People in Stockton, California, like residents of any other location, can sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) due to accidents, falls, sports injuries, and other incidents. TBIs can happen anywhere and are not specific to a particular geographic area.
To reduce the risk of TBIs, take safety precautions, such as wearing seatbelts while driving, using helmets when biking or participating in contact sports, and practicing fall prevention measures, especially for children and older adults.
But if you or someone you know experiences a head injury, seek medical attention promptly for proper evaluation and treatment. TBI can affect anyone, of any age, changing their life and the lives of those they love permanently.
The Stockton traumatic brain injury lawyers at Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers can help. Our personal injury team works to identify liability, allowing someone who has suffered a TBI to fight for compensation by holding those who caused their injury accountable.
Why Choose Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers?
Determining if you have a traumatic brain injury (TBI) legal claim involves several factors. Someone who suspects a TBI should seek medical attention immediately to diagnose the TBI, and also to document the injury. Then, as soon as possible, contact a personal injury attorney with experience in TBI cases.
The Stockton TBI lawyers at Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers can assess your situation to determine if you have a claim. Our legal team will help determine if someone else’s negligence caused your TBI. Time limits may apply to your claim in California, so reach out to our TBI attorneys right away.
Consult a legal professional to understand the strength of your TBI legal claim. They can guide you through the process and help you seek compensation if you have a valid case.
Our personal injury lawyers will thoroughly prepare your case by gathering evidence, contacting all treating doctors, and ordering all medical information necessary so that we can know the injury inside and out. We then get the best experts available to help in proving your case to the jury.
What Is a TBI?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a condition caused by a sudden jolt, blow, or impact to the head that disrupts normal brain function.
Mild TBIs, such as concussions, often lead to temporary symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and confusion. Severe TBIs can have long-lasting effects, including cognitive, emotional, and physical impairments. If you suspect you or someone you know has a TBI, seek immediate medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TBI affects about 1.7 million Americans each year. The CDC attributes 53,000 deaths, 235,000 trips to the hospital, and 1.1 million trips to the ER each year to TBI. Traumatic brain injuries are separate from non-traumatic brain injuries (nTBI), which factors like lack of oxygen, exposure to toxins, pressure from a tumor, stroke, near drowning, or an infectious disease cause.
TBI in California
The California Department of Rehabilitation counts more than 200,000 non-fatal TBI injuries in the state each year. In the most recent year of statewide data collected, 32,627 non-fatal hospitalizations and 210,910 non-fatal emergency department visits in California diagnosed TBIs.
However, a study of the medical incidence of TBI in California over five years revealed that up to 30 percent of the estimated two-and-a-half million emergency department visits classified as “unspecified head injury” had sufficient evidence to fit a formal TBI diagnosis.
How Can a Lawyer Help Establish Liability for a TBI?
An experienced TBI lawyer can play a crucial role in helping establish liability for a TBI in cases where someone else’s negligence may have caused the injury.
Here’s how the legal team at Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers can assist:
- Investigation: Lawyers have the resources and expertise to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the TBI. They gather evidence, interview witnesses, and review relevant documents to build a strong case. Our TBI legal team can collect medical records, accident reports, and witness statements to support your claim.
- Legal experience: Lawyers understand the intricacies of personal injury law, including the elements required to prove negligence. They can assess the strength of your case and advise you on your legal rights and options.
- Identifying responsible parties: Lawyers can help identify the responsible parties, whether it’s an individual, a company, or an institution.
- Establishing negligence: To establish liability, you must prove that the responsible party’s negligence directly caused the TBI. Lawyers use evidence and legal arguments to demonstrate this connection.
- Calculating damages: Lawyers can help you calculate the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and future rehabilitation costs.
- Negotiation and litigation: Lawyers negotiate with insurance companies or pursue litigation if necessary. They are skilled negotiators and can advocate for fair compensation on your behalf.
- Statute of limitations: Lawyers can file your case within the applicable statute of limitations, as missing deadlines can jeopardize your legal rights.
- Expert witnesses: In complex TBI cases, lawyers may consult medical experts and other professionals to provide expert testimony in court.
Overall, a lawyer can navigate your TBI claims, build a strong case, and seek the compensation you deserve after someone else causes your TBI. Our lawyers make the legal process as smooth as possible for you while advocating for your rights and well-being.
What is the Statute of Limitations for TBI claims in California?
In California, statutes of limitations set specific time limits for filing a lawsuit related to a TBI injury. Here are some key points to consider:
- Personal injury claims: In general, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those related to TBIs, is two years from the date of the injury.
- Discovery rule: California also follows the discovery rule, which means that if you couldn’t reasonably have discovered the TBI immediately after the incident, the two-year statute of limitations may begin when you discover or reasonably should have discovered the injury.
- Government entities: If your TBI was caused by the negligence of a government entity or employee (e.g., a city employee or public transportation), there may be shorter notice periods, and you may need to file a government claim within a specific timeframe before pursuing a lawsuit.
- Minors: If the injured person is a minor at the time of the TBI, the statute of limitations may be extended. Typically, the two-year countdown starts when they turn 18, but there are exceptions and nuances that a TBI attorney can explain.
- Wrongful death: If a TBI results in wrongful death, there is a separate statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in California, which is generally two years from the date of the death.
Consult a personal injury attorney experienced in TBI cases in California to learn how these statutes of limitations apply to your specific situation. Failing to meet the deadlines can result in the loss of your right to pursue a legal claim for compensation.
