California brain injury lawyer

Traumatic brain injuries are life-altering events that can change your personality, affect your family relationships, or cause you to be unable to work or function properly on a day-to-day basis.

Severe TBIs are often fatal. For all of these reasons, it is important that victims get the help they need from experienced legal counsel who specializes in traumatic brain injury law cases.

The California brain injury lawyers at Ernst Law Group have successfully handled more than 1,000 personal injury lawsuits involving people with TBIs and their families.

The firm’s California personal injury attorneys have a successful track record of assisting clients in receiving the compensation they deserve for medical expenses and long-term care, lost income due to time out of work, and pain and suffering.

The Ernst Law Group has won several multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of its clients.

For more information, contact us today at (805) 779-3630.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any condition that results in damage to the brain caused by an external force.

This trauma can be the result of many different circumstances, including car accidents, falls, workplace injuries, violence, and sports injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.7 million people sustain a brain injury each year, and over 60,000 people die from brain injuries annually. Severe TBIs are often fatal.

The most common causes of TBI in the United States are motor vehicle accidents and falls.  Other leading causes include assault, sports-related activities, and child abuse/neglect. 

A TBI does not necessarily have to be a blow to the head or skull.

What are common causes of brain injuries in California? 

Car accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 34,000 people in the U.S. died due to motor vehicle crashes in 2012 alone.

Moreover, roughly 2.3 million individuals suffered injuries, with many of those being brain injuries.

Many of these accidents could have been prevented had road signs been visible and had drivers taken turns at intersections more cautiously. Speed limits, drunk driving laws, and seat belt regulations are also in place to reduce the number of fatal accidents.

However, despite these efforts, thousands of people die each year due to motor vehicle incidents, and millions are injured.

This is an alarming statistic that highlights the need for additional research on head injuries and better traffic safety to prevent future injuries from occurring.


More than 100,000 people die each year from falls. Thousands more suffer brain injuries due to slips and falls at their homes or while visiting a store or restaurant.

These accidents could be prevented by requiring better safety standards in public areas such as businesses.

Consequently, there have been numerous efforts by lawmakers to improve safety in these areas.

Nonetheless, accidents still happen, and it is important for individuals who suffer a head injury to seek medical attention immediately.

Premises liability injuries

Premises liability refers to the landowner’s responsibility for maintaining a safe environment for visitors.

In California, an owner or tenant must maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition so as not to cause injury to any person who visits the area.

Otherwise, the owner can be held responsible for accidents that occur on the premises. If someone is injured due to their own negligent behavior, they cannot file a claim against the landowner.

Sports Injuries

According to the CDC, nearly 250,000 amateur sports-related injuries are treated in hospital emergency rooms annually.

Concussions account for at least 10% of these injuries, with football alone accounting for forty-seven percent.

These statistics highlight the need for stricter rules when it comes to contact sports such as boxing and football.

However, it is important to note that other sports, such as skateboarding, can lead to brain injuries as well. Accordingly, those participating in action sports should wear protective gear such as helmets and pads to reduce the risk of serious injury.

Violence or assault

Many individuals who suffer traumatic brain injuries were assaulted or mugged. In some cases, an individual slips and falls during a fight and hits their head on the ground.

This may lead to serious bleeding in the brain, which can cause permanent damage or even death.

Accordingly, it is always important that individuals take precautions when going out alone at night by staying with friends or taking a cab or rideshare to avoid dangerous situations.

What are the different types of traumatic brain injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries come in a variety of forms.

According to the CDC, a traumatic brain injury is a “change in brain function caused by an external force.”

This can be anything from a bump or blow to the head to a gunshot wound or a car accident.

Closed brain injury

Closed brain injuries are the most common type of traumatic brain injury. It occurs when an external force damages the skull but does not penetrate it.

This causes damage due to the impact of the external object on the skull. The symptoms depend on which area of the brain is affected but can include headaches, nausea, vomiting, and loss of memory.

Penetrating brain injury

In contrast, a penetrating brain injury occurs when a foreign object enters the skull and causes damage to the brain itself.

If left untreated, this type of traumatic brain injury can lead to infections such as meningitis, which can be fatal if not treated right away.

Statistically speaking, this type of injury is relatively rare compared to closed-brain injuries. However, it is important to note that penetrating brain injuries are more severe than closed ones because they can damage vital parts of the brain, such as the frontal lobe.

Diffuse axonal injury

Diffuse axonal injury refers to when the areas of the brain that are responsible for cognitive functions are damaged.

