Los Angeles Brain Injury Attorneys
The brain controls your thoughts, memories, speech, movement, and breathing. A major injury to that vital organ can, literally, damage every part of your functioning and your life. Even a seemingly minor brain injury can do lasting harm.
When someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct results in an injury to your brain, the law may entitle you to compensation to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and support to help you live as normally as possible. Depending on the circumstances in which you were injured, you may also recover compensation for your physical or mental suffering or other non-economic damages.
Severe traumatic brain injuries may leave some people too disabled and unable to seek our help. In those instances, we welcome calls from family members who care for their injured loved ones.
To navigate the challenges of seeking compensation for a brain injury, you want a law firm on your side with experience in representing brain trauma victims—and their families.
The attorneys of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, have decades of experience representing people with head and brain injuries. We have obtained significant verdicts and settlements in brain injury claims. Our legal team has experience in dealing with the type of medical and rehabilitative help you need, and we excel in providing the aggressive legal representation seriously injured people require.
At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, our compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys dedicate their lives and practices to helping clients injured because of someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions. Contact us today online or by phone at (310) 576-1200 to schedule a free consultation.
Our Results in Brain Injury Cases
The only thing that brain injuries have in common is the affected area. Accidents that cause brain injuries can vary from a traumatic fall to a motor vehicle accident to a company or someone’s failure to properly identify and protect workers or the public from hazards. Often traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims sustain other injuries as well, which can influence a court or jury in determining whether to award damages and in what amount.
Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP’s lawyers are proud to have helped clients recover seven- and eight-figure awards in matters involving traumatic brain injuries. While financial compensation can never make up for the pain and suffering these people have experienced, our aim is to help ensure our clients won’t need to worry about paying medical bills or living expenses while they recover. Here are some of the results we have secured:
- $16.1 million in a construction accident with defective scaffolding that resulted in brain damage and other injuries.
- $13.82 million in an accident that threw a passenger around the interior of a Los Angeles bus, causing brain damage and partial paralysis.
- $10 million for a child who sustained severe brain injuries in a vehicle accident due to a defective booster seat.
- $9.9 million in a premises liability case where the dangerous condition of public property resulted in a serious brain injury.
- $8.8 million in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in a brain injury.
- $7 million in a truck accident where a tractor trailer caused a brain injury to the driver of a vehicle it collided with.
- $6.4 million in a construction negligence case that resulted in brain injury.
- $5.5 million when a 32-year-old woman incurred a brain injury in a motorcycle accident. The accident was caused by a flooded roadway due to a nearby hotel pumping swimming pool water on to the street.
- $5.4 million when a reckless police pursuit resulted in a brain injury.
We cannot guarantee the outcome of any individual case or predict a legal outcome for our clients.
To speak to an attorney about your brain injury claim, contact Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP. We represent seriously injured clients in the Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California and the entire state. We also consult with attorneys and clients nationwide.
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Brain Injuries: Beyond the Numbers
About 1.5 million people in America suffer a traumatic brain injury every year, according to the Brain Injury Association of America. That’s more than six times the number of people who are diagnosed with breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, spinal cord injuries, and multiple sclerosis combined.
About 50,000 people die of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) annually and another 5.3 million people are currently living with a disability due to a traumatic brain injury.
Yet few members of the public are aware of the significant number of people living with permanent, disabling brain injuries.
One of the cruel ironies of brain injuries is that many victims can walk, talk, and appear to be just fine. Unfortunately, they have a profoundly disabling brain injury that results in memory loss, cognitive impairments, and emotional and behavioral changes that leave them unable to earn a living or, in some cases, unable to accomplish the routine tasks of daily life.
If you sustained a traumatic brain injury after a serious accident like a fall or car crash, you may look like your old self, but you may not be able to do the things that once came easily. Memory, attention, balance, spatial relationships, emotions, and behavior can all be profoundly affected by a brain injury.
About Traumatic Brain Injuries
What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
Two main types of brain injuries exist. Our clients who have sustained brain injuries in an accident typically have what is called a traumatic brain injury. This just means that a force, or trauma, caused the injury—examples include motor vehicle accidents, assaults, and falls. In the majority of personal injury lawsuits where brain or head injuries were sustained, the type of brain injury is a TBI.
A direct blow, or coup, to the head, can cause another injury when the brain hits the skull on the opposite side of the head. This is called a coup/contrecoup injury. A brain injury can also occur without a direct blow to the head.
Indirect head trauma, which often occurs in car accidents or falls, can also lead to traumatic brain injuries.
TBIs can prove devastating in their severity. Patients with even mild injuries may suffer permanent impairments. Each year, about 30 percent of all injury deaths and more than 2.5 million hospital emergency room visits result from TBIs.
