A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can change the course of a person’s life. It’s not just the immediate symptoms that can keep you from feeling like yourself – headaches, weakness, difficulty recalling words, forgetfulness, and more. The long-term effects of a TBI can affect your day-to-day life forever. The situation is all the more tragic when the injury occurred as a result of another person’s negligence. If you or a family member is in this situation, we can help. Let the most experienced San Diego traumatic brain injury lawyers take your case.
With decades of experience helping victims recover compensation, the brain injury attorneys at CaseyGerry have earned a reputation as leaders in the legal field. We specialize in serious personal injury and traumatic brain injury cases and have recovered more than $25 billion for our clients. When you choose to work with us, you can be confident that our team understands how to navigate the complexities of brain injury cases and will provide you with the resources and individualized representation to pursue accountability for your injury. Our attorneys’ extensive experience in negotiating, settling, and litigating personal injury cases has resulted in millions of dollars in damages for our clients. Here are some of our most notable brain injury cases:
NFL player, Junior Seau, suffered numerous blows to the head throughout his career. He later developed dementia and other health issues, and at the age of 43, committed suicide. David S. Casey, Jr. represented the Seau family in a case that settled in 2018 for a confidential amount.
CaseyGerry reached a multi-million dollar settlement for a high school football player who suffered a traumatic brain injury.
We helped a victim obtain a seven-figure settlement after suffering catastrophic head injuries in an accident in a modified off-road vehicle. The case was filed against both the client’s employer and the manufacturer of the vehicle.
A car accident victim was awarded $1 million following mediation for the traumatic brain and neck injury she suffered from the crash.
The Brain Injury Association of America refers to traumatic brain injury as a change in brain function caused by an external force. In other words, an incident caused an injury that changed the way a person’s brain works. The impact might have physical, emotional, and/or cognitive effects. Symptoms can range from temporary to severe. Some symptoms may go away after a while, but others can last a lifetime. Each year, about 30 percent of injury-related deaths in the United States involve a TBI.
In addition to those tens of thousands of deaths each year, a TBI diagnosis is involved in more than 280,000 hospitalizations and millions of emergency room visits. The complexity of brain injury cases demands attorneys who are at the forefront of ever-evolving medical issues, such as Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Our firm has the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to successfully represent victims of traumatic brain injury.
Brain injuries are caused by an external force, vary in severity, and may be closed or open (skull fracture). Typically, brain injury cases arise from personal injury accidents including:
The following are the common types of brain injuries victims suffer, but they all have one thing in common—the long-term effects, which may last for weeks, months, or years after an accident.
Concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and are regularly caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls, and high-impact sports. However, concussions can be hard to self-diagnose since symptoms can be relatively subtle and may not appear immediately after an accident. This type of TBI is caused by the rapid movement of the brain within the skull, most often as a result of an impact or a blow to the head. There are different grades of concussions, ranging from those that do not cause a loss of consciousness to those that cause a prolonged period of unconsciousness. If not treated immediately, any concussion can result in lasting damage, including post-concussion syndrome and a potentially deadly condition known as second impact syndrome.
A contusion is a bruise to the brain itself from a direct impact that causes bleeding and swelling without breaking the skin. As a result of the trauma to the head, the brain comes into contact with the skull’s interior. Contusions may occur along with a fracture or other blood clots and may require surgical intervention. In some cases, there may be multiple contusions if the force of impact causes the brain to slam into the back of the skull as well, known as a coup-contrecoup contusion.
Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) occurs by severe shaking or rotational forces, causing connective neurological structures within the brain to tear. These injuries can happen, for example, in car accidents, from falls, or shaken baby syndrome. DAI is an extremely serious injury that can lead to permanent brain damage, coma and a persistent vegetative state, or death. Depending on the location of the damage, surviving victims can experience disruption in memory, motor sensation, motor function, and olfactory (sense of smell), and more.
A penetration injury is caused by an object that enters the skull and goes through the brain—for example, a gunshot wound. Depending on the severity, a penetration injury can cause significant and long-term effects or may be fatal.
At CaseyGerry, our attorneys specialize in serious personal injury and traumatic brain injury – and are at the forefront of the complex medical issues related to brain injury, including Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease thought to be caused by repeat concussions or blows to the head, and Second Impact Syndrome (SIS), a condition in which the brain swells rapidly after a person suffers a second concussion. SIS is potentially catastrophic, and especially prevalent amongst adolescents – due to the developing brain’s susceptibility to injury. A second impact can result in a loss of autoregulation of the brain’s blood supply, causing significant swelling. Because the brain is more vulnerable and susceptible to injury after an initial blow, it takes minimal force to cause irreversible damage. With equally devastating consequences, CTE, which causes depression and erratic behavior, has also drawn increased scrutiny in recent years – with public concern mounting following the high-profile suicides of several former professional athletes
Brain injuries impact people in many different ways. The injuries can be temporary or permanent, and there is a wide range of symptoms that can have emotional, physical, and cognitive impacts on those who have suffered a brain injury. We use our brains in every aspect of our lives, and when brain function is suddenly interrupted by an injury, fear and uncertainty about the outcome can be distressing. People who have sustained a brain injury might face emotional and behavioral challenges, such as personality changes, depression, anxiety, mood swings, and anger. A brain injury’s cognitive impacts are generally more severe when the injury is more severe, but even a minor brain injury can create some cognitive disruptions. Confusion, inability to focus, forgetfulness, and disorganization are common brain injury symptoms. More severe cognitive issues include loss of memory, limitations on information processing, communication problems, difficulties with reasoning, and uncontrollable impulses. Physical brain injury symptoms include loss of consciousness, headaches, vision problems, sound and light sensitivity, and fatigue. Some people also experience nausea, seizures, and ringing in the ears after being injured. Brain injuries can cause any number and combination of these symptoms.
