Traumatic Brain Injury

Our team at Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. is focused on providing you and your family the best possible representation. 

Sacramento Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer

Serious Representation for TBI's & Brain Damage — Call (916) 229-6755!

When a traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs as the result of an accident with an automobile or commercial truck, it’s important to immediately retain the skilled representation of a qualified brain injury attorney. Chances are, you are (or will be) dealing with costly medical bills, lost wages, and many other expenses. Whenever you’re hurt by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for such losses. However, it’s not always as easy as it should be to get a fair settlement.

At Del Rio & Caraway, P.C., our Sacramento traumatic brain injury lawyers are passionate about helping people like you get justice against the individuals and/or corporations that caused your suffering. We take the time to listen to your case and provide you with the legal guidance and counsel you need. Especially when dealing with a catastrophic injury, going through the insurance claim process alone could result in missed opportunities to maximize your compensation. We can help you make strategic moves and will take care of all the procedural work of filing a claim.

Backed by more than 50 years of combined legal experience, our Sacramento TBI attorneys can aggressively advocate for you after a traumatic brain injury. Contact Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. today at (916) 229-6755 for a free case evaluation.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A TBI is a type of brain dysfunction sustained as a result of an external force, such as a blow to the head or body. Additionally, brain dysfunction resulting from an external force that pierces the brain tissue, like a bullet, is also considered a TBI. Similar to any other injury, medical professionals classify TBIs into three categories — mild, moderate, and severe — to determine the gravity of each patient’s injury, allowing them to administer the proper treatment and let the patient know what they can expect in terms of recovery.

How Are TBIs Classified?

When a person seeks medical help for a TBI, the attending health care provider will inquire about what symptoms they have experienced thus far, such as if consciousness was lost and for how long.

Typically, the patient will also be assessed using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), which measures stimuli response as follows:

  • Eye opening
  • Verbal response
  • Motor response

Each of these responses are scored separately and then compiled to calculate the patient’s final Glasgow Coma Score (GCS). The GCS has its limits (for instance, it cannot identify alcohol intoxication, which would negatively affect the score), but in most cases, it provides enough information to accurately classify a brain injury as mild, moderate, or severe.

If the GCS indicates a severe injury yet more information is needed, a health care provider may order a computerized tomography (CT) scan or even a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify areas of physical damage.

Can I File a Lawsuit for My Brain Injury?

If you’re questioning whether or not you have the legal recourse to pursue damages after you or a loved one suffered a TBI, our brain injury attorneys will sit down with you, completely free of charge, to review your case and identify your options. On the simplest level, all you need to answer is this question: Was the injury caused by someone else’s carelessness or misconduct? If you think the answer is yes, you likely have the right to file for compensation. We can help investigate your case to learn the full details of what transpired.

The following are examples of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries:

  • Falls caused by unsafe premises
  • Motor vehicle accidents involving cars or semi-trucks
  • Violent assault
  • Sports-related injuries, most commonly a concussion
  • Explosions or military combat injuries

Those who are lucky will suffer only a mild TBI (concussion or mTBI), which has a much higher rate of total recovery; high-velocity impacts and/or puncture wounds can cause much more severe damage to the brain. However, even an mTBI can greatly impact a person’s health.

Per a recent study, mTBIs are very common and often unrecognized by emergency departments. In fact, only 23.1% of patients with an mTBI were officially diagnosed with one in the emergency department. This data is quite unnerving considering the long-term effects of an untreated mTBI: emotional regulation issues, irregular sleep patterns, headaches, post-traumatic amnesia, learning and speech difficulties, among others. Thus, it is advisable to monitor yourself for such symptoms and consult a medical professional again should they persist.

No matter how your traumatic brain injury occurred, if it was caused by someone's negligence, you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering. Contact a Sacramento TBI lawyer from Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. to get started on your case with a free consultation.

Recovering Compensation for a Life-Changing TBI

When addressing a traumatic brain injury claim, it’s important not only to document your expenses and new needs but also to show how this injury will forever impact your quality of life. For this type of analysis, we can work with medical experts to gauge how your future is likely to look.

In your personal injury lawsuit, our brain injury attorneys will pursue compensation for the following types of damages:

  • Lost wages you missed from being unable to work;
  • Lost earning potential if you can't return to your field of work or any type of work;
  • Medical expenses from your TBI, including hospital bills, doctor visits, and medications; and
  • Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or the loss of quality of life.

