"One Call Does it All®" Call Today!
1-800-INJURED
se habla español
310-641-3335

Bike Safety Tips for Kids & Parents

bicycle laneBicycling is a healthy activity for the whole family, especially young children. Southern California’s mild weather and abundant trails offer endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors on two wheels. While a fun way to travel or just explore your neighborhood, biking does come with risks. An estimated 10 percent of all bicycle accidents involve children between the ages of 6 and 10. By teaching younger kids safety guidelines early on, you can help prepare them for years to come. When young riders are armed with the proper skills and knowledge of bike safety, parents can reduce the likelihood of injuries and accidents.

The reality is that many bicycle accidents involving children happen because of rider behavior and lack of skills. It’s never too early to begin teaching your child about the rules of the road and the importance of bicycle safety and helmet use.

Before your little ones start pedaling outdoors, be sure to review these important bike safety tips.

Bike safety tips

It’s a great idea to talk with your kids about the safest places to go bike riding, whether a community park, an empty cul-de-sac, or neighborhood bicycle trails.

  • Make sure the bicycle is appropriately sized –  the handlebars and seat should be at the same height, and the seat should allow a little bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended.
  • Beginners will benefit from training wheels, while older kids can learn to use hands brakes or coaster brakes
  • Choose a quality bike helmet that will protect against head trauma/brain injury
  • A properly-fitting helmet should rest level and not tip forward or to the sides
  • Make sure the tires are inflated, the brakes work properly and the reflectors are firmly secured
  • Wear reflective or bright colors to improve visibility
  • Wear closed-toe shoes and avoid loose fitting pants that can get caught in the spokes
  • If riding with a group of people, bike in a single file, rather than side by side
  • Teach kids to use appropriate hand signals to indicate a left or right hand turn

Teaching your child the rules of the road

Before the age of 8, few kids can judge vehicle speed or have a basic understanding of how traffic works, making them vulnerable targets when riding a bicycle. By taking your child for several “training” rides, you can explain some essential rules such as:

  • Always wear a helmet when biking
  • Look right and left before turning
  • Obey all stop signs
  • Be careful around parked cars and driveways where vehicles may back out
  • Ride on the right, going in the same direction as traffic
  • Walk your bicycle across busy streets
  • No playing in the road
  • Use bike lanes instead of sidewalks whenever possible
  • Always yield to traffic signs
  • Be alert for road hazards like potholes, puddles or broken glass
  • Always ride with both hands on the handlebars unless signaling a turn
  • Be home before dark – avoid riding at night

Children tend to emulate their elders, giving more reason to model safe behavior (including constant helmet use!) while biking. By teaching your kids bicycle safety and road rules, you not only help prevent crashes, but you’re encouraging an active and healthier life.

California bicycle accident lawyers

The Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers at Ellis Injury Law are dedicated to winning justice for cycling victims and their families. If you or a loved one was harmed in a bike accident, call 1-800-INJURED for a free case review. Our legal team represents clients throughout Los Angeles and offers 20 convenient office locations throughout California.

Additional Bike Safety Tips:

  1. Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation, CHILD BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN SAFETY TIPS https://www.ncdot.gov/bikeped/download/bikeped_safety_tips.pdf
  2. Safe Kids Worldwide, Bike Safety Tips https://www.safekids.org/tip/bike-safety-tips
  3. NHTSA, Kids and Bicycle Safety https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/bike/KidsandBikeSafetyWeb/index.htm
  4. KidsHealth.org, Bike Safety http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/bike-safety.html

Study Finds Definite Link Between Brain Trauma and Football

kids football game tackleA recent study has found what one newspaper terms an “incontrovertible link” between playing football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive deterioration of the brain. CTE can cause depression, undue aggression, memory loss, dementia, and suicidal thoughts.

CTE: 87% of players overall and 99% of NFL players show signs

Many football players are subject to repeated concussions as part of playing the sport. While the link between these and brain deterioration has increasingly been argued in recent decades, the National Football League (NFL) for many years denied a clear link. This study, conducted by Boston University researchers, is an addition to the growing body of evidence indicating that concussions and other jarring of the brain common in football is tied to CTE.

The brains of 87% of the 202 players studied overall showed signs of CTE, which can only be determined via postmortem brain examination. Among NFL players, 99% — or 110 out of 111 — had CTE.

It is estimated that linemen receive roughly 15,000 hits over a 10-year period that can cause the brain to be jarred in a manner that leads to CTE.