In contrast, an acquired brain injury (ABI) is not caused by some type of physical force. Instead, ABIs may result after oxygen deprivation, a stroke, or a disease attacks the brain. ABIs may result from someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct, such as a near drowning and oxygen deprivation after a boat accident, but most occur due to internal conditions within the body.
Symptoms of traumatic brain injury range from persistent headaches, confusion, dizziness, memory loss, and personality changes to blurred vision and ringing in the ears, to trouble thinking, concentrating, speaking, and moving. Brain injuries can lead to coma and death.
What are the main causes of traumatic brain injuries?
Slips and falls are the leading cause of TBIs in the United States, accounting for 47 percent of all such injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The most susceptible populations for falls are children younger than 14 and adults older than 65. Work-related falls are also common in some industries, such as construction.
The second leading cause of TBIs: Getting struck by a heavy object. This is most common in children younger than 15.
Motor vehicle accidents are the third leading cause of brain injuries, and they affect all age groups. Among motor vehicle accidents, rollover accidents cause nearly 50,000 head injuries each year. These accidents are more prevalent in sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, and our attorneys have successfully litigated against the makers of these vehicles or their tires when a design or manufacturing flaw has made them more dangerous.
Sports accidents, from bicycling to skating to contact sports, can cause brain injury. Falls from bikes, motorcycles, ladders, or scaffolding are also a factor. Blasts are a leading cause of TBI for military personnel in war zones. Assaults can also cause TBI.
Men are more likely than women to sustain a traumatic brain injury. Children age 0 to 4 and young people ages 15 to 19 are the two groups at highest risk for brain injury.
What physical symptoms are associated with traumatic brain injuries?
When a patient initially suffers head trauma, early symptoms could include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Ringing in the ears
- Hypersensitivity to light, noise, touch, smell or taste
These symptoms may last for months or years. Some may never subside.
Brain injuries can also cause lasting physical and personality changes, including:
- Sensitivity to crowds
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Changes to sex drive
People who have sustained brain injuries also may feel more sensitive to sensory stimuli and more likely to make impulsive or poor decisions. They are more likely to use drugs and alcohol or engage in inappropriate sexual activity, as some brain injuries can lower inhibitions. Patients may not even notice the changes, but close friends and family members can see a definite shift in personality.
Seizures can also plague some people with brain injuries. Typically, seizures cause loss of consciousness and muscle contractions. A medical professional can prescribe anticonvulsive drugs to help reduce the number of seizures. Sometimes surgery can slow seizure activity.
Who is legally responsible for a traumatic brain injury?
Anyone who failed to reasonably inform others of a hazard or who created a hazard that led to a traumatic brain injury may face liability. Likewise, anyone who causes a motor vehicle accident by failing to obey traffic laws or engaging in negligent behaviors like distracted driving or driving under the influence may bear responsibility for the resulting injuries.
Sometimes, poor design or product defects can cause a traumatic brain injury. Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, has fought against vehicle manufacturers and tire makers when their products’ flaws caused or contributed to an accident.
What compensation can a person with a traumatic brain injury recover?
If you or your loved one was injured as a result of someone’s negligence, you could possibly recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses. Traumatic brain injuries are expensive to treat, and TBIs often require one or more surgeries to alleviate pressure in the skull. Ongoing therapies can add to the cost. As a result, medical bills can total millions of dollars during the patient’s lifetime.
- Physical pain and suffering. Ongoing physical problems, including demonstrable cognitive impairments that impair the patient’s ability to lead a normal life, can influence the amount of a settlement.
- Mental suffering. Many patients with brain injuries can no longer work or participate in activities they once enjoyed. Sometimes, personality changes can damage relationships and even put the patient in risky or dangerous situations.
- Lost wages. While getting treatment for brain injuries, patients are sometimes unable to work. Many brain injuries could prevent a patient from resuming a career at all.
- Loss of companionship. Spouses and children could recover damages as well if their loved one is unable to resume normal operation of the household after sustaining an injury.
Issues in Brain Injury Diagnosis
Brain injuries are often just one of many injuries caused by a serious accident. Unless symptoms are clear and obvious, doctors and nurses who are focused on other, more life-threatening injuries can easily overlook a mild brain injury.
The full extent of a brain injury may not become clear until weeks or months after an accident.
The attorneys of Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, have successfully represented clients with brain injuries for decades. We can assist you in finding respected medical experts who specialize in the diagnosis of brain injury. Our experts will use a variety of tools to demonstrate the extent of your injury and pursue all compensation you are entitled to:
- Neurological workup – If doctors do suspect a head injury, you will most likely be given an initial neurological exam in the emergency room or doctor’s office. You’ll be rated according to the Glasgow Coma Scale on your ability to open your eyes, speak, and respond to verbal and physical stimulus.
- Imaging tests – Your doctor may order an imaging test, like an MRI or CT scan, to determine if there are skull fractures, tumors, a subdural hematoma, penetrating injuries or other observable injuries to the brain. However, no imaging test can accurately pinpoint all types of injury to the brain. This lack of objective documentation can make it difficult to prove the extent of injury-related damages.
