As the control center of your body’s central nervous system, you must carefully protect and shield your brain from injury. Even when riding a bicycle, scooter or motorcycle carefully, you should wear a helmet to protect your head, to reduce your risk of brain injury if involved in an accident. Brain injuries are among the most devastating and costly of all injuries, often creating lifelong challenges for injured individuals and their families.
If you or your child has suffered a brain injury as a result of another party’s negligence, California permits you to seek damages in civil court.
You need an experienced San Jose brain injury lawyer who understands how to navigate the complexities of brain injury cases and can guide you through the process while advocating for you every step of the way. Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Golden State Lawyers at (408) 279-4222 for a free consultation, to discuss the details of your case, and to determine the best course of action given your circumstances.
Golden State Lawyers Results in Brain Injury Cases
The award-winning legal team at Golden State Lawyers has been helping injured victims seek justice and compensation for their injuries for over two decades. Our attorneys’ extensive experience in negotiating, settling, and litigating personal injury cases has resulted in millions of dollars in damages for our clients.
Recent settlements and judgments from brain injury cases include:
- A $2,000,000 award for a client who suffered a brain injury as a result of a defective automobile
- $6,000,000 for a client who suffered a brain injury in a car accident
- More than $8,000,000 for a pedestrian who suffered a brain injury from a careless motorist
- Almost $12,000,000 for a client who suffered a permanent brain injury when assaulted
- $45,000,000 for a driver who suffered a brain injury in a truck crash
- $80,000,000 for a family whose child suffered brain and spinal injuries as a result of a defective booster seat.
These are only examples and do not guarantee an outcome for your case, but the skilled San Jose brain injury lawyers at Golden State Lawyers will thoroughly evaluate the circumstances of your case and aggressively pursue full compensation.
Brain Injuries Differ Based on the Type and Amount of Force
The medical community separates brain injuries into two broad categories: (1) traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and (2) acquired brain injuries (ABI), sometimes referred to as non-traumatic brain injuries. Below you will find examples and common causes of each.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a TBI as “a disruption to the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” The CDC estimates that over 2.5 million people head to the emergency room each year to be treated for a traumatic brain injury, including almost 290,000 who have to be hospitalized, and over 56,000 who die. Adults and children might suffer a traumatic brain injury in multiple situations, such as:
- Car and truck accidents
- Motorcycle, bicycle, and scooter accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall, or trip and fall, accidents
- Defective products
- Playing full-contact sports
Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI)
In contrast to a TBI caused by external forces, an ABI occurs from internal factors after birth. The Brain Injury Association of America defines an ABI as “an injury to the brain, which is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma.” Adults and children might suffer an ABI during the following events:
- A stroke
- Nearly drowning
- An aneurysm
- Pressure from tumors
- Infectious diseases, such as meningitis, encephalitis, Lyme disease, and tuberculosis
- Lack of oxygen to the brain from a heart attack, exposure to toxic gases, a blood clot, or another event
Recovering Damages After a Brain Injury in San Jose
Some brain injuries heal quickly on their own, especially mild concussions, but many others require extensive treatment that can last for an injured individual’s entire life. Even for medical experts diagnosing and treatment for brain injuries can be complicated and confusing, so it is critical to seek examination with highly qualified specialists. You deserve full and fair compensation if you have suffered a brain injury due to the actions (or inactions) of another party. If your attorney negotiates a settlement or a court rules in your favor, you may receive compensation for the following damages related to your brain injury:
- Medical costs, including ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, radiology, surgery, and medication
- Future medical expenses when a brain injury causes a permanent disability, permanent vegetative state (PVS), a coma, or any other condition requiring extensive recovery or indefinite treatment and care
- Rehabilitation costs for specialists who help brain injury victims recover their function, e.g. occupational therapy, speech therapy, and/or physical therapy
- Lost wages for missing work due to a brain injury, treatment, and recovery
- Lost earning capacity when a brain injury prohibits a victim from returning to gainful employment
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse
If your child or spouse has died as a result of a brain injury, you should seek compensation through a survival action or wrongful death suit. Your eligibility hinges on your relationship with the deceased, and your San Jose brain injury lawyer can advise you on the best course of action for your family.
San Jose Brain Injury FAQs
If you or a family member have suffered a brain injury as a result of a car crash, slip and fall, workplace accident, or other kind of accident, you may feel overwhelmed. You may be wondering: How did this happen? What do I do now? Below are answers to some commonly asked questions.
What is a brain injury?
A brain injury is any trauma to the brain, movement of the brain, or deprivation of oxygen that results in tissue damage. There are two major types of brain injury: non-traumatic and traumatic.
- Non-traumatic brain injury, which results from a prolonged lack of blood or oxygen to the brain. Causes include stroke, infection, tumors, or an obstructed airway.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results from actual, physical damage to the brain itself.
What are some of the causes of TBI in San Jose?
