Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries in the United States. They can be caused by car, truck, motorcycle or bus accidents. The TBI victim can be the driver, motorcyclist, passenger or a pedestrian or bike rider involved in the accident.
Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most serious kinds of injuries a person can suffer. Victims usually need extensive medical treatment and substantial amounts of time away from work. In more severe cases, they may not be able to return to work at all and require long-term care. The cost of a TBIcan vary from tens of thousands to millions of dollars over a person’s lifetime.
Despite the high cost of a TBI caused by a motor vehicle accident, most insurance companies will do everything they can to get you to accept a low offer. That’s why it’s important to hire a personal injury attorney with experience handling these complex cases. The Dominguez Firm has over 35 years of experience helping TBI victims and their families receive the compensation they need to help them with their recovery. Call us today for a free consultation at (800)818-1818.
Vehicle Accidents and TBIs
Anyone can suffer a TBI under any circumstances. It can be as simple as a person falling and hitting their head on concrete while walking down the street. In fact, slip and fall accidents are one of the leading causes of TBIs, especially among the elderly. However, vehicle accidents claimed many lives as well. They accounted for about 17% of all TBI-related fatalities between 2018-2019. What’s more, they were the leading cause of TBI-related deaths for children under the age of 18.
Not all vehicle accidents are the same. And some of the people who suffer TBIs in traffic accidents weren’t even in a vehicle when it happened. What’s more, accidents between pedestrians and vehicles are at record high numbers. Many of these pedestrians suffer TBIs in these collisions. The main reasons for this are:
- The popularity of SUVs. The higher and larger profile of these vehicles increases the chances of a pedestrian suffering a head injury.
- Distracted driving and walking have also contributed to this rise in pedestrian deaths and injuries with vehicles.
- A major increase in the number of people driving aggressively which began during the pandemic lockdowns due to empty streets.
Here are some of the unique characteristics of each type of vehicle accident and TBIs:
- Motorcycle accidents – Due to their lack of protection, motorcycles are inherently dangerous. Even with the use of a helmet—which is mandatory in California, motorcyclists routinely suffer life-threatening TBIs in accidents.
- Truck accidents – The sheer size of most commercial trucks makes them a danger to anyone in their vicinity. Any accident can easily cause TBIs to everyone involved, even at low speeds.
- Bicycle accidents – They may not be motorized, but bikes are popular way to get around. Many cities have installed dedicated bicycle lanes for safety. But there are many areas where bicycles and vehicles must share the road. As with a motorcycle, any collision between a bicycle and a vehicle spells disaster for the cyclist. With or without a helmet, the cyclist can suffer a devastating TBI.
- Car accidents – Since the pandemic lockdowns began, there has been a sharp rise in the number of accidents caused by aggressive and reckless driving. That also means more victims sustaining TBIs in many of these accidents.
- Bus accidents – These accidents are unique in that they are the only vehicles that don’t require passengers to wear seatbelts. Some do, but many, such as public transit buses don’t, putting passengers at greater risk in a crash. Thankfully, bus accidents are rare, but when they do occur, they can be catastrophic and serious injuries, such as TBIs are common.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury, also known as a TBI is a penetrating or non-penetrating blow to the head. A TBI can be mild or severe. Examples include a concussion or a penetrating injury, such as from glass in a car accident. Recovery from a TBI can vary greatly. Some patients recover in just a few days, others need extensive medical intervention to see their condition improve. In the most severe cases, the patient could be left in a vegetative state or die.
The symptoms of TBI can vary depending on the severity of the injury, but they may include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory loss
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty with coordination
- Vision problems
Anyone who suffers a blow to the head should seek immediate medical attention, even if they think their TBI is mild.
What Are the Different Types of TBIs?
There are several types of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including:
Mild TBI: Also known as a concussion, this type of injury is characterized by a temporary loss of brain function. Symptoms may include headache, dizziness, confusion, and memory loss.
Moderate TBI: This type of injury is characterized by a longer period of unconsciousness and more severe symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and seizures.
Severe TBI: This is the most serious type of TBI, characterized by an extended period of unconsciousness and severe symptoms such as a persistent vegetative state or severe cognitive impairment.
Penetrating TBI: This type of injury occurs when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain.
Coup-contrecoup TBI: This type of injury occurs when the brain is bruised on the side opposite the impact site, due to the brain bouncing back and forth inside the skull.
Diffuse axonal injury: This type of TBI occurs when the brain rotates or shakes rapidly inside the skull, causing the brain’s nerve fibers to stretch and tear.
What Are Some Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) from Motor Vehicle Accidents?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a common result of vehicle accidents. Some common causes of TBIs in vehicle accidents include:
- Motor vehicle collisions: This includes car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents.
- Pedestrian accidents: This includes accidents involving pedestrians who are struck by cars or other vehicles.
