Personal Injury: Filing a Claim for TBIs Caused by Car Accidents

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There are over 1.7 million new cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) yearly, and the majority of these are caused by accidents, especially road accidents. If a third party is involved and at fault for a TBI, it is important to seek damages to compensate for the serious effects your injuries may have on you and your loved ones’ lives.

If you or your loved one suffered a brain injury after a car accident, you must immediately seek medical attention. After which, contact a lawyer to know if you have a case that will entitle you to compensation for your injury. In this article, we will give you advice and the different considerations that can strengthen your case and entitlement to damages.

The Long-Term Effects of TBI and Why You Should Seek Compensation

TBIs are classified as mild, moderate, or severe.

The long-term effects of TBI depend on the severity. For example, people with mild brain injuries might experience headaches and memory loss for a limited time, while those with moderate brain injuries can suffer from speech problems and cognitive issues that last for years following the injury. Severe cases include coma and permanent vegetative states in which the patient is no longer able to survive without advanced medical care.

Consequently, it is important to seek compensation because doing so would help pay for treatment and therapy that can improve their quality of life.  Any damages awarded from brain injury cases are commensurate to the extent of the injuries.

The Statute of Limitations

According to California State Law, you have within two years to file your brain injury claim. If you plan on filing a claim and getting the compensation you need, here are ways to strengthen your claim:

Gather Medical Records

Medical records are legal documents used in various legal proceedings like medical malpractice, workers’ compensation cases, and in your case, personal injury cases. Remember that without documentation, there is no proof for the case.

When you have undergone your medical treatment and exams, ask your physician for copies of results, such as:

  • Records of hospital visits and appointments
  • Medical records made by your treating physician
  • Diagnostic test results
  • Imaging test results
  • X-rays
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical bills

Take Photo Documentation

Photographs provide people involved in legal cases with a permanent visual record of the scene and give accurate dimensions lacking in sketches.

When possible, gather photos taken during the accident. In the case of a road accident, for example,  document vehicle damage, the location, and road conditions. It would be best if you or your care provider take pictures of your injury and how it heals over time to prove the extent and seriousness of your injury.

Request the Accident’s Police Report

You are entitled to receive a copy of the police report if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident or any situations where law enforcers respond. It is best to contact the police for a copy of the report immediately.

The statements in the report can further support your claims since they will provide details of all the facts, circumstances, and timeline of events surrounding the accident. These reports can also include eyewitness accounts that can strengthen your case when it comes to establishing fault and causation.

Gather Witness Statements

Your lawyer can also gather other people’s witness statements like people you were with, people from establishments around the accident, and passersby who witnessed it. Accident attorneys can collect their statements, names, and contact information when they give their account of the accident.

How You Will Be Compensated For Your TBI

Your lawyer will know how to estimate the compensation for your injuries. They can calculate using factors such as:

  • Previous and future medical treatment
  • Occupational therapy
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Lost income and future earnings
  • Punitive damages

The pure comparative fault rule will also determine your compensation to allocate liability for non-economic damages as dictated by California state law. This rule says that even if you were mostly responsible for your accident, you could still receive a proportional amount of the damages.

For instance, if the court determined you were 60% responsible for your injury and was awarded $100,000 in non-economic damages, they will reduce the percentage to the total amount, but you will still receive $40,000.

Get the Right Lawyer for TBI Claims in California

A brain injury could have long-term implications, affecting your entire lifestyle. Consulting Haffner Law attorneys will help you receive just compensation for your suffering and financial losses. We have a proven track record of helping people through their personal injury claims.

Find out more about our personal injury services and schedule a free consultation.

 

Who Is Liable for Brain Injuries From Playing Sports?

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Engaging in physical sports will always carry a degree of risk. The dangers of brain injuries are obvious in contact sports like football, basketball, soccer, and rugby, but are in no way limited only to them. Weightlifting, swimming, diving, pole vaulting — athletes in these individual sports are just as (if not more) vulnerable to accidents that could result in traumatic brain injury or TBI.