- Neuropsychological testing – Neuropsychological testing can help pinpoint specific deficits that may be caused by a brain injury. Even these, however, are not infallible. People with extremely high intellectual capabilities will still fall within the normal range on a neuropsychological test even though they are experiencing significant deficits due to a brain injury. Neuropsychological testing is most accurate when a baseline test of the individual’s capabilities occurred before the accident.
- Personal observations – The observations of friends, co-workers, and family members can help diagnose a brain injury and the personality disorders that sometimes go with it. A physiatrist, a specialist in rehabilitative medicine, will interview people who knew the individual before and after the injury about the differences they have seen in the person’s abilities and behavior. These interviews may reveal that before the accident she enjoyed reading and now she cannot read, or before the injury he had a calm demeanor, but now is easily frustrated. These observations can also be helpful from a legal point of view to help document the extent of the damages a person has suffered.
The Glasgow Coma Scale
Emergency room physicians or neurologists will assess the patient’s degree of consciousness and ability to open his or her eyes, speak and respond to speech, move parts of the body and respond to simple commands and questions using a test called the Glasgow Coma Scale.
Imaging tests are usually ordered to determine if surgery is needed to relieve pressure or extract bone fragments from the brain. While these tests can reveal skull fractures and subdural hematomas, the full effects of a brain injury do not show up on diagnostic tests like MRIs or CT scans. Even neuropsychological testing cannot identify all deficits associated with a brain injury.
That is why every member of a brain injury rehabilitation team is so important.
Who Treats Brain Injuries?
Many head injuries necessitate a trip to the hospital emergency room to treat immediate swelling and brain damage. Doctors may need to send patients to surgery or acute care to prevent TBIs from worsening.
Following immediate emergency care, doctors may treat TBI symptoms that cause issues in the patient’s life with medication and rehabilitation. These injuries may result in an inability to perform daily tasks. A patient may need to relearn these skills through physical and occupational therapy, or may need around-the-clock inpatient care or a personal care assistant to provide supervision.
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, the rehabilitation team may include:
- Patient and patient’s family
- General practitioner
- Rehabilitation medicine physician
- Rehabilitation nurse
- Allied health professionals: physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, social worker
- Neuropsychologist, clinical psychologist
- Vocational rehabilitation services and counselors
- Other medical specialties: neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery
New Insights Into Brain Injury Rehabilitation
In many cases, patients may suffer lasting damage to memory or cognitive ability. In fact, 43 percent of persons who are hospitalized after a TBI still have a related disability one year after the injury.
Rehabilitation programs, physical therapy, medication, and counseling can help many patients effectively manage their deficits from a TBI. For some cases, patients may need some form of live-in care throughout their lives. The costs of this medical care can prove extremely expensive during the patient’s lifetime, which is why lawsuits may result in awards that total millions of dollars.
The goal of brain injury rehabilitation programs is to help people return to their former level of functioning as much as possible. Brain injury or cognitive rehabilitation programs can be in-patient, outpatient, or community-based services. They typically involve a team of medical and rehabilitation professionals who assess the patient’s needs and develop an individualized program to meet his or her goals.
Until fairly recently, little was known about brain injury rehabilitation. Some believed that rest, time, and luck were the only essential components for recovery. Today, however, analysis of numerous studies has shown that a program of brain injury rehabilitation can help people maximize their recovery from traumatic brain injuries.
Researchers at the University of South Alabama and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte analyzed results of several hundred studies of cognitive brain injury rehabilitation. They found that just as physical therapy enhances recovery from physical trauma, cognitive rehabilitation can increase positive outcomes after a traumatic brain injury. Results are best when the rehab program is begun early.
Finding the Right Traumatic Brain Injury Law Firm in California
In personal injury lawsuits like those which result in a traumatic brain injury, attorneys often work on a contingent fee basis in which clients pay no fees or expenses up front. The law firm’s compensation consists of a percentage of any monies recovered for the client. At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, we offer a free consultation to potential clients, at which we typically discuss the facts of their case. If we agree to representation, we discuss the appropriate fee arrangement.
When you’re injured, you want to focus all of your attention on getting better. You don’t want the hassle of legal proceedings to cause you stress or anxiety. You want the right personal injury law firm to handle your traumatic brain injury case. You need a reliable and compassionate partner who knows how to achieve the best possible outcome from a terrible situation. The attorneys at Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, have experience in managing traumatic brain injury cases and helping patients with traumatic brain injuries and their families make the best decisions.
Our lawyers represent people who sustained brain injuries in accidents caused by negligence in the Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California, California and the nation. We invite you to contact us and tell us your story. At your free consultation, we’ll discuss the facts and circumstances of your situation and whether we can help. Call us at (310) 576-1200 or contact us through our website to get started.