All too often, we walk and drive around the streets of Los Angeles feeling as if we are invincible. With current advancements in healthcare it almost feels that way from time to time, yet when it comes down to it, we are all capable of sustaining an injury. Unfortunately, injuries can happen at any time and can be more serious than one might expect. In the blink of an eye, your life or someone else’s could be changed forever.
If you are the victim of an accident in Los Angeles, would you know what to do? What are the specifics of a personal injury and can you receive any sort of benefits from the person responsible? Lastly, what are the symptoms of certain types of injuries and how do you get the help you need?
Let’s learn more about personal injury, how it can affect you, and the steps you need to know about in case an accident happens to you or someone you love.
Defining Personal Injury
The saying “accidents happen” is true, and yet for many people around the world, a simple accident can dramatically change one’s life in a moment’s notice. Whether you run a stop sign, slip and fall in a restaurant, or your typically friendly dog decides to attack a stranger on the sidewalk. No action is too small to be considered in a personal injury case.
Legal action around a personal injury can be as serious as the other party filing a lawsuit against you or can be handled more informally in a private setting. In some instances, an accident that occurred years ago can come back and haunt you, as the statute of limitations does vary based upon the specifics of the incident.
In general, a personal injury is the result of an action against one’s body or mental capacity that causes them harm. Different than damage to property or reputation, personal injuries can impact your life in a variety of major ways, with one of the more common instances seen in the form of a brain injury.
Types Of Brain Injuries And Their Symptoms
This form of personal injury is a serious matter because, despite our body’s ability to protect this essential organ, many kinds of accidents can leave someone affected for the rest of their lives. Recent statistics show that over half of all traumatic brain injuries are the result of a car accident, making us all think twice before we head out onto the busy streets of Los Angeles.
There are four types of brain injuries that are associated with different symptoms and levels of severity. While some can be considered only minor annoyances that slightly impact one’s life, others are serious enough to result in long-term care and costly medical expenses. They are:
Concussions – A concussion can occur in a rough game of football or after a minor car accident, and while they are the least severe of the four types, they are still quite dangerous. This type of brain injury is the result of a shaking or sudden head movement, such as whiplash or hitting your head on the floor after a fall.
In many instances, a person does not know they have a concussion, but symptoms can emerge later on that include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and headaches. Imaging scans may not always detect a concussion, so it’s imperative to consult your physician for a thorough evaluation if you suspect you’ve sustained this type of brain injury.
Contusions – You can think of a contusion to the brain as a more serious concussion, as they are sustained in similar ways. A contusion is defined as bruising of brain tissue, and just like when you get a bruise on any other part of your body, the affected area pools with leaking blood and can place pressure on the brain itself.
Contusions typically do not occur unless there has been a very strong impact to the head, like in a car accident or a serious fall, and unfortunately, more than just the point of impact can be affected. In some cases of contusions, the opposite side of the brain can also become damaged, leading to more complex symptoms and methods of treatment.
Contusions are similar to concussions in that they can vary in their symptoms and long-term impact, so it’s important to see a doctor right away. Emotional agitation, tiredness, and confusion are common indications that you may have sustained a moderate contusion, and severe instances may present with brain swelling or a lack of oxygen to this vital organ.
Penetrating injuries – Traffic in Los Angeles is nothing to balk at, and unfortunately a large number of car accidents are to blame for the city’s massive congestion. If an accident is serious enough, an individual might sustain a penetrating brain injury.
When the force applied to the skull is strong enough, it causes a breakage that allows hair, bone fragments, or other items to actually touch our sensitive brain tissue. Some slip and fall accidents are serious enough to actually break the skull, and most fatalities from penetrating brain injuries are related to gunshot wounds.
Even if you think that a small fender bender or a minor slip isn’t a big deal, it’s important to seek medical care to rule out the possibility of this kind of injury, as it can become life-threatening if undiagnosed.
Anoxic injuries – Our brain requires a steady flow of oxygen in order to function properly, and when this supply is cut off for a long enough period of time, a brain injury can result. Called an anoxic injury, only four to five minutes without oxygen can cause your brain to become permanently damaged.
This type of injury is sustained during very traumatic situations, including a heart attack or stroke. Victims of personal injury including choking, drowning, or poisoning attempts may also result in an anoxic injury. Keep in mind that an anoxic injury alone is not always grounds for a personal injury case, as the cause for the condition must be the result of an accident rather than an ongoing health matter.
Seeking Help With A TBI
A traumatic brain injury can have a serious impact on your daily life, even if it’s just a concussion that heals in a few weeks. Lost time at work, medical costs, and potentially the need for loved ones to care for you can all create a financial burden that can be difficult to overcome. More serious brain injuries, like a penetrating or anoxic injury, can dramatically change the rest of one’s life, all in the blink of an eye.
Many individuals who have been affected by a brain injury in Los Angeles decide that pursuing a personal injury claim is the correct decision for their situation. Again, whether it’s a minor concussion or a more serious matter, there is a chance that the person at fault during the accident could be held financially responsible for any hardships that you endure.
Deciding to file a personal injury lawsuit is a big decision, and before you visit our office for a consultation, we recommend that you first visit your physician to complete a thorough examination. Brain imaging including an MRI or CT scan may be utilized in conjunction with cognitive tests to determine the extent of the injury, and you’ll be given instructions that detail how to recover from this traumatic event. Severe brain injuries may require hospitalization and long-term care.
Keeping a record of your symptoms is also a valuable tool when embarking upon a personal injury case in Los Angeles, as a brain injury may not produce any symptoms for days or even weeks after the accident occurs. Write down everything, from the specifics of the incident to how you felt immediately after the accident. The more information you have the greater your chances will be in winning your case.
Start With A Consultation
No instance of personal injury in Los Angeles is too large or small, and if a brain injury has impacted your life, it’s important to seek out the compensation that you deserve. We encourage individuals to contact our office today for a free consultation as the first step toward determining if a personal injury suit is the right decision for you.
Together we’ll discuss the specifics of the accident that occurred, whether it was a car accident, a sports injury, or a “wrong place at the wrong time” scenario that resulted in you getting hurt. After reviewing your medical diagnosis and treatment, we will work together to determine the optimal outcome that meets your needs.
Remember, personal injury cases do have a statute of limitations, so instead of waiting for brain injury symptoms to appear or questioning whether you are entitled to any form of compensation as the victim of an accident, contact our office right away for a free consultation. We’re here to help residents of the Los Angeles area overcome the effects of their brain injuries and get back to living a life they love.