Brain Injury Accident Attorneys in Sherman Oaks
Suffering injuries in a vehicular accident always presents health and financial challenges, but accidents resulting in any form of brain injury can be catastrophic and life-altering. If you, a loved one or anyone you know has suffered brain damage as a result of an auto accident, it is imperative to seek the representation of an experienced Los Angeles brain injury accident attorney who has a proven track record in obtaining large settlements and jury trial verdicts on behalf of accident victims who have suffered brain injuries.to get the compensation you need. Contact the Drexler Law Firm today.
What is a Brain Injury?
Brain injuries can occur from direct trauma to the head, when the head comes in contact with a hard surface such as a dashboard or steering wheel, or when the head is suddenly jerked back and forth when a vehicle is struck with sufficient force. Brain injuries can result from internal bleeding within the brain (subdural hematomas), increased pressure on the brain (hydrocephalus), or decreased oxygen to the brain (hypoxia or anoxia). Brain cells, unlike most other body tissues, cannot regenerate and cannot be replaced. Once brain cells are damaged or connections severed, many bodily functions or intellectual functions can be lost forever. Severe brain injuries can, therefore, render a person permanently disabled or leave them with cognitive dysfunction and personality changes.
There are various types of brain injuries. An “open brain injury” occurs when a person’s head strikes an object with such force that the skull (cranium) is fractured and the brain tissue is penetrated and damaged. A “closed brain injury” happens when a forceful impact does not fracture the skull but still causes internal damage, bleeding, or lesions within the brain.
Concussions injuries resulting from an impact, sudden blow or shaking and jarring of the head. Concussions can be mild or severe. They can cause headaches, blurred vision, brain bleeding, and loss of consciousness.
- Brain Bleeding
When there is sufficient force to the head, internal bleeding can occur which results in subdural hematomas or brain lesions. Depending on what portion of the brain is affected, this can cause memory loss, loss of speech or vision, or physical disabilities.
If trauma to the brain results in brain swelling and the accumulation of serous fluid within the cranium, this may require immediate surgery and craniotomy to relieve the pressure on the brain.
- Anoxic/Hypoxic Injury
When trauma causes a decrease of oxygen going to the brain, such as when airways and normal breathing are obstructed, brain cells begin to die after only a few minutes without enough oxygen. Irreversible brain damage from hypoxia can result in paralysis and decreased mental capacity.
- T.B.I./Traumatic Brain Injury
Any traumatic injury to the brain can have severe and permanent consequences and result in life long physical and mental impairment. Immediate testing (CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans) are utilized by E.R. physicians and neurologists to diagnose the nature and extent of brain damage when an injured victim of a car accident presents with symptoms indicating they may have suffered a brain injury.
- PTSD/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
If a person suffers a concussion following an accident or is suspected of having suffered a brain injury, and subsequent testing rules out the presence of a brain bleed, lesion or diffuse changes within the brain, that individual may still experience major depressive disorder, severe emotional distress, anxiety, and mental anguish. Psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals are trained to evaluate and diagnose PTSD. If a person meets the criteria for this diagnosis, psychological therapy and medications are utilized to treat this condition.
What are Typical Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Injury?
The symptoms of a brain injury will vary from person to person. A professional medical assessment is necessary to identify and diagnose a brain injury. The following are signs that a person may have a brain injury.
- Loss of Consciousness
- Bleeding, Contusions, Lacerations to the Head
- Blurred Vision
- Memory Loss, Confusion
- Balance or Instability
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Anxiety, Depression, Irritability
- Ruminating Thoughts (PTSD symptoms)
What are Common Accidents Causing Brain Injuries?
Any car accident can result in a brain injury. Here are some common accidents that can result in brain injuries.
- Head-on Collisions
These types of crashes create such a magnitude of force and flying debris that severe head injuries often result.
- Rear-End Collisions
The sudden jerking of the head, back and forth, that is common in rear-end collision often causes whiplash or causes contact between the head and the hard surface of the steering wheel or dashboard.
When the force of an impact causes a car to flip on its side or completely roll over, serious head injuries may occur, especially if the car roof collapses.
- Multiple Vehicle Collisions
Impact from multiple vehicles or fixed objects like light poles or concrete structures increases the risk of persons suffering brain injuries.
What is the Duration of a Brain Injury?
Mild brain injuries, such as a concussion without internal brain bleeding or lesion, can resolve within minutes, hours, or days. The effects of more severe brain injuries may last for many months, years, or a lifetime. Unfortunately, there is no cure for destroyed brain cells and portions of the brain that control bodily functions, the senses, and mental processing.
Long term effects of brain damage can result in paralysis, hemiplegia, spasticity, apraxia, aphasia, cognitive impairment, memory loss, visual difficulties, seizures, chronic fatigue and PTSD symptoms including extreme emotional distress, anxiety, mood disorder, and depression. Individuals with physical and mental limitations resulting from brain damage may never be able to be engaged in basic daily activities we take for granted, like working, driving, dressing oneself, and personal hygiene needs. Obviously, personal relationships are necessarily affected by such profound physical and mental dysfunction.
