Brain Injuries

Agoura Hills Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys

Brain Injury Cases in Los Angeles

When a brain injury has occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence, victims may be eligible to file a compensation claim that will cover both short-term as well as long-term losses. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury because of another’s negligence, call an Agoura Hills traumatic brain injury lawyer to discuss filing a claim for compensation. We serve clients throughout the entire Los Angeles area.

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What Are Common Causes Of Brain Injuries?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common causes of traumatic brain injury in the United States are:

What Are The Symptoms Of A Traumatic Brain Injury?

Brain injuries can range from concussions, leading to neuropsychiatric problems including post-concussion syndrome and emotional disorders, to various degrees of cognitive impairment and other severe neurological injuries that can leave a person in a permanently vegetative state. If you or a loved one has suffered any kind of blow to the head, it is important to seek emergency medical attention immediately. Even a concussion must be referred to as an emergency medical department or doctor.

Some common symptoms include:

  • Loss of consciousness, anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes
  • State of confusion, disorientation, or dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Problems with speech such as slurring or stuttering
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Sensory issues, such as blurred vision or ringing ears
  • Uncharacteristic mood swings and agitation

Brain injuries are tricky to diagnose and the symptoms can be temporary, permanent, and vary widely from one person to another.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can occur when the head is exposed to sudden movement, a jolt or a blow - e.g., in a car crash or a fall to the ground. As illustrated in the video below, these types of head traumas can push the brain into the skull causing injury to the organic brain matter.

The brain is essentially a network of nerve cells called neurons. Cognition occurs as neurons send and receive billions of electrochemical signals to one another in various, complex patterns. Neurons receive signals through the dentrites and transmit signals through the axons. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), trauma to the head can cause microscopic changes in the axons, disrupting these patterns and causing harm.

Symptoms of a Concussion

A concussion is usually categorized as a type of mild TBI (mTBI), as opposed to moderate or severe. The terms mild, moderate, and severe are used to differentiate between different types of traumatic brain injuries. Despite the misleading terminology, a mild TBI is an injury to the brain that can lead to significant symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common symptoms of concussion or mTBI include:

Difficulty thinking clearlyHeadacheFuzzy or blurry visionIrritabilitySleeping more than usual
Feeling slowed downNausea or vomiting (early on); DizzinessSadnessSleeping less than usual
Difficulty concentratingSensitivity to noise or light; Balance problemsMore emotionalTrouble falling asleep
Difficulty remembering new informationFeeling tired, having no energyNervousness or anxiety 

Detecting a Concussion

According to the American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR), microscopic injury to the brain cells from a traumatic event can go undetected by even the most advanced neuroradiological imaging technology available today.

  • Computed axial tomography (CT or CAT scans) are used to detect brain bleeding (hematomas) and swelling (edema).
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) are used to detect minute bleeding (microhemorrhage), small areas of bruising (contusion) or scarring (gliosis).

Abnormal CT scan or MRI results indicate immediate neurological treatment. However, because of the brain's sensitivity to even microscopic changes, normal CT scan and MRI results do not rule out a concussion. It is important to get plenty of physical and mental rest following any head trauma, even with normal CT scan and MRI results.

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Concussion symptoms usually appear within the first 7-10 days following the traumatic event. When this occurs, the person who suffered the head trauma has post-concussion syndrome. This condition usually subsides within 1-3 months, but it can last up to a year or more in some cases.

Neuropsychological Testing

When post-concussion syndrome persists beyond a few months, neuropsychological testing is recommended to assess cognitive functioning (incl. memory, attention and reasoning) as well as psychological components (incl. personality and mood).

The goal of the neuropsychological testing is to understand the effects of both the physical injury to the organic brain matter as well as the emotional injury from the traumatic and stressful event. A behavioral neurologist or neuropsychiatrist can meet with the patient and review the neuropsychological test results to determine the proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Many times a factor in persistent post-concussion syndrome is underlying depression or anxiety caused by the traumatic and stressful event. For example, when neuropsychological testing shows normal cognitive functioning and a depressed or anxious mood, the neuropsychiatric diagnosis may be depressive pseudo-dementia. Treatment options may include cognitive behavioral therapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

The brain injury lawyers at Effres & Effres know how to effectively litigate and prove TBI cases. If you or a loved one received head trauma due to someone else's negligence, contact our office today for a free consultation.

How Can I Tell If a Head Injury Is Mild or Severe?

Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries range from mild to moderate to severe, but all necessitate prompt medical evaluation and treatment. Even if you believe you have only suffered a mild head injury, it is still important that you see a medical professional who can assess the injury and determine the best treatment.

But, how can you tell if a head injury or TBI is mild or severe? Typically, the severity of the blow to the head and/or your symptoms will point to how severe the injury is. For example, if you slipped and fell, hitting your head hard on the ground, you may have suffered a concussion. A mild concussion could result in symptoms like ringing in the ears, headache, fatigue/drowsiness, nausea, or blurry vision; a moderate or severe concussion could cause you to lose consciousness (even briefly) and/or present more severe symptoms, such as a persistent headache, changes in sleep patterns, and significant confusion, disorientation, and/or memory loss.

If you or someone else suffers a severe head injury, it will most likely be fairly obvious. Severe TBIs often result in immediate serious symptoms, such as loss of consciousness, inability to remember the accident or the events leading up to it, marked sensory problems, changes in mood or personality, or even coma. That being said, keep an eye out for TBI symptoms that seem to become more severe or persist over time, as these could indicate a more serious injury than initially thought.

In any case, always seek immediate medical attention after sustaining a head injury or suspected TBI. Only a qualified medical professional will be able to properly evaluate your injury and determine how severe it is, as well as the lasting implications this may have.

Should I Get Treatment Right Away After A Head Injury?

Medical treatment is essential because it is important to diagnose if there is bleeding in the brain, or other signs of possible exacerbation of the injury such as swelling. If treatment is sought in time, there is a better chance that long-term injuries can be avoided, as sadly there is no complete cure for a brain injury. It is also important to get plenty of rest – both physical and mental – after a head injury so that the brain has the best opportunity to heal. Consequently, medical expenses and lost wages are common economic losses following head injuries.

Who Is Most At Risk After a Head Injury?

Young children and the elderly generally have worse outcomes from traumas to the head as compared with young adults. In a moderate brain injury, individuals may suffer memory loss, impaired cognitive function, mental impairment, and impaired communication. In a severe brain injury, or TBI, the person may be unresponsive to any kind of stimulation. All types of brain injuries, including concussions, have the potential to lead to emotional changes such as increased anxiety and depression.

We Are Here to Help

With such long-term consequences of a traumatic brain injury, it’s important for you to identify all of the parties liable in your claim and account for all the types of compensation that you are eligible for. If you have suffered a brain injury in Southern California, speak to an experienced Agoura Hills traumatic brain injury lawyer at Effres & Effres about filing an injury claim that takes into account all the losses that you have suffered as a result of the injury. We offer our services for residents throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura, and all surrounding counties.

Call (818) 222-9720 to schedule a consultation with one of our Agoura Hills TBI attorneys. We want to help you fight for the compensation you need and deserve.

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