Orange County Brain Injury Lawyers
Internal brain injuries typically happen when an individual sustains a forceful blow to their head. Serious accidents, including motor vehicle collisions on local roadways—like California State Routes 1 and 55—as well as slip-and-fall accidents in local restaurants and construction site accidents, may lead to a debilitating head or brain injury.
A victim who suffers damage to their head or brain may need to undergo significant medical procedures, including surgeries. They may also have significant pain and other complications that last for the rest of their life. Therefore, if you or a person you love suffered a head injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you should take legal action right away.
The Orange County brain injury lawyers at Bentley & More LLP understand the physical pain and trauma that often accompanies severe head injuries. Our legal team can retain medical experts to testify on your case and aggressively fight for your right to recover the compensation you deserve for your brain injury. We can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf or pursue litigation in the court system if the insurance company does not compensate you appropriately.
Our legal team has recovered millions of dollars worth of compensation for victims of serious injuries. Let us pursue the monetary compensation you need to become whole again after your accident. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an Orange County brain injury attorney, please call us at 949-870-3800 or contact us online to learn more.
Special note for other law firms: Our legal team regularly represents accident victims who suffer debilitating and permanent physical injuries. We accept referrals from other law firms involving complex injury matters. Please call us and let us know how we can assist you with a serious brain injury case.
Types of Traumatic Brain and Head Injuries
While all head and brain injuries are serious, some cause more painful symptoms and side effects than others.
The severity of a head or brain injury will usually depend upon various factors, including:
- The type of accident that caused the head or brain injury
- The specific injury that the accident victim suffered
- The force of the blow to the accident victim’s head
- The specific circumstances surrounding the accident
- The part of the head the accident victim hits
- The surface on which the accident victim falls
Common head and brain injuries that victims of serious accidents may suffer include:
- Penetration injuries to the head
- Severe concussion injuries
- Post-concussive migraine syndrome
- Comas—often resulting in a permanent vegetative state that requires life support
A penetrating injury to the head occurs when an object breaks the skin and pierces the person’s skull, sometimes intruding into the brain area. In many instances, these injuries are fatal.
Concussion injuries, on the other hand, involve brain tissue damage when a person’s skull moves around inside their head, striking the side of the skull due to a significant amount of force from an accident. During this process, disruption may occur to the brain’s neurons and axons, which relay signals from the brain to other parts of the body. They also serve as the brain’s internal wiring network. When disruption occurs to these brain components, serious side effects may occur.
While short-term symptoms of concussion injuries include mild headaches, nausea, dizziness, and temporary memory losses, victims of serious accidents may suffer additional symptoms, including permanent memory losses, post-concussive migraine symptoms, and comas. While some comas are temporary, others can last for a lifetime. In the latter instance, the accident victim will need to rely upon permanent life support.
Medical Treatment Following a Severe Head Injury
When an accident victim’s head hits concrete, macadam, or another hard surface with a significant amount of force, the chances are good that they will incur serious injuries and medical complications. Therefore, if you suspect that you may have suffered a head injury in an accident, you should obtain the medical treatment that you need right away.
Seeking early medical intervention is especially important in a head injury case since symptoms do not always appear immediately. Waiting too long to seek the medical treatment you need may cause your head or brain injury to worsen significantly with time.
Medical treatment following a serious head injury may include hospitalization for some time following the accident, MRIs and brain scans of your head area, consultation with a family doctor or primary care physician, treatment from a neurologist or another specialist, treatment with a psychiatrist or psychologist following your accident, or medical procedures, including head surgeries, to correct or limit the problems you are facing.
While you focus your attention on making a full recovery from your head injury, the Orange County brain injury lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can start advocating for you. Our legal team can gather your medical treatment records to date, along with pertinent accident documentation, such as copies of the police report, photographs of the scene, incident reports, and witness statements.
After your medical treatment is complete, we can use these documents to present a convincing claim to the insurance company for the at-fault party. We can then field settlement offers on your behalf and work to maximize the monetary recovery you receive for your traumatic brain injury.
Accidents That Cause Brain Injuries
When an object penetrates an accident victim’s head, or the accident victim hits their head with a significant amount of force, the victim may suffer a severe brain injury. In many instances, these injuries and accidents are preventable. In other words, the primary cause of these accidents is someone else’s negligence.
A person is negligent when they act unreasonably under the circumstances.
Some of the most common scenarios that result in head trauma include:
- Motor vehicle crashes, especially head-on collisions, where the front of two vehicles strike one another
- Slip and fall accidents, in which a property owner fails to maintain their premises safely, and the accident victim hits their head on the floor
- Construction accidents, in which a worker who is around dangerous machinery and equipment daily falls to the ground or suffers an injury when a piece of machinery malfunctions
- Pedestrian accidents, in which a careless driver fails to notice a pedestrian in the vicinity and strikes them, causing them to hit their head on the ground
- Product malfunctions, when a product explodes or otherwise injures a consumer when the consumer is using the product in the proper manner
- Bicycle accidents and motorcycle accidents, in which a negligent driver hits the vehicle, dislodging the cyclist and causing them to hit the ground (Bicycle and motorcycle accidents are especially likely to cause traumatic brain injuries when riders fail to wear sturdy helmets and other protective gear.)
