A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury that changes the way the brain functions. A TBI usually results from a violent blow to the head. Automobile collisions, motorcycle crashes, slip-and-fall accidents, and other mishaps that bring the brain into violent contact with the skull can cause a TBI. Other brain injuries occur when the brain is deprived of oxygen or is exposed to toxic chemicals.
Brain injuries can be deadly. Swelling or bleeding in the brain can be fatal if an accident victim does not receive immediate treatment. Victims who survive brain injuries may suffer from a permanent disturbance of brain functions, including impairment of the ability to think and reason, speech disorders, loss of mobility or balance, personality changes, and other disabling conditions.
When the careless acts of another person or business are responsible for a traumatic brain injury, the injury victim is entitled to seek compensation. As a personal injury law firm with a long history of representing California TBI victims in negligence cases, Thomas J. Ryan & Associates has developed the knowledge, resources, and skill to help survivors of traumatic brain injuries recover the compensation they deserve.
Timothy J. Ryan & Associates also assists the families of victims who die from brain injuries by bringing wrongful death claims on their behalf. To learn more about your rights if you or a family member experienced a TBI that resulted from someone’s negligence, call Timothy J. Ryan & Associates at 800-838-6644.
Negligent Acts that Cause Traumatic Brain Injuries
A person or business is negligent when they act carelessly. Any action that results in foreseeable harm that could have been avoided is likely to be deemed a negligent act. Examples of negligence that cause brain injuries include:
- Car crashes. About half of all TBIs result from collisions caused by careless drivers. When an accident victim’s head strikes a windshield, steering wheel, or an airbag, the impact can result in a TBI. A brain injury can also result from “shear forces” even when the head does make contact with part of the car. When a vehicle comes to an abrupt stop after a front-end collision, the brain continues to move forward until it strikes the skull. When a car is rear-ended, the sudden forward movement of the car can cause the head to snap back, again causing the brain to make violent contact with the skull.
- Motorcycle crashes. Helmets help reduce the severity of injuries, but a helmeted rider can still sustain a TBI when the rider’s head strikes the ground after being thrown from a motorcycle. Other than death, brain injuries are usually the most serious consequence of a motorcycle crash. Careless drivers who cause motorcycle accidents should be held responsible when the rider suffers from a TBI.
- Slip-and-fall accidents. Slipping on water spilled in a supermarket or on a nightclub’s dance floor, losing balance on a slippery stairway, and falling in a health club shower that did not have a slip-resistant surface are just a few examples of accidents that can lead to brain injuries. When the premises owner could have taken steps to prevent the accident, the failure to do so may entitle to accident victim to compensation for his or her TBI.
- Tripping accidents. When a business stretches an extension cord across a floor or allows a product to jut into an aisle where customers walk, they negligently create tripping hazards that may cause falls and brain injuries.
- Birth injuries. A TBI in a newborn can result from negligent prenatal care or from delivery techniques that deprive the baby of oxygen or that cause head trauma.
- Other medical injuries. Medical malpractice can lead to a TBI whenever a doctor’s mistake deprives the patient’s brain of oxygen. Improper administration of anesthesia is one of the most common acts of medical malpractice that causes brain damage.
- Defective products. Poorly designed ladders can lead to head injuries when consumers fall from a height. Improperly vented generators and fuel-burning appliances can produce carbon monoxide that damages the brain. Defective tires and seatbelt failures contribute to brain injuries sustained in traffic accidents.
- Sports concussions. Violent impact during contact sports is always a risk. When a coach makes a decision to send a player back to the field after the player sustains a concussion, however, the coach exposes the player to an increased risk of serious brain damage resulting from another blow to the head before the brain heals after the initial impact.
- Gunshot accidents. Unfortunately, 90% of gunshot wounds to the head are fatal. Nonfatal bullet wounds to the head usually inflict lasting brain damage. Hunting accidents and the failure to keep loaded guns in a locked cabinet where children cannot reach them are the usual causes of negligent gunshot wounds.
- Toxic chemical exposure. Pesticides, chemical fumes, lead paint, and other poisonous substances can cause irreparable brain damage. When a harmful exposure to toxic substances results from negligence, the victim is entitled to compensation.
Many other acts of negligence can lead to a traumatic brain injury. If you suspect that an act of carelessness caused a TBI that could have been avoided, contact our office for a free evaluation of your potential claim for compensation.
Compensation for Traumatic Brain Injuries
Timothy J. Ryan & Associates has been helping California accident victims cope with traumatic brain injuries for more than 30 years. Compensation paid by a negligent business or insured driver can pay for medical expenses, speech therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and other costs that help TBI victims regain their independence.
Compensation can also help victims replace income they lost (and will lose in the future) due to their brain injuries. When disabling brain injuries leave victims in need of assistance, compensation can pay for home health aides and for helpers who cook, clean, and do the other chores that the disabled victim can no longer perform.
When a traumatic brain injury is fatal, California law permits the surviving spouse and certain other family members to recover compensation for their loss of financial and emotional support. As a personal injury and wrongful death law firm with proven success recovering compensation for victims of traumatic brain injuries, Timothy J. Ryan & Associates can help you or your loved one seek justice for the negligent infliction of a devastating brain injury.