Prevalence of TBI in the US

According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of TBI, constituting 50.2 percent of TBI cases in children (up to 14 years old) and 60.7 percent among seniors (adults 65 years or older). Getting struck by or colliding with moving or stationary objects ranked third, making up 24.8 percent of TBIs among children.

Falling, getting struck, colliding with moving or stationary objects — these are common in sports, and athletes can experience them during training and competitions. If they do, who will be liable for their injury? Our brain injury attorneys in Los Angeles can discuss this in detail with you, but as a preamble, below are the possibilities the courts might consider.

People/Organizations with Liability

There is no black-and-white answer to who has liability when an athlete suffers a brain injury while playing their sport. It’s because there are many factors to consider and entities who share the responsibility of keeping athletes safe and unharmed.

  1. The athletes themselves – Any lawsuit against a sports organization is often tempered by the argument that the injured athletes are responsible because they decide what to do on the field, ring, ice, or whatever venue they play in. Additionally, athletes know the risks of their sport and their very presence in a competition or participation in training is an acknowledgment of the danger their sport entails. Athletes can also be made accountable if they performed risky moves in clear disobedience to their trainers and coaches.
  2. Coaches – many would argue that coaches have just as much if not more liability as athletes because they are in charge of the training and teaching. It’s their job to instruct how to execute potentially dangerous moves safely. During competitions, coaches also advise athletes what to do to win their matches. They could be liable for damages for TBI if they overlook the dangers of a move or insist that athletes perform certain routines despite knowing the risk to the latter’s health and safety.
  3. Sports Leagues and Competition Organizers – Leagues and organizing committees can be held accountable for sports accidents if they commit oversight or fail in their duty to provide a safe environment for athletes. By inviting athletes to participate in their events, it is implicit that they are taking responsibility for the integrity and safety of the facilities, equipment, and safety gear that athletes will use. A lack of qualified staff and medical personnel, defective sports equipment, inadequate on-site preparations, lack of guidance for participants — if any of these result in sporting accidents, injured athletes are entitled to seek compensation from the organizations behind it.

Hire a Los Angeles Sports Injury Attorney at Haffner Law

As with any personal injury and TBI claim or lawsuit, plaintiffs or the party making a claim must present proof of the other party’s liability. This is to prove their legal obligation to compensate the plaintiff for the damages they suffered. The claims process is complicated for sports-related injuries because of the many factors and parties involved that can take a share of the blame.

If you or someone you know suffers TBI because of a sports injury, you must hire experienced, savvy personal injury attorneys who know how to determine liability and will push for the maximum value for claims and damages. Athletes who are victims of other people’s negligence shouldn’t be made to suffer financially on top of the lifelong effects a brain injury is sure to inflict.

You can trust our brain injury attorneys at Haffner Law to see to your rights as a victim of a sporting accident. Contact us today.

 

Types of Head and Brain Injuries that Warrant Lawsuits

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of death in the US, with an average of 1.5 million Americans suffering from it every year. Of this population, 230,000 patients survive and 80,000 to 90,000 sustain long-term disabilities.

People who suffered physical injuries and TBI from accidents caused by other people’s negligence are entitled to seeking compensation. For victims who must endure permanent disabilities and other life-long effects on their physical and mental health, they can seek the services of our Los Angeles brain injury lawyers and file compensation claims and a formal lawsuit against the people responsible for their suffering.

When Can You File a Lawsuit for TBI?

TBI law falls under personal injury law. Any person who sustains head and brain injuries may file a formal lawsuit with California courts. Victims who are intent on seeking justice and holding the people responsible for their life-changing injury often pursue litigation.

A civil lawsuit is also the next step for victims who can’t agree on a settlement with the responsible party and their insurance provider.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Below are examples of traumatic brain injuries that can become grounds for filing a civil lawsuit.

