Chico and Northern California Brain Injury Lawyer
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the term used to describe the damage to the brain suffered as a result of a sudden physical force, such as a car accident where there is a blow to the head, face, or severe whipping of the body and head. Falls, assaults, combat wounds, and sports injuries can also cause head injuries. Sudden physical force is referred to as “ trauma ”. The brain is a gelatinous type structure which consists of billions of microscopic fibers, that floats in a sea of protective liquid called the cerebrospinal fluid. While the exterior of the skull is smooth, the inner surface contains bony type structures (bony prominence). In a trauma, such as a car accident , the trauma from the accident can cause the brain to impact the skull. This impact can cause tearing and bruising which results in brain damage .
Even a severe whipping of the head backwards and forwards, or from side to side, can cause the brain to first make contact with one side of the skull, and then move the opposite direction (as the head moves forward or back) and make contact with the opposite side of the skull. This is known as the “coup contrecoup injury”. The literature notes that brain injury can occur in cases of whiplash .
Often, TBI occurs from an impact to the head with an object, such as the head hitting the windshield, side window, etc. In such cases, the injury is considered a “closed head injury”. TBI can also be caused by an injury that penetrates the head, whereby an object, such as a pole, bullet, piece of glass, etc., penetrates through the skull and into the brain.
Closed head injuries present unique challenges in lawsuits because the injured person will often show no obvious sign of injury. These injuries have been referred to as the “unseen injury”. This is especially true with “ Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries ” (MTBI) (more on this below).
TBI does not refer to brain injuries or problems that run in the family, or that people were born with.
In cases involving traumatic brain injury, it is essential that measures be taken to promptly preserve evidence, and get the injured person in to see a specialist who can help to diagnose the TBI. If you or a loved one have suffered what you believe to be a traumatic brain injury from an accident, call the Law Office of Adam Sorrells . As a Chico California brain injury attorney , Mr. Sorrells can help.
How are brain injury cases classified?
Brain injury cases are often classified as mild, moderate, or severe. Different scales have been used to try and determine the extent of a brain injury, but basically, the mild brain injury will have either no loss of consciousness, or loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a minute after an accident, the injured person may not seem to be severely injured, and is often released from the hospital without the hospital even noting the head injury. It is not until the person gets home, or tries to return to work, or their family members start to notice a change, that they are even aware of a problem. Moderate head injuries are more severe, and severe head injuries often refer to those individuals who are profoundly injured, and can never function normally again.
The Glasgow Scale , used by hospitals to rate head injuries, provides a score from 3 to 15. For example, if the injured person can open their eyes spontaneously, they get a 4. If they can only open their eyes to verbal command, they get a three, if they can only open their eyes in response to pain, they get a 2, and if there is no response, they get a score of 1. Other factors are considered such as motor response, stimulus, etc. They then test other areas and, depending on the response, arrive at a score, or Glasgow Scale score, for the injured person.
Brain injuries are sometimes referred to as concussions , post concussion symptoms , post concussion syndrome, organic brain injury, and other terms.
While moderate and severe brain injuries are very bad, some studies have found that those persons with mild traumatic brain injury often have a worse time, because their injury is more subtle. It is harder to tell they are injured, and sometimes the subtle deficits can be more maddening than the more obvious symptoms.
Chico California Brain Injury Attorney
Because of the complexities of brain injuries, it is important to have an attorney who is experienced, and who has handled these cases in the past. Mr. Sorrells has represented numerous individuals in the past who have been the victims of TBI caused by a car accident or other act of negligence. Moreover, Mr. Sorrells is one of the few lawyers in the Chico area who has gone to jury trial and prevailed in a mild traumatic brain injury case. One of Mr. Sorrells' clients was driving down the Skyway in Paradise, and stopped at a stop sign. He was rear-ended by a tow truck. There was not much damage to the client's car. Almost immediately, he began to suffer from headaches, memory loss, nausea, and a host of other symptoms consistent with mild traumatic brain injury. The tow truck company's insurance company hired a large law-firm from Southern California to defend the case. They acted mean and nasty throughout the litigation. They claimed that Mr. Sorrells' client was not hit very hard by the tow-truck, and did not have a brain injury, because his CT Scan at the hospital had been negative. They offered only $15,000 to settle the case, which they upped to $30,000 the day of trial. That offer was rejected, and the case went to trial in the Butte County Superior Court. After a trial that spanned several weeks, the jury returned a verdict of almost $200,000. The insurance company also had to pay for all of Mr. Sorrells' costs in the case. The insurance company then filed a motion for a new trial, claiming that the jury awarded too much money, because of the excellent job done by Mr. Sorrells at trial. To the dismay of Mr. Sorrells, the trial judge (now retired) agreed, and granted the motion. Mr. Sorrells then appealed that ruling to the Third District Court of Appeals in Sacramento. The Third District Court of Appeals overturned the trial court's ruling granting a new trial, and confirmed the win for Mr. Sorrells and his client. The insurance company for the tow truck had to pay over $30,000 in interest alone, because of the length of time that had elapsed because of the appeal.
In cases involving brain injuries, it is imperative you have an attorney experienced with these types of cases. If you or a loved one have suffered what you believe to be a traumatic brain injury from an accident, call the Law Office of Adam Sorrells . Mr. Sorrells can help.
We handle all brain injury cases on a contingency fee basis, and no fee is collected unless we first collect money on your behalf. We will never send you a bill, and you do not have to pay any money out of pocket. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury because of a car accident, animal attack, or through no fault of your own, you are encouraged to contact attorney Adam Sorrells.
Adam Sorrells is a Chico, California personal injury lawyer that can help with your brain injury case