A traumatic brain injury can be caused by:
- A fall (as result of a slippery or icy surface, or from tripping over an obstacle)
- Being hit by a falling object or projectile
- Sports-related injury
- Impact or blow to the head caused by a car, truck, motorcycle or bicycle accident
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), auto accidents are the leading cause of TBI for ages 15 to 44, while slip and falls are the leading cause of TBI for other age groups.
How does a San Jose car accident cause a TBI?
During a head-on accident, the occupants of the vehicles involved are thrown forward. This is because while the vehicle comes to an abrupt stop, the momentum of the human bodies inside continue in the direction of travel. These same physical forces are also at work within the body and within the skull. The brain moves forward until it impacts the front of the skull. Note that in a rear-end accident, an occupant is thrown backwards initially when struck from behind. This is commonly why people can suffer brain damage in a crash.
Are there different types of TBI?
Brain injuries vary in severity, but they all have one thing in common, which is lingering effects that may last for weeks, months, or years after the accident.
- Concussion: A concussion is caused by the rapid movement of the brain within the skull, most often as a result of an impact or a blow to the head. This movement may result in chemical and structural changes within the brain. There are different grades of concussions, ranging from those that involve no loss of consciousness to those where there is a prolonged period of unconsciousness. If not treated immediately, any concussion can result in lasting damage, including post-concussion syndrome and a potentially deadly condition known as second impact syndrome.
- Contusion: A contusion involves actual bruising and/or tissue damage to the brain. During a car accident, a contusion can result when the brain impacts the interior of the skull. This can cause internal bleeding. Because the brain is completely enclosed within the skull, bleeding can cause pressure to build leading to serious damage.
- Diffuse axonal injury: Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) occurs when connective neurological structures within the brain tear, as the brain moves rapidly within the skull during a collision. DAI is an extremely serious injury that can lead to a coma and persistent vegetative state.
- Coup-Contrecoup: Similar to DAI, this injury is caused by the movement of the brain within the skull during impact. Coup-contrecoup involves two brain injuries: one when the brain impacts the front of the skull (such as in a head-on collision) and another when the brain moves back and impacts the rear of the skull.
What are some symptoms of a brain injury?
According to the Mayo Clinic, common symptoms of a brain injury may include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Fatigue, sleepiness
- Sleeping too much
- Speech problems
- Vision problems including sensitivity to light
- Memory loss
- Mood changes
Signs of a severe brain injury include those above, as well as:
- Pupil dilation
- Clear fluid from nose or ears
- Inability to wake up
- Numbness in extremities
- Combativeness and unusual behavior
Symptoms of brain injuries in children can be tougher to spot, in part because a child can’t always express what is wrong in the same way that an adult can. Symptoms may include changes in eating or nursing habits, lack of interest in toys/playtime, personality and behavioral changes, as well as any of the symptoms noted for adults.
If you or someone you know is experiencing or has experienced any of the symptoms listed above, or any other unusual behavior following a head injury, proceed immediately to the emergency room for medical treatment.
How is a brain injury diagnosed?
To determine the extent of a patient’s brain injury, a doctor may conduct neurological tests, including tests of the reflexes, cognitive abilities, and motor function. An MRI, CT scan or other advanced imaging may be performed to rule out bleeding within the brain or other serious conditions.
How are brain injuries treated?
Mild TBI may require giving the brain time to “rest.” This can mean a period of no work, no movement, no “screen time,” and nothing that stimulates the brain in any way.
More severe TBI may require surgery as well as some or all of the following:
- Cognitive therapy
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Rehabilitation/relearning of everyday tasks
The effects of brain injury may improve over time, or they may persist for years, affecting every aspect of the injured person’s life, including work, relationships, family, and the ability to enjoy the activities that they once took part in.
How can someone who has suffered a brain injury in San Jose get the compensation they deserve?
The types of monetary damages that are available to victims of brain injury are similar to those available for other injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. But a brain injury can affect the victim in a way that other accident injuries (like a broken bone or muscle damage) cannot. As a result, the amount of damages, including those for pain and suffering and future medical bills, can be far more significant with a brain injury.
The typical source of recovery for a person who has suffered a brain injury as a result of an accident is the insurance company for the negligent driver or property owner. The insurance company will use all of its usual tactics to pay out as little as possible, and adjusters can argue that not all medical treatment was necessary, that the injured person could have returned to work sooner, and that the brain injury wasn’t serious enough to warrant significant pain and suffering damages.
If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact the experienced San Jose brain injury lawyers at Golden State Lawyers, APC. We know the law and we know how to use it to build a case that will make the insurance company pay you full value for your losses. There are limits on how long you can wait to bring a suit against the responsible party, so please call Golden State Lawyers, APC, today.
Contact a San Jose Brain Injury Attorney to Seek Compensation
If you or a beloved family member has suffered a brain injury, let the skilled brain injury attorneys at Golden State Lawyers, APC handle the details of your case while you focus on healing and recovery. We can guide you through the lawsuit process, investigate the circumstances that caused your brain injury, and build a strong case against the defense. If you live in San Jose or the surrounding area, contact Golden State Lawyers online or at (408) 279-4222 for a free consultation and to learn how we can assist you in the aftermath of a brain injury.