The Four Major Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Los Angeles

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most devastating injuries a person can suffer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines TBI as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.”

While the brain is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid, which protects it from direct contact with the skull, a sudden, violent action can cause the brain to collide with the skull. This may result in the bruising of the brain, tearing of nerve fibers, and even bleeding. Because a person’s brain is a delicate thing and vulnerable to severe injuries, even the bumps which aren’t all that strong can lead to TBI.

Suffering from TBI has many long-term consequences, from minor ones like headaches and dizziness to more serious illnesses like impaired brain function and memory problems. Unfortunately, brain injuries are quite common. According to the CDC, TBI is the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults. Every year, about 1.5 million Americans sustain a TBI.

Different circumstances can lead to TBI. The most common ones are as follows:

  1. Slips and Falls

An icy sidewalk, the bathroom, a highly polished floor—slip-and-fall accidents can happen almost anywhere. These accidents happen suddenly, so a lot of people do not have the time to regain or find their balance and they end up hitting their head on a hard surface. The impact may result in all manner of head injury, like skull fracture, internal bleeding, or TBI.

  1. Vehicular Accidents

Vehicular accidents are the most common causes of TBI. Drivers and passengers may get TBI from striking their heads on the vehicle’s interiors or from suffering whiplash, which can cause the brain to collide with the skull.

  1. Playing Sports

Football and hockey are some of the most popular games in the U.S. However, they are also some of the most common causes of TBI. Despite protective gear, athletes knock their heads against each other or on the ground when playing these sports. The first few times may cause mild concussions, but continuous head injuries, especially when neglected, can result in severe damage down the road. Many athletes in these sports end up with a diagnosis of chronic brain trauma or suffer from degenerative diseases after they retire.

  1. Acts of Violence

Gunshot and knife wounds, repeated blows to the head, and being violently shaken by another person are acts of violence that may result in TBI. The first example is a type of open head injury that can penetrate the skull and injure the brain. The latter two, meanwhile, may cause the brain to rock back and forth within the skull, creating lacerations, bruises, and other damage.

Compensation for Traumatic Brain Injury

The symptoms of TBI do not often manifest physically. Some people even ignore the symptoms, such as dizziness and headaches, thinking they will pass. This makes TBI a tricky and dangerous illness, so it is essential to seek medical attention.

If you have been diagnosed with TBI from an incident that was due to someone else’s negligence, you can claim compensation for what will likely be a long and expensive medical treatment course. An experienced brain injury attorney from Haffner Law can help you get the compensation you need in Los Angeles. Contact Haffner Law at 1-844-HAFFNER today for a free consultation.

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Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

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In a car accident, many kinds of injuries can happen, but there is one kind of injury that causes a lot of concern: a brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are caused by unnatural movement, bumps, blows to the head, or violent shaking, resulting in a sudden striking of the brain against the skull. The brain’s soft tissue absorbs the force of the impact, which can disrupt the brain’s normal function. TBIs can range from mild to severe and may take months to appear.

Motor vehicle crashes are the third overall leading cause of TBI-related hospital visits and deaths, after falls and being stuck by or against an object. During a car crash, a person may experience whiplash and be subjected to sudden violent movements. Their head may even hit surfaces such as the steering wheel or dashboard. No matter if you were rear-ended or were in a head-on collision, there are a few different brain injuries that you may sustain.

Concussion

Concussions are mild TBIs and are one of the most familiar types of brain injuries, especially in car accidents. It can occur after an impact to the head that causes your head and brain to quickly shake back and forth, like when you get whiplash.

The symptoms of a concussion differ depending on the injury’s severity. While some people experience a loss of consciousness after a concussion, not all people do. Some more symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Balance problems
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision or blurred vision
  • Drowsiness or feeling sluggish
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Memory problems
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Slowed reaction to stimuli
  • Slurred speech

Contusion

A contusion is a localized bruise on the brain tissue and can occur after a direct impact on the head, like when your head strikes the window or steering wheel when in a car accident. Like other bruises, brain contusions range from minor to life-threatening.

Some symptoms of a contusion include the following:

  • Cognitive changes
  • Difficulty balancing or coordinating
  • Difficulty forming new memories
  • Difficulty forming sentences
  • Finding it hard to concentrate
  • Numbness or tingling in the affected area
  • Slurred speech

Penetration

A penetrating head wound happens when an object punctures your skull and hits your brain. In a car accident, the objects both inside and outside the vehicle may become dangerous projectiles that can cause severe penetrative injuries.

