Although any serious injury can greatly impact a person’s life, brain injuries tend to have the most devastating effects. Even a relatively mild brain injury can result in significant physical and cognitive impairments and will likely lead to considerable financial consequences.
If you or your loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of another person or party, we at Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard can help. Our Los Angeles brain injury lawyers have extensive experience representing victims of serious personal injuries. We know how to protect your best interests against those of the insurance company and are ready to aggressively seek the maximum compensation you are owed.
When you have been injured, you don't just need an attorney. You need an advocate.
Types of Brain Injuries
There are two main types of brain injuries: acquired brain injuries (ABIs) and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Acquired brain injuries include any brain injuries sustained after a person is born, whereas traumatic brain injuries specifically refer to brain injuries resulting from accidents and other catastrophic events. Technically, TBIs are a type of acquired brain injury.
Traumatic brain injuries are further broken down into two categories:
- Closed-Head Injuries: A closed-head brain injury is any injury to the brain that does not involve physical damage to the head or skull.
- Open-Head Injuries: Open-head brain injuries are brain injuries that also involve physical damage or wounds to the head or skull.
Both closed-head and open-head injuries can be incredibly serious but closed-head TBIs are often more difficult to detect. Because of this, they are sometimes considered even more dangerous than open-head TBIs.
Examples of Common Brain Injuries
Some examples of common closed-head and open-head traumatic brain injuries include:
- Concussions: Concussions are some of the most common brain injuries. They are considered a “mild” brain injury, but it is possible to sustain a moderate or severe concussion. Such injuries generally constitute medical emergencies, and victims should always seek immediate medical attention. Concussions are characterized by a sudden blow to the head or forceful impact, resulting in mild to moderate brain damage.
- Contusions: A brain contusion, or bruise, is typically a mild or moderate injury. Most often, these injuries heal on their own, but they may occasionally require surgical removal. Depending on the location and size of the bruise, this may be a fairly serious injury. Brain contusions most often accompany other TBIs and head/neck injuries, such as concussions, coup-contrecoup, or whiplash.
- Coup-Contrecoup: A coup-contrecoup brain injury is a serious TBI in which a sudden impact or blow to the head causes the brain to move within the skull. With enough force, the brain will impact the inside of the skull on the opposite side of the original impact, resulting in two points of injury. Coup-contrecoup brain injuries are commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents or other incidents that cause a sudden and rapid back-and-forth motion of the head and/or neck (whiplash).
- Diffuse Axonal Injuries: A diffuse axonal brain injury (DAI) is a type of brain injury in which the microscopic connective fibers in the brain tear. Because these fibers are responsible for sending signals throughout the brain, this tearing (also known as “shearing”) can have catastrophic effects. DAI victims often sustain significant brain damage, leading to permanent cognitive impairment and/or death.
- Penetrating Brain Injuries: As the name suggests, a penetrating brain injury is one in which a foreign object penetrates the head/skull and enters the brain. Such injuries are generally always considered medical emergencies, as they can lead to severe brain damage, hemorrhaging, coma, and death. Penetrating brain injuries are commonly associated with severe accidents and acts of violence, such as assault or gunshot wounds.
- Skull Fractures: A skull fracture is technically considered a bone fracture injury, but it can lead to significant brain damage. Serious fractures may cause considerable bleeding, contusions, and other forms of damage. If skull fragments break off, they can cause penetrating brain injuries, which may result in permanent cognitive impairment. In very serious cases, skull fractures may lead to coma and/or death.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Brain Injuries?
In the United States, the most common causes of brain injuries include:
- Car, motorcycle, and other vehicle accidents
- Falls, including slip and falls
- Sports-related accidents
- Recreational accidents
How A Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help You
Having a reputable brain injury lawyer by your side is important for ensuring that you have all of the legal support and guidance that you need during this difficult time. Gathering evidence for a brain injury case can be extremely complex. An experienced lawyer will have worked with numerous people who have also suffered from a brain injury incident and will be able to gather all of the evidence necessary to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your case.
A brain injury lawyer will:
- Provide you with legal support: One of the most important aspects of hiring a lawyer is that he or she will be able to provide you with the legal support and guidance that you need during this time.
- Guide you: An experienced lawyer will be able to answer any questions that you have regarding the legal matters of your case. He or she will ensure that you receive legal advice that will benefit you.
- Gather evidence: Gathering evidence to support your brain injury case can be tricky and difficult. Your lawyer will have worked with numerous individuals facing a similar struggle and will know exactly what to do to obtain all of the evidence necessary for your case. Evidence can include witness reports, videos, photographs, and more.
- Effectively represent you: Having an experienced attorney by your side to guide you and represent you is critical for ensuring the best possible outcome for your case. Your lawyer is really your best and most credible advocate.
- Maximize compensation: Hiring a reputable lawyer is important for making sure that you receive the best outcome regarding your monetary compensation.
Contact us to receive a free consultation, and to learn more about how our brain injury attorneys in Los Angeles can help you.
Types of Brain Injury Compensation In Los Angeles
Compensation for brain injuries takes a number of things into consideration. Below we list and discuss six of the major forms of compensation that you may be eligible to receive, depending on your specific case. Your lawyer will be able to help navigate you through the legalities related to your case and answer any questions that you may have related to potential compensation.
You can receive compensation for your brain injury related to:
- Medical Expenses: Medical costs may include current and future expenses, such as costs for physical therapy, medical prescriptions, surgery, rehabilitation, disability, or ongoing medical treatment.
- Lost Wages: Lost wages for any time that you had to miss work as a result of your brain injury may be covered through legal compensation.
- Lost Earning Capacity: If your brain injury has affected your future potential to receive wages or earnings, you may be eligible to receive compensation to help support you.
- Emotional or Physical Pain and Suffering: A brain injury can be a traumatic experience, no matter the severity of it. If your injury has caused you long-term impairment, it is important to consult a lawyer that will help you receive the monetary compensation that you are eligible for.
- Property Damages: You may be able to also receive compensation for any property damages associated with the brain injury.
- Hedonic Damages: Hedonic damages have to do with damages to your way of life. If your brain injury has affected your way of life, it is critical to consult a lawyer to help you. Hedonic damages may include paralysis or depression.
Filing a Brain Injury Claim in Los Angeles
If you believe that someone else—whether another person, a property owner, a business, or some other entity—was at fault for the accident that caused your or your loved one’s TBI, you could be entitled to compensation. California law allows victims of negligence and wrongdoing to seek financial recovery under the state’s personal injury laws.
To have a successful brain injury claim case, you will need to prove the following:
- That someone else violated an expressed or implied duty of care owed to you, either through negligence or intentional misconduct
- That this resulted in your or your loved one’s injuries.
- That you suffered measurable damages, such as medical expenses, lost income, or pain and suffering.
At Ayala, Morgan & Buzzard, our Los Angeles brain injury attorneys can assist you with every aspect of your claim. We are prepared to handle the legal details and communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. Our team has access to valuable resources, including expert witnesses and accident reconstructionists, who can help us build a powerful, evidence-based case. We know how insurance companies operate, and we know how to make them responsible for the harm you have endured.
We encourage you to reach out to our team right away, as you typically only have two years from the date of injury to file a brain injury lawsuit in California. If the statute of limitations passes, you will likely lose your right to recover compensation.