Despite the very high level of CTE in NFL players, however, one of the most notable findings of the study was that roughly 25% of players who had only played in high school displayed signs of CTE. They were as young as 23. That implies that the signs can start very early, and several years can be enough to cause brain tissue deterioration.

An end to high school football?

The finding has caused observers to wonder if high school football should be actively discouraged. While helmets can protect against some injuries, they do not protect against all concussions, repeated concussions, or intracranial brain movement caused by repeated hits to the head and or body. All of these can cause CTE.

The study’s authors noted that further study is needed. While it increasingly appears that football and CTE are linked, there may also be factors such as genetic predisposition that play a role.

Attorneys experienced in sports and traumatic brain injury

Do you or a loved one have symptoms related to CTE? The Ellis Law Firm can help. We are experienced in the issues related to sports and traumatic brain injury.

The causes and liabilities behind these injuries can be complex, but an experienced sports brain trauma lawyer can help.

Call today for a complimentary appointment with a seasoned Southern California personal injury attorney, at 1-800-INJURED.

Additional “football and brain trauma” resources:

  1. Picard, Andre. “CTE and Violent Sports: It’s Time To Rethink Our Approach.” The Globe and Mail. July 25, 2017. https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/its-time-to-rethink-our-approach-to-violent-sports-like-football-that-can-lead-to-brain-injury/article35801195/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&
  2. Van Groningen, Nicole. “All But One of 111 Former Pro Football Players Had Brain Injury CTE in Study.” ABC News. July 25, 2017. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/111-pro-football-players-brain-injury-cte-study/story?id=48838098

Summer Water Safety: 10 Silent Signs of Drowning

Whether in a pool or the ocean, swimming is one of the most treasured parts of summertime in California. But did you know that drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death in children under the age of 10? Even more alarming is the fact that some 90 percent of these drownings occur while the child is in the presence of an adult. How can these statistics be true? If a child was drowning, wouldn’t it be obvious to the parents, the babysitter or the lifeguard?

The reality is that we’ve grown accustomed to a certain image of what drowning looks and sounds like. A lot of screaming, thrashing in the water and desperate gasps for air. The truth is that the signs of drowning are much subtler than the movies depict. They are so subtle that even a momentary lapse of attention can lead to tragedy. 

According to Olympic Gold medalist Summer Sanders, who is now ambassador for the USA Swimming Foundation, “There’s a big misconception that drowning is a large action…the truth is, most drownings are quite silent. You’re not going to hear your kids if there’s chaos in the pool.”

With pool season in full swing and the beaches crowded with young swimmers, it’s important to keep your kids safe around the water. Just because they know how to swim doesn’t mean they’re immune to danger. Here are 10 silent signs that someone may be fighting for their life.

10 silent signs someone is drowning

It takes less than one minute for a child to drown. These horrific accidents can occur in just a few inches of water, and toddlers are especially at risk. Constant vigilance is key when children are around water.

Be alert for these 10 quiet signs of drowning:

  1. Head is bobbing above and below the waterline
  2. The child cannot and does not call for help
  3. Head is tilted back, the mouth may be open
  4. Hair is covering the forehead
  5. Arms are not waving but held by the side or forward
  6. Eyes are closed or unfocused
  7. Child goes silent – no screams or noise
  8. Body remains vertical in the water
  9. No evidence of kicking or struggling
  10. No evidence of distress, appears like they are staring up at the sky

It takes less than 60 seconds for a drowning child to submerge beneath the water. When accompanying a child around water, remember how quickly a drowning can occur. If a child suddenly gets quiet, ask if they are doing alright. A drowning person will not be able to respond. Be prepared to act swiftly. Children have just precious seconds before submerging and survival rates hinge largely on the length of immersion.

Signs of dry drowning

Just because your little one hops out of the water doesn’t mean the danger is over. Though extremely rare, “dry drowning” can pose a serious risk of death hours later. When a child accidentally swallows small amounts of water (sometimes into the lungs), this can trigger vocal cord spasms that shut off air supply.

Symptoms of dry drowning can manifest just minutes after a water-incident, or several hours later. Be on the lookout for:

  • Difficulty breathing or shallow breathing
  • Persistent coughing
  • Sudden sleepiness
  • Vomiting
  • Unusual behavior

Prevention is crucial for summer water safety

Drownings can be prevented by taking extra precautions with children around water. To learn more about liability issues in drowning events or pool-related injuries, contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Ellis Law Firm today. Our skilled trial attorneys offer aggressive legal representation will fight tenaciously to protect your rights.

