Fresno Brain Injury Lawyers
Aggressive, Effective Representation
A brain injury is one of the most life-altering injuries a person can experience. When your brain injury can be attributed to the negligence of another person, you’re left feeling angry and confused — but you shouldn’t feel hopeless. With Fowler | Helsel | Vogt, you have a dedicated team on your side. Contact our lawyers to discover your options.
We also created an infographic to help you understand brain injuries.
What Are Common Causes of Brain Injuries?
Any incident that causes trauma to the head can result in a brain injury. If a negligent person caused your brain injury, call us to speak with our brain injury attorneys in Fresno.
A brain injury usually results from violent accidents, such as:
- Car accidents: Motor vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of severe injuries and death in the country. It is perhaps no surprise that car accidents are also one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries. Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, traffic collisions cause more brain injuries in young adults than any other nonmedical reason.
- Truck accidents: Collisions with commercial trucks have a high chance of causing motorists in smaller vehicles to suffer severe injuries, including brain injuries. The massive weight of a big rig causes it to carry an enormous amount of force in an impact, much greater than a typical car.
- Bicycle accidents: Bicyclists are at risk of suffering a catastrophic head injury when struck by a motor vehicle, even when wearing a helmet. However, not wearing a helmet increases the risk of a brain injury in collisions at all speeds.
- Motorcycle accidents: Just as with bicycle accidents, the likelihood of suffering a brain injury in a motorcycle accident increases noticeably when the victim is not wearing a helmet. At all speeds, a motorcyclist can be ejected off their ride in a crash and hit their head against the pavement, causing a TBI.
- Work accidents: Different workplaces have different inherent risks of serious accidents and injuries, like TBIs. Industrial and construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces due to the heavy equipment and machinery commonly used in such locations.
- Slip and fall accidents: Tripping or slipping over a hazard on the floor can result in a brain injury if you land on your neck or head. Elders are at a particularly high risk of severe slip and fall accidents. Falls are among the leading causes of catastrophic injury and deaths among elders in nursing homes.
Types of TBI
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a type of injury that occurs when there is sudden trauma or external force applied to the head, which results in damage to the brain. TBIs can range from mild to severe, and they can have a wide range of short-term and long-term effects on an individual's physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning. Common causes of traumatic brain injuries include car accidents, falls, sports injuries, and violent assaults.
There are several common types of traumatic brain injuries, classified based on the severity and nature of the damage. These include:
- Concussion: A concussion is a mild TBI that typically results from a blow to the head or a sudden jolt to the body. It may not always involve loss of consciousness. Symptoms can include headache, dizziness, memory problems, and sensitivity to light and noise. Most people recover from concussions with rest and time.
- Contusion: A contusion is a bruise on the brain, often caused by a direct impact to the head. Contusions can vary in severity, and more serious contusions may require surgical intervention to remove the damaged tissue.
- Coup-Contrecoup Injury: This type of TBI occurs when the force of impact is so strong that it causes the brain to move within the skull, leading to injuries both at the site of impact (coup) and on the opposite side of the brain (contrecoup). It's common in high-velocity accidents.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI): DAI is a severe TBI caused by the stretching and tearing of nerve fibers (axons) throughout the brain. It often results from rapid acceleration or deceleration, such as in car accidents or shaken baby syndrome. DAI can lead to widespread brain damage and may have long-term consequences.
- Penetrating Injury: Penetrating TBIs occur when an object (e.g., a bullet, a piece of bone) penetrates the skull and damages brain tissue. These injuries are typically severe and may require surgery to remove the foreign object and repair the damage.
- Second Impact Syndrome: Second impact syndrome occurs when an individual sustains a second head injury before fully recovering from a previous one. It is a rare but extremely dangerous condition that can lead to rapid and severe brain swelling.
- Hematoma: A hematoma is a collection of blood outside of blood vessels. In the context of TBI, there are three primary types: epidural hematoma (between the skull and the outer membrane of the brain), subdural hematoma (between the brain and the dura mater), and intracerebral hematoma (within the brain tissue). Hematomas can put pressure on the brain and require medical intervention.
There are also three levels of severity: mild, moderate, and severe. On the mildest end, a person may only experience brief confusion. For more severe TBIs, usually there will be an open head injury. However, just because yours isn't severe doesn't mean you can't experience serious negative effects. All traumatic brain injury types and severity levels are worth recovering damages for.
Brain Injury Lawsuits
As a victim of a brain injury, you should not hesitate to consider pursuing a lawsuit if your head injury was caused by another person’s negligence. You will want to work with an attorney who treats these situations with the utmost care, including helping you file a claim and fight for the full and fair compensation you deserve.
The damages you are entitled to will depend on whether you have suffered short- or long-term damage. If you are a brain injury victim, you may be able to recover damages for the following:
- Loss of income
- Current medical bills
- Future medical bills
- All expenses related to your injuries
How Long Does It Take to Fully Recover from a Brain Injury?
The actual recovery time for a TBI will depend on several factors:
- How severe the brain injury is
- How long the victim was unconscious after sustaining the injury
- Whether or not the victim has access to quality medical care
- Whether or not the victim has a strong support system during their recovery
People with less severe brain injuries can still take months to heal, while those with more severe TBIs can take years to fully recover. In some cases, a full recovery is impossible because the damage done is too great. No matter the severity of your injury or how long your road to recovery may be, our team is ready to stand by your side and fight for the compensation you need to get yourself on the right track.
Concussion Injuries are Not “Mild”
The most common type of brain injury is a concussion, which is sometimes erroneously described as being mild. The truth is that concussions might not seem as dramatic or dangerous as a traumatic brain injury, but they can still lead to life-changing consequences if not treated correctly. People who suffer concussions might not realize anything is wrong until days or weeks later when the injury has had time to worsen. After any accident that might have caused you to suffer a concussion — caused by the rattling of the brain against the inside of the skull — you should see a doctor as soon as possible for a full diagnosis and understanding of your injury.
The driver suffered severe burns due to a salvaged vehicle catching on fire. Settled to the plaintiff for damages.
Salvage vehicle catches fire, severe burns to the driver.
- Brain Injury
The Symptoms and Long-Term Effects of a Brain Injury
Victims of a brain injury may experience symptoms such as loss of consciousness, headaches, nausea, lack of coordination, sleep issues, and/or changes in behavior. However, symptoms of a brain injury can take days or weeks to appear. Even if you do not think you have a brain injury, it is important to seek medical attention promptly after an accident so your doctor can administer a test.
Sustaining a brain injury can contribute to long-term complications including:
- Cognitive Impairments:
- Memory problems: Individuals with TBIs may experience difficulties with short-term and long-term memory, making it challenging to remember new information or recall past events.
- Attention and concentration deficits: TBI can lead to reduced ability to focus, concentrate, and sustain attention, making tasks like reading, studying, or working more challenging.
- Executive functioning deficits: Executive functions, such as planning, problem-solving, decision-making, and organizing tasks, can be impaired, affecting an individual's ability to manage daily life effectively.
- Emotional and Behavioral Changes:
- Mood disorders: Depression and anxiety are common among TBI survivors. Changes in brain chemistry and the emotional impact of the injury itself can contribute to these conditions.
- Irritability and mood swings: TBI can lead to sudden and intense mood swings, making it difficult for individuals to regulate their emotions.
- Aggression and impulsivity: Some individuals may exhibit aggressive or impulsive behaviors that they did not have before the injury.
- Personality changes: TBIs can alter a person's personality traits, preferences, and social interactions.
- Physical Impairments:
- Motor deficits: Depending on the location of brain damage, individuals may experience weakness, paralysis, or coordination problems.
- Sensory impairments: TBI can affect sensory processing, leading to changes in vision, hearing, taste, or smell.
- Speech and language difficulties: Some people with TBIs may have trouble speaking, understanding language, or expressing themselves effectively.
- Seizures: Approximately 20-30% of people who experience a moderate to severe TBI will develop epilepsy and experience recurrent seizures. Seizures can range from mild to severe and may require ongoing medication or other treatments.
- Sleep Disorders: TBIs can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, or other sleep-related problems. Sleep disturbances can further affect cognitive and emotional functioning.
- Headaches: Chronic headaches are a common long-term complaint after a TBI, which can be both debilitating and affect an individual's quality of life.
- Cognitive Fatigue: Many individuals with TBIs report experiencing cognitive fatigue or mental exhaustion more quickly than before their injury. This can impact their ability to engage in daily activities or work.
- Social and Relationship Challenges: Changes in personality, mood, and communication abilities can strain personal relationships and lead to social isolation.
The issues that arise from a brain injury may require extended therapy to treat.
Call for a No-Cost Consultation
Brain injuries can impact the health of a victim for the rest of their life. The expenses of recovering from a brain injury can be very costly; Medical bills, lost wages, and funeral costs are just some of the financial obligations a victim and their family may incur.
At Fowler | Helsel | Vogt, our mission is to alleviate those obligations. Our Fresno brain injury lawyers are committed to holding negligent people accountable and helping their victims recover the compensation they deserve. We also assist those who have traumatically lost a loved one to the effects of brain injury.