After an accident victim suffers a TBI, they may need to go to the hospital and undergo additional medical treatment, including surgeries and post-operative consultations with neurologists.
A severe enough TBI can kill a person. Those who survive may face ongoing cognitive impairments and mental deficiencies. As a result, the accident victim cannot care for themselves at all going forward.
Traffic collisions are a leading cause of TBI. Specifically, acceleration and deceleration brain injuries are common in violent car crashes. These serious injuries may lead to brain tissue damage, swelling, or bleeding, which all require prompt medical attention at a hospital.
If you suffered an acceleration or deceleration brain injury in a car crash or other serious accident, you should seek the legal help you need immediately.
First, your brain injury lawyer can meet with you to determine your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim. If you have a valid claim, your lawyer can prepare your insurance claim and begin negotiating a favorable settlement on your behalf.
If the insurance company refuses to take your TBI case seriously and does not offer you the fair monetary recovery you deserve, your lawyer can litigate your case to a conclusion in civil court.
Do not wait to begin the process of seeking compensation for your TBI.
What Are Acceleration and Deceleration TBIs?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) affect many accident victims every year, including acceleration and deceleration brain injuries. They tend to happen when an accident victim’s head moves violently and unnaturally. In a forceful collision, the accident victim’s brain may actually move around inside their skull.
Some of the most common acceleration and deceleration brain injuries that accident victims suffer include diffuse axonal injuries, contusions, and brain bleeds.
A diffuse axonal injury typically involves the brain’s neurons and axons. These brain components serve as the primary internal wiring system for the brain. As such, they regularly transmit messages from the brain to various parts of the body.
A diffuse axonal injury happens when the brain shifts suddenly inside the accident victim’s skull. As a result of this movement, neuron/axon bundles may stretch, tear, or twist, leading to fatalities. Even when an accident victim suffers a non-fatal diffuse axonal injury, they may require intensive treatment and rehabilitation to get better. In milder cases, however, an accident victim can still make a full recovery.
On the other hand, a contusion involves bruising and swelling of the brain. In some instances, the contusion may happen in an area of the brain that experienced trauma, such as in a violent car crash.
Finally, an intracranial hematoma, or brain bleed, may happen due to an acceleration or deceleration brain injury. Ruptures may happen when a forceful collision causes the accident victim’s brain to strike the side of their skull. Several types of intracranial hematomas exist, including subarachnoid hematomas, epidural hematomas, and subdural hematomas. When accident victims who suffer a hematoma fail to seek prompt medical treatment, their brains may become subject to extreme pressure, causing additional complications.
If you experienced any of these head injuries in a recent accident, you should obtain prompt medical treatment as quickly as possible. Failing to seek immediate treatment after your accident may cause your head injury to become significantly worse, preventing you from fully recovering.
In addition, if you do not seek prompt medical treatment after an accident, the insurance company adjuster handling your claim may become skeptical. Specifically, they might think your injuries are not serious since you delayed seeking medical treatment.
While you focus your attention on seeking the medical care you deserve from medical doctors and other experts, your lawyer can begin handling the legal components of your case by gathering medical records, investigation documents, and lost income documents. After you know your prognosis, your lawyer can begin settlement negotiations on your behalf and start pursuing the monetary damages you deserve.
What Types of Accidents Cause Acceleration and Deceleration Brain Injuries?
Severe head trauma can result from various accidents, including violent car crashes and premises accidents, like slips and falls.
Car accidents typically result from driver negligence and error.
This negligence can include:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to other vehicles at the proper times
- Road rage
- DUI (or operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs)
The force of a car crash may cause an accident victim’s body to move around inside their vehicle. Consequently, the accident victim’s head might strike the headrest, driver’s side window, or steering wheel, causing an acceleration or deceleration head injury.
In addition to violent car crashes, some TBIs result from premises accidents. One of the most common types of premises accidents is a slip and fall.
