Los Angeles Brain Injury Lawyer

Have You Suffered a Brain Injury? Our Firm Can Help

Each year, thousands of Californians deal with the profound effects of brain injuries, ranging from mild problems to severe neurological damage. Since the brain is a complex organ and because most brain injuries are “invisible,” cases where an injured party has suffered a brain injury can be uniquely complex and challenging. The physical, psychological, emotional, and financial toll a brain injury can cause (including the long-term need for medical care) amplifies the need for an injured party to be represented by a law firm that has dealt with the issues in the past.




If another person’s negligence led to you or a loved one suffering brain injuries, you shouldn’t have to struggle with these consequences on your own. We can fight for fair financial compensation on your behalf. While it won’t negate the pain and suffering you have been through, compensation can ease the burden of unexpected medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

With more than 40 years of combined experience, our Los Angeles catastrophic injury attorneys are focused on recovering the maximum compensation on your behalf, whether through settlement or at trial. We have represented clients who have experienced spinal cord injury/paralysis, traumatic brain injury, amputation, severe bone fractures, major organ damage, and more.

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Brain Injury Resources In This Article:

Introduction to Brain Injuries

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Brain Anatomy and Physiology

The brain—the largest and most complex organ in the human body—serves as the central organ of the human nervous system. Among other things, it is responsible for regulating bodily functions, processing sensory information, and enabling cognitive abilities. Despite being covered by the skull, meninges, and cerebrospinal fluid, the brain remains vulnerable to traumatic injury.

The main structures of the brain are:

  • Cerebrum — The largest structure of the brain, the cerebrum governs cognitive functions such as reasoning, memory, problem solving, and emotions. It consists of two hemispheres, each with specialized functions. The cerebral cortex (the outer layer of the cerebrum) plays a critical role in higher-level cognitive processes. Cerebrum injuries, therefore, often lead to cognitive and emotional impairments.
  • Cerebellum — Located below the cerebrum, the cerebellum coordinates voluntary movement, posture, balance, and speech. Although smaller in size compared to the cerebrum, it is essential for motor control and motor learning. Injuries to this structure can disrupt coordination and balance, leading to challenges in daily activities and mobility.
  • Brainstem — Located at the base of the brain, the brainstem serves as a bridge between the brain and spinal cord. It controls automatic processes that are essential for survival, including breathing, heartbeat, and sleep. Brainstem injuries, often resulting from severe trauma or compression, can be life-threatening and require significant long-term care.
  • The Neural Network — The brain’s 100 billion neurons communicate through 100 trillion synapses, forming a vast network that supports everything from basic reflexes to complex thought processes. Its plasticity allows the brain to adapt and form new connections, but damage to this neural network can lead to widespread cognitive and physical impairments.

Overview of Brain Injury

The term brain injury spans a broad spectrum of conditions that significantly impact physical and cognitive functions. These injuries are typically categorized into two main groups: acquired brain injuries (ABIs) and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs):

Acquired brain injuries encompass all types of brain damage that occur after birth, excluding those stemming from congenital or degenerative diseases. This broad category includes injuries with a variety of origins, including non-traumatic internal processes such as stroke, infection, or toxic exposure.

Traumatic brain injuries are a specific type of ABI, resulting from an external force such as a car accident. These injuries can be further classified based on the mechanism of injury and timing relative to the initial event:

  • Primary TBIs are direct injuries to the brain, such as those caused by traffic accidents or violent blows, and can be either open (penetrating the skull) or closed (non-penetrating) injuries.
  • Secondary TBIs develop after the initial trauma, as a result of the brain’s response to the primary injury, and may include things like swelling, bleeding, or ischemia.

Both ABIs and TBIs can result in significant physical and cognitive impairments, potentially leading to long-term disability or even death. The brain’s integral role in controlling memory, sensory perception, movement, cognition, and personality means that brain injuries can profoundly affect every aspect of a person’s life. Even mild trauma can have long-lasting effects.

Additionally, symptoms of brain injury may not be immediately apparent, and often emerge subtly and gradually. This presents a unique legal challenge because, unlike more visible injuries such as burns or broken bones, brain injuries require thorough medical evaluation to even begin to understand their full impact. Brain injury cases can be inherently complex because of the critical need to demonstrate not only the extent of these often invisible injuries, but also their profound impact on an individual’s life.

