A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have devastating effects on a victim’s mind and body. Not only are brain injuries expensive to treat, but they can also result in permanent disabilities and the need for ongoing medical and personal care. In short, a TBI can change your life forever.
An estimated 1.7 million U.S. adults and children suffer TBIs annually, according to a report from the Schurig Center for Brain Injury Recovery in California. Around 5.3 million live with long-term disabilities stemming from their injuries. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 61,000 people died from traumatic brain injuries in a recent year.
The Ladera Ranch brain injury lawyers at Silverthorne Attorneys can help if you’ve sustained a TBI in California. We have recovered sizeable settlements on behalf of our clients, making it easier for them to support themselves and get the medical treatment they need in the wake of such a severe injury. Call or contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Types of Brain Injuries
Despite being fairly well protected by the skull, the brain is delicate. A seemingly small bump on the head can have serious consequences. Common types of brain injuries include:
- Concussions: A concussion is the mildest form of brain injury, caused by a jolt or blow to the head.
- Hemorrhages: Bleeding, or hemorrhaging, can cause a pooling of blood in the brain tissue. This may lead to the formation of a hematoma, clots, and dangerous pressure on the brain.
- Swelling (edema): Swelling can be just as damaging to the brain as the initial injury. The increasing intracranial pressure pushes the brain against the skull, causing more damage.
- Penetration injuries: These happen when some object, such as a bullet, breaks through the skull to become lodged within brain tissue.
- Shear injuries: Also known as diffuse axonal injuries, a shear injury results from the brain being shaken or experiencing a severe, sharp rotation.
- Coup-contrecoup injuries: A blow to the head may cause the brain to rattle within the skull. With these TBIs, the brain sustains multiple hard impacts on both sides of the head, not just the initial point of impact.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries
Any hard blow to the head can result in a traumatic brain injury, depending on the force behind the hit, the angle of impact, and other factors. Some of the most common causes of TBIs include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Gunshot wounds (self-inflicted or from another party)
- Physical assaults
When Can I Sue for a Brain Injury?
If you wish to file an insurance claim or bring a lawsuit after a TBI, you must be able to show that the party who caused the injury was negligent in some way. In legal terms, negligence means that someone owed you a duty of care and failed in that duty somehow.
Negligence can be both intentional and unintentional. An example of intentional negligence would be someone physically assaulting another person. Unintentional negligence would stem from accidents, such as a distracted driver hitting a bicyclist. Negligence can also result from someone’s failure to act, such as when property owners fail to clean up a spill and someone has a slip-and-fall accident on the grounds.
Once you’ve established that the party who caused your injuries was negligent, you’ll be able to demand compensation for your injuries. Most brain injury cases settle out of court through negotiations with the negligent party’s insurer, but sometimes it’s necessary to file a lawsuit in civil court.
One important thing to note about personal injury cases in California is that you can recover compensation for your injuries even if you were somewhat responsible for them. California uses a comparative negligence model when two or more parties share fault in a personal injury case. This means if someone is partially responsible for their own injuries, their compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, you’d lose 10 percent of your compensation if you were assigned 10 percent of the blame for your TBI.
Average TBI Case Settlement
All personal injury claims are different, especially when it comes to traumatic brain injuries. This makes it hard to estimate what the “average” settlement could be. However, California allows TBI victims to recover compensation for a wide range of losses. Because brain injuries are so catastrophic, the total compensation can be significant.
You could obtain compensation for:
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Your reduced ability to work, if your injuries left you with a long-term or permanent disability
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
How Long Does a TBI Case Take to Settle?
A traumatic brain injury case can take months to settle. In complex cases, it could take years. The timeline depends on how long it takes to investigate your injuries, the available evidence, whether or not the liable party is open to a settlement, the quality of your lawyer, and other factors.
If you can’t reach a settlement agreement with whoever caused your injuries, your attorney will discuss the pros and cons of bringing the case to trial. While trial does stretch the legal process out longer, a knowledgeable traumatic brain injury lawyer from Silverthorne Attorneys will work to make the process minimally disruptive to your life.
When to Contact a Ladera Ranch Brain Injury Lawyer
It’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as you can. You only have two years from the date of your injury to bring a traumatic brain injury lawsuit in California, and essential evidence can disappear or deteriorate much more quickly than that. The sooner you speak with an attorney, the sooner an investigation can begin into your TBI claim.
The Ladera Ranch brain injury lawyers at Silverthorne Attorneys are ready to fight for you and pursue maximum compensation for your losses. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation.