About Brain InjuriesAn Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is defined as any damage to the brain that occurs after birth and can result in cognitive, physical, and psychological dysfunction. A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a result of an injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain and is most commonly a result of motor vehicle accidents when an object forcefully hits your head or when an object passes through your skull and brain. A concussion is considered a mild TBI. It is important to note that the pain and misery that brain injuries cause cannot be adequately summarized in the description given above. An anoxic brain injury is a serious injury that can cause severe cognitive problems and disabilities and results from a lack of oxygen to the brain. After an accident, it is important that the victim undergoes a complete medical examination of both the brain and the rest of the body. However, these early medical examinations may miss a brain injury in its early stages. It is therefore important that you check for any symptoms of a brain injury. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons states that symptoms of a brain injury vary, but may include:
Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain InjurySigns and symptoms of a TBI may include but are not limited to:
- Persistent headaches and neck pain.
- Regular vomiting and nausea.
- Lack of balance and dizziness.
- Paralysis of any limbs or body parts.
- Slow pulse or breathing rate, with an increase in blood pressure.
- Moodiness, accompanied by a sudden change in moods.
- Slurred speech.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Seizures or convulsions.
- Difficulty in focusing thoughts, or excessive focus on a single thought.
- Impaired hand/eye coordination.
- Inability to express oneself using words.
- Diminished sense of sight, hearing or taste.
- Cerebrospinal fluid coming out of nose or ears.
California Brain Injury Statistics
- Every year, a staggering 1.4 million people suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the United States.
- Patients with moderate head injuries do not fare as well. Approximately 60 percent will make a positive recovery, and an estimated 25 percent will be left with a moderate degree of disability. Death or a persistent vegetative state will be the outcome in about 7 to 10 percent of cases. The remainder of patients will have a severe degree of disability.
- The group comprised of severely head-injured patients has the worst outcomes. Only 25 to 33 percent of these patients have positive outcomes. Moderate disability and severe disability each occur in about a sixth of patients, with moderate disability being slightly more common. About 33 percent of these patients do not survive. The remaining few percent remain persistently vegetative.
California Vehicle Code to Wear a HelmetUnder California Vehicle Code §27803, the law requires that a motorcycle rider wears a helmet anytime he or she is riding. The helmet is intended to protect the motorcycle rider’s head and brain from injury in case of an accident. However, even though a helmet may reduce the severity of a head injury to a motorcycle rider in case of an injury, it does not eliminate the risk of permanent head injuries like a TBI. Therefore, even if a motorcycle rider might not have been wearing a helmet when an accident occurred, an attorney may argue that even with the helmet, the injury that the client suffered may not have been prevented. It is especially important to contact a personal injury lawyer when you have been injured on a motorcycle.
Compensation for Your Brain Injury in CaliforniaWhen calculating compensation, the extent of damage to both the person who was involved in the accident and his or her family is determined. A TBI patient may be unable to work, may require full-time care, brain surgery, and/or extensive and expensive medical treatment. Compensation may include the following:
- Medical treatment
- Doctor’s treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Physical damage
- Lost wages and lost future earnings