How is a TBI diagnosed and treated?
Diagnosing and treating a traumatic brain injury (TBI) involves a medical evaluation and, in some cases, specialized care. Here’s an overview:
- Clinical assessment: A healthcare provider will conduct a thorough physical and neurological examination to assess symptoms and function. Imaging Tests like CT scans or MRI scans can help identify brain abnormalities, bleeding, or structural damage. TBIs are assessed according to the Glasgow Coma Scale. This scale assesses the level of consciousness and severity of the injury.
- Neuropsychological testing: Cognitive and behavioral tests may be used to evaluate brain function.
- Observation: Your doctor may prescribe only rest and close monitoring of symptoms.
- Medication: Your doctor may prescribe pain relievers and anti-nausea drugs for symptom management.
- Rehabilitation: Severe TBIs often require rehabilitation, including physical, occupational, and speech therapy to regain lost skills and functions.
- Surgery: Cases of severe bleeding or skull fractures may require surgical intervention to relieve pressure on the brain.
- Long-term care: Some individuals with severe TBIs may require ongoing care, including assistance with daily activities.
Treatment plans are tailored to the specific severity and symptoms of the TBI. Follow medical advice and attend follow-up appointments for the best chance of recovery.
What Are Some Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury?
According to the Mayo Clinic, traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object that goes through brain tissue, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury.
Serious TBIs can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding, and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term complications or death.
Some common causes of TBI include:
- Falls: Falls are a leading cause of TBIs, especially among young children and older adults. Falls from heights or slipping and falling on uneven surfaces can result in head injuries.
- Motor vehicle accidents: Car, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents often lead to head trauma, especially if the head strikes a hard surface like the dashboard, pavement, or another vehicle.
- Sports injuries: Contact sports like football, soccer, and hockey can cause TBIs due to collisions, tackles, or falls. Even non-contact sports like cheerleading and gymnastics carry some risk.
- Assaults: Physical assaults, including punches or blows to the head, can result in TBIs. Domestic violence and bar fights are examples.
- Bicycle accidents: Cyclists are vulnerable to head injuries if they’re involved in crashes and don’t wear helmets.
- Workplace injuries: Certain industries, such as construction and manufacturing, carry a higher risk of head injuries due to falls, falling objects, or equipment accidents.
- Explosions and blasts: Military personnel and workers in industries where explosives are used may suffer TBIs from the force of explosions.
- Shaken baby syndrome: Infants and young children are at risk of TBIs when violently shaken, causing the brain to impact the skull.
- Penetrating injuries: Objects like bullets or shattered glass can penetrate the skull and directly damage brain tissue.
TBIs can cause severe, life-altering injuries. If you or someone you know experiences a head injury, it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention for proper evaluation and treatment, regardless of the cause.
Veterans and TBI
A traumatic brain injury is often referred to as the signature injury of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars due to:
- Blast-related injuries: The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other explosive devices by insurgents was prevalent in both wars. These blasts generated powerful shockwaves that could cause TBIs even without direct impact on the head. This led to a significant number of TBI cases among military personnel.
- Body armor and helmets: Advances in body armor and helmets increased the chances of survival from other types of injuries, such as gunshot wounds or shrapnel injuries. As a result, more soldiers survived attacks but still sustained TBIs from the blast effects.
- Repetitive exposure: Some military personnel experienced multiple deployments to combat zones, increasing their exposure to blast-related events and the potential for multiple TBIs over time.
- Improved medical care: Advances in battlefield medical care and evacuation procedures improved the chances of survival for injured soldiers. While this was a positive development, it also meant more soldiers with TBIs received diagnosis and treatment.
- Awareness and screening: The U.S. military implemented increased awareness and screening programs for TBIs. This proactive approach helped identify and treat TBIs that might have gone unnoticed in previous conflicts.
- Long-term consequences: TBIs can have long-lasting physical, cognitive, and psychological effects. As a result, the recognition of TBIs as a significant health concern for veterans became more pronounced, leading to increased research and support efforts.
- Media coverage: Extensive media coverage of the wars highlighted the prevalence of TBIs and brought public attention to the issue.
Due to these factors, TBIs became a prominent concern for military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Efforts to address and understand the impact of TBIs on veterans have since been ongoing, with a focus on early diagnosis, treatment, and support for those affected by these injuries.
Military personnel who have not seen battlefield action also may be at higher risk of TBI.
Things to look out for that may present a risk of TBI include:
- Physical activities: Military training and duties often involve physically demanding activities, which can increase the risk of falls, collisions, and other accidents leading to TBIs.
- Training exercises: Even during training exercises, soldiers may face situations where they’re at risk of head injuries, such as parachute jumps, live-fire drills, or combat simulations.
- Delayed treatment: In some cases, veterans may not seek immediate medical attention for head injuries due to the demands of their duties or the stigma associated with reporting injuries.
Contact a Stockton TBI Lawyer at Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers Today
Did you suffer injuries resulting in a TBI in Stockton? You don’t have to navigate the legal complexities alone. The experienced Stockton personal injury attorney from Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers are here to advocate for your rights, assess your case, and seek the compensation you deserve.
Our Office in Stockton, California
Roberts Personal Injury & Car Accident Lawyers
11 S San Joaquin St, Ste 610,
Stockton, CA, 95202