This page provides basic information concerning the legal ramifications of a traumatic brain injury. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious brain injury in an accident, carefully review this page. We know that its scary having to contact an attorney. But hiring a brain injury lawyer in San Diego isn’t difficult. Sean Reis’ goal is to provide hope for seriously injured people and walk them through the process.
This page covers the following:
- Definition of a traumatic brain injury
- Symptoms and prognosis
- Difference between a brain injury and a concussion
- Legal liability for traumatic brain injuries
- Brain injury statistics
- What will a lawyer do for your case?
- How much does a brain injury attorney cost?
Definition of a Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury is brain dysfunction caused by an outside force, usually a serious blow to the head. Brain injuries don’t heal like more common injuries. No two brain injuries are exactly alike. The injuries of similar blows to the head may be very different from one person to the next. One person may heal completely, the other may be seriously disabled for the rest of his or her life. Symptoms may appear immediately for some victims, while symptoms for others may not emerge for months.
Some brain injuries result in a brain bleed or significant fluid build-up which needs to be released. Swelling can exacerbate the injury so it is imperative that you have a serious head injury that you seek medical attention immediately.
Symptoms and Disabilities
Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury vary. If your injury is mild you may experience dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, a bad taste in your mouth, fatigue, headache, and trouble with concentration, attention, memory, or thinking. If you have moderate or serious symptoms you may experience a headache that gets worse or does not go away, an inability to wake up, repeated nausea or vomiting, seizures, pupil dilation, slurred speech, loss of coordination, weakness in the extremities, and increased confusion or restlessness.
What is the prognosis? What kind of disabilities stem from traumatic brain injuries? Well, you need to speak with you doctor, but according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke:
Approximately half of severely head-injured patients will need surgery to remove or repair hematomas (ruptured blood vessels) or contusions (bruised brain tissue). … Some common disabilities include problems with cognition (thinking, memory, and reasoning), sensory processing (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell), communication (expression and understanding), and behavior or mental health (depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness). More serious head injuries may result in stupor, an unresponsive state, but one in which an individual can be aroused briefly by a strong stimulus, such as sharp pain; coma, a state in which an individual is totally unconscious, unresponsive, unaware, and unarousable; vegetative state, in which an individual is unconscious and unaware of his or her surroundings, but continues to have a sleep-wake cycle and periods of alertness; and a persistent vegetative state (PVS), in which an individual stays in a vegetative state for more than a month.
What is the Difference Between a Brain Injury and a Concussion?
A concussion is a mild type of traumatic brain injury. But that doesn’t mean they are not serious; just read what Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburg Penguins All Star, had to go through to get back on the ice after his concussion. A serious concussion can have devastating effects on your ability to earn a living, enjoy your family, or interact with friends.
Legal Liability for Brain Injuries
If you or a loved one is a victim of a traumatic brain injury, why should you even think about legal liability? The answer is very simple, if someone else is legally at fault for your injury their insurance provider should pay for your medical bills, lost wages, long term disability care, and any other damages that you have.
Traumatic brain injuries can occur in any type of accident. It doesn’t matter if your injury was caused by a traffic accident, premise accidents, or defective product, if someone else is at fault for your injury, you should contact a lawyer like Sean Reis to learn about your rights.
Brain Injury Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control, traumatic brain injuries are a serious problem:
- The leading cause of traumatic brain injuries are falls (40.5%). Slip and falls disproportionally affect the young and the old.
- Motor vehicle crashes were the third overall leading cause of brain injuries (14%).
- On average 138 people in the United States die a day from injuries related to a traumatic brain injury. Wrongful death is far more common than most people think.
- In 2010, about 2.5 million ER visits, hospitalizations, or deaths were associated with brain injuries.
- In 2009, over 240,000 children were treated in the USA for sports and recreation-related concussions or brain injuries.
- Assault and battery led to 10.7% of serious brain injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
What will a personal injury lawyer do for your case? Why do you need one? Here is a quick summary of the challenges you will face:
While basic injury cases are difficult, complicated brain injuries are extremely delicate legal situations. For example, you will have to get a traumatic brain injury expert to evaluate your condition, testify to common treatment plans for similarly injured people, and testify as to your specific injuries. These experts cost several thousand dollars each. You might need multiple experts to pursue your case. Your lawyer will know which experts to hire and how to limit the expenses.
You lawyer will pursue various types of damages. First and foremost are economic damages. Your economic damages take into account your health, age, income, occupation, lifestyle and other factors that are indicative of the type of life you would have lived if you hadn’t been injured. For example, if you are no longer able to work due to your injury, the economic losses may be enormous.
Second, your attorney will pursue general damages, also known as non-economic damages or emotional distress. Non-economic damages are difficult to calculate and can include any care the victim provided to others, training or assistance they were providing, or the loss of intimacy from a spouse. An experienced San Diego brain injury lawyer will be able to articulate your damages far better than you can to the judge and jury.
More importantly, hiring an experienced attorney will bring you an incredible amount of peace of mind. This gives you the time you need to heal from your injury.
How Much Does a Brain Injury Attorney Cost?
To simply call and consult with our lawyer is completely free. Beyond that, most lawyers who represent seriously injured people work on a contingency fee. This means the attorney gets paid a percentage of what he recovers for you. That means you don’t pay any money out of pocket for legal services. This is critically important in serious injury cases. Your lawyer may pay hundreds of thousands of dollars of firm money to properly pursue your case.