Los Angeles Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
A traumatic brain injury can occur in many different types of accidents, and it can range widely in terms of severity and recovery timelines. In many cases, even a single, seemingly minor concussion can have long-term effects. Whether you suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a motor vehicle collision, slip and fall accident, or recreational activity, you could be eligible to file a claim to seek compensation.
Our experienced Los Angeles brain injury lawyer aggressively represents and fights for clients who have suffered head injuries in the Greater Los Angeles area. If you have suffered head trauma due to someone else’s negligence, work with us to help you pursue compensation and hold negligent parties accountable. Fill out our online contact form or call us today at (213) 985-1120.
What is Considered a ‘Brain Injury’?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is an injury that affects how the brain works.” TBIs “may be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating injury (such as from a gunshot) to the head.” Traumatic brain injuries can be mild (i.e., concussions), moderate, or severe.
In 2019, the CDC reported that approximately 61,000 traumatic brain injury deaths occurred, which amounts to an average of 166 TBI-related deaths per day. According to Brainline.org, TBIs are contributing factors in approximately 30 percent of injury-related deaths in the U.S., while about 2.8 million people visit emergency departments every year to be treated for head trauma due to a TBI. In total, about 282,000 people are hospitalized every year with traumatic brain injuries.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries
Common causes of TBIs include but are not limited to:
- Motor vehicle accidents;
- Falls, including slips and falls;
- Recreational activities and sports;
- Being struck by an object; and
Older adults are at particularly high risk of serious and life-threatening brain injuries in falls, and TBI-related hospitalizations are highest among adults aged 75 and older.
Glasgow Coma Scale and Brain Injury Severity
The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is a standardized neurological assessment tool used to evaluate a person’s level of consciousness after a head injury or other neurological event. Developed by Graham Teasdale and Bryan J. Jennett in 1974, the GCS provides a systematic and objective way to assess and communicate the severity of impairment in patients with altered mental status.
The GCS assesses three main components of a person’s responsiveness:
- Eye Opening (E): Assigns a score from 1 to 4 based on the patient’s ability to open their eyes spontaneously (4), in response to verbal stimuli (3), in response to pain (2), or if the eyes do not open at all (1).
- Verbal Response (V): Rates verbal responses on a scale from 1 to 5, with scores ranging from oriented and conversational (5) to incomprehensible sounds (2) and no verbal response (1).
- Motor Response (M): Evaluates motor responses using a scale from 1 to 6, ranging from purposeful movement in response to commands (6) to no motor response (1).
Each of these three categories is assigned a score, and the total GCS score is obtained by summing these individual scores. The overall GCS score can range from 3 to 15, with 15 indicating normal neurological function and 3 representing the most severe impairment.
The GCS is commonly used in emergency and clinical settings, such as hospitals and trauma centers, to assess and communicate the severity of traumatic brain injuries. It helps medical professionals make quick and consistent assessments of patients’ neurological status, aiding in treatment decisions and communication among healthcare providers.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)
Patients with mild traumatic brain injuries typically score between 13 and 15 on the GCS. Despite the term “mild,” these injuries can lead to lingering symptoms and complications, emphasizing the importance of thorough evaluation and proper medical attention.
Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury
Scores ranging from 9 to 12 on the GCS indicate a moderate traumatic brain injury. Individuals with moderate TBIs often experience more pronounced neurological deficits, requiring comprehensive therapeutic interventions for recovery.
Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
A GCS score of 8 or less signifies a severe traumatic brain injury. These cases demand immediate and intensive medical management, as patients may be at risk of life-threatening complications.
Therapy and Recovery for Brain Injuries
Prompt medical intervention is crucial for individuals with traumatic brain injuries. Early stabilization, monitoring, and treatment can mitigate secondary damage and enhance the prospects of recovery.
Rehabilitation plays a pivotal role in the recovery process. Physical, occupational, and speech therapies are commonly employed to address specific impairments, improve functionality, and enhance overall quality of life.
Brain injuries often impact cognitive functions. Cognitive rehabilitation focuses on restoring cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, and problem-solving through targeted exercises and interventions.
Emotional and Psychological Support
Brain injuries can have profound emotional and psychological effects on individuals and their families. Counseling and psychological support are integral components of the rehabilitation process, addressing the mental health aspects of recovery.