We’ll also need input from you and your family so we can get a sense of your previous day-to-day life. The more detail we can give, the more convincing your claim will be.

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

As the command center for everything we do, the brain is uniquely valuable. It’s also unique in that it cannot regrow and replace cells after they die. A brain that has been damaged will always retain that damage. Some recovery may be possible if the brain can rewire itself. However, these gains are hard-won and do not happen for everyone.

Brain injury victims may suffer the following symptoms, along with many others:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Language and communication problems
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of control over speech
  • Difficulty understanding speech
  • Changes in sensory perception
  • Seizures
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep disorders
  • Paralysis
  • Spasticity
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Dependency
  • Lack of awareness

Though every symptom may not be immediately apparent, they can still cause serious hardships for patients and their families. They can also slip through initial evaluations. We won’t let an insurer cover up a disability just because they think it isn’t important or wasn’t caused by your accident.

If You Lose Consciousness, Seek Care Immediately

Any loss of consciousness, no matter how brief, is a symptom of brain injury. Even if the victim wakes up and claims to feel fine, a visit to the doctor is a must. Though concussions are referred to as “mild” TBIs, there’s no such thing as an unimportant brain injury. Especially if other symptoms appear later, having medical proof they are connected to your accident will help you when it comes to pursuing compensation.

Anyone who receives a moderate-to-severe brain injury will likely suffer observable lifelong disabilities. They may need assistive devices or a caretaker to help them navigate the world. This is the image most people conjure when they think of brain damage. However, mild TBIs can also cause lasting changes. They may be less noticeable, especially to those who do not know the victim, but that does not mean they are not worthy of concern.

Cognitive Difficulties

When neurons are injured, they are likely to lose some of their functionality. These cells cannot repair themselves; every neuron that dies simply decreases the total capabilities of a person’s brain. This can result in noticeable differences in a victim’s mental capabilities. Brain injury victims may suffer:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Decreased ability to reason
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Memory impairment

Such changes can affect a TBI patient’s ability to hold their job, maintain relationships, and participate in activities they previously enjoyed. These are all damages for which the party who caused an accident can and should be held liable.

Physical Effects

The damage done to the brain can never be undone, but it can continue to escalate. Though scientists do not fully understand how, it’s a well-documented fact that a TBI has effects on a victim’s brain health down the road. Physical impacts may include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures

Doctors have also found links between brain injuries and conditions like epilepsy as well as degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Sensations and Experiences

Our brain both tells our body what to do and makes sense of the feedback sent to it. When you feel the pain of a pebble in your shoe, it’s because your brain has interpreted signals sent by damaged nerves in your foot and identified their cause. Brain damage can interrupt these processes and cause victims to mis-perceive the world around them. TBI victims may:

  • Find it difficult to balance
  • Experience blurry vision or other problems with eyesight
  • Have trouble speaking and/or swallowing
  • Notice changes in their senses

In some cases, these changes only cause slight discomfort, but in others, they may prevent the victim from being able to complete essential activities such as driving and working.

Behaviors and Moods

Internal sensations can change as well after a brain injury. Victims may seem to develop a completely different personality. Or, they may experience:

  • Feelings of irritability
  • Mood disorders (commonly depression and anxiety)
  • Difficulty controlling strong emotions/reactions

Of course, it’s natural for a TBI victim to also feel angry, sad, and frustrated if they have noticed changes in themself. The emotional burden may grow even heavier if they are no longer able to process their feelings like they once could.

Understanding Concussions

Many may brush off a concussion as a mild injury and may think it's nothing to worry about. In short, a concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and when left undiagnosed or untreated, it can increase a victim's risk of developing further complications.

How Do Concussions Happen?

A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that causes the brain to move back and forth in a rapid motion against the skull. This sudden movement creates chemical changes in the brain and can stretch and damage brain cells. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the top reasons why someone could sustain a concussion is motor vehicle accidents as well as falls, sports-related accidents, and acts of violence.

The Three Types of TBIs

There are three types of TBIs — mild, moderate, and severe. Concussions are considered a mild form of a TBI. However, it's critical to remember that the term “mild” should not be taken lightly when referring to TBIs. Read on to learn the symptoms and long-term effects of a concussion when left undiagnosed or untreated.