If you sustained injuries in one of these accidents that occurred because of another individual or entity’s negligence, you should both know and understand your legal rights and options. The Orange County brain injury lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can discuss the circumstances of your accident with you and help you determine your best chance of success in moving forward with your case.
We can then implement the appropriate option and work to recover the full monetary damages you deserve for your traumatic brain injury.
Legal Elements of Proof in a Brain Injury Case
Brain injury claims and lawsuits fall under the umbrella of personal injury law. In any personal injury case or lawsuit, the injured accident victim has the sole legal burden of proof. Therefore, to recover monetary compensation in the case, they must establish the legal elements of their claim.
First, the accident victim must demonstrate that the at-fault party owed them a legal duty of care. For example, in a car accident scenario where the crash caused a brain injury, the victim must show that the responsible driver owed them a legal duty of care. This is fairly easy to establish since motor vehicle operators always have a duty to drive reasonably and carefully.
Next, the brain injury victim must show that the responsible party deviated from their legal duty of care. For example, in the same car accident scenario, the driver might have operated their vehicle while intoxicated or violated a California traffic law.
Next, the head injury victim must show that the other party’s violation of their legal duty was both the actual and foreseeable cause of the subject accident. Again, in the car accident scenario, the accident victim must establish that it was the driver’s traffic law violation that caused the accident.
Finally, the accident victim must establish that their head injury directly resulted from the accident.
Proving medical causation in a head injury case can be extremely difficult. This element is difficult to prove because insurance companies often challenge it. Many insurance adjusters will look at prior medical conditions or injuries to try to explain away an accident victim’s head injuries or symptoms. For example, the accident victim might have suffered from migraines in the past due to a prior car crash.
Fortunately, medical experts, including trained medical providers, can establish the necessary causal connection in your case. To make this connection, a doctor must ordinarily state, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that the subject accident was the cause of your head injury. However, the accident need not be the sole cause of your head injury. A medical provider may also be willing to establish that your head injury is permanent and unlikely to recover fully in your lifetime.
The Orange County brain injury lawyers at Bentley & More LLP can help you establish the legal elements of your brain injury case by retaining competent experts on your behalf. If necessary, an expert can draft a medical report or testify at a deposition or civil jury trial in your case. We have strong working relationships with area medical providers and know how to use expert testimony to advance the monetary outcome of your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
What are Recoverable Damages in a Brain Injury Case?
Victims of traumatic head and brain injuries often suffer extremely serious complications. They may have to undergo costly medical procedures, or they may suffer permanent impairments that affect their ability to enjoy life and make money at their job. Fortunately, head injury victims who can establish the legal elements of their claim can recover various types of monetary damages.
The total monetary award that a head injury victim recovers will depend upon the severity of their injuries, the types of medical treatment they underwent, and the cost of that medical treatment. Generally speaking, accident victims who suffer permanent head injuries recover greater monetary damages than accident victims who have suffered non-permanent head injuries.
Recoverable monetary damages in a head injury case include compensation for:
- Related medical expenses
- Anticipated medical costs, if the accident victim may need to undergo treatment in the future
- Lost income
- Loss of earning capacity if the accident victim can no longer work at all or has to switch jobs and take a pay cut
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Psychological distress
- Permanent impairment or disability, including cognitive impairments, loss of the ability to use a body part, lost quality of life, and wrongful death damages
In addition to these economic and non-economic damages in a head injury case, an accident victim may be eligible to recover punitive damages. A judge or jury awards punitive damage to punish the wrongdoer defendant and to discourage others from committing similar wrongful acts. A head injury victim might recover punitive damages if their injuries resulted from a drunk driving accident or other circumstance where the responsible party behaved egregiously.
Our legal team understands the tricks and tactics that insurance companies often use to undervalue head and brain injury claims. We can highlight the strength of your case during settlement negotiations, as well as during litigation, to maximize the total monetary recovery you receive.
Contact an Orange County Brain Injury Lawyer Today
Navigating a brain injury case can be extremely complicated. Therefore, you should have a skilled legal team representing you throughout the proceedings. Reach out to a Orange County personal injury lawyer.
At Bentley & More LLP, our compassionate lawyers are prepared to fight for your right to recover the monetary compensation you deserve. If the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly, we do not shy away from litigating cases in court or taking them to a jury trial or binding arbitration proceeding.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an Orange County brain injury attorney, please call us at (949) 617-0938 or contact us online for more information.
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Bentley & More LLP – Orange County Office
Phone: (949) 617-0938