Lasting Symptoms of Brain Injuries
Memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and impaired problem-solving skills are common cognitive symptoms associated with brain injuries.
Mood swings, irritability, and heightened emotional sensitivity may persist as lasting symptoms, requiring ongoing management and support.
Motor coordination issues, balance problems, and headaches are physical symptoms that can endure beyond the acute phase of a traumatic brain injury.
Changes in vision, hearing, or sensory perception may persist, necessitating targeted interventions to improve or manage these deficits.
Recognizing Brain Injury Symptoms
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
- Sensitivity to light or sound
Speech and Language Symptoms
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty finding words
- Impaired communication
Traumatic Brain Injury FAQs
What Damages Can I Seek In a Brain Injury Lawsuit?
- In a brain injury lawsuit, plaintiffs may seek various damages to compensate for the physical, emotional, and financial impact of the injury. The types of damages that can be pursued in a brain injury lawsuit include:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for past, current, and future medical costs related to the brain injury. This may cover hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, medication, therapy, and any other necessary medical treatments.
- Property Damage: If the brain injury occurred as a result of a motor vehicle accident, damages may be sought for property damage to the victim’s vehicle or other personal property.
- Assistive Devices and Accommodations: Compensation for any necessary assistive devices, home modifications, or accommodations required due to the brain injury, such as wheelchairs, home ramps, or adaptive technologies.
- Punitive Damages: In certain cases where the actions of the responsible party were particularly egregious or showed a willful disregard for safety, punitive damages may be sought. These damages are intended to punish the at-fault party and deter similar conduct in the future.
- Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the impact the injury has on the relationship between the injured person and their spouse or family. This can include the loss of companionship, support, and intimacy resulting from the injury.
- Lost Wages and Future Earnings: Damages to compensate for the income lost due to the brain injury, including wages from missed work and potential future earnings if the injury affects the individual’s ability to work or pursue their chosen profession.
- Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages are intended to compensate for the physical and emotional pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life caused by the brain injury. This can include both physical pain and the emotional toll of coping with the consequences of the injury.
- Emotional Distress: Damages for psychological harm, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other emotional distress resulting from the brain injury. This can encompass the mental and emotional toll the injury has on the individual and their loved ones.
How Long Do I Have to File a Brain Injury Lawsuit?
- When a person suffers a brain injury in an accident or an incident resulting from another party’s negligence, there is only a limited amount of time in which that injured person can file a lawsuit. Under the California personal injury statute of limitations, most brain injury lawsuits will need to be filed within two years from the date you suffered the TBI. Failure to file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the injury will typically result in a time-barred claim.
How Much Is My Brain Injury Case Worth?
- Calculating the value of a brain injury case can be a difficult feat when tackling it on your own. Working with our experienced Los Angeles injury attorneys can ensure you are compensated fully and fairly for your losses. Our firm can help you evaluate the costs of medical treatment, medicine, therapy, loss of wages, and other damages to ensure you receive a maximum settlement. To get an idea of the settlements we’ve won for our clients, you can visit our results page. Note that not all cases are the same and settlement values may vary.
Why Should I Retain El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers for My Case?
- Our firm has decades of combined legal experience navigating the legal system. We treat each and every client like family and help you every step of the way. We handle negotiations with the other insurance parties, and their lawyers, and if needed, we’re confident taking your case to trial to help you get the best possible outcome for your case.
Seek Advice from Our Los Angeles Brain Injury Lawyers
Sustaining a serious brain injury can be devastating, and our brain injury attorneys in Los Angeles know how critical it is to seek the financial compensation you need and to hold the responsible party accountable for the harm caused. If you or somebody you love suffered a concussion or another type of TBI, our firm can speak with you today about your options for filing a lawsuit.
Contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers today to discuss your case with one of our attorneys and to find out more about the services we provide to injury victims in Los Angeles, California. Call us now at (213) 985-1120.
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Top Reviewed Lawyer in Los Angeles by Results and Service
The team here is the most professional group of people I have ever worked with. They took care of me from day one and made sure that I was included and understood every step of the process. Gaby checked in regularly to make sure treatment was going well and to give me updates about my case. The team here really shows that they care for their clients and make sure that you are compensated for all your troubles.
Michel G., East Los Angeles, CA
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