How Do I Know If I Have a Concussion?

Concussion symptoms may not show up for days or weeks after the initial injury. For this reason, it's critical to seek medical attention immediately. For instance, suppose you've been involved in a car accident, and afterward, you feel “fine.” Feeling okay doesn't mean that you don't have a concussion or other severe brain injury. Your symptoms could take longer to surface, so getting checked out is always in your best interest. If you are experiencing the following symptoms after an accident, it could indicate you have a concussion:

  • Headaches or feeling pressure in the head
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Feeling “foggy” or sluggish
  • Feeling confused or “groggy.”
  • Trouble remembering or paying attention
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Feeling irritable or anxious
  • Tiredness/drowsiness
  • Rining in the ears
  • Problems with keeping balance
What is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

When concussion symptoms last longer than the expected recovery period, it's known as post-concussion syndrome. Some post-concussion symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, concentration problems, and memory issues can last months, a year, or more. Post-concussion syndrome may also be linked to neck injuries that co-occurred with a head injury.

Treatments to Prevent Further Damage

It's crucial to seek medical treatment immediately after an accident that caused a blow or jolt to the head. It's not uncommon for TBIs to have delayed symptoms that do not show up for days or weeks after the injury. Getting checked out and seeking treatment immediately can mitigate further damage.

Some of the most common treatments used to prevent inflammation and further damage to the brain are:

  • Medications may be administered to prevent or limit secondary damage. For example, to reduce fluid build-up or seizures, diuretics may be prescribed. Coma-inducing medications may also be administered to relieve brain pressure.
  • Surgery may be necessary to stop bleeding in the brain, repair skull fractures, or relieve skull pressure.
  • Rehabilitation is not uncommon for individuals who have suffered a TBI. Rehabilitation therapies can help with symptom relief and other long-term problems of a TBI. People who have difficulty with walking, talking, or any other body function limitations, may need the following types of rehabilitation:
    • Psychiatry
    • Occupational therapy
    • Physical therapy
    • Language or speech therapies
    • Neuropsychology
    • Social work
    • Vocational counseling

The Long-Term Effects of TBIs

Sustaining a TBI can pose many different complications, and in the most severe cases, may leave someone in a non-responsive state. A traumatic brain injury may pose the following difficulties:

  • Coma or minimally conscious state
  • Seizures
  • Brain death
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Chronic headaches
  • Vertigo
  • Paralysis in facial muscles or losing facial sensations
  • Vision problems
  • Swallowing problems
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Cognitive issues (memory, learning, reasoning, judgment, concentration)
  • Speech challenges
  • Lack of self-control (verbal or physical outbursts)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability

According to the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, TBI's have been linked to an increased risk of the following degenerative brain diseases:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Dementia pugilistica (commonly occurs due to severe contact sports such as boxing or football)

The Long-Term Emotional Impact of TBIs

Not only can a TBI pose physical threats, but it can also leave someone with emotional issues and problems with social relationships. Someone who has sustained a TBI may feel trapped or frustrated with such a life-altering condition. In addition, the recovery process can be overwhelming, and the result can be anxiety and depression. If the TBI was caused by a devastating event such as an assault or car accident, they might also be inclined to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Our Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys in Sacramento Are Ready to Help

We know after a catastrophic injury like this, you may be experiencing grief, anger, confusion, and other difficult emotions. It isn’t always easy to consider legal actions with everything else going on. When you work with Del Rio & Caraway, P.C., you’ll have 24/7 access to our team so we can answer your questions and provide advice. We are dedicated to helping our clients fight for the justice they deserve, and we will stay by your side from the day you first speak with us to the day your case is resolved.

Find out more about your legal options by calling Del Rio & Caraway, P.C. at (916) 229-6755. Our caring team of Sacramento brain injury attorneys is here to help you.

  • Truck Accident $5,000,000
  • Pedestrian Accident $2,700,000
  • Altercation Caused Injury $2,100,000
  • Tire Failure Causing Rollover Accident $1,860,000
  • Auto Accident $1,670,689
  • Sideswipe Auto Accident $1,049,925
  • U-Turn Auto Accident $1,000,000
  • Truck Accident $1,000,000
  • Auto Accident $1,000,000
  • Illegal U-Turn Accident $1,000,000

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