Even a mild TBI can lead to extensive financial and personal losses for a victim and their family. When another party is responsible, the following types of compensation may be available to pursue:
If the at-fault party exhibited extreme recklessness or egregious behavior, the court might award punitive damages as a form of punishment for the defendant and deter others from similar acts.
Under California law, if you have suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions, you have the right to hold them liable for your injury and other losses. However, proving another party is liable for your brain injury can be complex, especially if multiple parties are involved. It will require establishing the following four elements:
The defendant (at-fault party) owed you a duty of care. One’s “duty of care” is to act as a reasonable person would in similar circumstances—for example, a driver has a duty to follow traffic laws to keep others on the road safe, and a property owner has a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors.
The defendant’s actions violated their duty of care—for example, a driver running a red light or a property owner failing to fix a known hazard.
The defendant’s breach directly caused your brain injury—for example, a driver who ran a red light crashed into your vehicle, causing you to hit your head on the steering wheel, which resulted in your brain injury, or you fell and hit your head because a property owner failed to repair steps they knew were damaged.
As a result of the defendant’s negligence, you suffered damages (e.g., medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.)The success of your case will often hinge on the strength of evidence against the defendant. An attorney can help you gather the types of evidence you will need, depending on the type of accident that caused your brain injury. Examples of evidence can be photos and video footage of the accident scene, eyewitness statements, video surveillance footage, police reports, medical records, maintenance logs, accident reconstruction expert testimony, brain injury expert testimony, etc.
Rather than being caused by a physical impact, non-traumatic brain injuries are caused by an internal experience such as lack of oxygen or exposure to toxic materials. Choking hazards, swimming pool accidents, and suffocation accidents are common causes of oxygen deprivation that result in brain injuries. Toxic exposure cases involve dangerous chemicals, lead poisoning, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Non-traumatic brain injury symptoms can be just as severe and sometimes more severe than traumatic brain injuries.
Our personal injury clients often have questions about how long their case will take from beginning to end and how the legal process works. The length of your case depends on several factors, including whether or not liability is disputed, the severity of your injuries, and whether or not the defendant’s settlement offers are reasonable. After meeting with you to discuss your accident and serious injuries, our personal injury attorneys begin the investigation and discovery phase. During this process, they gather important evidence, send initial discovery documents to the defendant, and schedule depositions to interview people with important information about your case. They also work on valuing your claim by examining the extent of your injuries and damages. Medical experts may be necessary to evaluate your injuries and determine how your injuries will impact you in the future. Other experts, such as therapists to prove your emotional damages and financial experts to calculate current and future losses, might be enlisted to help prove and value your injuries as well.
Every case is unique, and we cannot tell you how long it will take to settle your case. With severe brain injuries, it is important to thoroughly review your injuries and damages and hold out for a settlement that reflects the true value of your case. Some brain injuries require long-term medical care, and any settlement you accept must include financial compensation for future medical care related to your brain injury. Defendants and their insurance companies have incentives to settle cases sooner than later, especially when your case is strong. It is expensive to defend personal injury cases, and those costs can be avoided when cases are settled early in the litigation process. Bypassing the risks and uncertainties of a trial is another reason that defendants prefer to settle personal injury cases, especially when they know that juries may be sympathetic to severe injuries, such as TBIs.
Most of our cases settle before trial, but our attorneys continuously prepare their claims for trial in case a settlement agreement is not reached. Agreements can be reached at any point, and sometimes defendants will hold out until right before they go to court to agree to fair settlement terms. If your case does not settle, we will try your case in court, and we will make sure that you are prepared and know what to expect. To succeed at trial, plaintiffs must prove that the defendant caused the accident resulting in your injuries and damages. Witness testimony, accident reports, photos, and anything else that demonstrates the cause of your accident may be used as evidence. Witnesses include anyone who saw the accident, saw what happened after the accident, or heard statements made about the accident. As previously mentioned, expert witnesses may be necessary to prove your injury claim. In addition to medical and financial experts, other experts may be helpful in your case, such as an accident reconstruction expert to testify about the cause and other relevant details. Expert witnesses are generally hired during the investigative and discovery phase to go over evidence, conduct their own investigation, and discuss their findings and opinions. We will introduce evidence related to your injuries, such as medical records, reports, and injury evaluations. We will have experts to testify on your behalf and put forth evidence showing the extent of your injuries. We will demonstrate how your TBI has impacted your life and how it will continue to impact you in the future.
At CaseyGerry, our attorneys have vast experience representing people suffering from a TBI. We advocate for injured individuals on a case-by-case basis, and we’ve helped lead major national litigation involving head and brain injuries. Managing partner David Casey served on the Steering Committee and represented injured players in the National Football League concussion injury litigation. He also represented the family of San Diego football legend Junior Seau.
This experience has led the legal team at CaseyGerry to know the most cutting-edge brain injury research, spanning head injuries to the impact on the brain from repeated impacts. We welcome you to contact a San Diego brain injury lawyer for legal representation if you or a loved one sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of someone else’s careless actions. We can give you the resources you need to move forward and seek compensation for your medical bills and other related expenses.
For more information or a free consultation, contact our San Diego brain injury lawyers today at (619) 238-1811 or fill out our online contact form. It’s important to know that if you’re suffering from a TBI, you are not alone. Organizations such as BrainLine offer community and support resources to help you.