Frequently Asked Questions About Head and Brain Injuries in Los Angeles
When your whole world has been turned upside down by a traumatic brain injury, you're sure to be left with questions about your legal rights. Our frequently asked questions articles can help you decide how to move forward by answering many of the questions you may have.
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What Are the Symptoms Of A Mild Brain Injury To Look For After A Car Accident?
A mild brain injury is denoted by a loss of consciousness for a half hour or less, while a severe brain injury can happen when you lose consciousness for an hour or more. It’s also important to note that traumatic brain injuries, regardless of whether they are mild or severe, can take days or weeks to manifest. As a result, it’s important you speak to your doctor immediately after a head injury if you are demonstrating any of the following symptoms.
Here are some signs you may be suffering from a mild brain injury:
- Trouble with coordination, both in terms of fine-motor skills as well as basic walking
- Intense mood swings or uncharacteristically violent and aggressive outbursts
- Issues with your senses, such as a loss of smell, over-sensitivity to light and sound, changes in taste (or a continual bad taste in your mouth).
- Excessive sleeping
- Memory loss
After you or a loved one suffers a head injury after an accident, there are two professionals you should consult as soon as possible: Your treating doctor and an attorney experienced in successfully handling complicated brain injury cases.
Call our office now for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. The call and the consultation are free.
Do I have to accept the insurance company’s “final offer” if it won’t cover the costs of my care for a brain injury?
If you’re being pressured with a final settlement offer that is insufficient to cover the care you have received for your brain injury, as well as the care you’ll need in the future, contact a San Bernardino attorney who has experience negotiating with insurance companies on victims’ behalf. Often, the “final offer” floated by the insurance company is not set in stone, but it definitely is a sign that you will need to take action to strengthen your injury claim and give your case an edge.
Is the Insurance Company’s “Final Offer” for Your San Bernardino Brain Injury Claim Really Final?
In many cases, the so-called “final offer” from the insurance company is not the maximum amount you could recover for your claim. Instead, it’s an attempt by the insurance company to pressure you into accepting a settlement that does not work for you or fully cover the cost of your injury. As time limits approach, medical bills pile up, and negotiations drag on, insurance companies know that they can pressure vulnerable victims who do not fully understand how the insurance industry works or what their rights are after an injury.
However, instead of giving up, it may be possible to continue negotiations with the insurance company or even take them to court for what you truly deserve. While an individual may have trouble pushing for a better outcome in this situation, an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with California laws and insurance company tricks can quickly identify any problems with your claim and fight for a successful outcome.
For more regular news and information about your rights after a brain injury, connect with our San Bernardino team on Facebook—and, of course, you can also contact us directly via phone or email for personalized assistance with your questions.
When is it safe to return to work after a traumatic brain injury?
After a traumatic brain injury, returning to work may feel like an overwhelming task. These injuries are especially difficult because the true extent of the damage may not be readily apparent for weeks, months, or even years after the accident that caused the injury. Even when your doctor clears you to return to work, however, it is important to understand what to expect and how best to prepare yourself for the transition.
5 Things to Know Before Returning to Work After a TBI
Before you return to work after suffering a traumatic brain injury, it is important to familiarize yourself with the following:
- Know what services are available to help you perform your job in a safe and healthy manner.
- Know your legal rights. Consulting with your attorney will help you understand the rights that protect you under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal and state laws.
- Know what to say to your employer about your injury and job responsibilities.
- Know what accommodations the employer will provide for you so that you can perform your job effectively.
- Know what to do if you are the victim of discrimination.
Unfortunately, the time you lost from being out of the workforce may have created a significant financial burden for yourself and your family. It is important to consider a legal claim to recover damages after your accident. We are here to help. We encourage you to contact us today at 800-989-6385 to schedule a free consultation.
Can I pursue a claim against an air bag manufacturer if it caused my brain injury?
When a car accident occurs, victims may be left with severe injuries. One of the worst types of injury that a victim can experience is a traumatic brain injury. There are many potential causes of a brain injury, even when it occurs as a result of a car accident. One such potential cause is the vehicle’s air bag. If the airbag does not inflate or operate the way it was supposed to, you may be injured as a result. In these cases, you may pursue compensation based on a claim of product liability.
Parties Potentially Responsible Under Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims are different from negligence claims. With a product liability claim, you are stating that your brain injury would not have occurred had the product involved not been defective or dangerous. Product liability claims can be brought against numerous parties, including the following:
- The air bag manufacturer
- The maker of the car
- Other parties responsible for distributing the airbags used in the vehicle
It is important to note that pursuing a product liability claim after a brain injury does not mean that you cannot also pursue a negligence claim against the driver of the other vehicle involved in your accident. Victims can pursue compensation under both legal claims. This improves the likelihood that you will obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Regardless of which legal claims you pursue after a brain injury, it is crucial to get started quickly. We encourage you to contact us today at 800-989-6385 for more information.