This causes problems with communication within the brain, which in turn causes impaired concentration and difficulty processing information.

Symptoms include memory loss, dizziness, confusion, slurred speech, and eye-rolling.

It can lead to comas.

Primary brain injury

A primary brain injury occurs suddenly and all at once. 

It happens at the time of impact and can have an immediate effect on brain function.

When a person sustains a primary brain injury, it is most likely they will lose consciousness for a period. However, many primary injuries do not result in any loss of consciousness at all since the effects are instantaneous.

This includes car accidents, blows to the head, and falls.

Secondary brain injury

Unlike primary injuries, secondary ones happen over time.

Over the course of several minutes, hours, or even days after the initial brain injury has occurred. It is possible for a secondary injury to occur in the same incident that gave rise to the primary one.

Secondary injuries can include swelling of the brain tissue due to bleeding or bruising. This can cause compression on other regions of the brain and lead to a loss of function.

Both children and adults can sustain a traumatic brain injury due to an accident or another person’s actions.

What are the different kinds of Traumatic Brain Injury?

There are several types of primary traumatic brain injuries, including skull fractures, contusions, concussions, lacerations, and diffuse axonal injuries.  

  • Skull fractures can lead to epidural hematomas and subdural hematomas. 
  • Contusions can be found on the brain surface or in the cortical/subcortical structures of the brain, leading to various deep and superficial lesions.
  • Concussions may also result in diffuse axonal injury, which is caused by traumatic shearing of the fibers that make up the brain’s white matter.
  • Lacerations can cause a variety of complications, including hemorrhage and infections. The consequences of a primary traumatic brain injury depend on its severity.
  • Primary traumatic brain injuries have been further classified as mild, moderate, and severe.

Types of secondary traumatic brain injury

There are a number of different types of secondary traumatic brain injury.

  • Ischemia is where blood flow to the brain is interrupted or decreased. A number of reasons can cause this.
  • Hypoxia refers to when there is not enough oxygen in the brain. A decrease in cerebral perfusion pressure (the difference between arterial blood pressure and venous pressure in the brain) will increase intracranial pressure (ICP), which can lead to secondary contusion.
  • Vasogenic cerebral edema is where excess fluid builds up in the brain and causes increased intracranial pressure. This can cause secondary injury to the neurons and other cells in the brain due to compression of blood vessels and damage from shear forces.

Secondary injuries account for about 10% of all traumatic brain injury cases. Secondary injuries are more common in children than adults.

Traumatic brain injury symptoms

Symptoms of a TBI can be physical, cognitive, or emotional. It depends on the severity of the injury.

Mild symptoms

  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Speech issues or slurring
  • Light sensitivity
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Loss of consciousness up to a few minutes
  • Disorientation
  • Mood changes
  • Memory issues or challenges concentrating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Sleeping too much

Moderate symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness for up to 24 hours
  • Irritability
  • Apathy
  • Memory issues or challenges concentrating
  • Behavioral changes
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty tolerating sounds, lights, and nausea
  • Fluids draining from facial orifices
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Numbness in extremities
  • Coma
  • Unusual behavior
  • Consistent headache

Children Symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness longer than 30 minutes
  • Vomiting
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Seizures
  • Decreased breathing rate
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drowsy
  • Persistent crying that cannot be soothed

What is it like to have a traumatic brain injury?

Friends and family of someone who has had a traumatic brain injury may have trouble understanding what that person is feeling. Many people with TBI are unable to describe their feelings at the moment, making it difficult for loved ones to understand these complex emotions.

First of all, it’s not just a headache.

The headaches themselves can be severe and debilitating, as well as cause other symptoms such as nausea and difficulty concentrating on tasks ranging from simple to complex.

Traumatic brain injuries can leave victims with ‘invisible disabilities’—symptoms that may not be immediately identifiable to others, such as issues with memory and reasoning, depression, and anxiety.

With serious TBIs, victims can present inconsistent or even inappropriate behavior. Those around them may find this frustrating and confusing and try to ignore the problematic behavior.

There is no way to make a brain injury better or easier.

For example, a person may be in a very serious car crash where they are not wearing their seatbelt and get ejected from the vehicle. The impact of being thrown through the air or hitting the ground headfirst could cause significant damage to the brain.

Doctors say that the victims who survive this type of crash often have life-altering injuries, such as paralysis or brain damage.

