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Brain Injuries

San Francisco Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Lawyer

Premier Personal Injury Representation

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are among the most catastrophic of injuries that can affect anyone, often from an unexpected or abrupt accident. The consequences of a single TBI can last a lifetime. To begin the path to full recovery after such a severe injury, you will need the help of a particular set of medical professionals and experienced lawyers who are highly familiar with these complex and sensitive cases.

Our San Francisco brain injury attorneys at Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn can be the ones to take your case and pursue justice on your behalf. If you would like to know more about services and our history of success, call (415) 940-7176 or schedule a free consultation today.

Types of Brain Injuries

There are generally three types of traumatic brain injuries. The first type is a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). This is usually known as a concussion, and is caused by a blow to the head. Mild traumatic brain injuries typically require rest, pain medication, and restricted activities during recovery.

The second type is a moderate traumatic brain injury. This involves a loss of consciousness for 20 minutes up to 6 hours. It also involves a Glasgow Coma Scale rating of 9 to 12. This is a more severe injury than a mild traumatic brain injury, and requires more extensive medical care.

The third type is called a severe traumatic brain injury. It includes a loss of consciousness for longer than 6 hours, as well as a Glasgow Coma Scale rating of 3 to 8. This is the most serious type of brain injury.

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The accidents or incidents that lead to a TBI are usually preventable. Human error, negligence, and actions of wrongdoing or maliciousness can be attributed to a sizable percentage of traumatic brain injury incidents. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 40.5% of TBI cases result from slipping and falling, and another 14.3% are the direct result of a car accident. This type of injury can range from mild to severe, though every brain injury should be treated seriously, no matter how minor it might seem.

Other causes of traumatic brain injuries include:

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain injuries are a silent epidemic that affect an estimated 1.7 million people every year, according to the CDC. People who have brain injuries often do not know they are affected, as symptoms usually develop slowly over time. If left untreated, serious and permanent damage can occur to one’s neurological symptom.

Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury fall into four broad categories:

  • Physical symptoms. Victims of traumatic brain injuries will most likely experience a variety of physical symptoms. These include headaches, dizziness, seizures, and fatigue. Partial paralysis, appetite changes, insomnia, and other physical disorders can also occur after a traumatic brain injury. More severe TBIs may result in coma, chronic pain, and other physical symptoms. Treatment of these symptoms generally has the goal of reducing pain and helping the patient recover as comfortably as possible.
  • Cognitive symptoms. Because traumatic brain injuries affect the brain, cognitive abilities may be impaired. Patients may suffer from confusion, impulsiveness, and a slow information processing time. Furthermore, TBI patients may experience memory loss (called amnesia), as well as difficulty processing language. Much is still unknown about the cognitive impact of TBIs, but treatment often involves various therapies to help the patient maintain and strengthen cognitive functions.
  • Social/behavioral symptoms. Traumatic brain injuries can also affect a person’s emotional, social, and behavioral patterns. For example, a typically quiet and mellow person may become angry and easily irritable after suffering a TBI. Others may suffer from depression, anxiety, lack of awareness or motivation, disinhibition (lack of self-control or restraint), and aggression. A person’s behavior and emotions may change significantly, and these symptoms may be temporary or permanent.
  • Sensory symptoms. In addition to physical, cognitive, and social/behavioral symptoms, TBI patients may experience sensory symptoms. Blurred vision, blindness, or involuntary eye movements commonly affect a patient’s sense of sight. Furthermore, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), sensitivity to noise, and hearing loss may result from a TBI. Patients may also suffer a lost sense of taste and smell, and have difficulty interpreting touch sensations like temperature and texture.

Mild brain injuries might result in headaches, neck pain, ringing in ears, dizziness, and fatigue. To be certain that you have not sustained any serious damage, visit your doctor or seek emergency care. Doctors can use a neurological exam and various imaging tests to determine the severity of your injury. When treated in its early stages, it may be possible to stabilize your condition and prevent a brain injury from getting worse.

What Are the Consequences of a TBI?

Medical practitioners may find it difficult to predict just how severely a traumatic brain injury will affect someone due to the still-developing sciences behind understanding brain function. It is critical that you seek professional medical assistance whenever you are wounded, especially when it could be in a way that affects your brain. A minor injury now could be indicative of severe conditions in the future.

A brain injury may result in the following consequences:

  • Amnesia and memory loss
  • Loss of motor or speech functions
  • Falling into a coma
  • Insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness
  • Chronic headaches or migraines
  • Death

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have a devastating effect on victims and their families. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 176 people died every day from traumatic brain injuries in 2020. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, it is essential to know the common causes of these injuries so that you can better understand how to obtain the compensation you deserve. Here are five of the most common causes of TBIs:

Car Accidents

One of the most common causes of TBIs is car accidents. 10,291 people suffered TBIs resulting from motor vehicle collisions between 2018 and 2019. When two vehicles collide, the force of the impact can cause severe brain injury. Even if you are wearing a seatbelt, the sudden stop can cause your head to hit the steering wheel, dashboard, or window. If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not think you have been injured.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are another common cause of TBIs. When you slip and fall, your head can hit the ground with great force, causing a severe brain injury. Over 18,000 were injured and experienced brain injuries from unintentional falls from 2018 to 2019. Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, but they are widespread in places like:

  • Grocery stores
  • Shopping malls
  • Worksites
  • Office buildings where floors are often wet or slippery

When an individual slips and falls, they may be able to collect compensation through a premises liability claim. Business owners and property owners owe a duty of care to individuals that may be present on the property and ensure that the property is safe.

Pedestrian Accidents

Even though car accidents happen more frequently and cause more TBIs, pedestrian accidents have the tendency to be much more traumatic. When a negligent driver hits an unprotected pedestrian, the impact can cause severe injuries due to the force and weight of the vehicle. Pedestrian accidents often occur at crosswalks or in parking lots where drivers regularly fail to see pedestrians.


When a person is hit in the head with a blunt object by another person or punched, the force of the blow can cause a serious brain injury. Assaults can occur anywhere, but they are especially common in places like:

  • Workplaces
  • Parking lots
  • Schools
  • Nightclubs/bars

In 2020, workplace assaults numbered 20,050, with 33 percent of these assaults occurring to the head.

Defective Medications

Medications can be considered defective when they are defectively manufactured, made with dangerous side effects or marketed improperly. Defective medications include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. When a person takes a defective medication, the side effects can cause numerous injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Common side effects from a defective drug include:

  • Strokes
  • Seizures
  • Drowsiness/Dizziness
  • Internal Bleeding (particularly brain bleeding)

If you have suffered a TBI after taking a defective medication, you may be able to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer or medical malpractice claim against a medical professional.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Complications

The CTE Center at Boston University School of Medicine has furthered the study and understanding of brain injuries in athletes and military personnel in recent years. Using thorough studies of patient brain samples, they have concluded that repeated impacts to the brain will ultimately cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), or the progressive degeneration of the brain's sensitive tissues triggered by the increase of an irregular strand of tau protein. While the CTE Center has helped identify what causes CTE, treating and curing it is currently impossible. Common symptoms of CTE are similar to most other brain injuries, only worsened, especially when showing signs of depression.

Call Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn for a FREE Review

At Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn, our San Francisco traumatic brain injury lawyers work closely with highly-respected medical professionals to evaluate your treatment and claims. We work alongside certified life-care planners and forensic economists to determine your need for ongoing care, rehabilitation programs, medical equipment, and state-of-the-art adaptive technology. When necessary, we can also have professionals come to your home and determine what modifications will be required for you to live comfortably.

Start a free case review online or call (415) 940-7176.

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