Call us toll-free at 1-800-INJURED.

Additional “Quiet Signs of Drowning” Resources:

  1. Parents.com, Dry Drowning: Know the Signs http://www.parents.com/kids/safety/outdoor/dry-drowning/
  2. NewsOK.com, Prevent Drowning: Keep swimmers of all ages safe this summer http://newsok.com/article/5549811
  3. Reader’s Digest, 8 Silent but Deadly Signs of Someone Drowning http://www.rd.com/advice/parenting/8-quiet-signs-of-someone-drowning/

Loss of Wages and Compensation in a Personal Injury Case: How Are They Calculated?

gavel and cash moneyWhen people are injured due to the negligence of another entity, whether a person or an organization, they are entitled to receive damage awards for loss of wages and compensation.

Calculating loss of wages

How are loss of wages calculated? Some of it is relatively simple. If you are a salaried employee and an accident that is the fault of another party causes you to lose a week’s work because you are unable to work, the calculation of loss of wages will equate to the wages, or salary, you would have received during that week.

Loss of wages also applies to situations where you may have to miss work to receive treatment or follow-up for your injury. If you need to take off a half-day due to the injury, you are entitled to compensation for that loss of wages as well.

You will need to provide documentation of your wage loss. This is done via a letter from your employer stating what your regular wages are. A doctor’s narrative letter is also often part of the documentation. The doctor’s letter specifies the nature of your injury, why you were unable to work, and when you can return.

If you are self-employed, your lost wages can be calculated from your financial statements and past year’s taxes. Your potential wages can be determined from this financial information. If your business was growing, the percentage increase can also be determined and added to the loss of wages claim.

Calculating compensation

The term “compensation” applies to all other benefits that you would have received had you not been injured. You are entitled to financial damage awards for all the compensation you would have received but lost through injury.

You are entitled, for example, to financial recompense for any sick days or vacation days you were entitled to. If you used them for time off work to have your injury attended to or to recover, you should be compensated for each day. You were not able to use them as sick or vacation time.

Some companies have policies that cause employees to lose vacation or sick time if it is not used, or that require a certain period of work to accrue. If you were off work a sufficient time that you lost sick or vacation days under these policies, you are also entitled to compensation.

Compensation for benefits includes any company holidays or personal days you would have received if you had been working. You are entitled to payment for those days.

Finally, you are eligible for compensation for lost opportunities and events in which you would have participated had you not been injured. A business conference that would have connected you with important clients, for example, can be compensated monetarily.

If you receive an annual bonus but it is reduced by the company for time off work, or you were unable to make sales that would have contributed to your bonus, it is grounds for receiving financial compensation.

Use of a forensic economist or accountant

If calculating wages or compensation is complicated, your attorney may advise a consultation by a forensic economist or accountant. If your injury requires a lengthy period of recovery, for example, your company may move you to another role. If the salary is less, you are entitled to ask for compensation. If you need to look for another line of work due to your injury, you are entitled to compensation for job search activities. A forensic specialist can calculate the amount of damages you are due.

Talk to an attorney about recovering lost wages

Ellis Law Firm has been defending victims of personal injury in California for more than 20 years. We are experienced at seeking aggressive compensation for loss of wages and compensation. If you need to talk to a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles about recovering lost wages and compensation, call us now at 1-800-INJURED. We will be happy to schedule a complimentary consultation at your convenience. We will fight to make sure you receive just compensation for your injuries.

More “calculating lost wages” resources:

  1. National Association of Forensic Economics, http://www.nafe.net/
  2. Forensic Accountant, http://www.acfe.com/career-path-forensic-accountant.aspx

How to Claim Loss of Consortium in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

California civil code provides legal remedies for spouses and registered domestic partners who have suffered because their partner was injured by the negligent or wrongful actions of a third party. This particular cause of action is known as “loss of consortium,” and it is commonly raised in personal injury lawsuits arising from car accidents, workplace injuries and other types of civil litigation.

Why does the law afford spouses the opportunity to seek financial compensation when it was their partner who was physically harmed? In many cases involving catastrophic or other life-altering injuries, the victim isn’t the only one who suffers. Their entire family endures the repercussions of caring for their injured loved one, who may be unable to work let alone perform daily tasks like housework or offering emotional support and guidance to his or her partner. Many auto accident injuries can result in lasting physical and psychological trauma that can deprive a spouse of the affection, care, love and assistance that was the foundation of their marriage before the accident.