  1. Secondary brain injury – This type of injury occurs to people who receive a blow to the head. TBI doesn’t take place immediately, but the physical impact can cause severe swelling and other injuries to the head and brain that can cause intercranial hemorrhaging: a serious condition that can have debilitating effects on the victim’s well-being and rehabilitation. Secondary brain injury can result from both minor-impact and heavy blows to the head.
  2. Frontal lobe trauma – Victims of motor vehicle accidents are prone to frontal lobe trauma or actual injury to the front part of the brain. This can impair a person’s executive functions like decision-making abilities, memory, behavior, and self-control.
  3. Contusions – The brain is a delicate organ that floats inside the skull. It is lies suspended in cerebrospinal fluid. Under normal circumstances, the fluid is enough to keep the brain from slamming on the inner walls of the skull. Inertia (as with riding in a fast-running car that suddenly stops) and heavy blows to the head can shake the brain so hard that the surface of the brain gets bruised. These result in contusions that can have permanent changes to a person’s cognitive abilities, behavior, and personality.
  4. Inner cerebral trauma –When doctors talk about a patient having a severe brain injury, inner cerebral trauma is one of the things they could be referring to. This injury means that the brain sustained deep lesions within the cranial cavity because of high-speed acceleration or deceleration. Such accidents can cause shearing of the inner white brain matter and damage the hippocampus and brain stem.

These TBI examples have the following in common:

  • Can cause permanent physical and mental disability
  • Victims are unable to find gainful employment or continue their current professions
  • Victims need emergency medical treatment and lifelong rehabilitation
  • Affect not just the victims but also their immediate families and friends

For these reasons, victims who survive accidents but sustain TBI may seek compensation and punitive damages if they have reason to.

Hire Experienced Brain Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles

The burden of finding proof and witnesses against the people responsible for TBI rests on the plaintiff. To build a strong case, you need an experienced TBI attorney.

Hire our brain injury lawyers in Los Angeles to get staunch representation, whether you’re seeking compensation or bringing a defendant to court. Haffner Law is a trusted and seasoned personal injury law firm that provides legal services and representation to clients in LA and California.

Get experienced attorneys by your side when you file a TBI lawsuit in court. Call Haffner Law and schedule a free consultation.  

Brain Injury Due to Accidents: Symptoms and Causes

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Brain injury can have life-changing effects that can reduce a person’s quality of life. It can affect motor and cognitive skills, speech, memory, and other essential life skills. People who suffer brain injury may be temporarily or permanently impaired and lose the ability to make a living. On top of that, they may need lifelong medication and therapy.

Having handled personal injury litigation in Los Angeles as early as 1997, our brain injury attorneys at Haffner Law have witnessed how immense the financial cost and physical and emotional toll of brain injuries can get. They affect not just the victims but also their families. People who are responsible for incidents that inflict serious brain injury in others should be held accountable for their actions.

But first, learn the basics of brain injury and when it is grounds for an insurance claim or civil lawsuit.

Types of Brain Injury

Brain injuries may be the result of trauma (traumatic brain injury or TBI) or internal factors (non-traumatic brain injury or NTBI). While both can be caused by negligence or malicious intent (for which the case will shift from civil to criminal), TBI is more often associated with negligence and used as the basis for personal injury claims.

Brain injury can be classified according to severity: mild, moderate, or severe. It can also be any of these types:

  • Concussion – a mild injury that can cause a brief loss of consciousness
  • Contusion – bruising of the brain tissue
  • Traumatic Subarachnoid Hemorrhage – bleeding into the space surrounding the brain
  • Hematoma – formation of blood clots

No matter the classification or injury type, speak to a brain injury attorney to see if there’s evidence that an accident that led to TBI is due to someone’s negligence.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury

TBI occurs when an external force jolts the brain hard enough that it sustains a serious injury or a foreign object penetrates the skull and damages the brain tissue. The causes can be any of the following:

  • Slips and falls
  • Impact from sports and recreational activities
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Assault (getting struck by sharp or heavy, blunt objects)
  • Gunfire
  • Explosions

Most of the time, TBI is apparent because the victim bears visible marks of injury. There may be cases, however, when victims walk away from accidents unscathed only to start showing signs of brain injury days, weeks, or even months later.

Symptoms of Delayed Brain Trauma

If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident that, in theory, should have resulted in some sort of head injury, keep an eye out for signs of delayed brain trauma.