- Bicycle accidents: This includes accidents involving bicyclists who are struck by cars or other vehicles.
- Rollover accidents: This includes accidents involving vehicles that roll over, often causing occupants to strike their heads on the roof or windows.
- Unrestrained occupants: This includes accidents involving occupants who were not wearing seat belts or were not properly secured in a child safety seat.
- Defective safety equipment: This includes accidents caused by defective seat belts, airbags, or other safety equipment that failed to protect occupants.
- Distracted driving: This includes accidents caused by drivers who were distracted by their cell phones, GPS, or other electronic devices.
- Drunk driving: This includes accidents caused by drivers who were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Reckless driving: This includes accidents caused by drivers who were engaging in reckless or negligent behavior, such as speeding, running red lights, or making illegal turns.
It’s important to note that a TBI can have a wide range of symptoms and severity that can have a long-term impact on the person’s life. If you or a loved one has been involved in a vehicle accident, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention and consult with a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and options.
There are two causes listed above that can be avoided. One is unrestrained occupant. Everyone in a motor vehicle should always be buckled up. There is no excuse not to, plus it’s the law. And children should be buckled into an age-appropriate car seat also. The other one is drunk or drugged driving, which needs no explanation.
How Are Traumatic Brain Injuries Treated?
Treatment for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can vary depending on the severity of the injury and the specific symptoms experienced by the individual. Some common treatments for TBIs include:
Medical management: This may include administering medications to reduce swelling and inflammation in the brain, as well as to manage pain and seizures.
Rehabilitation: This may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to help the individual regain cognitive and motor function.
Surgery: Surgery may be necessary to remove hematomas (collections of blood) or to repair skull fractures.
Supportive care: This may include assistance with activities of daily living and emotional support for the individual and their family.
Neuropsychological and/or cognitive rehabilitation: This type of rehabilitation is aimed at helping the individual to regain cognitive functions that were affected by the injury, such as memory, attention, and problem-solving.
Medications: Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication can help with emotional regulation; cognitive-enhancing medication can help with cognitive function.
It’s important to note that recovery from a TBI can be a long process and may require multiple types of treatment. Additionally, follow-up care and support are important for individuals who have experienced a TBI to help them manage any ongoing symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Do TBIs Affect Children Differently?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have a significant impact on children, and the effects may differ from those seen in adults. Some ways in which TBIs may impact children differently include:
- Children’s brains are still developing, so a TBI can disrupt the normal process of brain development and lead to long-term cognitive and developmental problems.
- Children may have difficulty expressing their symptoms, which can make it harder to diagnose and treat a TBI.
- Children with TBIs may have more difficulty with memory, attention, and executive function than adults with TBIs.
- Children may have more difficulty returning to their previous level of functioning in school or with friends and family.
- Children with TBIs may be more prone to emotional and behavioral problems, including depression, anxiety, and impulsivity.
- Children with TBIs may have more difficulty with vision and hearing problems, sleep disorders, headaches, and fatigue.
However, it’s important to note that every child is unique and the effects of a TBI can vary widely. Proper diagnosis and treatment can help minimize the impact of a TBI on a child’s development and improve their long-term outcomes.
By taking legal action against those responsible for your child’s TBI, you can ensure you have the legal resources to seek the finest medical care possible for them without worrying about your finances.
Can I Take Legal Action Against the Person Who Injured Me?
Yes, you can sue them in civil court for your traumatic brain injury. You would do this by having your personal injury attorney file a lawsuit against those responsible for your TBI. Unlike a criminal case where the defendant could face time in prison, the objective here is to obtain financial compensation from the defendant for their actions. Also, unlike a criminal case, where the state files the case against the person responsible, you are suing the person directly in civil court.
If your motor vehicle accident led to criminal charges against the person who caused your TBI, such as in a case road rage, you can sue them in civil court too. This is true even if the criminal charges are dropped or they are acquitted in criminal court.
What Compensation Could I be Entitled to for My TBI From a Car Accident?
Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most serious injuries a car accident victim can suffer. This can leave them unable to work for weeks, months or even permanently. When it comes to brain injury cases, there are several types of damages (the legal term for compensation) that may be available to injured victims and their families. They are broken down into two categories, economic and non-economic damages. Generally speaking, economic damages are the financial losses you’ve suffered due to your TBI while non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for the emotional losses you’ve endured.
Some of the most notable damages are:
- Medical expenses: This can include the cost of medical treatment, such as hospital stays, surgeries, and rehabilitation. This usually makes up the largest part of a TBI victim’s economic damages.
- Lost wages: If an injury victim is unable to work as a result of their TBI, they may be entitled to compensation for lost wages now and in the future.
- Pain and suffering: Brain injury victims may also be able to recover damages for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by their injury.
- Loss of consortium: In some cases, family members may be able to recover damages for the loss of companionship, love, and support as a result of their loved one’s TBI.
