Santa Barbara Brain Injury Lawyers
Protecting Southern California Victims of Brain Injuries
Each year, more than a million people in the United States suffer brain injuries. In some cases, individuals are left devastated and in need of round-the-clock medical care for the rest of their lives. Others lose varying degrees of cognitive ability, memory, and bodily functions. Depression, personality changes, and other psychological effects are often part of the picture. What all these effects have in common is that each is a legally recognized, compensable loss.
"Our lawyers have helped brain injury victims and their families recover compensation for medical care, income, personal dignity, and other quality of life losses."
- Doug Black
If someone else's negligence has left you and your family struggling to deal with the traumatic effects of a brain injury, we can help you make a full financial recovery and get you started on the process of rebuilding your life.
Since 1989, our Southern California personal injury attorneys have helped victims and their families receive compensation for medical care, lost income, personal dignity, and other quality of life losses. We understand the causes and the costs of a brain injury, and we have what it takes to get you the settlement you deserve.
Our experience includes cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle wrecks, pedestrian accidents, defective products, construction site accidents, dangerous conditions on property, and various other causes of brain injury. Our understanding of the brain's anatomy and ability to clearly explain how brain injuries affect people differently, from both a medical and a practical real-life perspective, has been demonstrated time and again.
Types of Brain Injuries
There are four basic types of brain injury - traumatic brain injury, brain injuries involving penetration of the skull, birth-related brain injuries, and brain injuries that are "acquired" by various means. Brief descriptions of these and their potential effects are as follows:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: This type of brain injury is often referred to as a "closed head" injury or by the acronym TBI. It is estimated that there are well over one million new cases of TBI in the United States each year. Once thought to be less severe than "open" head injuries, doctors now know that these injuries can be just as damaging, if not more so. Effects may range from mild temporary headache and confusion to persistent coma and death. Medical diagnoses for these injuries include concussion, diffuse axonal injury, coup-contrecoup injury, second-impact syndrome, and shaken baby syndrome.
- Penetrating Injuries: Also referred to as "open head" injuries, these injuries most often involve penetration of the skull by a bullet, knife, or some other weapon. In many cases, the damage is severe, resulting in death. In others, there is relatively little damage because the injury is localized, affecting only one small portion of the brain.
- Birth-Related Brain Injuries: These injuries vary, but they have lifelong consequences for the child. Injuries to an infant can occur during vaginal birth, especially if there is difficulty getting the head of the child through the birth canal, or during a Cesarean section. Birth injuries are often avoidable, which makes them more tragic.
- Acquired Brain Injuries: Brain injuries may also occur as the result of poisoning, illness, heart attack, stroke, or oxygen deprivation, such as a carbon monoxide poisoning victim or drowning victim might experience. There is no direct contact or physical violence done to the brain in these injuries, but brain functionality is altered.
How Damage to the Brain's Anatomy Can Manifest
Brain injuries have very different results depending on what part of the brain is damaged or affected. While every individual instance of brain injury is different, in general, here is what damage to these parts of the brain looks like:
- Cerebellum: Damage to the cerebellum can result in a condition known as ataxia. Ataxia causes muscle coordination problems and can interfere with a person's ability to walk, talk, eat, and perform other self-care tasks.
- Brainstem: The brainstem connects the brain to the spinal cord. An injury here can affect a variety of functions, including breathing, heart rate, digestion, blood pressure, alertness, and the ability to stay awake.
- Frontal Lobe: Injuries to the frontal lobe of the brain can affect a wide range of "higher cognitive functions." These include emotions, personality, and behavior; as well as activities such as planning, organizing, and problem-solving.
- Occipital Lobe: Damage to the occipital lobe can cause blindness, difficulty recognizing shapes or colors, and other visual impairments.
- Parietal Lobe: Injuries to either parietal lobe can impair a person's sense and perception of touch. In addition, right parietal lobe injuries may cause spatial relations problems; left parietal lobe injuries may impair a person's ability to understand language.
- Temporal Lobe: Injuries to the temporal lobe may affect a person's sense of smell, hearing, and ability to sort out new information. They may also cause short-term memory problems and affect a person’s ability to remember pictures, faces, words, and names.
Resources for Families and Caregivers
Caring for someone who has suffered a brain or spinal cord injury is difficult, even for trained medical professionals. When you have had little to no medical training and the person you're caring for is a family member, someone who only a short time ago had a completely different lifestyle, it can be very difficult and quite frustrating.
When handling brain injury cases, we help clients and families find appropriate medical care and in-home nursing providers. We connect them with brain and spinal cord injury support groups in their areas. We put them in touch with respected organizations such as the United Spinal Association and The Brain Injury Association of America. Families of brain injury victims are not alone; you do not have to feel isolated as you adjust to changes in lifestyle and your daily routine.
Compensation for Brain Injuries
What is fair compensation for a brain injury? The past and future medical costs associated with caring for a loved one who has suffered a brain or spinal cord injury are high. Economic losses of income and earning potential can also be high. In addition, there are hidden costs to account for, such as periodic replacement costs for medical equipment, home remodeling, and future medical needs.
Non-economic costs such as a loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship and support, loss of consortium, pain, suffering, and more are also significant and should not be underestimated.
We work to maximize the value of each case by developing an accurate picture of what a client's life was like before and how it has changed as a result of the brain injury. As part of this process, our lawyers work with physicians, medical specialists, life care planners, economists, medical illustrators and animators, and other experts in an attempt to put a fair dollar value to both the economic and non-economic losses your family has suffered.
For a Free Consultation with a Brain Injury Lawyer, Call Us
At NordstrandBlack PC, we handle brain injury lawsuits on behalf of individuals and families in Southern California. Our lawyers have had extensive experience and success with such cases. We know the courts and judges in this area very well, and we work with top experts and use sophisticated trial strategies and exhibits to achieve optimal results for each and every person we represent.
You deserve to have an experienced attorney working with you and representing you at all times. At NordstrandBlack PC, you will have the best representation possible. To schedule an appointment, call our firm directly at (805) 962-2022 or contact us online.
Your initial consultation is free. There are no legal fees to pay unless we win.
Let us fight for you now.
- Brain Injury Blogs
- New Guideline for Treating Concussions
- Living With Brain Injury - Adults: What to Expect
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page
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