San Diego Brain Injury Lawyers
Each day in the United States, 138 people die as the result of, or from complications following, a traumatic or acquired brain injury. These injuries represent an incredible 30% of all deaths by injury. As surprising as these numbers may be, the truth is that TBIs are a serious medical issue in this country. If you or a loved one is a victim of a TBI an experienced San Diego brain injury attorney will make sure you receive the proper legal representation.
What are Brain Injuries?
Brain injuries are defined as any injury sustained from a bump, blow, or jolt of the head, or a penetrating injury to the head which damages brain tissue. These types of injuries fall on a spectrum from mild to severe.
Mild to Moderate: A patient is considered to have a mild to moderate brain injury if he or she experiences a temporary loss of consciousness, memory, or other normal brain functioning. Mild injuries to the brain may leave the victim without long-term side effects, while moderate brain injuries can cause permanent complications. Most concussions, though not all, fall under this category.
Moderate to Severe: A patient is diagnosed with a moderate to severe brain injury if he or she suffers from prolonged loss of consciousness, memory, or other brain function. Changes in thinking or behavior resulting from a moderate to severe injury can last significantly longer; some can be permanent. Due to the possibility of long term complications, it’s essential to hire a well versed brain injury attorney in the event of a moderate or severe TBI.
Guide to Different Types of Brain Injuries
A brain injury can leave a victim unable to speak, move, or think normally. Whereas some injuries heal with time, many brain injuries permanently rob people of their quality of life. If someone else’s negligent actions cause a serious brain injury, legal action with the help of a skilled San Diego brain injury attorney may provide the only form of justice and the potential for fair compensation. A claim cannot undo the damage someone experiences, but it can help the injured person receive appropriate care and support in the aftermath of a serious accident.
Types of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries cause a wide range of symptoms. Two people can experience the same type of trauma in the same location and experience totally different outcomes. The complex nature of these injuries often leaves people struggling to find answers, personalized treatment options, and the financial means to obtain medical support. Some of the most common types of brain injuries we see in our practice include:
- Concussions. Concussion injuries happen when a force jolts the brain against the inside of the skull. Someone can experience a concussion during whiplash movements in a car accident, during striking incidents, and as the result of falls. Concussions are also common sports injuries. A mild concussion may heal on its own over time, while a more serious concussion can cause loss of consciousness, damage nerves, cause bleeding or swelling, and other types of damage. Someone may experience permanent damage in one severe blow or over time. Contact sports players who receive minor concussions on a recurring basis can develop CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). The degenerative condition can cause changes in mood, personality, and cognitive functioning. Anyone who suffers a blow to the head should seek medical assistance and watch for signs of a more serious brain injury. Sudden changes in mood, personality, motor functioning, consciousness, vision, and hearing may all indicate the presence of a more serious brain injury.
- Diffuse axonal. In this type of injury, the skull moves faster than the brain and causes nerve and tissue tears. The injury can arise from fast shaking or turning movements and cause a wide variety of symptoms, much like a concussion. Depending on the structures and nerves damaged, a diffuse axonal injury could affect motor functioning, cognitive ability, speech, vision, mood, and other functions.
- Penetration injuries. Any time an object breaks the surface of the skin and skull, it causes a penetration injury. Impalement injuries can affect any area of the brain and cause a range of symptoms. Some structures in the brain may heal over time, while others may permanently lose the ability to perform normally.
- Anoxia and hypoxia. Damage to the respiratory system, drowning, overdosing, infections, and suffocation injuries can lead to the total loss (anoxia) or partial loss (hypoxia) of oxygen to the brain. If someone goes too long without oxygen, the brain begins to die. These conditions may result in severe and permanent injury or death.
Hemorrhaging (uncontrolled bleeding) and edema (swelling) in the brain may arise with any primary brain injury and worsen the patient’s health outcome. These complications may create pressure inside the skull and additional damage.
Severity of Brain Injuries
The long-term prognosis of an injury depends on the severity of the injury, medical care, and physiology. Some people can recover from a severe concussion and live out the rest of their lives without problems, while others may experience long term challenges.
Any loss of consciousness, vomiting, dizziness, or unusual behavior may signal the presence of a brain injury. If you suspect this event, seek medical advice immediately. A physician may use a physical exam, questioning, and brain scans to determine the type and severity of injury. Keep all records of traumatic accidents and medical treatment to protect your right to pursue a legal claim.
