TBI stands for traumatic brain injury, and hundreds of people suffer these serious injuries throughout Canada each day. A person may suffer a disabling head or brain injury in various accidents, ranging from motor vehicle crashes to construction accidents to accidents that occur on someone else’s property. TBIs can result in numerous complications that lead to ongoing medical treatment and, in some scenarios, severe personal and cognitive limitations. For example, an accident victim may have permanent memory loss or end up in a permanent coma.
Following a TBI, you must obtain the medical treatment that you need. Failing to seek this treatment in a timely manner may cause your injuries and symptoms to become significantly worse. Moreover, the insurance company may dispute the causal relationship between your TBI and the accident.
In addition to seeking prompt medical treatment after suffering a TBI in an accident, you should speak with experienced legal counsel as quickly as possible regarding your case. A traumatic brain injury lawyer in your area can evaluate your circumstances, determine if you are eligible to file a personal injury claim, and, if you are eligible, help you negotiate a favorable settlement offer with the responsible party’s insurance company.
If the insurance company does not take your TBI case seriously, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in the Alberta Court System for you and litigate your case to an efficient resolution. Your lawyer will do everything possible to help you recover the monetary compensation you need for your TBI and related losses.
Common Types of TBIs
An accident victim should always take a traumatic brain injury seriously. A major sign of a TBI is a headache. While some headaches may last for a day or two after an accident, others may lead to migraines that can last for several days.
Some victims of serious accidents suffer concussions. Generally speaking, a concussion damages the brain. These injuries happen when an accident victim’s brain strikes the side of their skull, usually from significant force applied to their head. This movement may also disrupt the brain’s neurons and axons, which relay messages between the brain and various body parts. When these brain components suffer disruption, the accident victim may have severe and sometimes permanent complications.
Short-term symptoms of concussions might include nausea, dizziness, headaches, and short-term amnesia. In most instances, an accident victim will recover their lost memories, although they may not remember the accident itself.
In other cases, accident victims who suffer concussions may experience longer-term symptoms, including permanent memory loss, permanent cognitive impairments, language disabilities, and a complete inability to function.
They might also end up in a permanent coma or vegetative state, rendering them unresponsive and requiring life support to remain alive. Accident victims who suffer the most severe brain injuries may also require daily caregivers to attend to all of their needs. As such, they may need to reside at a nursing home or assisted living center for the rest of their life.
If you or someone you love suffered one of these disabling TBIs in an accident, you are not alone. In addition to getting the medical treatment you need as soon as possible after your accident, you should reach out to a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in your area for ongoing legal help.
Your lawyer can determine if you can file a personal injury claim based on your circumstances. If you do qualify, your lawyer can submit the necessary claim documents to the insurance company and begin pursuing the favorable monetary compensation you need for your injuries.
Accidents Can Lead to Disabling TBIs
Several types of accidents can lead to a disabling TBI. One common type of accident that causes head injuries is a motor vehicle crash. Motor vehicle accidents include T-bone or broadside collisions, sideswipe accidents, tailgate accidents, head-on collisions, and overturn accidents.
In many instances, these accidents result from negligent and reckless driving. For example, a driver might be speeding, engaging in road rage, operating their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, failing to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle at the appropriate time, or failing to watch the road attentively.
In many car accident scenarios, the force of a collision may cause the accident victim’s head to forcefully strike a part of their vehicle, like the steering wheel, driver’s side or the passenger’s side window, door frame, or headrest, leading to a debilitating TBI.
Other common accidents that lead to severe head injuries are premises accidents. These accidents typically result from a property owner’s failure to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition at a particular time. When a property owner becomes aware of a spill or other defect on their property, they must place a warning placard in the vicinity or clean up the mess within a reasonable amount of time.
If they fail to do so and a slip and fall accident occurs, both they and their insurance company may be liable for the resulting head injuries and other losses that occur. In a classic slip-and-fall scenario, accident victims may suffer a TBI if they hit their heads on the floor with a significant amount of force.
Other premises accidents besides slips and falls that lead to debilitating TBIs include staircase accidents, accidents that result from defective flooring materials (like floorboards or carpeting), and premises accidents that result from negligent or inadequate security personnel on the property at a particular time.
