San Jose Brain Injury Attorneys
Millions Recovered for TBI Victims in Santa Clara County
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States sustain brain injuries. Because of the complexity of the human brain, predicting the outcome of such injuries is impossible. Thousands of people die due to brain injury, and others must deal with mental and physical effects that may persist for the rest of their lives. Taking legal action after you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to another individual's negligence may seem like an unnecessary ordeal, but with the right attorney by your side, pursuing compensation can make a huge difference in your recovery.
You and your family may be entitled to compensation for:
- Hospital bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Our San Jose traumatic brain injury lawyers at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP have seen the devastation a brain injury can cause not only to the victim but also to the victim's family. This is why we pride ourselves on giving each and every client the personalized attention and aggressive representation they deserve.
Dealing with Life After a Brain Injury
Brain injuries are often difficult to diagnose and can permanently alter patients’ lives—physically, mentally, and emotionally—since the brain is highly complex and an integral part of the body’s daily functioning. Although the brain may be able to construct new neural connections to take over for destroyed ones, many brain injury victims will never regain their full brain function.
Despite the resilient architecture of the human skull, if a victim suffers a strong blow to the head, the impact can cause permanent damage to the brain. Sadly, even a minor accident can have serious and long-lasting consequences.
Possible effects of a brain injury include:
- Physical disabilities
- Difficulty speaking
- Poor memory
- Learning disabilities
- Personality changes
- Emotional problems
Along with these symptoms, victims and their families also have to deal with the emotional reactions to a traumatic brain injury. Injured individuals may feel angry, fearful about the future, or sad about the things they can no longer do.
Many families and victims can also expect to suffer financially after a brain injury. The injured person will likely require medical treatment, may be unable to work for an extended period, and might even need to be placed in a long-term care facility.
In situations where another party's negligence or carelessness caused an individual's brain injury, obtaining the services of an attorney is crucial. At Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP, we provide free consultations to help you make an informed decision about your future and the best course of action moving forward.
Treatment for Brain Injuries
Despite many advances in modern medicine, the medical community still does not have a good understanding of brain injuries. Therefore, brain injury treatment is complicated.
Unlike other types of injuries, treatment for brain injuries may span several months or even a lifetime. There are no easy fixes for brain injuries that occur due to attacks, car accidents, and slips and falls. However, treatment options do exist.
In the short term, treatment for brain injuries and other locales involves determining the nature and the consequences of the injury. Surgery may be necessary shortly after a traumatic brain injury takes place.
After the initial surgeries and treatment, the recovery process is usually far from over. Treatment will often be long-term and may take place in the injured party's home or a long-term care facility.
Types of treatments for a traumatic brain injury may include:
- Physical therapy for physical impairments and loss of motor skills
- Occupational therapy to help injured individuals perform tasks associated with daily living and possibly return to the workforce
- Prescription drugs to help control seizures and treat mental problems that can occur due to a traumatic brain injury
- Therapy or counseling to deal with the feelings of anger and grief that may occur after a brain injury
- Additional surgeries
- Placement in a long-term care facility if injured individuals are no longer capable of looking after themselves
Treatment for brain injuries often places an intense emotional and financial strain on injured individuals and family members. Not only can medical expenses add up quickly, but families are likely to be without the income the injured individual typically brought home.
If you or someone close to you is currently receiving treatment for a brain injury caused by another's negligence, our San Jose brain injury attorneys may be able to help you secure monetary compensation to cover your treatment costs.
Terms to Understand for Your Brain Injury Case
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, the following terms may be useful:
- Aneurysm - a blood-filled sac formed in an artery or blood vessel by the weakening of a vessel wall or serious disease.
- Aphasia – the loss of the ability to understand and/or produce written or spoken language as the result of a disease or serious injury.
- Brain death - an irreversible end to all brain function and activities.
- Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) - the fluid that protects the spinal cord and brain, also called spinal fluid.
- Closed head injury – an injury in which the head is fiercely shaken or strikes an object but is not punctured.
- Coma – the unconscious state typically caused by a serious injury from which the victim cannot be aroused.
- Concussion - minor injury to the brain which is caused by violent shaking of or a blow to the head. This injury may cause unexpected and temporary impairment of a variety of brain functions.
- Contusion - swollen brain tissue (bruise) that is mixed with the blood from broken blood vessels.
- Depressed skull fracture - a skull fracture in which part of the broken skull presses into brain tissue.
