Orange County Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
Know the Signs of a TBI & Get the Compensation You Deserve
Have your or someone you know suffered a traumatic brain injury? At The Soliman Firm, PLC, our Orange County traumatic brain injury can help you receive the treatment and compensation you need to make the best recovery possible. If a brain injury has impacted your life or the life of one of your loved ones, it can be stressful and overwhelming. If the head injury is a result of someone else’s negligence and you believe you may be entitled to compensation, contact us for a free consultation right away.
Common Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries in Costa Mesa
Some of the most common types of TBIs include:
- Concussion: Likely the most familiar type of traumatic brain injury, a concussion occurs when the brain is jolted due to a sudden blow to the head, resulting in its movement toward the point of impact. While many concussions are mild, others can be severe enough to cause lifelong complications, including balance issues and chronic headaches. Though it is a common misconception that concussions are not a serious medical emergency, inadequate treatment can lead to long-term issues for victims. Additionally, receiving a concussion makes victims more susceptible to future brain injuries, which can further compound the symptoms.
- Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury: A coup-contrecoup brain injury is a severe TBI in which the force to the head is strong enough for the brain to be jostled against the opposing side of the skull. These typically occur from forceful blows in incidents like car accidents or falls and are similar to severe whiplash. This is generally considered a moderate-to-severe TBI that will produce a range of severe symptoms and require extensive care for victims to work towards recovery.
- Brain Contusion: A brain contusion, or bruise, is essentially bleeding under the skin surrounding the brain. They often occur at the same time as a concussion and are quite similar. While brain contusions sometimes heal on their own, if the bleeding does not stop or healing does not occur, they can require surgical removal, which can become a complicated and costly endeavor.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury: Diffuse axonal injuries occur when the head moves so rapidly that the brain is not able to match its pace, which is common in incidents such as car accidents. This results in tears to the brain’s connective tissue and nervous system, which can lead to many further complications and symptoms.
- Penetration: A penetrative brain injury is a type of head injury where an object impacts the skull and injures a part of the brain as a result. Because nerves and connections in the brain can be severely and permanently harmed by this, in most cases a penetrative brain injury can result in major function loss and impairments.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Though a TBI can occur for myriad reasons, certain activities and situations are more likely to lead to brain injuries than others. Some of the most common examples include:
- Sports Injuries: Common both for professional athletes and recreational ones, traumatic brain injuries are frequently a result of sports injuries. Younger children are especially susceptible to these injury types; the fact that their brains are still developing can result in a life-long impairment and reduction of their abilities.
- Car Accidents: If you have been injured in a car accident in Orange County, a TBI might be a risk. Car accidents can cause victims to hit their heads or receive whiplash, which can create a higher risk of head injury, especially for crashes that are severe or involve the victim getting thrown from their vehicle. Pedestrians and cyclists struck by cars often have a high rate of head injury, as well.
- Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycle accidents in Costa Mesa can be extremely dangerous. Even when bikers are wearing proper protection, they can sustain a head injury if they are thrown from their motorcycle or collide with an object.
- Slips & Falls: A slip due to unsafe surfaces or other hazards can result in a traumatic brain injury when the victim’s head comes into contact with the ground or other objects. Additionally, a fall from a height, such as off construction equipment or from a ledge, can lead to a TBI. The CDC reports that falls are the reason for nearly 50% of TBIs, with the common victims being children and older adults.
- Medical Malpractice: Medical malpractice can lead to brain injuries due to the negligence of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. This is especially common during labor and delivery, when infants’ skulls are soft and not yet fully developed, which can lead to a lifetime of complications and healing.
Getting immediate treatment from a medical professional is essential if you believe you have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Your doctor will typically use tools such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to gain an overview of your injury and determine the severity of the injury as well as the appropriate course of treatment. It is important to take the recommendations of your doctor seriously in order to prevent further complications and lessen the potential for symptoms that last a lifetime.
For many traumatic brain injuries, there will typically be a team of medical professionals assigned to treatment plans, including neurologists, surgeons, physical therapists, and psychologists. Head injuries will often require a hospital stay surrounding the initial treatment, and victims will then transition to doing outpatient rehabilitation to work to regain any lost functions and abilities. Cognitive therapy may also be a part of this treatment plan to address any emotional issues that have arisen either as a result of the physical impact of the injury or the stress that has surrounded its occurrence.
Because of the complexities of the healing process, the cost of TBI treatment can be quite steep—it is estimated that lifetime treatment costs for victims of TBIs are generally in the range of $85,000 to $3 million. Many victims of TBIs experience extreme financial burden due to their injury, causing further stress and worry that compounds upon their accident.
