Serious head injuries, including brain injuries and concussions, can leave accident victims debilitated and needs ongoing medical treatment. In addition, victims may experience painful symptoms and severe complications sometimes for the rest of their lives.
If you recently suffered a traumatic head injury, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit with the at-fault individual or entity’s insurance company, seeking various monetary damages. After seeking prompt medical treatment at a hospital emergency room or urgent care center following your accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
First, your lawyer can meet with you to discuss your head injury and the circumstances surrounding your accident. Next, your lawyer can determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. If so, your lawyer can file the claim on your behalf and begin negotiating with the insurance company adjuster.
If the insurance company refuses to take your case seriously and will not offer you the total damages you deserve to recover for your traumatic head injury, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and begin the litigation process on your behalf.
Typical Traumatic Head and Brain Injuries That Accident Victims Suffer
Head injuries that accident victims suffer typically fall into two categories. The first category is a blunt head injury or an injury to the outside of the accident victim’s head. This may occur when a sharp object pierces the skin on the accident victim’s head or penetrates the skull, causing severe injuries.
The other type of traumatic head injury is an internal injury, such as a concussion or other brain injury. A concussion is a brain bruise that can significantly alter an accident victim’s memory and concentration abilities.
A concussion happens when an accident victim’s brain moves around inside their skull, often due to the force of a collision. For example, in a car accident, the victim’s head might violently strike the headrest, steering wheel, or window in the car, causing brain movement. A concussion injury may occur if the accident victim’s brain hits the front, back, or sides of their skull.
A concussion sometimes disrupts the brain’s “internal wiring system,” or the neurons and axons that transmit signals throughout the brain and other parts of the body. If a neuron or axon becomes completely severed, severe complications may arise.
Some traumatic head injuries are more severe than others and can lead to short- and long-term symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms related to traumatic head injuries include headaches, vomiting, nausea, and short-term memory loss. However, a more severe head injury can lead to limited concentration, confusion, long-term memory deficits, and frequent migraines.
In the most severe head injury cases, an accident victim might wind up in a coma or a permanent vegetative state. As a result, they may rely upon a breathing apparatus to keep themselves alive. Also, in severe traumatic head injury cases, accident victims may need to rely on long-term caregivers at a nursing home or assisted living facility for around-the-clock care.
If you or someone you care about suffered a head injury in a recent accident, you have legal options. Once you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area, the lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your accident, determine your claim-filing eligibility, and pursue a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company as soon as possible.
How Do Traumatic Brain Injuries Frequently Occur?
Traumatic head and brain injuries may result from any accident when a person strikes their head with a significant degree of force. At other times, an object may strike or penetrate the accident victim’s head, causing a traumatic head injury. Some head injuries can even result from a violent jolt of the head without any direct trauma.
Some of the most common occurrences that lead to TBIs include:
- Car accidents where one or more drivers deviate from the prevailing standard of care, such as drinking and driving, exhibiting road rage, breaking traffic laws, and failing to watch the road attentively, and a severe accident occurs that leads to a head injury.
- Commercial truck accidents happen because a truck driver violates traffic laws or trucking regulations. Trucks are much larger and heavier, so the impact can be greater, often causing victims to sustain head injuries.
- Bicycle or motorcycle accidents due to negligent drivers. Even if a cyclist is wearing a proper helmet, they do not have protection from head trauma and severe injuries 100 percent of the time.
- Pedestrian accidents due to negligent drivers. Pedestrians have even fewer protections than cyclists, as it is not traditional for someone to wear any protective gear while walking – even when near traffic.
- Premises accidents, including slip and falls, where a property owner fails to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition and fails to warn about or remedy the hazardous condition within a reasonable time, and a property visitor falls, hitting their head.
If you suffered head injuries in an occurrence where someone else acted unreasonably or recklessly, a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer near you can identify the cause of your accident by retaining an expert accident reconstructionist, if necessary. Your lawyer can also help you file a prompt claim or a lawsuit in the court system to pursue the total monetary damages you deserve for your accident-related head injury.
Proving a TBI Case
In a TBI case, the injured accident victim has the sole legal burden of proof. Therefore, they must establish all the necessary legal elements to prevail and recover the monetary compensation they deserve for their head injury. The at-fault individual, on the other hand, does not need to prove anything in the personal injury claim or lawsuit or even testify on the witness stand at trial. Instead, the injured accident victim has the sole legal burden in the personal injury claim or lawsuit.