- Epidural hematoma - bleeding in between the skull and the dura. Also called extradural hemorrhage.
- Fluent aphasia - a condition in which a patient can fluently speak but with no meaning and has difficulty understanding written words or spoken language.
- Global aphasia - inability to produce or understand speech. This disability can be caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control speech and language skills.
- Hematoma - damage of a major blood vessel in the head which causes heavy bleeding in or around the brain.
- Hemorrhagic stroke - a stroke that is the result of bleeding in one of the major arteries that leads to the brain.
- Intracerebral hematoma - bleeding in the brain that results from damage to a blood vessel.
- Ischemic stroke - the most common type of stroke, which is caused by a clot that blocks blood flow to the brain.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - a noninvasive technique used to detect subtle changes in brain tissue by means of magnetic fields.
- Neuron – one of the cells that make up the spinal cord, nerves, and brain.
- Neurotransmitters – the movement of chemicals which transmit nerve signals from one neuron to another.
- Non-fluent aphasia - a disorder in which people have difficulty remembering words and talking in complete sentences.
- Open head injury - a head injury in which the skull is penetrated or punctured by a foreign object.
- Seizures - convulsions, emotional problems, muscle spasms, and/or unconsciousness caused by abnormal activity of nerve cells in the brain.
- Subdural hematoma - bleeding located between the dura and the arachnoid membranes.
- Thrombosis - a blood clot that forms in the same location the brain was injured.
- Vegetative state - a condition in which patients are unconscious but continue to have a sleep/wake cycle and are sometimes alert.
Common Questions About Brain Injuries
Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP offers free initial consultations. During this first meeting, you will have the chance to speak with a compassionate legal representative to learn more about your options and the overall merit of your brain injury case. However, for your convenience, we have compiled answers to common questions about TBIs below.
What are the different types of brain injuries?
There are two classifications of brain injuries: traumatic and non-traumatic. In the first type, a forceful blow to the head causes the injury. In non-traumatic brain injuries, there is no external physical trauma; rather, something like illness or stroke causes the damage. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are the most common type of brain injury.
The severity of traumatic brain injury can range from mild—with temporary symptoms such as headaches, balance problems, fatigue, and nausea—to moderate and severe, which can result in a coma, vegetative state, or locked-in syndrome. As they vary in severity, traumatic brain injuries also result from a variety of causes.
What are some common causes of traumatic brain injuries?
Most brain injuries occur when something strikes a person in the head. Fists, bullets, and falling debris at the workplace all have the potential to cause brain injury. A person can also strike his or her head on a steering wheel, the road, or a hard floor during an auto accident, a motorcycle accident, or a slip and fall.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of traumatic brain injury in the U.S. are:
- Falls: 35.2%
- Unknown causes: 21%
- Motor vehicle accidents: 17.3%
- Struck by or against an object: 16.5%
- Assault/violence: 10%
Are brain injuries hard to treat?
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to treat a brain injury, especially when it's severe. Brain tissue loss is permanent once it occurs. Therefore, the recovery period is typically lengthy, and some victims never regain the abilities they lost.
After any head trauma, it is imperative that the victim immediately receive medical care. Emergency personnel will determine the severity of the brain injury and determine the best course of treatment, which can result in a range of outcomes.
Brain injury victims may be treated and released with temporary symptoms; they may be hospitalized, treated, rehabilitated, and released with partial loss of brain and/or body function; they may be hospitalized permanently due to almost complete loss of brain and body function; or, in very severe cases, they may die from their injuries.
What should I do if someone else caused my TBI?
If someone else's negligence directly contributed to or caused a brain injury, the most important thing you can do is contact an attorney with experience in traumatic brain injury cases. They will evaluate the specifics of your case, decide whether it is worth pursuing in court, and help you determine the types of damages you should seek. They will then work diligently to help you obtain the compensation you need to help get your life back on track.
We Are Here to Fight for Your Rights
If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of another party's negligence, it is crucial to speak with a brain injury attorney in San Jose as soon as you can. You may be able to seek damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, hospital bills, and the months or even years of therapy the victim may require. However, if you wait too long to pursue your claim against the at-fault party, you may unintentionally forfeit your right to compensation. Get started today with one of our experienced attorneys.
Contact Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP at (800) 900-0863 for a free consultation. We will provide you with the information you need to make the best decisions for your family.