Brain Injury Statistics

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Brain injuries are a major public health concern throughout the country, with profound medical, social, and economic impact. More than 1.5 million people are diagnosed with some form of traumatic brain injury each year in the United States. This figure, however, is likely a gross underestimate of the true incidence of TBI, as many cases go undiagnosed and untreated.

Brain injuries account for approximately 215,000 hospitalizations a year and one-third of all injury-related deaths in the country—nearly 70,000 in 2021 alone—and are the reason at least 5.3 million people in the US live with disabilities. The financial burden of TBI, including both medical expenses and the indirect costs of lost productivity, has been estimated at as much as $60 billion annually.

In California, the prevalence of TBI mirrors the national scenario and accounts for a significant portion of health care utilization. According to the California Department of Public Health:

  • Older adults (age 55 and older) in particular are at increased risk for TBI—especially those that result in hospitalization (more than 18,000 cases in 2021) or death (nearly 3,000).
  • Adolescents in the 15-to-19 age bracket and people over the age of 85 account for the majority of TBI-related emergency department and trauma center visits—although for very different reasons.

Common Causes of Brain Injury

Brain injuries can arise from a wide range of circumstances. Understanding the causes can be critical to identifying the potential parties that could be liable for their causes. These could include:  

Police Brutality and Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) resulting from police brutality can have serious and potentially lasting physical and psychological consequences. TBIs can occur during encounters with law enforcement through several different mechanisms:

Types and Symptoms of Brain Injuries

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Brain injuries can often be life-altering due to their pervasive impact on the physical, cognitive, and emotional human experience. Understanding their full spectrum and symptomatology is critical to recognizing their impact and navigating the damages that may follow.

Types of Brain Injuries

As we saw earlier, brain injuries are usually categorized into acquired brain injuries (ABIs) and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

As to severity, traumatic brain injuries can be:

  • Mild — TBIs that cause a mild change in focus, concentration, memory, and other neurological processes. A person can be suffering from a mild TBI even if the abnormalities are not viewable on modern day imaging since it is not detailed enough to detect microscopic damage.
  • Moderate  — TBIs that cause moderate neurological deficits, including memory loss, difficulty concentrating, irritability, anxiety, and depression. Moderate TBIs are usually associated with an initial altered level of consciousness.
  • Severe — TBIs associated with blood in or around the brain, a period of unconsciousness, and significant neurological issues. Severe TBIs almost always cause permanent cognitive and emotional limitations, including severe depression/anxiety and require lifelong medical care.

As to their nature, traumatic brain injuries can be:

  • Closed head injuries — Injuries that do not penetrate the skull.
  • Penetrating brain injuries — Injuries in which the skull is penetrated and the brain is directly damaged by an object. 
  • Focal brain injuries — Injuries in which the damage is localized to specific areas of the brain, typically identifiable by lesions visible on imaging studies.
  • Diffuse brain injuries — Injuries in which the damage is spread over several different areas of the brain, rather than being confined to a specific region.

Common TBis include:

  • Cerebral contusion — A common form of TBI that results in localized bruising of the brain tissue. Similar to bruising on other parts of the body, it is accompanied by tissue damage and microhemorrhages.
  • Coup-contrecoup injury — A type of injury that occurs when the force of the impact causes damage not only at the point of impact, but also on the opposite side of the brain due to the movement of the brain within the skull.
  • Diffuse axonal injury — A form of TBI that often occurs as a result of shaking, whiplash, or rotational forces when a stationary brain lags behind a moving skull. This results in disruption of connecting nerve fibers that can lead to, but will not always include, decreased blood flow to the brain, loss of consciousness, and coma.

Secondary conditions that can arise as a result of TBI include:

  • Cerebral infarction — A stroke-like condition caused by death of brain tissue due to blockage or narrowing of the arteries and blood vessels supplying blood to the brain.
  • Traumatic encephalopathy — A degenerative brain disease associated with head trauma.
  • Second-impact syndrome — A condition that occurs when a person suffers a second head injury before recovering from a previous one.
  • Cerebral edema — A swelling of brain tissue that can occur in response to various types of brain injury.
  • Intracranial hematoma — An accumulation of blood inside the skull that increases the pressure in the brain and skull.

Symptoms of Brain Injury

Brain injuries can cause a wide range of symptoms that can vary significantly in both severity and duration depending on the type and extent of the injury. Affecting physical, cognitive, sensory, and emotional functions, these symptoms often have a major impact on a person’s quality of life and ability to carry out everyday activities.

