Our California Head Injury Attorney Can Help You

Every year, numerous individuals across the United States experience severe brain trauma. The aftermath can be life-altering. Those affected and their loved ones frequently grapple with mental and physical impairments, compromised autonomy, and personality shifts. If you or a loved one has been subjected to brain damage due to the irresponsibility of another party or corporation, reach out to a California head injury attorney at Pacific Attorney Group to explore your best legal options.

Our goal is to optimize your case’s worth, guarantee you get appropriate medical care, and bring those at fault to justice. We stand by your side in this difficult period, striving to obtain the reparation you rightfully merit. Traumatic brain injuries can significantly disrupt your lifestyle, turning basic activities into daunting challenges. As your legal advocates for head injuries, we dedicate ourselves to assist you in acquiring the necessary resources to manage these alterations.

Head Injury Statistics in California

In 2020, California reported 2,912 older adults died and 17,528 were hospitalized due to TBIs. Additionally, approximately 15,708 older adults visited the emergency room for TBIs. The top three causes of TBIs in older adults in California in 2020 were unintentional falls, motor vehicle accidents, and suicide by firearm. In 2021, falls led to 743,173 emergency room visits across all age groups, being struck by or against objects caused 266,447 visits, transportation accidents resulted in 327,159 visits, and assaults accounted for 112,661 emergency room visits.

TBIs contribute to approximately 30% of all injury-related deaths in the U.S. Annually, there are more than 282,000 hospitalizations and 2.5 million emergency room visits due to TBIs nationwide. Car accidents are the third leading cause of TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths, and the leading cause of TBI-related death for people aged 5 to 24

California Head Injury Attorney
California Head Injury Attorney

What is Head Injury and Its Types

Head injuries are physical traumas to the skull, scalp, or brain. These injuries can range from mild, causing temporary symptoms, to severe, leading to long-term complications or death. Understanding the types and potential effects of head injuries is crucial for timely diagnosis and treatment.

Head injuries are broadly categorized into two types: closed and open (or penetrating).

Closed Head Injuries

Closed head injuries occur when there is a blow to the head that does not penetrate the skull. The brain may be damaged due to the impact or a rapid forward and backward movement, leading to bruising and tissue damage. Common types include:

      • Concussion: The most common type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), characterized by a temporary loss of brain function. Symptoms can include headaches, confusion, dizziness, and memory loss.
      • Contusion: A bruise on the brain caused by a direct impact to the head, leading to bleeding and swelling.
      • Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI): Caused by severe rotation or shaking of the head, as seen in car accidents. It involves tearing of the brain’s long connecting nerve fibers (axons) and can result in permanent brain damage or death.
      • Cerebral Edema: Swelling of the brain caused by the accumulation of fluid. It can occur after any type of head injury and can lead to increased pressure inside the skull, damaging brain tissues.

Open (Penetrating) Head Injuries

Open or penetrating head injuries occur when an object breaks through the skull and enters the brain. These injuries are more likely to result in severe damage or death. Types include:

      • Skull Fractures: Breaks in the skull bone. Depending on the severity, they can lead to brain damage if pieces of bone penetrate the brain tissue.
      • Penetrating Injuries: Occur when an object, such as a bullet or sharp object, penetrates the skull and damages the brain. The extent of the damage depends on the trajectory, speed, and the object involved.

Secondary Brain Damage

In addition to primary damage, head injuries can lead to secondary brain damage – a set of potentially more dangerous conditions that develop gradually as a consequence of the initial injury. These include:

      • Hematomas: Blood clots outside the blood vessels that can increase pressure within the skull and compress the brain.
      • Hydrocephalus: An accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain, leading to increased pressure and swelling.
      • Infections: Open head injuries can expose the brain to bacteria, potentially leading to infections like meningitis.
      • Seizures: Head injuries can make the brain more prone to seizures, which may develop immediately or years after the injury.

Head injuries, whether closed or open, can have profound and lasting impacts on an individual’s health and quality of life. If a head injury is suspected, immediate medical attention is essential to minimize the risk of long-term damage. Recovering from head injury is a long process and causes mental trauma and financial stress to the victims and their families.

Common Causes of Brain Injuries

Brain injuries, also known as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can result from various situations, ranging from everyday accidents to serious incidents. Understanding the most common causes can help in prevention and early treatment. Here are the predominant sources of brain injuries:

      • 1. Falls are the leading cause of TBIs, particularly among children and older adults. These can occur from slipping, tripping, or falling from heights, leading to a wide range of injuries from mild concussions to severe brain damage.
      • 2. Motor vehicle-related incidents, including car, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents, are significant sources of TBIs. High-impact crashes can cause the brain to collide against the skull, resulting in injuries.
      • 3. Violent encounters, such as assaults, gunshot wounds, and domestic violence, can lead to penetrating or closed head injuries. Child abuse, particularly shaken baby syndrome, is a disturbing cause of brain injuries in infants.
      • 4. Sports and recreational activities contribute to a considerable number of brain injuries every year. Contact sports like football, boxing, soccer, skateboarding, and extreme sports are common culprits.
      • 5. Explosive blasts and combat injuries are common among military personnel. The shockwaves from blasts can cause multiple forms of brain injury, including concussions and penetrating injuries.
      • 6. Being struck by or against an object is another common cause of brain injuries. This can include being hit by a falling object, walking into a stationary object, or any other scenario where the head forcefully comes into contact with an object.

