Have you or someone you love been injured in an accident in Bakersfield that wasn’t your fault? Did this accident cause you any kind of traumatic brain injury? If so, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries with a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Call today and let the Bakersfield personal injury attorneys at OnderLaw review your case to determine whether you have a valid claim for compensation. The consultation is completely free, and you’re under no obligation.

Don’t let a brain injury affect your financial future. Call OnderLaw today and let us help you get the compensation you deserve.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any injury to the head that affects how the brain functions. A TBI can be as small as a mild concussion or as large as a fracture in the bones of the skull. Even a small TBI can have long-lasting effects and dramatically affect someone’s quality of life.

There are many causes for TBIs, including the following:

  • Car or truck accidents
  • Falls
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Explosions
  • Natural disasters
  • Assault
  • Child abuse

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are several types of TBIs, usually grouped into primary or secondary brain injuries and then again into mild, moderate, or severe injuries. Some types of injuries include:

  • Concussion
  • Contusion
  • Laceration
  • Hematoma
  • Penetrating injuries
  • Diffuse injuries
  • Hemorrhage

Primary injuries are more or less complete after the initial impact. These can include skull fractures, concussions, contusions, or lacerations. Primary injuries can be either closed head, such as a bump or jolt to the head after a fall, or open head, such as in a gunshot wound or skull fracture.

Secondary injuries are any injuries that manifest after the initial impact and evolve over time. These types of injuries can include epilepsy, meningitis, swelling of the brain (edema), loss of blood flow to the brain (ischemia), and insufficient oxygen to the brain (hypoxia).

Mild TBIs usually consist of concussions or mild jolts to the head caused by falls, accidents, or sports injuries. They can occur with or without loss of consciousness and are usually treated with rest and time. Mild TBIs typically have few lasting effects and are usually closed head injuries. Some symptoms of mild TBIs include:

  • Brief loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness or disorientation
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Mood swings

Moderate and severe TBIs are more serious injuries caused by violent blows, jolts, or shaking of the head. They can include open or closed head injuries, as well as any injuries that actually penetrate the skull. Moderate and severe TBIs usually include loss of consciousness from a few minutes to days and can have dramatic secondary injuries that affect quality of life for years after the initial impact. Some symptoms of moderate and severe TBIs include the following:

  • Loss of consciousness for minutes or hours
  • Profound confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Numbness in extremities
  • Disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache that does not go away
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Fatigue
  • Convulsion or seizures

Compensation for a TBI Claim in California

Compensation for an injury due to another’s negligence usually comes in the form of a settlement provided by the responsible party’s insurance company or a verdict or award granted by a judge or jury in a lawsuit. The vast majority of injury claims are handled with a settlement before the case goes to trial.

Estimating the amount of compensation you might receive for your TBI is nearly impossible without a complete review of your case and the circumstances that caused the injury. The general rule of thumb is the more severe the accident or injury, the more you should demand in compensation from the negligent party.

Compensation is broken down according to the actual losses, or damages, you suffer as a result of the injury. Some damages have a monetary value, and some do not. Your lawyer can help you decide which damages you may be eligible to obtain.

Non-economic damages are related to the actual injury itself and not the monetary cost of treating or living with the injury. There are several types of non-economic damages, such as:

  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress

Economic damages are any losses you suffer with a monetary value attached. Some examples of economic damages include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Injury-related household expenses

If you’re able to prove that the person or party that caused your accident actually intended to hurt you or someone else, you may be able to obtain punitive damages as well. Punitive damages, called exemplary damages in California, are intended to punish the guilty party rather than compensate you for any particular loss and are only allowed in cases of extreme malice, oppression, or fraud. Ask your attorney if pursuing exemplary damages is right for your case.

Proving Negligence in California and the Statute of Limitations

In order to obtain compensation, you must prove a few key elements regarding your case. California civil law states that everyone has a duty to behave in a way that doesn’t cause others danger or harm. You must prove that the person responsible for your accident was supposed to behave in a certain way, didn’t behave how they should, their behavior caused an accident, and that accident injured you in some way. If you can prove these four elements, you should have a valid claim for compensation.

California also has a strict statute of limitations on personal injury claims. A statute of limitations is essentially a limit on the amount of time you have to file a claim for compensation. In California, the limit is two years from the date of the injury, or if the injury wasn’t discovered until after the accident, one year from the date the injury was discovered.

Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics

Here is some information regarding the prevalence of TBIs in California and elsewhere:

  • Between 2010 and 2015, there were 4,063 non-fatal hospitalizations in Kern County for TBI.
  • The most common cause of TBIs in California in 2014 was falling.
  • There are over 280,000 hospitalizations for TBI every year in the United States.
  • Men make up the majority of TBI accident victims.
  • An estimated 50,000 people die every year from TBI in the United States.
  • The estimated total cost of TBI-related injuries per year tops $76 billion.
  • Approximately 13.5 million individuals live with a disability caused by a TBI in the United States.
  • 837,000 of the almost 3 million cases of TBI in the United States in 2014 occurred in children.

Why Do I Need an Attorney for My TBI Case?

Hiring an attorney to assist with your claim for compensation can give you the edge in ways you may not fully understand. Personal injury claims are not like insurance claims involving only property damage. They take a bit more knowledge and experience to handle correctly.

A good attorney can use their experience with injury law to make the entire claims process easier and smoother for you and your family. We will take on the hard work of building your claim so you can concentrate on recovering from your injury. We will do the legwork of gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and dealing with insurance companies, so you don’t have to.

We can help make sure your claim is complete and supported by facts, as well as avoid novice mistakes that may get your claim delayed or denied.

We can help you understand how damages work and make sure that you’re demanding compensation that covers all the losses you’ve suffered, not just the ones that affect your pocketbook.

Hiring a qualified attorney also allows you to take your case to trial if necessary. If the responsible party’s insurance company knows that you’re representing yourself and decides to deny your claim, there’s little more you can do without a lawyer. If you hire an attorney before the claim is submitted, the insurance company must rethink their actions because they understand that you’re prepared to go to trial. This changes the equation for them, as they now must calculate whether the costs of litigation are higher than the cost of a fair settlement.

Why Hire OnderLaw to Represent Me?

We have almost two decades of experience helping thousands of clients get compensation for their injuries. We are intimately familiar with the claims process and relevant case law, and we pride ourselves on providing competent, compassionate, and comprehensive legal counsel.

We understand the strain a TBI can place on you and your family, financially and otherwise. This is why we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only pay for our services if we’re successful in getting you some form of compensation. If we don’t win, you pay nothing.

We’ve successfully obtained over $3 billion in settlements and awards for our clients. Our record speaks for itself.

Call Today for a Free Consultation

If you or someone you love has been in an accident caused by someone else that caused a traumatic brain injury, don’t wait any longer. Call OnderLaw today for a free, no-obligation consultation and see if an injury claim or lawsuit is right for you. The consultation is free, and you only pay for our services if we win your case, so you have nothing to lose. Call today.