Finally, TBIs sometimes occur in construction accidents. Construction workers and builders are around heavy machinery and equipment on a daily basis. Therefore, they are more prone to accidents and injuries than other workers. A worker might fall down from a ladder or scaffolding, strike their head on the floor, and suffer a severe injury. A piece of construction equipment can also malfunction, causing the worker to suffer a head injury.
Following a construction accident, the accident victim can pursue a workers’ compensation claim with their employer’s insurance company. In addition, if a third party committed a negligent act, they can file a personal injury claim seeking monetary compensation for their head injuries.
A skilled brain injury lawyer in your area can determine your claim-filing eligibility and work to recover the monetary damages you need for your TBI.
Filing a TBI Claim
To recover monetary compensation for a TBI disability, you will need to satisfy various legal elements. First, you must establish that the responsible party owed you a legal duty of care they subsequently violated. For example, if you suffered a TBI in a premises accident, you must demonstrate that the property owner failed to warn about or repair a property defect within a reasonable amount of time.
Next, you must demonstrate that the responsible individual or entity’s negligence caused your accident, which led to your TBI.
Many insurance companies try to dispute the validity of a TBI or its causal connection to the subject occurrence. For example, they may allege that an accident victim’s claimed injuries and symptoms result from a pre-existing medical condition or a prior accident rather than the subject occurrence. In that instance, your lawyer can introduce favorable medical testimony from a treating healthcare provider on your behalf, such as from a neurologist or other medical specialist.
The doctor can state, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that your TBI directly resulted from the subject occurrence. The doctor can also form an opinion about permanency and whether or not you are likely to experience ongoing head symptoms or cognitive impairments for the rest of your life.
A personal injury lawyer in your area can help you satisfy the legal elements of your case, ensuring that you maximize your total recoverable monetary damages.
Recoverable Monetary Damages in TBI Cases
Serious TBIs can lead to a lifetime of cognitive impairments and other serious complications. In the worst-case scenario, an accident victim may need to rely upon others for all of their daily needs. The total monetary damages that a TBI victim can recover in their case depend upon a variety of critical circumstances, including the extent of their TBI, their ability or inability to work, and the overall accident circumstances.
Some of the most common types of monetary compensation that accident victims may recover include lost earnings if they cannot work after their accident for some time, as well as loss of earning capacity if their brain injury does not allow them to continue in their current employment.
Brain injury victims can also recover non-economic damages for their intangible losses stemming from the accident.
For example, they can recover monetary damages for their:
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Permanent cognitive impairments
- Permanent physical and mental disabilities
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Loss of life enjoyment related to their head or brain injury
When it comes to negotiating a favorable settlement offer in a case, it is vital that accident victims have the skilled legal representation that they need at every stage. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you recover the damages you need to become whole again following your accident. Your lawyer can also help you set realistic expectations for your brain injury claim or lawsuit and help you determine whether you should settle a case or litigate it in the court system at a jury trial or binding arbitration hearing.
Contact an Experienced TBI Lawyer for Representation in Your Case
If you or a person you care about sustained a debilitating TBI in an accident that someone else caused, you should take the necessary legal steps in your case as quickly as possible. If you wait too long to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit arising from your TBI, the chances are good that you will jeopardize your right to recover any monetary damages at all.
A person might make the mistake of thinking their case is straightforward and that they do not need a lawyer. TBIs are of such monumental importance because they can affect people for the rest of their lives. The stakes are high.
According to the personal injury statute of limitations, TBI victims only have two years from the date of their accident to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking monetary damages. Absent a few extremely limited exceptions, this deadline applies across the board. Therefore, if you do not file your lawsuit within two years, the courts will not allow you to seek monetary damages at any time in the future.
Given this concise statutory timeframe, you should retain skilled legal counsel as soon as possible after your accident. Your lawyer can determine your eligibility for filing a claim or lawsuit, assist you with settlement negotiations and litigation, and, if appropriate, represent you at all legal proceedings in your case. Your personal injury lawyer in Edmonton will work hard to pursue justice on your behalf and maximize the compensation you need for your TBI.