical Records?
Legally, insurance companies don’t have the right to go through your medical records without your consent.
However, they may ask for medical records relating to your injury in order to prove your claims. An attorney will help ensure that they only access the requisite medical records and have minimal chance of denying your claim on these grounds.
What Happens if the Insurance Company Refuses to Pay My Medical Bills?
The insurance company may deny your claim for a wide range of reasons, for example, the lack of medical evidence, failing to seek medical attention, using an out-of-network medical care provider, etc. Sometimes they might just deny your claim for no good reason or try to delay paying your claim.
Fortunately, having your claim denied doesn’t mean the end of the road for you. Through our attorneys, you can appeal the denial or file a lawsuit against the insurance company. We have long-standing court experience, and we know how to present facts and arguments in the most convincing and effective manner. We will ensure that the case ends clean in your favor.
What Compensation Can I Receive for a Brain Injury?
Plaintiffs may recover three types of damages in a brain injury lawsuit: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
These are meant to cover all expenses and financial losses incurred as a result of your traumatic brain injury.
- Past medical bills, which include charges for doctor visits, medical tests, emergency care, surgical operations, medications, and other necessary treatments for your TBI
- Future medical expenses, which include ongoing doctor visits, hospital care, physical and occupational therapy, and other kinds of rehabilitation
- Lost wages and the loss of earning capacity
- Travel costs and more
These are means to compensate you for non-monetary losses suffered as a result of your brain injury. They include damages for:
- Pain and suffering relating to your brain injury
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
These types of damages are awarded if the at-fault party’s actions are found to have been exceptionally reckless or malicious.
In California, there is no cap on punitive damages.
Are There Time Limits for Filing a TBI Claim?
According to California’s statute of limitations, victims of traumatic brain injuries have up to two years from the date of the injury to bring a claim otherwise they lose their right to pursue compensation.
Get in Touch With a Qualified Irvine Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
Traumatic brain injuries are often categorized as catastrophic injuries, and for a good reason. This type of injury can be life-altering and can permanently impact your ability to go back to work. In most cases, traumatic brain injuries require long-term and costly medical treatments and rehabilitation. And when you are out of a job, you might not be able to afford the treatments you need, not to mention support your family.
With stakes this high, you need full and maximum financial compensation to, at the very least, make your current situation more manageable. However, achieving this can prove to be very difficult and frustrating, especially when you are dealing with the effects of a TBI.
Having an experienced attorney by your side will help make the claims process much easier and boost your chances for the best outcome. Our skilled and compassionate traumatic brain injury lawyers at the Crockett Law Group understand what you and your family are going through and are committed to treating your case with the seriousness and care it deserves. Call us today at (800) 900-9393 for the best legal representation in Irvine, California.