While it is understandable that family members are upset or frustrated with the changes in their loved ones’ personalities after suffering a TBI, they have to remember that these issues were caused by an accident.

The person with the brain injury is NOT making it up or exaggerating.

How can our California brain injury lawyer help? 

A TBI is a serious injury that requires attention from a competent attorney.

Have you or someone you love been affected by a traumatic brain injury in California due to the negligence of another person, business entity, or government agency?

If so, it is important that you seek immediate legal advice from an experienced California traumatic brain injury lawyer.

A TBI is often referred to as a “silent epidemic” because symptoms can be difficult to recognize and diagnose.

And it is often difficult, and sometimes impossible, to link a TBI with the symptoms and conditions someone suffers from after the injury.

A California traumatic brain injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights, determine liability for the injury, and seek fair compensation.

Ernst Law Group has experience with these cases. Our California traumatic brain injury lawyer is dedicated to advocating for the rights of those who have suffered a TBI due to another person’s negligent behavior.

Results for victims of brain injuries in California 

If you have suffered a brain injury in California, protect your rights by contacting an attorney who has experience with traumatic brain injuries.

At Ernst Law Group, our California traumatic brain injury lawyers recognize the devastation that such a life-changing event causes you and your family. 

That’s why we get our clients maximum compensation.

Let us help you get the compensation you deserve for your lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills.

To learn more about hiring our law firm, give us a call today at (805) 779-3630 to schedule a free consultation.

Contact a California brain injury lawyer today

Severe brain injuries can happen to anyone at any time.

When you work with our experienced team, we will explain the legal options available to pursue your case and help you recover compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.

We have a successful track record of representing clients who have suffered serious brain damage due to the negligence of another party.

The attorneys at Ernst Law Group are committed to pursuing the maximum compensation possible for clients in traumatic brain injury claims.

There is no charge for a consultation. If you or someone you love has suffered a TBI, don’t hesitate to contact our California personal injury lawyers.

Brain injury Q&A

Yes, traumatic brain injury qualifies for disability. People with a current or prior TBI may qualify for disability benefits from the government. Long-term disability benefits of a catastrophic injury depend on the severity of TBI. You will need an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer to help you determine whether you are eligible for disability benefits.
It is possible that your case could be resolved in a settlement with the insurance company before going to trial. Whether or not your case goes to trial depends on many different factors, including whether liability can be established and the severity of your traumatic brain injury. Your California brain injury lawyer can help you understand all of your legal options and what you can expect from each.
The range in which settlements are given for this type of case can vary greatly depending on many different factors, such as the severity of the injury and current medical condition. Your California brain injury lawyer can review your case and determine what a fair settlement range is for you.
Common side effects of a mild TBI include headaches, insomnia, slurred speech, disorient nation blurry, vision, light sensitivity, anxiety, emotional instability, and personality changes. Catastrophic injuries are life-altering brain injuries that can cause significant cognitive disabilities. If this is the case with you or your loved one after suffering a TBI due to another person’s negligence or carelessness, please do not hesitate to call Ernst Law Group. A traumatic brain injury can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. If you suffer a TBI in California due to the negligence of another person, business entity, or governmental agency, contact an experienced California traumatic brain injury lawyer today for an immediate consultation.
If you know someone with a traumatic brain injury, you will want to support them as best you can, but it can be challenging. It is important for their long-term recovery that they have positive family, friends, and caregivers around them. The first thing you can do is learn as much as possible about the condition so you are better able to understand what the person with TBI is going through. This will help you to avoid saying things that could be upsetting. It can also be very helpful to find out about specific resources and support available in your local area, such as a brain injury association or support groups. You will also want to reduce negative stimuli, such as too much light or too much noise around this individual. It is also very important to keep in mind that this person should be treated the same as any other person. You may have different expectations of them, but they are likely capable of being independent and contributing to life in their own way.
Many people with TBIs will recover completely, but this can take some time. It is important to remember the severity of someone’s injury does not necessarily correspond to their potential for recovery. For example, many people with moderate injuries manage very well in the long term while others with seemingly minor injuries need ongoing support and access to rehabilitation. Everyone with TBI is different, so it’s important to avoid generalizing how they are expected to recover or their abilities after the injury.
Many people with TBIs can fully recover. This will take time, but it is worth remembering that the severity of the injury does not necessarily indicate how much an individual will ultimately recover. However, some people may have problems walking or talking. If someone has suffered significant physical trauma to their brain, they may also have other health problems that do not improve over time.


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