Los Angeles Sidewalks: Posing a Serious Risk of Traumatic Brain Injury

sidewalk injury lawyer in los angeles

Los Angeles City sidewalks require extensive servicing and pose a hazard to Angeleno pedestrians and cyclists. This includes those who navigate L.A. streets by way of walkers, wheelchairs, or other similar means.

Uneven sidewalks increase the risk of tripping, stumbling, and even spraining ankles. However, the most cause for concern is traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) from accidental falls. Experts say that falls are to blame for nearly half of TBI-related hospitalizations in the U.S.

If you find yourself injured as a result of uneven sidewalks, Haffner Law’s traumatic brain injury attorneys in L.A. are here to assist you. We help victims secure fair compensation for slip and fall accidents that result in TBI or other injuries.

How Bad Is the Damage to L.A.’s Sidewalks?

A 2010 report by Access magazine reveals that 4,600 out of the city’s 10,750 miles of sidewalks need some degree of repair. Unfortunately, according to a 2015 report by the Los Angeles Times, 40% of sidewalk disrepair complaints had yet to be addressed. Likewise, sidewalks that needed servicing had increased to nearly 5,000 miles.

Fast forward to 2021, L.A. has received over 1,700 claims and 1,200 lawsuits for sidewalk injuries over the past five years. A whopping $35 million worth of settlements have also been paid out to victims.

Much of the disrepair is caused by street trees which resulted from an underfunded urban forest management program. Los Angeles is the largest urban forest in the country, housing over 10 million trees.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain injuries can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the location and extent.

Mild TBI

Mild TBIs are often accompanied by loss of consciousness that typically lasts for a few seconds to several minutes. However, it’s crucial to note that not everyone loses consciousness from a mild TBI.

Along with memory loss, victims can also experience nausea, headache, dizziness, confusion, and other physical symptoms.

Moderate TBI

This type of TBI often results from a blow or violent shaking of the head. Most victims lose consciousness for a few minutes to several hours. Other symptoms include confusion, memory loss, and other behavioral, physical, and cognitive side effects.

Some moderate TBI victims recover after a few days or weeks, while others carry the symptoms for the rest of their lives.

Severe TBI

Severe TBIs are the most serious types of brain injury. They are often caused by an overwhelming blow to the head or a foreign object penetrating the skull. Victims lose consciousness for more than 24 hours. Some even fall into a coma for days, weeks, or months.

Unfortunately, many severe TBI cases result in death. Those who survive experience permanent physical, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms.

Who Is Liable for Your Injury?

About 40 years ago, an ordinance took effect in Los Angeles, transferring the responsibility for repairing sidewalks damaged by tree roots from adjacent landowners to the City. To pursue a case, the victim must be able to prove that:

  1. The sidewalk in question is unreasonably dangerous.
  2. The City is aware or should have been aware of the sidewalk’s condition.

While the responsibility falls on the City, liability could be transferred to a property owner. For instance, the adjacent property owner can be held liable if the roots of a tree they planted resulted in a sidewalk injury.

Hire a Reputable Brain Injury Lawyer in L.A.

While Los Angeles has created programs to manage the repair of sidewalks, it would still take years to resolve the issue completely. This means that L.A. sidewalks continue to pose a serious threat to Angelenos.

If you or someone you know suffered a brain injury due to a sidewalk trip or fall, reach out to the highly experienced attorneys at Haffner Law. We’ll help you get the compensation you deserve for your suffering and financial loss.

Get aggressive legal representation for your brain injury case. Call us today at 213-514-5681 to book a free consultation.


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.

(This is an attorney advertisement by Joshua Haffner)