Physical symptoms are often the most immediate and noticeable effects of brain injuries. They may include:

  • Numbness
  • Drowsiness
  • Severe headaches
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Vomiting or nausea

Cognitive symptoms affect the way a person thinks, remembers, and processes information:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Slurred speech
  • Concentration difficulties

Sensory symptoms involve changes in how a person perceives their environment:

  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Partial or complete loss of vision
  • Sensitivity to light or sound

Behavioral or emotional symptoms are often more difficult to recognize, but can be among the most challenging—for both the injured person and their loved ones:

  • Abnormal mood swings
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Personality changes

Recognizing and understanding these symptoms is critical for early diagnosis and effective treatment, but it is also essential to seeking the appropriate legal representation, especially when the injury may have been caused by someone else’s negligence.

Personal Injury Laws Relating to Brain Injuries

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People who sustain brain injuries due to the negligent or reckless actions of another may be entitled to legal compensation. California’s legal framework outlines specific laws and regulations that govern such situations, laws that establish victims’ rights, and procedures for filing claims. Understanding them provides victims and their legal counsel with the tools necessary to effectively pursue justice and recover damages.

Determining Liability in a Brain Injury Case

In California, determining liability for a brain injury can be based on the legal principle of negligence, a concept that is in part defined by California Civil Code Section 1714(a). A negligence claim includes:

  • That the defendant had a legal obligation to act with reasonable care toward the victim—known as duty of care.
  • That the defendant breached this duty by failing to act as a reasonably prudent person would have in a similar situation—known as breach of duty.
  • That the defendant’s conduct caused or contributed to the injury—known as causation.
  • That the victim suffered harm—known as damages.

Navigating the compensation and legal procedures for brain injury claims in California requires a firm understanding of the rights afforded to victims, the types of compensation available to them, and the specific legal steps required to try to secure that compensation.

In California, personal injury claims involving brain injuries are especially significant because of the potential for long-term and profound effects on the victim’s life. Victims of brain injuries, therefore, have the right to seek compensation for:

Economic damages, which include out-of-pocket costs. Examples of such are:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Life care costs (e.g. home care,  long-term care services, rehabilitation)

Non-economic damages, which include the human losses (i.e. loss of enjoyment of life, pain, suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, etc.). This can include:

  • Compensation for the physical discomfort and emotional distress one suffers as a result of the injury.
  • Compensation for the inability to engage in recreational activities or hobbies that the victim previously enjoyed.

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The Medical and Financial Impact of Brain Injuries

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Brain injury is a major medical and public health problem that affects millions of people each year. Ranging from mild to severe, traumatic brain injuries can result in permanent disabilities and have profound financial effects that can upend the lives of survivors and their families. In fact, the immediate medical response to head trauma is often just the beginning, as long-term rehabilitation and care needs extend into the future. Understanding the full spectrum of these impacts is critical for effective planning, financial management, and trying to recover just compensation.

Treatment Options for Traumatic Brain Injury

The immediate aftermath of a traumatic brain injury can be a critical period that may require immediate medical attention. This initial phase may include imaging (such as CT scans or MRIs), emergency treatment (basic monitoring all the way up to surgery), and the administration of medications. Rehabilitation may also be needed, including physical, occupational, and speech rehabilitation. The ultimate goal is to try to promote independence and improve the quality of life of the person who suffered brain injury.

Long-Term Consequences and Support for Brain Injury Survivors

Surviving a brain injury can also present a complex set of long-term challenges that can affect all aspects of life.

  • Physical challenges — Survivors may face ongoing issues such as chronic pain, fatigue, and limited mobility that affect their ability to perform daily activities independently.
  • Cognitive challenges — Brain injuries can lead to persistent cognitive deficits, including memory problems, attention deficits, and executive dysfunction, affecting the ability to work, maintain relationships, and manage daily tasks.
  • Behavioral challenges — Survivors may experience changes in personality and behavior, such as increased irritability, impulsivity, and mood swings that can be distressing for the victim, including those around them.
  • Emotional challenges — The psychological impact of adjusting to life after injury can include anxiety, depression, and emotional instability.

Managing and mitigating the consequences of these challenges can require a supportive network and professional mental health therapies. Those include:

  • Professional counseling and therapy — Regular sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist which can help the victim manage mental health symptoms.
  • Community and peer support — Participating in support groups and receiving practical advice on how to cope with daily challenges.
  • Family and friend support — Involving family and friends in the recovery process to help improve the chance of recovery.