Loss of consortium damages

Loss of consortium, also called loss of companionship, is a type of non-economic or general damages that may be sought in a personal injury claim. This cause of action accounts for the burdens, hardship and mental suffering on the part of the victim’s spouse.

Some examples of loss of consortium:

  • The loss of enjoyment or reduction in sexual relations
  • The loss of the ability to have children in the future
  • The loss of the enjoyment of your marriage
  • The loss of services (deprivation of the injured spouse’s assistance in running the home)
  • The loss of financial support previously offered by the injured spouse
  • The loss of moral support
  • Increased economic burdens because of the injured spouses’ reduction in earnings
  • The injured spouse is no longer able to provide emotional support or comfort
  • The inability to enjoy certain activities together because of the injuries incurred
  • Having to deal with an injured spouse who suffers from depression, anxiety and mood swings because of the accident

Proving loss of consortium

Generally speaking, in order to have a viable cause of action for loss of consortium, the spouse’s injury must be disabling in nature for a judge or jury to award monetary compensation. When determining loss of consortium damages, the courts will look at the stability and length of the marriage, the severity of the victim’s injuries, as well as the life expectancy of both partners.

If the injured spouse is expected to make a full recovery in a short period of time, the spouse may have a more difficult task in proving the requisite degree of harm suffered. As an example, a spouse would have a greater likelihood of recovering loss of consortium compensation if their partner sustained a traumatic brain injury compared to a broken arm that would heal relatively quickly.

In accidents where the health and stability of the marriage has been seriously compromised because of the injury, a loss of consortium claim can add tremendous value to the potential recovery.

Free personal injury case review

Ellis Law Corporation is a leading personal injury law firm headquartered in Los Angeles. Our legal team understands the pain, suffering and hardships that entire families face after a serious accident. If your spouse or domestic partner endured severe injury, we invite you to schedule a consultation with an experienced California personal injury lawyer free of charge by calling 1-800-INJURED.

Additional Loss of Consortium Resources:

  1. Justia, 3920. California Loss of Consortium (Noneconomic Damage) https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/3900/3920.html
  2. Legal Dictionary, Loss of Consortium http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/loss

 

How Is Loss of Income Calculated in a Personal Injury Case If I Am Self Employed?

Wooden gavel laying on American dollarsPlaintiffs file personal injury lawsuits in order to obtain compensation for their economic losses. For most people, the calculation for “loss of income” is fairly straightforward – based on wage statement and tax return data. A business owner or self-employed worker faces a more difficult path to proving what has been lost as a result of the accident injuries.

What counts as “lost income” for a self-employed plaintiff?

As a self-employed professional, you are entitled to recover:

  • Lost income – How much time did you have to take off your usual workload?
  • Loss of earning capacity – Did you lose skills and abilities for a time after your injury?
  • Lost profits – Did you lose current business as a result of your injuries?
  • Lost business opportunities – Did you lose pending business opportunities due to injury?
  • Loss of good will – Has your loss of availability hurt your relationships with current/future clients?
  • Sick leave and vacation pay – What sick and vacation pay would you have accumulated?

What proof do you need to prove self-employed losses?

Several years’ worth of tax returns is the preferred documentation. However, there are myriad reasons why you may not want to hand these documents over to the courts. They contain personal information such as spouse income, investments, charitable donations, and other sensitive data. Though these returns are confidential in the hands of the IRS, the courts waive this confidentiality once they appear in court. California law (Tax.C. §§ 19542, 7056) protects citizens from having to turn over their tax forms over the course of discovery and litigation.

Other sources to establish claim to income losses may include:

  • A letter from a client, customer, vendor, or business associate verifying your name, position, rate of pay, number of hours typically worked, and amount of time missed after the accident.
  • Letters from lost associates, verifying that the accident and injuries sustained prevented associates from doing business with you.
  • Bills of sale, invoices, appointment calendars, documentation of meetings and conferences, and payments received leading up to the accident can be used to show how much you were working and earning.

Additional considerations in calculating loss of income

The courts often pursue the following questions in their assessment of loss:

  • What type of business is it?
  • What type of person is the claimant?
  • Can a replacement manager be hired to maintain the business?
  • What portion of earnings are attributable to labor, and what portion is investment income returns?