Motor Vehicle Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents cause more brain injuries than any other trauma and are most common for patients aged 15 to 44. While whiplash is usually associated with spinal injuries, serious cases often cause bruising of the brain.
Falls: Most common for age groups 0-14 and over 45, falls are the second most common cause of injuries to the brain. Slip and Falls can occur as a result of literally anything. They are often accidental and self-inflicted, while other times they can be caused by the negligence of others.
Blunt Force: Including both accidental and purposeful, blunt force is the third most common cause. Any time an individual is hit on the head, blunt force trauma and subsequent brain injuries can be sustained.
Other Causality: Over 50% of brain injuries involve alcohol. Additionally, individuals with a previous brain injury are three times more likely to sustain a second than someone who has never suffered one. Individuals who sustain two of these types of injuries are eight times more likely to sustain a third. An individual in the military is also three times as likely to sustain a brain injury as a civilian.
Implications of Brain Injuries
Brain injury survivors usually require vocational rehabilitation or physical therapy, and possibly neurotherapy as well. The side effects vary in severity depending on the extent of the damage. Some side effects last a few days – others a lifetime. Effects include impaired memory, changes in thinking or movement, loss of sensation, and emotional effects on families and loved ones. In America, 5.3 million people currently need some type of assistance following a brain injury.
Some patients are not so lucky. 2,000 or more brain injury victims end up in a permanent vegetative state each year, and another 50,000 do not survive the brain injury. A brain injury-related death happens every five minutes in the United States. Over 50% of hospitalized brain injured sufferers die within two days of the accident.
San Diego Brain Injury Foundation
Attorney Mike Bomberger is an Advisory Council Member of the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. This group has been helping families affected by brain injuries for over 30 years.
Notable Results for Brain Injury Survivors
Doe v. Roe Hospital Read the news story here
- $20 MILLION SETTLEMENT for brain injury of a newborn; largest medical malpractice settlement in state history.
John Doe v. Roe School District
- $14 MILLION SETTLEMENT for traumatic brain injury and stroke.
Zitz-Evancich v. City of Los Angeles, CA
- $5 MILLION SETTLEMENT for brain injury in a vehicle accident.
Rodriguez v. Ehlers Read the news story here
- $3.5 MILLION SETTLEMENT for traumatic brain injury due to a pedestrian versus automobile collision in a parking lot.
Benavidez v. Franklin
- $3.2 MILLION SETTLEMENT for brain injury as a result of automobile versus motorcycle collision.
Wilson v. Alford
- $2.3 MILLION SETTLEMENT for brain injury arising from a high-speed rear-end car accident on I-8.
Doe v. Confidential
- $2 MILLION SETTLEMENT for traumatic brain injury resulting from a trip and fall.
Plaintiff O v. Spring Valley Swap Meet
- $1.5 MILLION SETTLEMENT for traumatic brain injury and other damages due to business’ negligent operation.
Smith v. Rowe Construction Company
- $1.1 MILLION SETTLEMENT for traumatic brain injury as a result of dangerous road conditions.
Norwood v. McGinnes
- $1 MILLION SETTLEMENT for traumatic brain injury due to an automobile versus pedestrian collision.
Testimonials from our Brain Injury clients
- Rachelle Smith
- Doe – 20 million settlement
News Stories about our Brain Injury cases
- $3.5 Million Settlement in Rodriguez v Ehlers. Mr. Rodriguez suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting from an automobile versus pedestrian collision in a wholesale store parking lot.
Legal Representation | San Diego Brain Injury Attorneys
At Estey & Bomberger, LLP our brain injury lawyers in San Diego are proud to represent the victims of TBIs and their families. Attorney Mike Bomberger was recently accepted for membership in the “Top 25” of Brain Injury Trial Lawyers in California, an award from the National Trial Lawyers’ Brain Injury Trial Lawyers Association. Given that someone in the country suffers a brain injury every 23 seconds, ultimately affecting over two million individuals a year, Mike’s ranking in the top 25 in California is an accomplishment of which Estey & Bomberger is very proud.
If you or a loved one have suffered from a brain injury as the result of negligence or malpractice, you may be entitled to some level of financial compensation. For more information, please contact us today. Remember, you don’t pay us until we win or settle your case.