It’s important to note that the specific types of damages available will depend on the circumstances of your case. An experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer can help you understand the types of damages you may be able to recover and help you pursue the full compensation you deserve.
Also, note that California does not place a limit as to how much can be awarded in non-economic damages. That’s why it often makes up the largest part of a TBI victim’s final compensation.
A Loved One Died From a TBI Suffered in a Motor Vehicle Accident. Can The Dominguez Firm Help Me?
If you’re loved one died as a result of a TBI suffered in a motor vehicle accident in California, you may be able to take legal action against those responsible for the accident if you are the legal next of kin. This would entail filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action that can be brought by the surviving family members of a person who died due to the negligence or wrongful act of another person or entity. In order to be successful in a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to prove that the death of your loved one was caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another party. This can include but is not limited to, a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a reckless driver, or a defect in any of the motor vehicles involved
You could be entitled to the following damages:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Any medical costs caused by the victim’s accident
- Loss of companionship and guidance
- Loss of income the deceased would have provided
It’s important to consider that wrongful death lawsuits can be complex and emotionally difficult. It’s advisable to have legal representation. They can provide you with a clear understanding of the legal process, the potential outcomes, and the time frame to have a resolution.
While no amount of money can compensate for the loss of a loved one, obtaining financial peace of mind can help emotionally, especially if there are children involved.
How Long do I Have to File an Accident Claim Against the Person Who Caused My TBI?
Generally, you have two years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit. If your accident involved a government entity, such as a postal truck, you only have six months to file your claim. These deadlines, known as the statute of limitations are strictly enforced. If you miss the deadline, you could be out of luck, no matter how serious your TBI is.
Ideally, you should file your TBI accident injury claim as quickly as possible. Waiting can greatly hurt your case for several reasons:
- Vital evidence will be lost the longer you wait
- You could lose contact with any witnesses if you wait
- Defense attorneys will question why you waited and whether your TBI was caused by your motor vehicle accident
If the TBI victim is a child, their parents can present a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf. The statute of limitations gives children injured in motor vehicle crashes the same time limits as those for adults, except the clock doesn’t start ticking until they turn 18. However, again, if you are the parent or guardian of the injured child, you shouldn’t wait to file a claim on their behalf for the same reasons outlined above.
I Suffered a TBI in a Car Accident But I’m an Undocumented Immigrant. Can the Dominguez Firm Still Help Me?
Yes, because your immigration status has nothing to do with your accident. Here in California, undocumented immigrants have the right to sue for their accident injuries at all times. What’s more, your damages must be calculated according to your expenses in California, not the country you’re from.
You also don’t have to worry about the threat of being deported or any other negative action against you. Our TBI accident lawyers have successfully represented many undocumented immigrants who were seriously injured in all types of accidents. Defense attorneys can’t bring up your immigration status and we’ll make sure they don’t. We know how to handle defense attorney tactics and will make sure your rights are protected at all times.
How Do I Pay The TBI Lawyers at The Dominguez Firm?
Our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. That simply means we get paid from a percentage of your final compensation. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, the last thing you want to deal with is legal bills. At The Dominguez Firm, we’re well aware of that. That’s why we offer quality legal representation without the worry of any legal bills, upfront costs or any out-of-pocket expenses whatsoever.
What Happens if You Don’t Win My Case? Do I Owe You Anything?
This is another question we get often. The short answer is, if we don’t win your case, you owe us nothing. The Dominguez Firm has a 96%* success rate, however, no law firm can guarantee a win. It rarely happens, but if we can’t secure any compensation for you, you owe us zero dollars. In other words, if there is no recovery, there is no fee! You truly have nothing to lose and everything to gain by hiring the TBI attorneys at The Dominguez Firm.
Call The Dominguez Firm Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Brain injury cases can be complex and challenging no matter the cause. It’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can:
- Help you navigate the legal process and understand your rights and options
- Investigate the motor vehicle accident that caused your injury
- Identify and retain expert witnesses
- Build a strong case on your behalf
- Negotiate with insurance companies and other parties
- Represent you in court if necessary
If you or a loved one have suffered a TBI due to a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options and to work with an experienced brain injury lawyer to pursue the full compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one were injured or died because of a TBI suffered in a motor vehicle accident, call the TBI accident lawyers at The Dominguez Firm right away for a free consultation at (800) 818-1818 today. We can travel to your home or hospital at a moment’s notice.
My experience was good. They made sure to kept me in the loop and made sure to let me know what was going on the whole time. My mom has used other attorneys and this experience was beyond better. I would definitely recommend them!
— Ashley Magana
The attorneys were always available and answered my questions. I would recommend them to anyone. Zoe is the best!
— Janet Salazar
My experience with The Dominguez Firm and the attorneys was really good. They were very informative and always returned my calls.
— Jocelyn Gonzalez