In some cases, damages are calculated based on the cost of hiring a replacement, rather than an estimation of lost business profits – which can be very difficult to prove beyond a questionable doubt.

Who can help build a strong loss of income case?

Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at The Ellis Firm regularly rely upon a number of professionals to help build a strong case for our clients’ losses. Economic experts can testify on your vocational abilities, the market for your skills, and provide a reasonable estimate of loss based on tangible factors. Forensic accountants can study your past income and prepare a detailed report regarding your future income based on growth rate projections for your type of business and by scaling up the estimation of added customers. They can provide a glimpse into what your competitors were able to achieve to make a compelling case.

Contact California lawyers at The Ellis Firm for a free case review. We have experience obtaining maximum compensation for self-employed plaintiffs.

Additional “loss of self-employed income” resources:

How Are Pain & Suffering Damages Calculated?

Wooden gavel laying on American dollarsA personal injury settlement or jury award is meant to compensate the victim for losses suffered because of the accident – those losses are not always clearly measured. Pain and suffering is not easy to quantify the way medical bills are. There are some general practices that can help you understand how a pain and suffering award may be calculated.

Types of personal injury damages

A personal injury award can be made up of different components. First, it can be broken down into:

  • Punitive damages – to punish wrongdoing; and
  • Compensatory damages – to reimburse the plaintiff for losses.

The compensatory damages can then be broken down into

  • Special damages – also known as “economic damages”, these are based on a determined amount, like medical bills and lost wages; and
  • General damages – or “non-economic damages” like pain and suffering, which have no set monetary value.

Pain and suffering, therefore, is a type of general damages; under California law, personal injury victims are entitled to compensation for it. It can be broken down into two components: physical pain, including impairment to lifestyle and hobbies, and emotional suffering including anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Determining pain and suffering amount

Even though California law recognizes the right to compensation for pain and suffering, there is no clear cut answer on how much it is worth. There are a few methods to arrive at a figure and not all of the factors are applicable in every case.

  • Multiplier formula – this is probably the most recognized, and the starting point in many cases. It uses what is known – the medical bills – as a basis to calculate the unknown by multiplying the “specials” by a number, usually between 1.5 and 4. Insurance adjusters often rely on programs that assign a multiplier based on the type of injury and then apply that to the total cost of medical bills.
  • Per diem formula – far more commonly used by some personal injury attorneys in trial, this asks the jury to assign a daily rate, like $100, for each day of pain and suffering the victim is expected to suffer and multiply it by the number of days it finds the suffering will likely continue.

These formulas are just the start; the number is then affected by factors such as:

  • Locale – some communities are more plaintiff-friendly while others tend to sympathize with defendants
  • Credibility, and even likability, of the plaintiff and witnesses
  • Exaggeration of injuries can offend jurors and hurt the award
  • Physical injuries that disturb jurors can lead to larger pain and suffering awards – eye injuries are one example where jurors tend to be more generous
  • The lasting impact matters – an injury that permanently prevents someone from taking part in favorite family activities will be worth more than one that only causes a short-term impairment

A personal injury lawyer can help

There are a lot of considerations that can affect a pain and suffering award but a qualified Los Angeles personal injury lawyer from the Ellis Law Firm will be able to speak from experience as to what a realistic award may look like. Call today to schedule a free consultation. We never charge a fee unless we win money for you.

Additional “calculating damages for pain and suffering” resources:

  1. Justia, California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) 3905A. Physical Pain, Mental Suffering, and Emotional Distress (Noneconomic Damage), https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/3900/3905a.html
  2. California Law Review, Placing a Price on Pain and Suffering: A Method for Helping Juries Determine Tort Damages for Non-monetary Injuries, http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1672&context=californialawreview

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Thanks to the efforts of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), March is once again being widely recognized as Brain Injury Awareness Month. With an overarching campaign theme of “Not Alone,” the advocacy organization and those who support it will seek to increase awareness and conduct outreach related to the millions of individuals affected by brain trauma each and every year.

Statistics underscore true impact of traumatic brain injuries

According to data from the BIAA, over 2.5 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury during the course of a year, with another million individuals experiencing the still-devastating effects of non-traumatic harm to the brain, such as stroke and seizure events. Startlingly, the yearly cost of disabilities and care stemming from brain injuries reportedly tops $82 billion for the 5.3 million coping with them. The “Not Alone” education campaign and platform is designed to enhance public awareness of the true scope of brain injuries and the unique needs and priorities of victims and those who love them. Outreach efforts associated with Brain Injury Awareness Month are intended to remove some of the stigma faced by brain injury sufferers, offer a sense of empowerment and highlight support programs and other resources available to patients and caregivers.

