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Traumatic Brain (TBI) Injury Lawyer

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs), encompassing a spectrum from mild to severe, are a complex and often devastating consequence of accidents, impacting individuals physically, cognitively, and emotionally. As legal advocates deeply committed to supporting those affected by TBIs, we have dedicated our practice to providing unwavering support and legal guidance to clients navigating the challenges of head injuries, including mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs).

Did You Suffer a TBI in a California Accident? 


One of the most life-changing types of personal injuries from an accident is a traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, it is also one of the more common types of injuries that could occur due to a motor vehicle crash, slip and fall, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, or another type of bodily injury accident. According to statistics, each year in the United States there are roughly 282,000 hospitalizations, 56,000 fatalities, and 2.8 million emergency department visits due to traumatic brain injuries. Of these hospital visits, approximately 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, with approximately 80% of all cases being categorized as mild traumatic brain injuries. This translates to roughly 5.3 million Americans living with a TBI at any given time. More locally in California, each year TBIs result in about 3,000 fatalities, 18,000 hospitalizations, and 16,000 other emergency department visits. Despite being labeled as “mild,” our Bay Area mild traumatic brain injury lawyer knows that this type of injury can be debilitating, permanent, and catastrophic for victims and their families.


This is why Harriman Law offers victims and their families free case evaluations to learn more about their rights after a personal injury accident caused a mild traumatic brain injury. There’s no obligation to sign up during your consultation, but if you choose our law firm and we accept your case, we pay the upfront expenses of litigation which are only reimbursed after we recover compensation for you. The same is true of our legal fees, which are only paid from a percentage of the total recovery that we make for you – and only after we such recovery. This means there is no upfront cost, risk, or out-of-pocket expenses to begin working with our Bay Area mild traumatic brain injury lawyer.


What is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)?


Generally, a traumatic brain injury is defined as a sudden and external force that damages the brain. Traumatic brain injuries are classified by their level of severity on the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). These levels include being classified as a mild TBI, moderate TBI, or a severe TBI, and the treatment for each type depends on this severity level as well as the symptoms being experienced by a victim.


There are many different types of TBIs, including concussions, diffuse axonal injuries (DAI), coup-contrecoup, and penetrating injuries. All are serious and have unique characteristics as to how they are caused, diagnosed, treated, and the symptoms that result from them. Although all brain injuries are classified as one of these three levels, most medical providers now consider concussions as a mild traumatic brain injury. Also known as an mTBI, concussions are the most common type of brain injury.


What is a Concussion?


A concussion is defined as a type of brain injury that is caused by either 1) an impact to the head that causes a shock, bump, jolt, or another type of blow to the head, or 2) a hit to the head or body that causes a whiplash-like back and forth motion injuring the brain. This means that a concussion could be caused by a direct impact to the head, but that a concussion could also be caused by an indirect impact – including in an accident where the head is not hit at all. An example of this would be in a rear-end motor vehicle accident, wherein a victim may be violently rocked back and forth and suffer a brain injury.


It is also important to realize that the damage from a concussion is not just due to the force of the initial impact. Indeed, the effects of a violent impact can lead to swelling, brain bleeds, and chemical changes in the brain which can all result in serious damage to brain tissue. Sometimes these effects can take days, weeks, or even months to manifest any symptoms. This means that most defense lawyers and insurance adjusters will try to discount the severity of your mTBI.


Other Types of TBIs


There are other types of traumatic brain injuries that may be diagnosed as being mild which are not concussions. Despite being in the same classification level, the symptoms and impact on a victim can vary greatly and result in different types of impairments. Some of the other common types of mTBIs that our Bay Area mild traumatic brain injury lawyer could handle for you include the following:


Diffuse Axonal Injuries


Also known as DAIs, this type of brain injury is usually more severe than a concussion but can still be classified as an mTBI if the injuries and symptoms score appropriately on the GCS. That’s because a diffuse axonal injury is caused when brain tissue is caused to tear, shred, rip, or otherwise suffers lesions in the tissue from the force of an impact. The brain tissue that is damaged could be actual gray matter, but it is more commonly the nerve fibers that connect together (known as axons). As a result, nearly all DAIs are classified as moderate or severe.


Coup-Contrecoup Injuries


When the body or the head are subjected to a violent whiplash motion, a victim could sustain a coup-contrecoup injury. This type of TBI is caused when the brain slides back and forth in the skull, sustaining injury each time it hits the inside of the skull on the way forward and again on the way back. Due to this mechanism of injury, most coup-contrecoup brain injuries result in swelling and chemical changes in the brain which are similar to concussions. Therefore, victims who suffer whiplash injuries often are diagnosed with this type of mTBI. It is important to recognize that this type of TBI can be caused not just by a direct blow to the head, but also when a victim does not hit his or her head on an object at all.