What are the Common Treatments for Brain Injuries?
While there is no cure for damaged cells and tissues in the brain, It is important to have evaluation and testing by physicians, typically neurologists, to diagnose the nature and extent of the brain damage and to effectuate the best course of treatment. Pinpointing the area of the brain affected can help determine the future needs and required support for the injured victim.
- Consultation with Medical Experts
Brain injuries are complex. To receive the best treatment possible, it is vital to consult with specialists in neurology, neuroradiology, neuropsychology, physiatry, psychiatry, physical therapy, and rehabilitative medicine. These medical professionals are often needed to document the nature and extent of the brain injury, prove the causation and mechanics of how the injury was caused by the impact, evaluate the necessary treatment and the costs of future treatment and develop a life care plan for future care and support of the brain-damaged victim in order to evaluate the amount of a fair settlement.
- Demonstrative Medical Evidence
The effects of a brain injury are not always obvious when simply looking at an individual. Referred to as “demonstrative evidence,” is the objective proof of the nature and extent of the brain injuries. Computer simulations, MRI’s CT scans, PET scans, and other types of medical tests can provide objective evidence of the brain damage. Personal injury trial attorneys utilize a Day in the Life Video presentation to demonstrate to a judge and jury the impact on the daily life and routine functions of the brain-damaged victim of a car accident.
- Treatment Modalities
Severely brain-damaged persons can benefit from a whole range of therapeutic treatments including physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, biofeedback exercises, psychological counseling, and family support groups. Consultation with specialized medical professionals will help direct the brain-damaged patient to the optimum treatment. Institutionalization may be the last resort.
What Type of Compensation is Available?
If you have experienced a brain injury in a car accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to different types of compensation.
- Medical Costs
Hospitalizations, doctor visits, testing, surgeries, physical therapy, physiatry, medications, and psychological counseling are extremely expensive. Initially, you can pay through your medical insurance or through a medical lien arranged through an attorney. Reimbursement for medical expenses incurred for treatment for injuries sustained in a car crash is part of the compensation recoverable as part of an accident claim.
- Lost Wages
When an injured victim of a car accident is unable to work and loses earnings or sick time, this can result in serious financial difficulties. An important element of recoverable damages in an auto accident injury claim is compensation for lost wages. You may also be entitled to compensation for future lost income where the injuries will affect your ability to work in the future. If the injuries result in permanent disability, a claim for compensation may include payment for your entire work-life expectancy. Forensic accountants and economists are often utilized to calculate the full value of such claims.
- Pain and Suffering
Damages for pain and suffering are referred to as non-economic damages. They include recoverable monetary compensation for physical pain, mental or emotional distress, anxiety, fear, loss of enjoyment of regular activities, and diminished quality of life. The best way to document such losses is to journal and record, if possible on a daily basis, how your injuries have caused you to suffer physically, and emotionally and how they have negatively affected your life including all of the activities and enjoyment that you are not able to engage in due to the injuries.
- Loss of Consortium
These are recoverable damages available for the spouse of an injured victim who is temporarily or permanently deprived of the injured spouse’s services, physical and financial support, assistance with household chores, and intimate relations. This is the separate and derivative right to compensation for the injured victim’s spouse. Persons who are not legally married or have significant others or so-called “common law” spouses are not entitled to loss of consortium damages.
- Punitive Damages
These are exemplary damages that are only available in limited scenarios where the at-fault driver has been grossly negligent, reckless, acting intentionally, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An experienced Los Angeles back injury accident lawyer can assess your case and determine if you are eligible to seek punitive damages.
Should You Hire a Brain Injury Accident Attorney?
There is no such thing as a simple brain damage accident claim. These cases are complex. Assuring the best possible medical evaluation and treatment options is a daunting task. Lost wages, extensive medical care, and a disruption in daily life often occur after you or a loved one has suffered a serious brain injury as a result of a car crash. Without the assistance of an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney, it may be difficult to recover the full value of medical care, future medical care, lost wages, and the cost of custodial care, if necessary. Insurance companies aggressively fight paying fair compensation for these types of claims. You should never accept a settlement from the insurance company until you have consulted with a Los Angeles brain injury accident attorney with a proven record of representing brain-damaged injury victims and recovering large settlements and trial jury verdicts on their behalf. A skilled brain damage injury accident attorney at The Drexler Law Firm can provide you with a free consultation and walk you through all of the steps regarding the claims process, the process of obtaining medical evaluation and testing, and all of the steps necessary to secure fair compensation that you deserve and need to rebuild your life
How to Get Help
The best place to start is by contacting an attorney with experience successfully representing brain injury victims in accident cases. A skilled lawyer can answer your questions and guide you through the legal process. At The Drexler Law Firm, we have helped thousands of injured individuals receive fair compensation in accident injury claims. We have extensive experience in car accident litigation and have successfully recovered millions of dollars in settlements and jury trial verdicts on behalf of brain-damaged accident victims. If you need a Los Angeles brain injury accident attorney, contact The Drexler Law Firm today and schedule a free consultation.