Head injuries are a serious matter. Anything that damages the brain and disrupts its normal functioning can devastate an injured victim’s entire life, from their career prospects to their relationships to their ability to care for themselves. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury for which someone else is to blame, you could be entitled to compensation for the wide-ranging harm they caused. But getting this compensation can be challenging while you focus on your health and well-being.
That’s where we at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP step in. Our law firm is built on a legacy of hard work, honesty, and dedication to our clients that goes back to 1939. We are deeply committed to pursuing the best results for injury victims, and our success in doing so has earned us accolades from our peers, clients, and the community at large.
We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and we want to help you by pursuing the compensation you deserve without any upfront costs. Contact The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP today for a free consultation with our traumatic brain injury lawyer in Bakersfield.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries in California
Anything that causes trauma to the head can result in a serious brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in the United States are:
Other common causes of these devastating injuries include the following:
- Workplace accidents
- Sports and recreation injuries
- Explosions and blasts
- Medical malpractice
If you or someone you care about has experienced a head or brain injury resulting from any of these causes, it is essential to seek legal assistance to comprehend your entitlements and the possibility of compensation.
Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can vary greatly depending on its severity and the specific part of the brain affected. It’s also important to note that symptoms might not appear immediately after the injury, sometimes showing up days or weeks later.
Some of the most common physical symptoms include the following:
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to minutes
- Persistent headache or headache that worsens
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, or a bad taste in the mouth
- Sensitivity to light or sound
In addition to these physical symptoms, TBIs often lead to the following cognitive or mental symptoms:
- Memory or concentration problems
- Mood changes or mood swings
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Difficulty in thinking clearly, remembering, learning, or concentrating
- Feeling confused, disoriented, or experiencing difficulty recognizing people or places
- Difficulty remembering what you were doing
- Difficulty retrieving words
Severe TBIs have especially serious symptoms, such as:
- Prolonged loss of consciousness or coma
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
- Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
- Loss of coordination
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Profound confusion
- Slurred speech
If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms after a head injury, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Once you have received medical care, contact The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP knowledgeable brain injury attorney in Bakersfield for help.
Long-Term Impacts of a Brain Injury
One of the most devastating aspects of a serious brain injury is that the damage is often permanent, which can lead to long-term impacts like the following:
- Physical Effects – Chronic pain, sleep disorders, loss of coordination, or even paralysis can result from a TBI. Some people may experience seizures, increased risk of infections, or other long-term health conditions.
- Cognitive Effects – Memory problems, difficulty concentrating or multi-tasking, and slower thinking or problem-solving skills can occur after a TBI. Some people might struggle with understanding or processing information.
- Emotional and Behavioral Changes – TBIs can cause changes in personality, increased impulsivity, irritability or mood swings. Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health disorders are common.
- Communication Challenges – Some TBI patients have difficulty speaking, writing, or understanding language, affecting their ability to express themselves or interpret communication from others.
- Social Impacts – The changes in behavior, emotional control, and cognitive abilities caused by a TBI can also affect a person’s interpersonal relationships. They might struggle with maintaining friendships, romantic relationships, or family connections.
- Career and Financial Impact – TBIs can significantly impact a person’s ability to perform their job or maintain employment, leading to financial hardship. Some might require occupational therapy to regain job skills or change professions, if they can work at all.
- Quality of Life – The combination of physical, cognitive, emotional, and social effects can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life, affecting their independence, self-esteem, and overall well-being.
- Increased Risk for Certain Conditions – Research suggests that individuals with TBIs may have an increased risk for specific neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other forms of dementia.
Diagnosis and Treatment for a Traumatic Brain Injury
Diagnosing milder brain injuries has become easier with tremendous advances in brain imaging techniques. There are a number of tests that can be performed that, unless a lawyer specializes in brain cases, he or she might not know about. Diagnosing your brain injury is a critical part of proving your case.
Treatment for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is highly individualized, depending on the nature and severity of the injury, the patient’s overall health, and the specific symptoms experienced. It typically involves a multidisciplinary approach involving several medical professionals. Here’s an overview:
- Immediate Emergency Care – After a TBI, the priority is stabilizing the patient’s condition. This can include ensuring an adequate oxygen supply to the brain and preventing further injury to the head or neck. Surgery may be necessary for severe TBIs to reduce swelling and pressure on the brain.
- Medication – Various medications can be used in the treatment of TBIs. These can include diuretics to reduce tissue fluid and increase urine output, anti-seizure drugs to avoid any potential seizures during the first week after a severe TBI, and coma-inducing drugs if the brain needs time to heal.
- Rehabilitation – Most people with significant TBIs will need rehabilitation. They may need to relearn basic skills, such as walking or talking. The goal is to improve abilities and regain as much normal function as possible. This can involve physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, psychiatry, and social support services.
- Long-Term Care and Support – Some people with severe TBIs may require ongoing care and support, including home care, assisted living, or residential care.
- Cognitive and Psychosocial Therapies – These are important for addressing memory, attention, problem-solving, anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues that can follow a TBI.
- Vocational Rehabilitation – This therapy involves retraining and job placement assistance to help those with TBIs return to work or school.
Compensation for a Traumatic Brain Injury
If you have been injured due to someone else’s carelessness, negligence, or intentional harm, that person may owe you compensation. The amount and types of compensation will vary depending on the specific circumstances but may include:
- Medical Expenses – This can cover past, current, and future medical costs related to your injury, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, counseling, and any necessary medical equipment or modifications to your home.
- Lost Wages and Diminished Earning Potential – If your injury has caused you to miss work or reduced your ability to work, you may be compensated for the income you’ve lost and will lose.
- Pain and Suffering – While subjective, the physical and mental pain and suffering you experience are real and deserve compensation.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life – You could also be owed money if a TBI decreases your ability to enjoy your relationships or hobbies.
Time Limits for Filing a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit in California
California’s statute of limitations on a personal injury claim gives you two years from the date you suffered a traumatic brain injury to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. If you do not file by this deadline, the court may dismiss your case as untimely, and you will lose your right to seek compensation in civil court. In some cases, the time frame may be as short as six months, depending on who is responsible for your injuries, so it is critical to consult with a brain injury lawyer as soon as you possibly can, even if the injured person is a family member or friend. Once your time to file a case runs, you will find it most likely impossible, to file a claim or a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Other practical concerns make timely filing a critical priority, like getting or preserving all the critical evidence, getting the proper medical care and making sure you do not talk to the insurance company representing the responsible party, so contact a Bakersfield traumatic brain injury lawyer immediately.
What a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Can Do
The long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury are often severe, which means the stakes are high. That’s why you need help from our experienced Bakersfield brain injury attorney. While you focus on your health, your lawyer can help by:
- Explaining your rights and your legal options
- Investigating the underlying incident to determine all liable parties
- Calculating all of the losses you suffered because of the injury to determine what fair compensation entails
- Negotiating with insurance companies for a settlement on your behalf
- Going to trial if the insurer won’t make a reasonable offer
- Supporting you throughout the legal process
It’s important to note that personal injury lawyers, such as our team at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP typically operate on a contingency basis. This means they won’t charge you any fees upfront for their services. Instead, they will only receive payment if they successfully secure your compensation. This approach ensures that your financial situation will allow you to seek the justice you deserve.