Secondary Causes

Apart from the direct causes mentioned, brain injuries can also result from secondary impacts, such as:

      • Oxygen deprivation (anoxia or hypoxia), which can occur due to drowning, smoke inhalation, or medical conditions.
      • Infections that affect the brain, like meningitis or encephalitis, can lead to inflammation and damage.
      • Stroke or aneurysms that disrupt blood flow to the brain, causing brain cells to die.

The causes of brain injuries are diverse, each bringing its own set of challenges for prevention and treatment. Awareness and safety measures, such as wearing helmets while riding or playing sports, using seat belts, and creating safe environments for the elderly and children, can significantly reduce the risk of TBIs. Understanding these common causes can aid in the early identification and management of brain injuries, potentially mitigating long-term impacts. Head injury can profoundly impact your physical, cognitive, and emotional health over a prolonged period. Speak with our California head injury attorney . Our legal experts are ready to help you understand how we can aid in seeking the restitution you rightfully deserve.

Evaluating the Worth of a Head Injury Claim in California

Determining the value of a head injury claim in California involves various factors that influence the potential compensation amount. Given the complexity and variability of personal injury cases, especially those involving traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) or other head injuries, it is crucial to understand the components that contribute to the valuation of a claim.

Factors Influencing Claim Value

      • Severity of the Injury: The nature and severity of the head injury significantly affect claim worth. Less severe injuries like concussions might incur fewer medical expenses compared to severe TBIs, which could necessitate extensive medical care, potentially for a lifetime.
      • Medical Care Costs: Current and future medical expenses play a critical role. The cost ranges from short-term treatments like physical therapy to long-term care requirements, including in-home care services.
      • Ability to Work: Compensation may also depend on the injury’s impact on your ability to work. Temporary work absences might require less compensation than situations where the injured party can never return to their previous employment.
      • Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life are considered. These factors, although challenging to quantify, are essential components of a claim.
      • Life Impacts: The injury’s effect on your daily activities, hobbies, and overall life enjoyment are considered. Limitations that prevent you from engaging in previously enjoyed activities add value to a claim.
      • Legal and Evidence Requirements: To successfully claim compensation, California law mandates proving the at-fault party’s negligence by establishing they owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, caused your injury, and that the injury resulted in significant damages. Gathering comprehensive evidence and expert testimony is crucial to substantiating these claims.

Economic and Non-Economic Damages

      • Economic damages include readily quantifiable losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and future medical expenses. These are calculated based on bills, receipts, and expert projections.
      • Non-economic damages are more subjective and compensate for personal losses such as pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life. The skill of your attorney can significantly influence the recovery amount for these damages.

There is no standard or average settlement value for head injury claims in California due to the unique nature of each injury and its impacts. Settlement amounts can vary widely, from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. The worth of a head injury claim in California is influenced by various factors, including the injury’s severity, medical costs, impact on employment, pain and suffering, and the effect on your life. Given the complexities involved in calculating both economic and non-economic damages, consulting with a knowledgeable California head injury attorney is essential to accurately assess and maximize the value of your claim.

Second Impact Syndrome (SIS)

Second impact syndrome (SIS) is a rare but serious condition that can occur when an individual sustains a second traumatic brain injury (TBI) before the symptoms from an initial brain injury have fully resolved. This can lead to rapid and severe brain swelling, with potentially catastrophic consequences. SIS is particularly concerning because even a mild second injury, which might not be dangerous on its own, can trigger a fatal reaction.

Key Characteristics of SIS

      • Timing and Severity: The critical factor in SIS is the timing of the second injury. If the brain has not healed from the first injury, a second impact — even if minor — can cause a disproportionate and often fatal response.
      • Vulnerable Populations: Young athletes are particularly at risk, especially those involved in high-contact sports like football, hockey, soccer, and basketball. However, anyone who sustains a head injury is at risk if they experience another head injury too soon.
      • Pathophysiology: SIS involves a loss of autoregulation of the brain’s blood supply, leading to vascular engorgement, increased intracranial pressure, and, ultimately, severe brain swelling. Unlike many other types of brain injuries, the mechanism of SIS is more related to the physiological response to injury rather than the direct impact itself.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Initial symptoms of a second impact may be deceptively mild, including headache, dizziness, or feeling “not right.” However, these can rapidly progress to more severe symptoms such as loss of consciousness, seizure, or even coma. Diagnosing SIS involves a careful medical history to identify the sequence of injuries and symptoms, alongside imaging studies like MRI or CT scans to assess brain swelling and other changes. Once SIS is suspected, it is a medical emergency. Treatment focuses on reducing intracranial pressure, stabilizing the patient, and preventing further injury. This often requires hospitalization, sometimes in an intensive care unit.

Second Impact Syndrome is a critical condition that underscores the importance of managing head injuries with utmost caution. Recognizing the symptoms of an initial concussion, ensuring adequate recovery time, and educating those at risk are crucial steps in preventing SIS. Given its severe consequences, a cautious approach to head injuries, emphasizing prevention and proper recovery, is essential.

Contact Our Experienced California Head Injury Attorney

The expenses associated with TBI treatment can rapidly escalate to reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars over the course of the victim’s life. In a majority of instances, the total financial burden of a TBI – including medical care, loss of earnings, emotional distress, and other related losses – amounts to millions of dollars. If you or a dear one has experienced a severe injury such as a TBI, reach out to our California head injury attorney.

Head injuries could potentially influence numerous facets of an individual’s existence, including their capacity to work, carry out domestic chores, drive, and appreciate life. If you have fallen victim to someone else’s carelessness that resulted in a head injury, you might be eligible to claim reimbursement for previous and forthcoming medical bills, agony and distress, loss of earnings, diminished quality of life, among other things. We are here to assist you – get in touch with us today and arrange a cost-free consultation with our California head injury attorney