I can’t remember details of the accident that led to my brain injury. Can I still win a claim?
After an accident, some types of physical injuries are easy to identify and diagnose. For example, if you suffered a broken leg in the accident, the injury will be obvious either by your outward appearance or by the pain you are experiencing. Other types of injuries, however, are less easy to spot right away. A brain injury is one example. Symptoms of brain injuries can be subtle and may take time to show up. When you do realize that you have suffered a brain injury, you may find that you have also suffered memory loss surrounding the details of your accident.
Gathering Evidence When You Don’t Remember Your Accident
Fortunately, victims of brain injuries can still pursue a claim for compensation from the responsible parties even if they suffer memory loss. If you do not recall the details of your accident, you may be unable to remember such things as how the accident happened, where you were and what you were doing at the time, and the medical treatment you received immediately after. The good news is that your attorney can still prepare a case on your behalf by obtaining evidence from other sources. Examples of potential sources for gathering details about your accident include the following:
- Accident reports
- Newspaper articles
- Medical records
Even if there are plenty of other ways to gather evidence to support your claim for compensation following a brain injury, it is important to remember that time is of the essence. The law imposes strict time limitations for filing a claim. To get started learning more, we encourage you to contact us today at 800-989-6385.
What should I do if I suffered a subdural hematoma after an accident?
If you were involved in some type of accident, you may be suffering from a brain injury such as a subdural hematoma. It is important to know how to respond after suffering this type of injury.
Steps to Take After a Subdural Hematoma
After suffering a brain injury such as a subdural hematoma, take the following steps:
- First and foremost, seek immediate medical attention. Obtaining prompt treatment improves your chances for recovery and your overall long-term prognosis after the subdural hematoma.
- Once you have taken care of your health, the next step is to protect your legal rights. It is important to remember that a subdural hematoma can occur even after a seemingly minor accident. Regardless of the size and scope of the accident, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help evaluate your accident and injuries in order to determine how best to proceed.
- Avoid speaking with insurance companies, other attorneys, or other parties involved in the accident. Doing so could potentially harm your case if you later decide to seek compensation for your losses.
- Keep thorough records with regard to your expenses. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs.
- Gather medical records relating to the subdural hematoma. It is important to document the symptoms you suffer and the complications that result from the injury.
- If there were witnesses to the accident that caused your injury, obtain their statements as soon as possible after the accident. Similarly, you may wish to obtain a copy of the police report if law enforcement responded to the scene of the injury.
- If you decide to file a claim for compensation, do not delay. California, like every other state, imposes time limitations on a victim’s ability to pursue compensation after a brain injury. It is therefore important to act quickly in order not to jeopardize your ability to obtain a financial recovery.
If you suffered a subdural hematoma injury, we are here to help. We encourage you to contact us today at 800-989-6385 to schedule a free consultation.
Could my insomnia from TBI cause long-term medical problems?
Many people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) are up all night and extremely tired during the day. Having a sleep disorder is a very common problem for TBI victims. Unfortunately, this can also put them at risk of other serious medical problems.
Long-Term Medical Problems for TBI Victims With Sleep Disorders
Getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis is important to a person’s overall health. People suffering with sleep disorders as a result of TBI also face the risk of developing other serious medical problems including:
- Weight gain and obesity. A person who suffers from lack of sleep could find his decision-making abilities impaired and his desire for unhealthy food increased. It could be harder for him to resist the urge to eat junk food, especially in the middle of the night. The result is that the person could gain weight and become obese, which puts him at higher risk for many other health problems, like diabetes and heart disease.
- Heart disease. Getting six hours or less of sleep at night can result in the body producing more chemicals and hormones that could increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
- Memory loss. A person with TBI already suffers with problems remembering things and staying organized. Long-term difficulties sleeping could result in permanent changes to the brain and life-long memory loss.
- Death. People who sleep less than six hours per night on a regular basis increase their risk of dying younger than those who sleep more.
It is recommended that people sleep for seven to nine hours a night. Sadly, this is a dream for many people suffering from TBI, putting them at risk of even more dangerous medical conditions as well as the challenges of living with TBI.
If you or a family member has suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident caused by a person or business, order our free book, 7 BIGGEST MISTAKES That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case, to start learning about your legal options.
Are there apps for my cellphone that can help me with my problems after a traumatic brain injury in Santa Monica?
A person suffering with traumatic brain injury in Santa Monicaoften experiences major problems with memory and concentration. He may forget simple things—like where he left his keys or when to take medications—and have problems concentrating and completing tasks. However, there are many assistive tools available to help a person cope with the problems that often make it difficult to do even simple day-to-day activities.
Seven Apps That Can Help Traumatic Brain Injury Victims
Many apps for cellphones can help victims of traumatic brain injury. They can assist with numerous things that others takes for granted, like reading, communicating, staying organized, and remembering important tasks and dates. Here are seven free or inexpensive smartphone apps:
- EverNote helps to remember everything, pulling information from all the devices a person uses. It allows a person to take notes, make to-do lists, take photos, and record voice reminders.