Important facts about brain injuries

The International Brain Injury Association indicates that brain injuries are the most significant driver of death and disability around the globe. Further, of all categories of bodily damage, brain injuries are the most likely to produce lasting impairment. There can be no doubt about the severity of the consequences regularly resulting from brain injuries, some of which include:

  • Onset of seizure disorders
  • Loss of short and/or long term memory
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Speech disorders
  • Aggression
  • Depressive disorders
  • Paralysis
  • Vision loss
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of spatial orientation abilities
  • Reduced impulse control
  • Impairment of social skills
  • Possible increase in risk of Alzheimer’s disease

How serious brain injuries frequently occur

There is a seemingly limitless number of ways in which an individual can experience a brain injury, many of which are sudden and traumatic in nature. Some victims experience mild or temporary disruptions in their routines, whereas others are left profoundly disabled for the remainder of their lives.

Common scenarios in which brain injuries occur include:

  • Car crashes
  • Sports-related accidents
  • Slip, trip and fall events
  • Worksite mishaps
  • Swimming/boating accidents and submersion
  • Physical assaults
  • Pedestrian collisions
  • Motorcycle accidents

Negligence and brain injuries in California

Sadly, an unacceptable number of serious brain injuries are the result of negligent actions or omissions on the part of others. When this occurs, there is a strong sense of unfairness, betrayal and uncertainty felt by victims and their families. Fortunately, it is possible for such individuals to seek compensation and a degree of accountability through the courts, though the process of prevailing is rarely simple or straightforward. It is often necessary to obtain the knowledgeable assistance of a team of experienced California personal injury lawyers able to marshal persuasive evidence, expert opinions and legal arguments on clients’ behalf.

If you or someone close to you is contending with a serious brain injury that was caused by the negligence of others, there is no time to waste in pursuing the resources and financial recovery you are certain to need now and well into the future. Serving the greater Los Angeles area for well over two decades, Ellis Injury Law is prepared to aggressively advocate for your rights and help you build a brighter future. For a non-cost initial consultation, contact us by calling 1-800-INJURED.

Additional Brain Injury Resources

  1. Brain Injury Association of America, Brain Injury Fact Sheet, http://www.biausa.org/brain-injury-awareness-month.htm#FactSheet
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBI: Get the Facts, https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html
  3. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Traumatic Brain Injury In Adults, http://www.asha.org/PRPSpecificTopic.aspx?folderid=8589935337&section=Signs_and_Symptoms

New California Concussion Law Takes Effect for Youth Sports Injuries

youth head injury concussionCalifornia lawmakers kicked off 2017 by enacting a new concussion law for youth sports. The protocol extends to young athletes the same preventative measures that were already in effect for high school and college athletes. The new law aims to cut down on serious injuries from concussions in younger, more vulnerable players. California personal injury lawyers understand the harmful effect that concussions and other brain injuries can have on victims and their families.

The youth sports concussion protocol includes the following steps:

  1. The player has helmet removed from the game and must sit it out.
  2. The player may not return until a doctor gives the okay after the athlete has been symptom free for at least 24 hours.
  3. The player must participate in at least one full contact practice before returning to a game.

About concussions

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused by an external physical force that interrupts brain function. Concussions are often caused by a glancing blow or even from violent shaking.

Concussion symptoms do not always appear immediately – it can be hours or even days before the symptoms begin. Some danger signs of a more serious problem that warrant emergency treatment include:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Headache that gets worse instead of going away
  • Unevenly dilated pupils
  • Nausea with vomiting
  • Confusion, disorientation, or memory loss
  • Emotional or personality changes

Pro athlete concussion litigation

Though a concussion is a relatively mild type of TBI, repeated concussions can lead to more serious and long-term brain injuries. As the severe impact of repeated sports-related concussions has grown more apparent, professional and amateur athletes have joined forces to fight against those who put their health at risk. Some notable recent concussion lawsuits include:

  • In 2015, former professional football players brought a class action lawsuit against the NFL. What began as a $675 million lawsuit has already reached a $1 billion uncapped class settlement and that number could rise dramatically if current players show symptoms at a higher than predicted rate.
  • In early 2016, current and former NCAA athletes filed a class action against the NCAA. The approved settlement was for $75 million but there could be further litigation on related issues because the athletes also have the ability to file tort claims against the NCAA and affiliated institutions.
  • In 2014, lawsuits filed by former professional hockey players and their families against the NHL were consolidated in multidistrict litigation in Minnesota. The cases may start heading to trial later this year.

