Orange County Brain Injury Attorney
Case Barnett Law has successfully represented numerous victims of traumatic brain injury in Orange County, California, and statewide. Our Costa Mesa personal injury attorney is passionate about helping those who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury.
Approximately 5.3 million Americans live with some form of brain injury. The symptoms of a brain injury can be subtle, yet brain injuries are catastrophic injuries that require immediate medical attention and often require ongoing support.
The recovery from a serious brain injury can be long, and it can be challenging. It is important to know what to expect and where you can get the help that you need to move forward if you or a loved one have been hurt.
See some of our brain injury settlements and verdicts here.
How Brain Injuries Commonly Occur
A catastrophic brain injury can occur any time there is enough force for a person’s brain to slam against the skull or any time something penetrates the skull and touches the brain. Some accidents that can result in brain injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents: Accidents involving cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles can result in catastrophic injuries. A person may suffer a brain injury because the force of an impact causes the brain to crash against the skull, or a person may suffer a brain injury because an object hits or penetrates the skull.
- Fall accidents: Slip and falls and falls from heights are the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries. More than one-quarter of all brain injuries occur because of a fall.
- Sports accidents: Sports often result in head injuries because of falls or because a participant’s head is hit by an object. Any sport may result in an injury, including bicycling, football, hockey, wrestling, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, gymnastics, dancing, cheerleading, snow sports, water sports, horseback riding, and others.
- Assault: More than 10% of traumatic brain injuries occur because of violence. An assault can result in a direct blow to the head or it can cause the victim to fall and hurt his head.
Despite these common causes of brain injuries, not all brain injuries are the same.
Some of Our Recent Traumatic Brain Injury Results
Different Types of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can cause a temporary or permanent change in physical ability, cognitive ability, or behavior. The consequences of your brain injury depend, in part of on the nature of your brain injury. Different brain injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): Any time there is damage to brain tissue because of an external factor, a traumatic brain injury may occur. A traumatic brain injury may be a closed head injury where the skull is intact, or an open head injury where something penetrates the skull and the brain.
- Mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI): Many MTBIs are caused by contact sports such as when a football or soccer player gets a concussion. Repeated blows to the head can become more serious than a one-time MTBI.
- Concussion brain injuries: A concussion occurs when the brain is affected by an impact or by sudden movement. The blood vessels in the brain may stretch and the nerves may be hurt. While this is the most common type of brain injury, every concussion heals differently and at a different pace.
- Diffuse axonal brain injuries: Diffuse axonal injuries occur when the brain is shaken. This can be the result of intentional shaking, such as in Shaken Baby Syndrome, or because of the force of a motor vehicle accident, for example. This condition is marked by a tearing of brain tissue because the brain did not move as fast as the skull when the brain was shaken.
- Closed-head brain injuries (CHBI): This type of brain injury occurs when the head is impacted by an outside force such as a wall, airbag, or window in a car. Because the skull doesn't displace in this type of injury, the brain has nowhere to expand when it begins to swell. Many people don't know when they have this type of injury, but it can cause serious damage and may never recover completely.
- Contusion brain injuries: A contusion is a bruise or bleeding on the brain. It is often the result of direct impact.
- Coup-contrecoup brain injuries: A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when the force of the injury was so great that a contusion developed at the site of impact and also on the opposite side of the brain where the brain collided with the skull.
- Penetration brain injuries: This type of TBI occurs when an item such as a knife, bullet or other object pushes foreign objects like bone fragments into the brain.
Frequently Asked Brain Injury Questions
That is the average pay out for a head injury?
Brain injury case settlement amounts will depend on the severity of the injury and the lasting damage they cause to the client. The following are some recent brain injury verdicts and settlements obtained by Case Barnett Law:
4.3 Million Dollar Jury Verdict: Client fell on broken water meter in his front yard and suffered a brain injury
3.8 Million Dollar Jury Verdict: Client was volunteering at his church when he fell off a ladder.
1.3 Million Dollar Settlement: Construction/Tractor Accident
1.025 Million Dollar Settlement: Teenager fell through skylight at Orange County apartment complex
$250,000.00 Settlement- Concussion after car accident
$250,000.00 Jury Verdict- Client hit by debris from construction site and suffers monthly migraines
$250,000.00 Settlement- Head injury after car accident
$85,000.00- Child slips and hits head on ground while in P.E. class at school
It's important to note that, without knowing the details of you case, we can't advise you on the value of your case. A brain injury can range in severity from a minor concussion to a traumatic brain injury which results in memory loss, behavioral changes and cognitive impairments. Additionally, damages will vary depending on many factors such as lost wages, lost earning capacity, past and future medical treatment, pain and suffering, etc.
As in any personal injury case, liability is a major factor in determining the value of your brain injury case.