- Flashcard Deluxe allows a person to study any subject and has a built-in dictionary.
- ICE (In Case of Emergency) allows a person to store all information he would need in an emergency—like names of doctors, medications, medical conditions, and insurance—all in one place.
- Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management system that contains a diaphragmatic breathing exercise. Deep breathing can help reduce feelings of anger, anxiety, and stress and can help a person with mood swings—a common problem for traumatic brain injury victims.
- Cozi Family Organizer is a family organizer that includes a shared calendar, to-do lists, and family journal. It helps a family stay organized, know what needs to be done, and keep up with important dates.
- Quick Talk AAC helps a person who is unable to talk communicate quickly.
- SpeakWrite Recorder turns a cellphone into a fully functional dictation system.
These are just a few apps that could help a person with traumatic brain injury. Technology is constantly changing and new apps are being created to help people handle the changes that come with this serious injury. Living with traumatic brain injury can be very difficult, and it is important to utilize the assistive tools that exist to help cope with these challenges.
Have you or a family member suffered a traumatic brain injury? Our friendly and knowledgeable legal team is here to help you. Order our free book, 7 BIGGEST MISTAKES That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case, to start learning about your legal options.
How do I help my child cope with my spouse’s brain injury and personality changes?
When a parent suffers traumatic brain injury, it not only changes the parent, it affects the entire family. You may already know this if your spouse suffered a traumatic brain injury and is just returning home in Riverside after a lengthy hospital stay.
How Children Are Affected by a Parent With a Brain Injury
A child of a traumatic brain injury patient faces special challenges as he deals with the mental, behavioral, emotional, and physical changes in his mom or dad. Being aware of these issues can assist you in helping your child with:
- Lack of understanding. A child may have a harder time making sense of the changes in his parent and may secretly worry that he somehow caused the injury. You will need to explain to your child why his mom or dad is acting differently and reassure your child that the problem was not caused by him.
- Difficulties relating to the parent. A child could have difficulties bonding with a parent who is exhibiting behavioral changes or severe physical limitations due to brain damage. He may even becoming fearful of the parent. You will need to reassure your child that his mom or dad is still his parent, but may act differently because of the brain injury.
- Role changes in the family. Even young children may be required to take on more household responsibilities as the family copes with caregiving duties for the parent with brain damage. For an older child, this could almost be a role reversal where he becomes more of the parent. For a younger child, he may no longer get the attention and nurturing he once did and feel rejected and insecure. You will need to be certain that your child does not feel like a mini-adult and that you don’t give him too many responsibilities.
- Problems with being teased or bullied at school. A child may be stigmatized or bullied by other children at school because his parent is “different.” Your child may not want to discuss this with you for fear of causing you more stress and may try to unsuccessfully resolve the difficulty himself. This could often result in problematic behaviors and doing poorly at school. You may need to intervene and get your child’s teacher to help stop this insensitive teasing.
- Feeling neglected by the caregiver parent. For the non-injured parent trying to cope with taking care of the partner with brain damage and everything else—often while working—it can be very stressful and all-consuming. Your child could feel rejected and resentful when he gets less of your attention. Share what you can of your own feelings and your limitations and reassure your child that you still love him just as much.
A child can experience many problems—anxiety, worry, depression, and fear—as he copes with the changes in his family life. If you notice your child feeling these emotions, you may want to consult with a professional to help him work through them.
If your spouse or child has suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation for his medical expenses, lost wages, and more from the person or business that caused your family member’s brain damage. Fill out the online form for a free consultation and remember, we offer free home and hospital consultations.
Is it normal to experience headaches and dizziness three weeks after experiencing a mild brain injury from a fall?
When your doctor diagnosed you with a mild brain injury, she was basing the diagnosis on the severity of your symptoms immediately following the impact, not your prognosis or recovery time. Even with what is considered to be a mild brain injury, your road to recovery could be long and hard.
With a mild brain injury, you might not realize right away that you suffered any brain injury. The impact to your head may have been slight and you might not have felt any immediate symptoms. But several days later, problems such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and confusion could start. Even if you felt fine at first, if you are later diagnosed with a mild brain injury, you may need expensive and long-term rehab and you may want to hold the property where you fell liable for your damages.
Many people with mild brain damage experience long-term problems over months or even for the rest of their lives. These could problems include:
- Frequent low grade headaches
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Inability to concentrate
- A tendency to fatigue easily
- Intolerance of loud noises and bright lights
- Anxiety and depression
- Irrational irritability and frustration
Your recuperation can be just as arduous and long as if you had a severe brain injury. Some people never recover completely from a mild brain injury.
If you or a family member has experienced a brain injury as a result of a slip and fall accident or has been hit in an automobile accident, we’re here to help. Find answers to your other brain injury questions in our FAQ section.