Injuries such as this can be fatal. They may cause serious complications such as the following:

  • Bleeding from the ears
  • Coma
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heavy blood loss
  • Loss of bowel and bladder function
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of movement or sensation in limbs
  • Paralysis
  • Seizure

No matter what kind of TBI you or someone you love has sustained in a car accident in Los Angeles, you should get in contact with a brain injury attorney from Haffner Law. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Haffner Law is committed to our clients. We will review your case and determine which legal options are available for you to recover compensation. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

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Traumatic Brain Injuries: Types and Symptoms

Brain Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are very common and serious injuries. In 2014 alone, there were about 2.87 million TBI-related emergency visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States. TBIs typically occur in incidents that involve a blow to the head. Common incidents that cause TBI include sports injuries, falls, vehicle crashes, and assault. TBI can range from mild to severe, with the most severe cases necessitating life-saving surgery.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are many types of TBI which can impact the brain. Many types of TBI, in fact, can affect various areas of the brain. Regardless of which area of the brain it affects, TBIs can often lead to changes in someone’s mental and physical abilities, as well as their personality and emotions. Most people who suffer from severe TBIs will need rehabilitation to relearn skills and recover from their injury.

Here are the different types of TBI:

  • Concussion – This is a mild brain injury that usually doesn’t cause permanent brain injury. It can be caused by direct blows to the head, violent shaking of the head, whiplash, or any other trauma from an impact or sudden momentum change. A person with a concussion may or may not experience a brief loss of consciousness.
  • Contusion – Also called coup or contrecoup injuries, contusions are bruises to a specific area of the brain and can lead to bleeding. These are typically caused by a direct impact to the head. In coup injuries, the brain is injured directly under the impact area, while it is injured on the side opposite the impact in contrecoup injuries.
  • Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) – This TBI can be caused by shaking, as in Shaken Baby Syndrome, or by strong rotational forces, such as in a car accident. With diffuse axonal injuries, nerve tissue throughout the brain is torn, which causes brain chemicals to be released, leading to additional injury.
  • Hematoma – A hematoma is a blood clot that forms when a blood vessel ruptures. Symptoms vary depending on the clot’s location. An epidural hematoma forms between the skull and the brain’s dura lining; a subdural hematoma is a clot that forms between the brain and the dura; and a clot that forms within the brain itself is an intracerebral hematoma. No matter where it is, hematomas can either be reabsorbed by the body or be surgically removed.
  • Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (tSAH) – This is a serious condition wherein there is bleeding in the space that surrounds the brain. It occurs when small arteries are torn during the head injury. The blood will then spread over the brain’s surface, leading to various effects, such as seizures.

Symptoms of a TBI

Depending on the kind of injury sustained, someone with a TBI may express symptoms such as the following:

  • Amnesia or memory loss
  • Concentration issues
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Emotional disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of depression
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Poor attention
  • Seizures
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Visual problems
  • Vomiting

If you have been involved in an incident that caused your TBI, which has since left you unable to work, then you should get in touch with disability insurance attorneys in Los Angeles like Haffner Law right away. We will help you get the coverage that you need.  Simply call us today at 1-844-HAFFNER or 213-514-5681.

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When Manufacturers Are Accountable in a Car Accident

Car Accident Lawyer Los Angeles

Automobile crashes continue to be a major problem in the United States. In 2017 alone, more than 40,000 people died because of vehicle crashes, according to the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates. Based on the data, the upward trend in fatalities started in 2014, with 35,398, and reached its peak in 2016, with 40,237 deaths.

For those who survived such accidents, the outlook isn’t always great. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 20% of traumatic brain injury (TBI) hospitalizations were due to motor vehicle crashes. TBI is a form of damage to the brain caused by a blow to the head or a sudden jolt.

Not all individuals who figured in an auto accident and ended up with TBI can afford medical treatments. Some solicit the help of experienced brain injury attorneys, such as Los Angeles-based Haffner Law, to get proper compensation for their disability from those who may be responsible for the crash.

A lot of these deaths are caused by human error. In 2017, more than 3,000 fatalities were due to distracted driving alone.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said in their auto accidents report that alcohol had a significant role in these crashes. Over 62% of the fatal accidents involved drivers who had blood alcohol content beyond the limit.

However, crashes can be due to a faulty machine, too.

Case Study: The 2006 Toyota Camry Car Crash

One of the most significant vehicle crash cases attributed to a faulty car was the 2006 car crash that involved a 1996 Toyota Camry model. A jury decided in 2015 that Toyota was mostly responsible for the deaths of three people in that accident.

According to a report about the case by CBS News, the driver of the Camry, Koua Fong Lee, was charged with vehicular homicide and was sent to jail on the same year. However, Lee insisted that he made efforts to slow down his car before it crashed into another vehicle. This accident caused the death of a man and two children and injured two other adults.