Does a traumatic brain injury qualify as a disability?
This is something that can't be answered without knowing the details of your case. The Social Security Administration has a five-step evaluation process to pre-approve a disability claim. Some symptoms of a brain injury can resolve over time, but more severe brain injuries may cause lasting symptoms that don't resolve and make it unable for the injured party to resume their job.
The Social Security Administration doesn't only look at the medical portion of your brain injury. They also have specific income requirements that must be met in order to receive disability. We recommend seeking the counsel of an experienced disability attorney.
Do you ever fully recover from a traumatic brain injury?
Some brain injuries produce symptoms that recover in a matter of days or weeks. More severe brain injuries, like a traumatic brain injury, don't follow the same timeline. After the initial injury, swelling and bleeding affect the function of the brain tissue. The most dramatic healing happens during the first 6 months after a brain injury. This is why we tell our clients never to take a rushed settlement offer. You may not know the extent of the damage if you, or a loved one, is still in the early stages of brain injury recovery. When healing slows down, the injured party may still experience healing that continues for years after the injury. This process is different for each person.
Treatment and Symptoms of a Head Injury
The treatment of these injuries may require medical intervention, such as craniotomies. A craniotomy is the surgical removal of the skull in order for the medical team to access the brain. Ongoing rehabilitation therapies—including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy—may also be necessary.
The specific treatment that you need depends on how the brain was hurt and the part of the brain that was hurt. Some of the difficulties that you may experience that require immediate or ongoing medical attention include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Short-term amnesia (less than 24 hours)
- Memory loss
- Speech impairments
- Balance problems or physical disabilities
- Difficulty concentrating
- Cognitive problems
- Emotional problems
- Altered mental state at the time of the accident (confusion or feeling disoriented)
In some cases, a traumatic brain injury can result in death.
See all of our brain injury settlements and verdicts here.
What About Brain Injuries in Children?
All children—like all adults—are at risk of suffering brain injuries. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, more than half a million children visit emergency rooms in the United States each year because of traumatic brain injuries.
Often, these injuries are caused by:
- Child abuse and shaking (Shaken Baby Syndrome)
- Car accidents
- Brain injuries after a fall off of playground or park equipment
- Head injuries acquired while playing group sports
- Brain injuries after a bullying incident at school
It may be difficult to know if your child has suffered a brain injury. However, if your child experiences any changes in physical or cognitive ability, then you should seek emergency medical attention for your child. You should also seek emergency medical care if your child is crying excessively or experiences changes in sleeping or eating routines.
Brain injuries can be particularly catastrophic when they occur in children. Their brains are still developing, and the result of the injury can remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Brain Injury Recovery
You or your child may not be the same person that you were prior to a brain accident. You may be unable to work or go to school, you may need extensive medical treatment, and you may be mourning the life that you had prior to your injury.
A lawsuit can help you recover from the specific injuries that you have suffered. You may be able to recover compensation for all of your past, current, and future:
- Medical expenses. This includes everything from the emergency care that you needed immediately after the accident to the ongoing physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy that you may need indefinitely.
- Lost income. Any income from self-employment, wages, or benefits that you were able to earn prior to the accident and that you can no longer earn may be included in your recovery.
- Pain and suffering. Your physical pain and your emotional suffering may be the most significant damages that you suffer from your brain injury. While no amount of money can make the pain and suffering end, it is available to compensate you for these catastrophic damages.
You may also recover damages for any miscellaneous damages that you can prove were the direct result of your brain injury.
How to Get the Recovery That You Deserve After a Head Injury
Even though you have suffered a catastrophic injury due to someone else’s negligent or intentional actions, your recovery is not automatic. You will need to take specific steps in order to make a legal recovery, but you don’t have to do it alone.
We want to hear exactly what happened to you, we want to understand precisely how your brain injury is impacting your life, and we want to get to know you personally. With this information, our legal team can work for your unique recovery.
This is your recovery, and we will work hard to make sure that it is a fair one for you. We will gather the evidence and prepare the arguments to convince the insurance company to settle your claim. However, if the insurance company is unwilling to settle your claim for a fair amount, then we will not hesitate to go to trial. Throughout this whole process, our team will keep you informed at every step of the way.
Speak With a Costa Mesa Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Today
At Case Barnett Law, we know that finding the right personal injury lawyer for your lawsuit against the government can be crucial to your success. Luckily, we bring all the essentials to the table: experience, communication skills, a proven track record, and, most importantly, a commitment to our clients’ well-being.
You can find out whether you have a valid case at no cost to you. That’s because we offer free consultations. To request a free consultation with our team, reach out by calling 949-409-0055 or filling out the online contact form below. We have been proudly servicing clients throughout Costa Mesa, California and the surrounding areas.