Just as drivers have a duty to drive carefully and safely, property owners have a duty to carefully maintain their premises at all times for the benefit of their property visitors. When property owners fail to repair a defect or warn about it within a reasonable time serious accidents, including slip-and-falls, can occur indoors or outdoors on the premises. If an accident victim falls and hits their head on the ground, they may suffer a severe acceleration or deceleration head injury that leads to additional complications.
In addition to premises accidents, other occurrences on someone else’s property can lead to a severe head injury.
Those occurrences may include:
- Swimming pool accidents
- Staircase accidents
- Accidents and attacks that result from negligent security or inadequate security on the premises
If you suffered a severe head injury in a motor vehicle crash or premises accident, you should obtain the legal help that you need right away. An experienced TBI lawyer in your area can help you investigate the circumstances of your accident, if necessary, by retaining an accident reconstructionist to speak with witnesses and visit the incident scene. Your lawyer can then help you prove the legal elements of your claim so that you may recover the monetary damages you deserve.
Recovering Monetary Damages for a Severe Brain Injury
Acceleration and deceleration brain injuries can lead to extremely serious complications that can affect an accident victim’s language abilities, cognitive abilities, and overall ability to function. In many instances, these injuries are permanent and may affect a victim for the rest of their life.
Fortunately, accident victims who can satisfy the legal elements of their personal injury claim can recover various damages. However, every brain injury case is different, and not everyone will receive the same types and amounts of monetary recovery through their claim or lawsuit. Instead, the potential economic damages that accident victims recover are highly case-specific.
Factors that influence a monetary award in a brain injury case include the type of brain injury that the accident victim suffers, the severity of their injury, their likelihood of making a full recovery, and their ability to engage in meaningful work after the accident.
First, a brain injury victim may be eligible to recover monetary compensation for their lost earnings. To prove lost-wage damages, an accident victim must typically introduce documentation from their employer that states the number of days or hours they missed from work after their accident, along with the total amount of compensation they lost. Accident victims might also need to submit income tax returns to support their earnings.
In the most severe brain injury cases, an accident victim may never work again after their accident. Alternatively, they might need to switch jobs or entire career paths due to the mental impairments they suffered in their accident. When accident victims cannot work at all or need to take a pay cut, they may be eligible to recover loss of earning capacity damages.
In addition to these potential economic damages, accident victims may be eligible to recover non-economic damages.
These damages compensate accident victims for their intangible losses, including:
- Past and anticipated pain, suffering, and inconvenience
- Mental distress
- Permanent cognitive impairments and disabilities
- Lost quality of life
- Loss of the ability to move or use a particular body part
- Loss of spousal consortium
To recover these monetary damages in a brain injury case, your lawyer will likely need to negotiate aggressively with insurance company adjusters during settlement negotiations. In some cases, insurance companies deny liability for an accident, or they otherwise refuse to offer accident victims even brain injury victims the full monetary recovery they deserve. When that happens, your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf in the court system.
During litigation, settlement negotiations may continue, but the court will establish various dates and deadlines in your case, including a discovery deadline, pretrial/settlement conference date, and trial date. The most severe brain injury cases settle at some point during litigation, especially where the medical evidence is strong.
However, if your case does not settle, your lawyer can pursue one of the following:
- Civil jury trial
- Mediation hearing
- Binding arbitration proceeding
At a civil jury trial, the jury evaluates the evidence that the parties present in the case and decide what, if any, monetary compensation to award the accident victim for their acceleration or deceleration brain injury. However, in a binding arbitration proceeding, a pre-selected arbitrator evaluates the evidence and resolves the issue of monetary compensation. Your lawyer can help you make intelligent decisions throughout your personal injury claim or lawsuit that will provide you with the best chances of success.
Call a Brain Injury Lawyer for Help with Your Legal Matter Today
If you suffered an acceleration or deceleration brain injury in an accident someone else caused, take advantage of your legal options right away. Waiting too long to seek legal help can jeopardize your right to recover monetary compensation.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Edmonton can help you take the necessary legal action in your case and work to maximize your total monetary recovery.