California Brain Injury Lawyers
Brain Injury Attorneys Serving San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Oakland, & Ontario, California
CALIFORNIA BRAIN INJURY CLAIMS
Traumatic Brain Injury Claims: Every fifteen seconds someone in the U.S. suffers a brain injury. Every five minutes, one of those people will die.
Among all types of injury, traumatic brain injury is most
likely to result in death or permanent disability.
The term HEAD INJURY refers to an injury to the BRAIN which is usually the result of an accident, or sometimes an assault. Often the brain injury results from a blow to the head such as may be suffered in an automobile accident, a fall or a gunshot wound. The brain injury may also occur as a result of lack of oxygen (such as in drowning), or as a result of lack of blood supply to the brain (such as following a cardiac arrest). People with multiple injuries (as in serious auto accidents) often suffer brain injury by more than one of these mechanisms. The term HEAD INJURY is preferable to the term BRAIN DAMAGE because the brain has tremendous powers of recovery, or at least compensating for an injury.
A closed head injury is a classification of a head injury. A head injury is a trauma to the head that results in a skull, brain, or scalp injury. A closed head injury is an injury to the head that does not penetrate the skull. Closed head injuries can be the result of any type of accident. A personal injury that results in a closed head injury is sometimes due to a faulty product or negligence. Many instances of closed head injuries are caused from a trauma to the brain when the head strikes another object, the head is struck with force, and the brain undergoes movement within the skull without visual trauma to the exterior of the head. Closed head injuries are often hard to determine the extent of the injury due to the appearance of little or no harm done because there is not an open wound but there may be a need for physical, cognitive, and emotional treatment.
Yes, in contrast to the short time it takes to injure the brain, recovery is measured in weeks, months and even years. Recovery is most rapid shortly after the injury and slows down with the passage of time. Many people with severe head injuries end up with almost no noticeable problems. Others require constant care for life.
Most people who survive a serious head injury eventually wake up from coma, that is, they begin to open their eyes. In the best cases recovery proceeds from this point to nearly complete recovery. In worst cases there is no recovery beyond opening their eyes. People who wake and sleep but have no meaningful interaction with the world around them are said to be in persistent vegetative state. This is probably the worst possible outcome. In between these extremes is a very wide range of outcomes, some fortunate, and some tragic. It is very important to know that the outcome may remain unknown for many months.
It may seem cruel and uncaring when the doctor says we just have to wait and see but this is the accurate answer. In general terms, the longer a person remains in coma, the less likely he/she is to recover completely. The process of recovery almost always takes much longer than the family and friends expect. A few people may eventually become essentially normal after several months in coma, whereas others may suffer devastating permanent injury after only a brief period of coma. As would be expected, people with head injuries generally do better if just their head is injured and they do not also have serious injuries to other parts of their bodies.
No one can accurately predict whether a head injured person will die. Head injuries are often serious enough themselves to cause death. There are two critical periods in the immediate recovery of a head injured person. The first is in the first day or two after the injury when the injuries may be so overwhelming as to cause death in the face of the most intensive treatment. Those who survive this period face another critical period beginning a few days later and continuing for two weeks or more. This critical period results from swelling of the injured brain.
Most people with head injuries have extensive DIFFUSE INJURY which involves many parts of the brain. Certain tests such as the CT scan, EEG and BSER provide some information about the extent of the injury. However, in the final analysis, it is the FUNCTION of the brain in thinking, speaking and moving which provides the most useful information about the extent of the damage. Since the function of the brain often continues to improve for months or even years after a head injury, measurements of brain function must be repeated several times as the recovery progresses.
Injured brain tissue can recover over a short period of time. However, once brain tissue is dead or destroyed, there is no evidence that new brain cells can regrow. The process of recovery usually continues even though new cells do not grow. We presume this happens as other parts of the brain take over the function of the destroyed brain tissue. Obviously, the more extensive the damage, the less likely it is that the remaining brain can take over the function of the destroyed areas.
Rehabilitation is the process of helping a person achieve his/her maximum functional potential. This process begins immediately. Once memory of the events of the day begins to be restored, the rate of recovery often appears to be much more rapid. However, many problems may persist for a long time. These may be problems related to movement, memory, attention, slowness of thinking, difficulty with complex thinking, difficulties with speech and language, behavior problems and personality changes. These problems are dealt with in the rehabilitation of the head injured person. It should be point out, however, that rehabilitation begins much earlier than this. Some aspects of rehabilitation begin even while the head injured person is in coma.
If you or a loved one has been injured, call the brain injury lawyers of Michael Padway & Associates at 415-777-1511, or fill out this online contact form. Meet with us for free and find out how we can help you start rebuilding your life and get you a fair settlement for your injury. Serving Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles & Ontario, California. Also serving Washington, D.C.
Michael Padway & Associates
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