Evaluating California youth sports injuries

Sometimes injuries happen because of an inherent risk of the sport. Other times, it happens because someone failed to take the necessary safety precautions.

Those involved in youth sports have legal duties, including to provide adequate training and explanation of the rules for the activities, supplying necessary and proper protective equipment, supervision suitable for the age group, pairing youth athletes to avoid potentially dangerous size and disparities, and post-injury care to minimize injury.

At Ellis Law Corporation, we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of injury victims. If you or your child has suffered a California sports injury, call 1-800-INJURED to speak with a Los Angeles sports injury lawyer for a no-cost consultation.

Additional “California youth sports injury lawsuit” resources

  1. Mayo Clinic, Diseases and Conditions: Concussion, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/concussion/home/ovc-20273153
  2. Lexis Nexis News, BU CTE Researcher Objects to NHL Seeking Her Research Material For Lawsuit, http://www.lexislegalnews.com/articles/15344/bu-cte-researcher-objects-to-nhl-seeking-her-research-material-for-lawsuit
  3. California Legislative Information, AB-2007 Youth athletics: youth sports organizations: concussions or other head injuries, https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB2007

How Personal Injury Lawyers Evaluate Paralysis Cases

LA ambulanceCatastrophic injury cases, such as those that involve permanent paralysis, can be particularly complex. This is partially because the true extent of the medical problems might not be immediately apparent, as patients who suffer from paralysis are at a much higher risk of developing secondary complications. Lawyers must also deal with the matter of assessing the anticipated future care costs that the patient will need over a lifetime. Because of these complexities, personal injury lawyers who take on these types of cases must execute carefully planned strategies in and out of the courtroom with the benefit of expert guidance from various consultants.

Reviewing the medical records and other evidence

One of the first steps that a personal injury lawyer will take to evaluate a paralysis case is to request all available physical evidence, most notably, the medical records of the patient. Paralysis occurs in several forms and it has many potential causes. In many cases, paralysis cannot be blamed on the negligent actions or misconduct of another party. It may be attributable to viral infections such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, for instance. The types of paralysis cases that lawyers can litigate stem from another person’s negligence.

Paralysis caused by negligence is often attributable to a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accident. It may also be the result of nursing home negligence, and slip and fall incidents. Although civil cases usually arise from acts of negligence, paralysis cases may constitute intentional torts. These refer to acts that were intentionally perpetrated by a person, such as assault.

During the review of the patient’s medical records, police reports, photographic evidence, video surveillance, and any other available physical evidence, personal injury lawyers will consider the following factors:

  • The nature and extent of the patient’s injuries
  • The economic and non-economic damages that have resulted
  • The duty of care owed to the patient by the prospective defendants
  • The evidence that shows a breach in the duty of care
  • The evidence that links this breach to the patient’s injuries

The presence of a duty of care, its breach, the causation of injuries, and the existence of damages are all the essential elements that must be present in every personal injury case.

Calculating compensatory damages

Once personal injury attorneys have established the merits of a particular paralysis case, they will move on to assess the damages. For complex paralysis cases, it’s often necessary to consult experts such as a life care planner, registered nurse consultant, and earning capacity evaluation expert. These consultants can conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s past, current, and future medical needs and losses. The damages sought in a catastrophic injury lawsuit typically include compensation for hospitalization, diagnostics, surgeries and medical treatments, rehabilitation therapy, durable medical equipment, medications, and in-home health aides. Additionally, plaintiffs may seek compensation for their lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Bring your personal injury case to Ellis Law

Ellis Law is comprised of a team of seasoned personal injury lawyers serving families in Los Angeles. Our trial experience combined with the extensive resources of our firm can work to fight for your family’s right to maximum compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and the lifetime of care needs that accompany paralysis and other permanent disabilities. We invite California families to request a free case review by calling 1-800-INJURED today.

Additional “paralysis-related personal injury lawsuit” resources

  1. American Bar Association, Personal Injury, http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/injury.html
  2. Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Living with Paralysis, https://www.christopherreeve.org/living-with-paralysis