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Uncharacteristic inattentiveness
  • Deteriorating cognitive ability
  • Deteriorating motor skills
  • Deteriorating vision
  • Frequent dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Sudden emotional disturbances

Since these symptoms can emerge long after an accident, the people responsible for the accident may attempt to disconnect the symptoms from the incident. Some might even argue that the symptoms have been preexisting or the result of the victim’s own negligence.

Hire Our Experienced Brain Injury Attorneys and Claim the Compensation You Deserve

It can be a battle to prove accountability in a brain injury accident, especially since the liability claims for TBI accidents can be substantial. In 2015, Northwestern University estimated the lifetime costs of traumatic brain injury treatment at $85,000 to $3 million. Besides the post-accident treatment, the victim may need subsequent hospitalization, ED visits, physical therapy, and psychological treatments. Mind that this estimate does not yet include the cost of loss of employment.

Hiring seasoned personal injury lawyers with experience in brain injury claims can give you an edge in mediation or in court. Call Haffner Law today and schedule a consultation with our brain injury attorneys in Los Angeles.

Reach us at 213-514-5681 or fill out our contact form.

(This is an attorney advertisement by Joshua Haffner)

 

 

The Costly Toll of a Traumatic Brain Injury

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Traumatic brain injuries are often the result of accidents or even acts of violence. Falls, contact sports and vehicular accidents are among the most common causes of such injuries. The effects will vary, some of them are manageable and others are life-changing or even fatal.

These effects include motor impairment (like paralysis and vision problems), physical effects (such as chronic pain, seizures, and hormonal changes), and cognitive or speech effects (memory loss, confusion, and aphasia).

Managing these effects and complications can be exorbitantly expensive. Successful brain injury lawyers make it their mission to bring people responsible for such injuries to justice, allowing clients to meet the costs. But how do you manage its effects and your finances?

Traumatic and Expensive Injury

The costs of dealing with a traumatic brain injury can be separated into two categories: in-hospital costs and rehabilitation costs.

The first deals with medical treatments and procedures performed inside a hospital or similar institution. These costs can cover the surgery or procedure needed to treat complications, such as lacerations, fractures, and other injuries. They also include tests, such as X-rays, CT-scans, and similar technology.  The costs of these treatments and procedures can range from anywhere between $2,130 to as much as $401,808. These costs depend on what treatments you receive and the seriousness of your injury.

The rehabilitation costs are made up of the cost of readjusting to life under your new conditions. Traumatic brain injuries can drastically alter your way of life, either due to physical complications, such as motor loss or through mental impairments, such as memory loss and alterations to cognitive processes. This could make checking in to a rehabilitation center the best choice. The average cost for accommodations, food, and maintenance fees in a medical facility averages $1,600 a day. The more severe the injury and its effects, the longer you or your loved one has to stay at such a facility.

Managing Finances After a Brain Injury

The combined costs of immediate medical treatment, as well as rehabilitation fees, can quickly drain your finances without proper management. When a loved one suffers from a traumatic brain injury, you need to work quickly to get your finances in order.

Here are a few ways to manage fiscal impact of the injury:

  • Plan a reasonable budget allowance, considering any continuous costs to rehabilitation, such as administrative fees and medication. Cut down on unnecessary expenditures.
  • Apply for Social Security Disability and claim insurance as soon as possible to have access to necessary funds.
  • Speak with medical professionals about alternative and cheaper treatments whenever possible. Ask if you can relocate some of the therapy at home to reduce costs.
  • Approach social service providers and health networks aimed at helping people in your situation. They can be wellsprings of information, emotional support, and sometimes financial aid.
  • Communicate with friends, family, and loved ones about your situation and ask for their support during this tough time.

Another way to secure enough funds to manage the costs of a traumatic brain injury is to bring the people or organization responsible to justice. If you believe that the injury was caused by a preventable accident in the workplace, a deliberate attack, or a similarly actionable occurrence, a good lawyer can be the best way to receive the compensation you deserve.

Get the Compensation You Deserve

Haffner Lawyers has a team of experienced litigators ready to fight for your cause in court. With our efforts, we’ll help you get compensation for your suffering and financial losses.

Find out if you’re eligible to receive compensation by calling us today at 1-800-HAFFNER.

This is an attorney advertisement by Joshua Haffner.