A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a brain injury that’s caused an impact to the head. All head injuries do not cause TBIs, but all TBIs are caused by head injuries. Some of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries include car accidents, falls, blows to the head, sports injuries, and physical violence.
Traumatic brain injuries can range in severity. A mild traumatic brain injury, also known as a concussion, may cause symptoms such as confusion, memory issues, headaches, and nausea. A single mild TBI may be temporary, but multiple TBIs may lead to long term effects. A more moderate traumatic brain injury may cause more severe symptom presentation and may be temporary or cause permanent issues. Around 15% of people who experience a moderate TBI have persistent symptoms a year after their injury. Severe traumatic brain injuries can cause life changing and debilitating symptoms. A severe TBI causes cognitive, perceptual, physical, behavioral, and emotional symptoms that can be catastrophic.
It’s important to call attention to the fact that anyone who has a head injury or suspected brain injury needs immediate medical attention, no matter how mild the injury may seem. Even a brain injury that appears mild can be extremely dangerous without proper diagnosis and treatment. It’s always important to receive medical attention if you’re showing signs of a brain injury. If you’ve sustained head trauma, it’s best to seek medical care as soon as possible.
A brain injury can cause numerous symptoms, since the brain is responsible for controlling and regulating thousands of bodily processes. Brain damage symptoms are typically divided into four major categories: cognitive symptoms, perceptual symptoms, physical symptoms, and behavioral or emotional symptoms.
In California, a brain injury victim may be entitled to file a personal injury claim if their injury was caused by the actions of another person or entity. To recover damages through a personal injury claim, the claimant must prove that another party is legally liable for the losses caused by their injuries. How liability is proven will depend on the specific case, since, in the State of California, the circumstances that caused an injury affect the legal doctrine that applies to the case. Generally, liability in this type of case will fall under either comparative negligence or strict liability.
Liability in most personal injury cases in California, including brain injury cases, is determined based on negligence. Legally, negligence is defined as the failure to use reasonable care to prevent harm to oneself or others. Essentially, California law states that when a person or entity commits a negligent act and it causes an injury, they can be held responsible for the losses caused by the injury.
California is what’s known as a comparative negligence state. In essence, this means that negligence can be determined in percentages, so more than one party could be found negligent (and therefore liable) in an injury case. Negligence can be committed by a person, a company, a government agency, a group, or any combination of these types of individuals and entities.
To prove negligence in a California personal injury case, you need to prove three things:
Since California is a comparative negligence state, you also want to prove how much each party’s negligence contributed to the accident. This is especially important in cases where an injury victim may have been partially, but not entirely at fault for their injury. In California, a person who is partially at fault for an accident may still recover damages-- these damages will just be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if an injury victim is 10% at fault for an accident, they may have a $1,000,000 settlement reduced to $900,000. Retaining a personal injury attorney is particularly critical in cases where a victim is partially at fault for their injuries, since a personal injury lawyer will be able to advocate on the victim’s behalf and make sure that they are only assigned a percentage of fault that is correct and fair.
If a brain injury is caused by a faulty or defective product, strict liability laws would apply to the injury case. California has extremely strict product liability laws. If a defective product causes a brain injury, companies that were involved in the making or distribution of the product can be held strictly liable for the injuries caused by the product. This includes the product manufacturer, the product designer, and the seller of the product.
There is no need to prove negligence in a product liability case. The fact that the product is defective is reason enough for liability in the state of California. However, you do still need to provide proof of the following:
People who have suffered a brain injury due to the actions of another party may be entitled to recover compensation for their losses. Brain injuries can vary widely in scope and severity, so each individual brain injury victim’s losses may be different. Accordingly, a brain injury settlement amount may vary widely from person to person.
Depending on their unique situation, a brain injury victim may be entitled to compensation for:
Some damages, like past medical bills, are easy to calculate. Other damages, such as a loss of quality of life or emotional distress, can be harder to put a dollar amount on if you’re unfamiliar with typical brain injury settlement ranges. However, an expert personal injury attorney that has experience settling and prosecuting brain injury cases will have a strong understanding of the monetary compensation an individual may be entitled to for these types of intangible losses.