Functioning much like high-powered computers, our brains juggle thankless tasks—such as regulating our breathing and sending messages to our muscles—all while helping us recall the words to our favorite song. Unfortunately, brain function is something many of us take for granted until it's no longer working as intended. A serious head or brain injury, known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), can interrupt the flow of messages from the brain to other parts of the body, resulting in an array of physical, mental, behavioral, emotional, and social impairments that can make performing even simple, day-to-day activities difficult, if not impossible.
If you or someone you love sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident, understanding your legal options and the challenges you may face while living with this condition is essential when determining whether to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Should you decide that taking legal action is right for you and your situation, you will need effective and experienced legal representation you can trust. Since 1982, Steinberg Injury Lawyers has provided respectful, compassionate, and attentive representation to clients from the firm's five conveniently located law offices in California. We're eager to work with you to help you get the financial settlement you need to help cope with your trying new circumstances. Our skilled attorneys work on a contingency basis, so we don't collect a fee until your case is resolved.
What Are the Major Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries in Los Angeles?
Traumatic brain injuries are devastating, long-lasting injuries that usually occur when the head or body receives a violent blow or is jerked suddenly, causing serious damage to the brain and interrupting the flow of messages to other parts of the body.
The rough and jolting conditions that create traumatic brain injuries can occur in a number of situations, including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle and bicycle accidents
- Slip-and-fall incidents
- Dog bite injuries
- Workplace accidents
Additionally, there are two types of traumatic brain injuries: open and closed. An “open” traumatic brain injury is one in which an object penetrated the skull and entered the brain itself, while a “closed” traumatic brain injury indicates that the victim experienced a violent, but non-penetrating, blow to the head.
Symptoms Associated With Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can cause a wide variety of devastating physical, sensory, and cognitive or mental symptoms. Physical symptoms associated with traumatic brain injuries include:
- Loss of consciousness, ranging from a few seconds to several hours
- Disorientation or confusion (without a loss of consciousness)
- A persistent headache that grows increasingly worse
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping, sleeping more than usual or the inability to rouse from sleep
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Loss of coordination
- Dilation of the pupils
- Convulsions or seizures
- Numbness or weakness in the fingers and toes
- Clear fluids that drain from the nose or ears
Traumatic brain injury victims may also experience sensory-related symptoms, such as sensitivity to light or sound, a ringing in the ears, blurred vision, changes in the ability to smell, and a bad taste in the mouth, as well as cognitive or mental symptoms, including:
- Memory problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Abrupt mood swings or changes
- Profound confusion
- Unusual behavior, including agitation or combativeness
- Slurred speech
Seeking immediate medical attention to assess a potential traumatic brain injury after an accident is essential, particularly if you decide to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Living With a Traumatic Brain Injury
In addition to the frightening symptoms that can manifest shortly after the injury, traumatic brain injuries also cause a wide range of long-lasting effects that can make it difficult to carry out day-to-day activities—including holding a job—which can seriously curtail a person's ability to live independently. While some of these effects may fade over time, others persist and may become permanent.
Long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries can include:
- Physical impairments – Many of these impairments require the use of medical mobility aids, such as walkers, motorized scooters, or wheelchairs.
- Cognitive disabilities – These disabilities can impair attention, memory, and executive functioning.
- Communication issues – This includes difficulty speaking, writing, or hearing.
- Emotional trauma – Caused by the injury itself or exacerbated by new and frustrating life circumstances.
- Behavioral impairments – Causing the victim to behave in ways they wouldn't have, prior to the accident.
- Spasticity – The change in muscle movement and tone, as well as reflexes and sensation may make it difficult to speak, eat, swallow, and eliminate waste.
- Seizures – Caused by electrical disturbances in the brain, seizures can occur immediately following a traumatic brain injury or develop over time, causing strange body movements – including chewing or fumbling movements – as well as strange sounds, tastes, and images; inability to speak or comprehend speech; and sudden exhaustion or dizziness.
These and other potential long-term effects are why so many traumatic brain injury victims require special equipment and care when recovering from their accident or while learning to adjust to a new way of living. Such equipment and care can be quite expensive and, in many cases, the inability to afford the necessary special needs care is a driving force behind the decision of whether to pursue compensation for injuries.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Learning to live with a traumatic brain injury can be difficult. Steinberg Injury Lawyers' skilled legal team understands this and is dedicated to working diligently to ensure that you receive the financial award you need to have the best care—and the best chance of recovery—possible. Call 800-989-6385 to speak to one of our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers, and schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case and learn what we can do for you.