According to the CDC, approximately one-third of all injury deaths involve a traumatic brain injury. Injuries to the brain stem, which connects our spinal cord and brain, are among the most devastating. If you or someone you know have suffered a brain stem injury in a Los Angeles accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Citywide Law Group to learn about the benefits of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Our Los Angeles accident attorneys understand the impact a traumatic injury can have on you and your family. We will fight to make sure that you are properly compensated for your injury and the harms it caused you. Call us today to request a free consultation with our skilled legal team. We will review your case, explain your legal options, and answer the questions you have.
What is the Brain Stem?
While any injury to the spinal cord or brain is serious, trauma to the brain stem can be particularly devastating. The brain stem, which is approximately 3 inches long, connects our brain with our spinal column. It is made up of three parts (medulla, pons, and oblongata), and is responsible for controlling some of our most vital organs, including the lungs and heart.
Many of our body’s most important cranial nerves originate in the brain stem. These nerves provide signals to our organs (including the heart, brain, and intestines) which ensure proper function. In fact, the brain stem is also responsible for coordinating communication between both hemispheres of the brain. When the brain stem becomes damaged, our body’s ability to transmit information becomes compromised. Without the ability to transmit messages and information freely, our bodies will not function properly.
What Happens When You Suffer a Brain Stem Injury?
The brain stem is responsible for transmitting information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. When this communication system is damaged in a traumatic accident, our bodies do not function properly. Effects of a brain stem injury can include:
- Difficulty walking and standing
- Difficulty performing basic functions, such as feeding, writing, and bathing
- Difficulty breathing or irregular breathing
- Rapid, jerk-like eye movements (nystagmus)
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
- Vision impairment
- Paralysis, and
Causes of Brain Stem Injuries
Any traumatic incident can compromise the spinal cord and brain. According to the CDC, the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries, including those to the brain stem, include falls (47 percent), blunt force trauma (15 percent), and motor vehicle crashes (14 percent).
Accidents that may result in traumatic injuries to the brain stem include:
- Car accidents
- Boating accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents, and more.
Have you suffered a brain injury in a Los Angeles accident? Call the personal injury attorneys at Citywide Law Group for help recovering compensation for your brain stem injury.
Damages for Brain Stem Injuries
In California, victims who sustain a traumatic brain injury to the brain stem may be entitled to recover monetary damages from the person who caused their accident. These damages are generally split into two distinct categories: economic and non-economic. In certain situations, victims may be able to recover punitive damages if the at-fault party acted with malice or intentionally disregarded the risk of injury.
Economic damages are awarded to compensate brain stem injury victims for verifiable financial costs related to their accident. These damages are limited to the present and reasonably calculable future costs sustained by the victim. Examples of economic damages include:
- Pain medication
- Nursing care (both in-home and facility costs)
- Disability, and
- Lost earnings.
Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate brain stem injury victims for hard-to-value harms they have suffered because of an accident. There is no limit to the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded, which is why awards can range significantly from case-to-case. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety and depression
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional distress
- Loss of sexual relations, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Contact Citywide Law Group today to find out which damages you may be able to recover when you file a personal injury lawsuit.
Steps to Take Following a Brain Stem Injury
Do not underestimate the importance of any decisions you make after you suffer a brain stem injury. These decisions will affect your health, safety, and the strength of any future legal claims you decide to file.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind if you suffer a traumatic injury to your brain stem:
Go to the Hospital
Trauma to your brain stem can affect every aspect of your life. If these injuries are not treated immediately, the risk of suffering permanent disability and complications increases significantly. Doctors will ensure that you receive any treatment that may help in minimizing the consequences of your traumatic injury. Any records generated by your visit will be helpful in supporting any legal claims you decide to pursue.
Call the Police
It is important to report any injury-causing accident to the police, especially those resulting in a traumatic injury to the brain. Police will investigate the crash and document important details that may be lost over time.
Refuse Early Negotiations
When you suffer an injury to your brain in an accident, insurance companies will want to settle the matter privately and quickly. The initial offers they give you may be enticing, but it is important to understand that the money they are offering will not cover the full extent of your damages. Refuse these early offers and hold out for a fair deal.
The more information you have about your accident and injury, the greater your chances of getting the money you need from a lawsuit. Document your injuries by taking photographs, writing down your recollection of the event, and keeping a journal about how your life has changed since the accident.
Call an Attorney
Traumatic brain injuries, including those to the brain stem, can be devastating. Hiring an attorney to handle your case will allow you to focus on your recovery and adjusting to a life filled with new challenges. Your attorney will fight to make sure that the at-fault party is held responsible and get you the money you deserve from a lawsuit.
Los Angeles Brain Stem Injury Attorneys
At Citywide Law Group, our Los Angeles brain stem injury attorneys are dedicated to helping accident victims recover the compensation they need and deserve after an accident. If you or someone you know have suffered a brain stem injury, do not hesitate to call us for help. We have over 17 years of experience handling a wide range of personal injury matters, including for brain stem injuries. We know how devastating a traumatic brain injury can be and will fight to make sure that you are fairly compensated.
Call us today to request a free consultation and learn more. We will review your case, outline your legal options, and explain your rights as an accident victim. You have a limited amount of time to file a claim, so do not hesitate to contact us now.