Lee was given a new trial after news broke out about the sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota cars. He was set free after spending two and a half years behind bars. After gathering enough evidence, he took the automotive manufacturer to court, with the full support of the loved ones of those who died and got injured in the 2006 crash.

They claimed that the 1996 Camry’s auto-drive had a tendency to get stuck, and when it’s pushed or tapped, it could get stuck again at a higher speed level. They also said that the company didn’t conduct reliability tests on the nylon resin pulleys that may have been damaged from the heat and caused the assembly to stick.

Toyota denied the claims, pinning the acceleration on Lee’s negligence and saying that the model he was driving didn’t have any known product recalls.

The jurors settled on splitting the blame, giving 60% to Toyota and 40% to the driver. The complainants of the new lawsuit, led by Lee, were awarded $11.44 million in compensation from the company.

Decisions for cases like this vary from state to state. Some lawsuits involving defective motor vehicles don’t have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent. If the driver was injured because of a vehicle defect or dangerous design – even when the car was used as intended, and the vehicle’s performance wasn’t modified in any way – he/she can sue the company for compensation. With major defect cases and recalls happening almost every year, it’s essential to keep these manufacturers and dealerships accountable for the vehicles they sell to the public.

Get Proper Legal Representation

Undoubtedly, it will be challenging to sue big automobile manufacturers because they have expert legal teams. But if you work with Haffner Law, we’re ready to give you legal representation and hold whoever is responsible for your injuries accountable. We’ll help you file a personal injury claim, collect evidence to support it, and aggressively fight for you in court so that you get the compensation you deserve.

Contact us at 1-844-HAFFNER today to schedule a free case review.

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Brain Injury Among Professional Athletes: Can They File a Total Permanent Disability Claim?

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Every time they step onto the court or field, professional athletes are at risk of head injury. One strong tackle or bad fall could lead to concussion or brain damage that might end their careers. Before they go pro, athletes are often advised to get disability insurance to protect their financial future.

A Look at Disability Insurance for Athletes

Total permanent disability insurance policies for professional athletes aren’t that different from those who work in other industries. Such policies cover the long-term financial needs of the athletes in the event they sustain injury or illness that prevents them from continuously engaging in their sport.

Getting claims for traumatic brain injury and other career-ending injuries, however, isn’t that easy. Some claims were denied by insurance carriers due to some reasons, including:

  • The athlete’s injury wasn’t the sole and direct cause of the disability;
  • The athlete failed to disclose a previous injury during the insurance application;
  • The athlete was unable to disclose vital medical information.

When presenting a claim or appealing to a denied claim, professional athletes who used to play in California are advised to hire a legal counsel in Los Angeles whose expertise covers disability insurance.

Making a Case: Disability Claim for Head Injury

Head injury claims may be complex and require a lawyer to conduct an extensive investigation, covering:

  • Medical Evaluation

Any injury to the head or neck region can cause the brain to bruise, swell, or tear, but the symptoms don’t always appear instantly, especially in closed-head injuries. The medical evaluation set by the team management and other relevant medical documents, as well as the brain injury expert testimony, could prove that the brain injury sustained by the athlete had solely and directly caused their disability.

  • Intimate Acquaintance Testimony

The testimony of close acquaintances of the injured athlete can be a valuable tool in disability claims involving a brain injury. Such injury may not come with apparent physical symptoms, but it can manifest in behavior changes that can be observed only by people who are closely related to or in constant contact with the athlete. Traumatic brain injury may lead to:

  • Personality changes
  • Mood swings
  • Attention deficit
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Memory loss

If there are people who could talk about how the athlete behaved before the injury compared with how they are now, their testimony could greatly help to build a brain injury case.

  • Policy Review

Many disability insurers have strict time limits for filing or giving notice of a claim. Failure to meet such deadlines could lead to a denial of benefits. It is crucial for the athlete to strictly follow the procedures outlined in the policy and report the injury accurately and entirely on the necessary forms.

Also, some disability insurance policies for athletes have a loss-of-value rider. Under the definition of total permanent disability, the policyholder must be unable to ever return to their sport to claim benefits. Now that medical technology and surgical techniques have improved to help athletes recover and play again, collecting total permanent disability benefits has become more difficult to reach. But if the earning potential of the athlete has reduced significantly because of brain injury, they may still get benefits through the loss-of-value provision of their policy, if there’s any.

If you’re a professional athlete who wants to build a strong disability claim involving brain injury, make sure to hire a lawyer. Otherwise, you may pass up substantial funds you’re entitled to receive.

Contact Haffner Law today for a brain injury claim consultation.

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