Penetrating Brain Injuries and Bleeding


Other types of TBIs that are caused by personal injury accidents include those that fracture the skull and cause direct injury to the brain. Although this sounds traumatic – and it is – many times victims who suffer a skull fracture with corresponding swelling will often only be diagnosed with a mild TBI. This is particularly true in slip and falls or trip and falls, where victims could sustain skull fractures in a fall. To this end, victims often suffer bleeding. This can be in the form of a hematoma, or a broken blood vessel (what would be a bruise if you hit your harm hard).

Common Causes of Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries


There are many potential causes of a mTBI caused by a personal injury accident in California. It does not matter whether a victim was involved in a fall, motor vehicle crash, or was subjected to a medical error, brain injuries happen in a variety of ways. Our experienced Bay Area mild traumatic brain injury lawyer can help victims and their families fight back to recover compensation for their personal injuries in many different types of accidents, including the following:


  • Car accidents

  • Trucking wrecks

  • Slip and falls

  • Motorcycle crashes

  • Bicycle collisions

  • Trip and falls

  • Pedestrian knockdowns or hit by a car

  • Medical malpractice

  • Nursing home abuse

  • Nursing home neglect

  • Intentional torts, including assault or battery

  • Animal attacks including dog bites or knockdowns

  • Boating accidents, including paddleboard, kayaks, jet skis, or other watercrafts

  • Ridesharing accidents

  • Amusement park injuries, and

  • Virtually any other type of accident that causes personal injuries in California, particularly the Bay Area.


Symptoms of a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury


After any type of accident, no matter how slight it may appear, it is important to be aware of the possible signs and symptoms of a mTBI. Contrary to what most people may believe, nearly any type of accident could result in a mTBI. Indeed, even a low-speed collision or a fall on flat ground could result in a mTBI just the same as a high-speed collision or a fall off a ladder.


Some of the most common signs and symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury include the following:


  • Headaches, especially persistent ones that do not respond well to medication

  • Nausea, especially unexplained

  • Fatigue, drowsiness, or even exhaustion despite adequate rest

  • Dizziness

  • Blurred vision

  • Vomiting

  • Difficulty with speech

  • Ringing in ears

  • Odd tastes in the mouth

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Difficulty smelling or smelling things that are not there (i.e., smelling smoke or burning)

  • Feeling dazed or “out of it”

  • Sensitivity to sound

  • Generalized weakness

  • Disorientation

  • Memory difficulty

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Mood swings or mood changes

  • Feelings of depression, anxiousness, or sadness

  • Excessive sleeping or complete inability to sleep

  • Seizures

  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes

  • Weakness, numbness, or pins and needles in the extremities, especially the fingers and toes

  • Agitation, especially unexplained anger or rage

  • Slurring of speech

  • Loss of interest in people, activities, toys, entertainment, or other things that usually brought joy

  • A feeling of disassociation with close family, friends, or coworkers

  • Unexplained crying or emotional states

  • Migraines, especially ones that are recurring, unexplained, do not respond to medication, and that are debilitating, and

  • Other new and troubling symptoms that started in the days, weeks, or months after an accident that may have caused a head injury, brain injury, or another type of bodily harm in California.


Our experienced Bay Area mild traumatic brain injury lawyer knows that it is important to recognize these signs and symptoms to not only protect your health, but also to protect your possible claim for compensation under California law. Thus, any signs or symptoms should be reported to your treating physicians and routinely followed up or monitored.


Did You Suffer a mTBI in California? Call Our Bay Area Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer for Help


All traumatic brain injuries are serious. Despite the name, mild traumatic brain injuries can result in life-changing consequences for victims and their families. This is especially true of victims who are no longer able to continue to work in their pre-accident job – or even work at all. Unfortunately, the truth is that some mTBIs can have a significant and profound effect, yet defense lawyers and insurance adjusters will still try to belittle that damage due to the label as a “mild” TBI.


That’s not fair. Especially when it impacts your ability to provide for yourself and your family.


Fight back with the experienced Bay Area mild traumatic brain injury lawyer at the Harriman Law. We offer personalized and dedicated representation, ensuring that victims and their families receive the qualified legal services that they deserve. To learn more about how our personal injury law firm can help you and your family, contact us today by dialing 415-625-3564 or by sending us a message through our Contact Us box available here.

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