If you have suffered from a brain injury in Orange County, contacting a qualified traumatic brain injury lawyer is something you should do as soon as you are able to. Our team of qualified traumatic brain injury attorneys will be able to determine if you have a case and what the next steps are to pursue your claim.
Generally, that will involve:
- Determining Negligence That Resulted in a Head Injury: When pursuing a case regarding traumatic brain injury, establishing that someone else’s negligence resulted in the injury is an important aspect. The person at fault can be anyone who had a duty to provide a basic level of care and neglected to perform that duty—i.e. a property owner not fixing unsafe conditions that caused a fall, or a reckless driver causing a car accident.
- Documenting Evidence Surrounding the Brain Injury: Being able to provide evidence of your traumatic injury and subsequent inconveniences that result is the next step your traumatic brain injury lawyer will go over with you. This typically includes documentation from your doctor concerning your injury, any medical bills sustained from treatment, and any other accrued costs or inconveniences that were directly caused by the injury.
- Establishing the Value of Your Claim: In order to ensure you are receiving adequate compensation for your injury treatment and resulting inconveniences, it is essential to work with a traumatic brain injury attorney to establish the amount you will pursue with your claim. This should be enough to not only cover the medical expenses you have accrued so far, but also to cover future treatments, rehabilitation costs, and any lost expenses from missed work or unemployment. Any expenses accrued as a result of your injury should be brought up with your lawyer to determine if it is eligible to be included in your claim.
- Bringing Forth Your Case: After these elements are established, your traumatic brain injury lawyer will bring your case forward to the defendant in order to work out the details. In some cases, the matter will be solved in an out-of-court settlement, and in others it will go to trial. The important thing is to work with a qualified attorney that will help you fight for what you deserve out of your case so you do not feel pressured to accept a settlement that is less than what you deserve.
The compensation you can receive following an accident depends on your specific losses and needs. However, you will likely be compensated for one or more of the following:
- Past Medical Bills: If you believe that you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, it is important to keep copies of all of your medical expenses in order to have a record of the financial burden the injury has placed on you. In a TBI lawsuit, it is possible to have the defendant cover the cost of these previous expenses.
- Future Medical Bills: Many TBI sufferers are required to receive ongoing medical treatment, sometimes for the rest of their lives. You can work with your traumatic brain injury attorney to determine the lifetime cost of the injury in order to receive compensation for the anticipated expenses.
- Lost Wages: Victims of a traumatic brain injury are often required to miss work, resulting in lost wages or the use of accrued time off. For severe traumatic brain injuries, many must leave their jobs in order to give their time and attention to healing. Even after recovery, the unemployment rate for those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury is much higher than the national average, indicating that many TBI victims face obstacles when rejoining the workforce.
- Pain & Suffering: Both physically and emotionally, sustaining a TBI is taxing. While a dollar amount cannot make up for the loss of ability, undue stress, and emotional burden the injury may have caused, it will be able to help victims heal and receive reparations for their suffering.
- Cost of a Caretaker: For severe TBIs, many victims need a part- or full-time caretaker to help them as they go about their daily life. Because there is so much ability that can be lost due to a head injury, a caretaker is a costly but necessary expense for some victims—but if your injury was sustained due to someone else, you may be able to have this cost covered.
- Shortened Life Expectancy: Many sufferers of traumatic brain injuries are informed by their medical professionals that their life expectancy will be dramatically reduced as a result of their accident. If this is the case with your injury, you may be able to seek compensation for this.
- Increased Risk of Future Harm: Some brain injuries, like concussions, can make you more susceptible to other injuries in the future. If your doctor feels like your current injury may put your future at risk, your traumatic brain injury attorney can work with you to designate a dollar value so you will be fairly compensated.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
As defined by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a disruption in the brain’s function that has been caused by a penetrating head injury or a sudden, violent blow to the head. It is estimated that 1.7 million incidents of TBI occur each year in the U.S. and that upwards of 5.3 million people in the country live with a TBI-related disability. A traumatic brain injury can impact cognitive functioning such as thinking, memory, communication, and emotional response, as well as sensory details such as smell, sight, and taste. Traumatic brain injuries can be temporary and allow for a full recovery, but in more serious cases, normal brain functioning may never be restored. This can lead to a life of ongoing treatment, requiring victims to receive ongoing assistance with basic tasks.
What are some signs of Traumatic Brain Injury?