Financial Implications and Long-Term Planning for TBI

Brain injuries can lead to a host of expenses that vastly exceed the cost of the initial medical care. These costs can be daunting and quickly become unsustainable.

Proactively managing the financial impact of a brain injury is a huge part of ensuring that the survivor and his or her family can focus on the recovery process without being overwhelmed by stress.  If the brain injury was the result of someone else’s negligence or fault, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit can provide a crucial financial lifeline.

Why You Need a Brain Injury Attorney

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Surviving a brain injury is much more than just a medical recovery. It is also navigating a complex legal landscape that can have a significant impact on your future well-being and financial security. Brain injury claims can be challenging due to their life-altering consequences and the extensive medical knowledge required to adequately understand the effects of the injury. Without legal guidance, securing adequate compensation can be an overwhelming challenge, leaving victims and their families undercompensated and struggling with long-term difficulties. An experienced brain injury attorney can help you navigate the legal system and try to obtain the compensation you deserve.

How a Los Angeles Brain Injury Attorney Can Assist You

The guidance of an experienced brain injury attorney can be invaluable when dealing with the aftermath of such an injury. Beyond the legal process, an experienced brain injury attorney can also help you understand the implications of the injury, including providing moral support and guidance..

When to Talk to a Lawyer About Your Brain Injury

When you are dealing with the aftermath of a brain injury, no matter the type, it is critical to secure expert legal representation as soon as possible after the injury.

Mardirossian Akaragian LLP is a preeminent Los Angeles law firm specializing in personal injury law capable of tackling the complexities of brain injury claims.  With a track record of major case victories and over half a billion dollars recovered for our clients, our firm is equipped to handle the demands of brain injury litigation.

How we can support your brain injury claim:

  • Thorough investigation — We can gather critical evidence, including medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony.
  • Relieve Stress — We can manage all communications with insurance companies so that you can focus on the recovery process.
  • Expert collaboration — We consult with leading neurologists, rehabilitation specialists, and forensic economists to determine the full impact of your injury.
  • Advanced legal techniques — We use cutting-edge technology, including 3D modeling, to demonstrate the injuries.
  • Trial preparedness — We are prepared to take your case to trial if a fair settlement is not possible, fighting for you every step of the way.

Contact Mardirossian Akaragian LLP

If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may be entitled to compensation for past, present and future medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Our firm offers exceptional talent, abundant resources, tireless dedication and years of experience to give you the best chance of success in obtaining maximum compensation. Led by our award-winning attorneys Garo Mardirossian and Armen Akaragian, we are prepared to provide you with the aggressive representation and personalized legal guidance you need.

Talk to a Los Angeles brain injury lawyer about your case, or contact our firm to schedule a no-cost consultation.

(323) 653-6311

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Article By


Admitted to practice in 2006, Armen has arbitrated, tried, and settled several cases which have resulted in multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.

Sources cited in this article:

  1. Anatomy and physiology, 4. The brainMAG Online Library
  2. MeningesWikipedia
  3. Physiology, Cerebral Spinal FluidNational Library of Medicine
  4. CerebrumCleveland Clinic
  5. Neuroanatomy, Cerebral CortexNational Library of Medicine
  6. Editorial: Distributed networks: new outlooks on cerebellar function, volume II – Frontiers in Sytems Neuroscience
  7. Neuroanatomy, BrainstemNational Library of Medicine
  8. Structural and Physiological Modeling (SAPM) for the Analysis of Functional MRI Data Applied to a Study of Human Nociceptive Processing – MDPI
  9. NeuroplasticityNational Library of Medicine
  10. Blunt Head Trauma (Archived)National Library of Medicine
  11. Statistics Regarding Traumatic Brain InjuriesHG.Org
  12. Traumatic Brain Injury & ConcussionCDC
  13. Injury and Violence Prevention Branch Traumatic Brain Injury Among Older Californians, 2021CDPH
  14. Traumatic brain injury: progress and challenges in prevention, clinical care, and researchNational Library of Medicine
  15. Surveillance Report: Traumatic Brain Injury-related Deaths by Age Group, Sex, and Mechanism of InjuryCDC
  16. Brain Injury Facts and StatisticsBrain Injury Association of America
  17. The Brutal Beating Death of Kelly ThomasVocal Media


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