In a head injury case, the accident victim must first establish that the accident happened because someone else deviated from the standard of care. For example, in a motor vehicle crash, another driver must ordinarily have disobeyed a traffic law, engaged in distracted driving, or operated their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
To prove the fault or liability element of a personal injury claim, the accident victim may need to retain an accident reconstructionist to testify in their case. This is especially true if the at-fault party’s insurance company disputes fault for the accident. An accident reconstructionist can demonstrate that another person caused the accident that led to the head injury. Accident reconstructionists can visit the incident scene, review police reports and investigation documents, speak with eyewitnesses, and piece together exactly how the incident likely occurred and who caused it to happen.
In addition to proving fault in a personal injury claim or lawsuit, the injured accident victim must show that they sustained a head injury in their accident and that the claimed head injury directly resulted from the accident. To establish this element, the accident victim must ordinarily introduce medical testimony by a qualified medical provider in their case. Moreover, the medical provider must be willing to state, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the accident directly caused the head injury at issue.
A medical provider can also demonstrate that the accident victim’s head injury is permanent in nature or that it is unlikely to become better over time. Finally, the provider might opine that the accident victim will require long-term care and rehabilitation, such as at a nursing home or assisted living facility, depending upon the overall injury circumstances.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you retain the necessary experts to prove each legal element of your personal injury claim or lawsuit, improving your chances of recovering the total amount of monetary damages you deserve.
Settling a TBI Claim
Once you understand all your past and future losses, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you submit a comprehensive settlement demand package in your case, along with a formal demand letter, to the insurance company adjuster.
Throughout the claims-filing process, your lawyer can:
- Persuade the settlement adjuster to accept fault for your accident
- Negotiate back and forth with the adjuster and convince them to increase their settlement offer
- Threaten the adjuster with litigation if they fail to offer reasonable damages
- Litigate your case in the court system in the event that step becomes necessary
Recovering the Damages You Need for Your TBI
The amount of monetary compensation you can recover in your head injury case will depend upon the circumstances. Therefore, putting an exact economic value on a particular personal injury claim or a lawsuit is challenging.
Traumatic head injuries often come with severe pain, ongoing medical care, and sometimes around-the-clock lifetime care. Consequently, the damages that a head injury victim may recover as part of their personal injury claim will depend upon the severity of their injury, whether their injury is permanent, and whether they missed work due to their head injury.
First, head injury victims may be eligible to pursue monetary compensation for any wages they lost from being unable to work while receiving treatment. They may have needed to attend medical visits, or their pain might simply have prevented them from working at their job. In addition, if the accident victim suffered cognitive impairments that required them to switch positions and they had to take a pay cut, they may be eligible to bring a claim for loss of earning capacity.
Serious head injuries may also come with significant symptoms, pain, suffering, and inconvenience, for which the accident victim may receive monetary compensation. Accident victims can also pursue financial damages for their emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of life enjoyment associated with their head injury. If their head injury prevents them from using a part of their body, they can bring a loss of use claim, seeking monetary damages.
Finally, if a medical provider determines that the accident victim may require long-term care at a nursing facility, or in-home caregivers, the accident victim can receive monetary compensation to cover those long-term care costs.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can determine which of these damages you’re eligible to pursue and recover as part of your personal injury claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer will then do everything possible to help you maximize your monetary compensation and recover the full damages you deserve for your severe head injury.
Filing a Timely TBI Claim or Lawsuit
As with all personal injury claims and lawsuits, head injury cases are subject to a statute of limitations. Accident victims have two years from the date of their head injury to file a lawsuit in the court system seeking monetary damages. If an accident victim files their lawsuit after the deadline has already expired, they will likely waive their right to recover any monetary damages for their head injury. Therefore, the quicker you retain an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you in your case, the better off you will be.
A knowledgeable lawyer can safeguard your right to recover monetary compensation in your case and begin negotiating with the insurance company adjuster promptly. If your case must go to litigation, your lawyer can zealously advocate for your legal rights in court and work to recover the total damages you deserve.
Speak With an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Suppose you sustained head injuries in an accident because of someone else’s negligence. In that case, you should retain an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you in your case as soon as possible. In addition to explaining your legal options and investigating the circumstances of your accident, your lawyer can assist you throughout both the claims filing and litigation processes.
Your lawyer can also represent you at all court hearings, aggressively advocate for you, and pursue the maximum damages you deserve to recover for your traumatic head or brain injury.