One of the reasons brain injuries can be so dangerous is that their symptoms can vary, even growing better or worse as time passes. That is why getting medical attention immediately after any accident or incident that may have resulted in a TBI is so vital to victims’ well-being. Although every experience with a head injury is different, some of the common symptoms include: Headaches and migraines Dizziness, balance issues, and frequent falls Confusion and concentration troubles Nausea and vomiting Vision problems Changes in emotional response Sensitivity to light and noise Even if you do not show these exact symptoms, if you experience a blow to the head and think it could have caused an injury, seeing a medical professional, and receiving any necessary treatment is recommended.
What is Mild TBI?
Mild traumatic brain injuries are typically defined by the absence of a loss of consciousness at the time of the injury. Concussions and contusions, though they can be severe, can also be considered mild TBIs depending on their severity and force. Despite the terminology, a mild TBI can still have serious consequences if proper treatment is not administered. In fact, around 15% of TBI victims continue to suffer from severely debilitating symptoms after sustaining a “mild” head injury.
What is Moderate to Severe TBI?
Generally, moderate and severe TBIs will result in a loss of consciousness at the time of the accident that lasts for some time and can even result in a comatose state. Moderate and severe TBIs can lead to prolonged, severe symptoms that are both physical and cognitive. Diffuse axonal, coup-contrecoup, and penetration injuries are all generally quite severe and can result in a lifetime of required treatment for victims to recuperate.
Can my head be injured if I did not lose consciousness at the time of the impact?
Though it is a common myth that a brain injury will automatically result in a loss of consciousness, this is not always the case. While losing consciousness can be an indicator of a TBI, it is not a requirement to have sustained one.
What type of accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries?
Many things can lead to a TBI, but some of the most common causes are falls, car accidents, and sporting accidents. Any situation that involves a blow to the head can potentially result in a TBI regardless of the cause.
What should I do if I suspect a TBI?
The first thing to do if you believe you have sustained a head injury is to seek medical attention right away. Afterward, get in touch with an Orange County traumatic brain injury lawyer to determine if you have a case for compensation.
Why should I file a head injury lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit is not only a way to receive compensation for your currently accrued medical bills, but you will also have the opportunity to be compensated for your future expenditures and ensure you are not under undue financial stress due to your accident.
How long do I have to bring my TBI case forward?
The California statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident, or one year from the discovery of the injury if it was not determined right away. Though it is best to start the process as early as possible, many traumatic brain injuries are not determined right away and are only discovered when late-onset symptoms arise.
Is a concussion a serious head injury?
Absolutely. While the commonality of concussions may make them seem like a non-issue, severe or repeated concussions can have extremely long-lasting effects on the victims. Even if you think your concussion is mild, seeking guidance from a medical professional is important to determine the extent of your injury so you can receive proper treatment.
When it comes to seeking compensation for your head injury, getting in contact with a qualified Costa Mesa traumatic brain injury attorney as quickly as possible is key. By contacting us for a free consultation, we will be able to determine if you have a case, how best to document and preserve your evidence, and help you fight for what you deserve to compensate you for your injuries. We can fully investigate the causation surrounding your injury to reconstruct your accident and determine who is at fault. We can also work with your medical team to determine your long-term treatment options and ensure you are getting compensated not only for past expenses but for future ones as well.
Unfortunately, when someone else’s negligence leads to a traumatic brain injury, their insurance company will often put up a strong fight in order to not adequately compensate victims. Many people, when attempting to handle a traumatic brain injury claim themselves, are shocked to find that the insurance will offer no money or a negligible sum as a resolution. Thankfully, when you have a qualified traumatic brain injury lawyer on your side, they will be able to stand up to the insurance companies and prevent them from taking advantage of you.
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Traumatic brain injuries often require extensive treatment and medical attention, so if you or a loved one has suffered from a TBI due to another party’s negligence, it is best to talk to a traumatic brain injury attorney as soon as you are able.
Some indicators that you may be eligible to file a case regarding a TBI include:
- If you have experienced a significant financial burden as a result of a traumatic brain injury
- If your daily life has been significantly impacted and/or you are unable to complete standard tasks for yourself
- If you are forced to miss work due to your injury and your earnings have been impacted
- If you were injured due to a car accident, a property owner’s negligence, or in another way that was a result of someone else’s actions
It is not uncommon for victims of traumatic brain injuries to have to spend thousands on diagnosis, treatment, and daily care following their accident. If you sustained a TBI as a result of another party, these are all expenses that you may be eligible to recoup through a traumatic brain injury lawsuit. By choosing an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer to represent you in Costa Mesa, you will have someone on your side that is able to fight for your rights so you do not have undue suffering and expenses due to someone else’s negligence.
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