The human brain is extraordinarily complex, and there are many mysterious aspects of the human brain that continue to escape the understanding of medical science. The human brain is also highly vulnerable to traumatic injury. No two people will experience a brain injury the same way, even when their injuries are virtually identical. If you or a loved one recently sustained a brain injury of any kind, you could face an uncertain medical outlook and have no way of knowing what issues your injury could potentially cause in the future.
The attorneys at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC understand how devastating brain injuries can be for victims and their loved ones. A brain injury claim will fall under the purview of personal injury law, and if you decide to pursue such a claim, it is essential to understand the value of legal representation as you navigate this type of civil case.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
You may believe that your brain injury claim is straightforward and that you could save money on legal fees by handling it yourself. However, this can be a major mistake that costs you and your family dearly. Not only could you potentially overlook available compensation and settle for much less than the law allows, but you could also unintentionally jeopardize your own claim through procedural errors and filing mistakes with the El Dorado Hills civil court.
Instead of risking your recovery by trying to save money on legal fees, work with an experienced El Dorado Hills brain injury lawyer who has the skill and professional resources to guide you to a favorable result in your claim. If you forego legal representation, you could lose much more than you would have saved in legal fees by representing your own claim.
Understanding Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can occur from many situations, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents, which are the leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths throughout the United States.
- Premises liability claims, including slip and fall injuries and toxic exposure.
- Birth injuries. If a doctor is negligent during the delivery of a newborn baby, they may cause a traumatic brain injury that causes permanent medical damage to the child.
- Medical malpractice. Medical professionals can also cause brain injuries if they fail to uphold the standard of care their patient requires. For example, anesthesia errors can very easily cause permanent brain damage.
- Interpersonal violence. If someone commits an aggravated assault or an assault with a deadly weapon, the victim could suffer severe brain injuries. The perpetrator would face not only criminal prosecution but also civil liability for the victim’s damages.
- Workplace accidents. Some industries, such as construction and commercial logging, are some of the most inherently dangerous fields to work in, and those working in these industries could suffer severe brain injuries from multiple causes.
These are just a few examples of how brain injuries can happen. If you or a loved one sustained any type of brain injury due to the negligence of another party, you have the right to pursue a civil claim against them to secure compensation for your losses.
Types of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries happen in many different ways. It is very difficult to predict how a person will function after any brain injury. Some victims experience seemingly mild brain injuries yet display severe symptoms and permanent impairment. Others seem to experience devastating brain injuries yet appear to make full recoveries. Some of the most common brain injuries cited in brain injury claims include:
- Traumatic brain injuries caused by blunt force trauma, such as concussions. A concussion can cause various symptoms and leave the victim more susceptible to additional concussions in the future.
- Penetrating head injuries. Falling objects, knives, and bullets can pierce the skull and cause grievous damage to the brain.
- Toxic exposure. Inhaling some chemicals such as carbon monoxide or industrial fumes can cause toxic damage to the brain.
- Oxygen deprivation. When the brain is deprived of oxygen, brain cells will begin to rapidly die. One common example of a brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation would be cerebral palsy that occurs during childbirth.
These are only a few examples of the types of brain injuries that can lead to personal injury claims. No matter what type of brain injury claim you currently face, it is vital to have reliable legal counsel on your side so you can be sure you maximize the compensation you receive when you succeed with your claim.
Damages and Compensation for a Brain Injury in California
Brain injury claims tend to involve substantial damages due to the severe nature of most brain injuries. While some brain injury victims make complete recoveries, others suffer permanent damage from their injuries and may be unable to live independently anymore, even after they reach maximum medical improvement.
Medical expenses are one of the most commonly sought damages in personal injury claims, and the medical expenses related to a brain injury can be substantial. California state law allows a personal injury plaintiff to claim both immediate medical expenses and those they anticipate in the future. A brain injury may require substantial treatment immediately following the incident that caused the brain injury, but the victim may require subsequent treatments, ongoing therapies, and long-term rehabilitation, all of which would fall under the defendant’s liability for causing the brain injury.
A brain injury can also prevent the victim from working, either for an extended period as they recover or permanently if the injury is severe enough. The plaintiff in a brain injury claim can include lost wages during recovery and lost future earning capacity in their claim. An El Dorado Hills brain injury lawyer will help their client establish the full scope of lost income resulting from such an injury, potentially consulting with a financial expert witness who can accurately calculate the amount of lost wages the victim would have reasonably expected to earn in the future had the injury not occurred.
Noneconomic damages can also form a large part of a plaintiff’s recovery in a brain injury claim. California state law allows a plaintiff to claim financial compensation for their physical pain and emotional distress caused by a defendant’s negligence. A brain injury can be life-altering, forcing the victim to leave their job and remain in constant medical care for the foreseeable future. This can be devastating and traumatic for the victim, and they may experience the symptoms of their brain injury for years to come.
The plaintiff’s attorney can calculate an appropriate amount of pain and suffering compensation by multiplying the plaintiff’s medical expenses by a factor, typically between one and five, that reflects the severity of their injury. The only exception that would apply would be if the plaintiff’s brain injury claim is a medical malpractice case. California law limits noneconomic damages in medical malpractice claims to $250,000 regardless of severity.
What to Expect in a Brain Injury Claim
In most cases, brain injury victims are unable to represent their own interests in their civil claims, so family members will act on their behalf to secure compensation for the damages resulting from a brain injury. An El Dorado Hills brain injury lawyer will start their client’s case by helping them determine liability for the brain injury in question. This means identifying the defendant responsible for causing the brain injury and proving their negligence directly resulted in the injury. Next, the attorney will help their client fully assess the entire scope of the damages claimable in the brain injury suit.
When you work with the team at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC on your brain injury case, we will exhaust every avenue of compensation available under state law to maximize your recovery. If necessary, our team will coordinate expert witness testimony to support your claim and hold the defendant accountable for the damages their negligence caused.
The majority of personal injury claims filed in California civil court settle outside of the courtroom. A swift settlement suits the best interests of both the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff can secure compensation for their losses more quickly than litigation would allow, and both parties can save significant amounts of money on their legal fees by agreeing to settlement. The attorneys at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC will seek the most expeditious possible result to your claim, but we are not afraid of litigating your case in the courtroom if it is necessary to ensure an appropriate recovery for our client’s damages.