People who hit their heads in a violent car crash, slip and fall, or another accident may suffer a severe traumatic head or brain injury (TBI). In most situations, these injuries require significant medical treatment and may even result in permanent, lifelong complications. You need immediate treatment, but even with the right diagnosis and medical care, brain injury symptoms can persist for years and affect a victim’s life in many ways.
Many accidental brain injuries are preventable. If you suffered a TBI in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may recover monetary compensation for your losses from the liable party. The financial damages you recover can compensate you not only for your medical expenses and inability to work but also for your intangible losses, including pain, suffering, and other lasting effects of your brain injury.
If you or someone you love suffered a brain injury in an accident that someone else caused, you should seek out experienced legal counsel to represent you as quickly as possible. A brain injury lawyer can meet with you to discuss your accident circumstances and the head injury that you suffered. Your attorney can then file a claim with the appropriate insurance company and negotiate with insurance company representatives.
Finally, if necessary, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court and pursue the maximum amount of monetary damages you deserve for your traumatic head injury.
After head trauma, always get medical care and then consult an injury law firm that represents brain injury victims and understands this complicated injury.
Traumatic head and brain injuries usually happen when an accident victim strikes their head forcefully on the ground or some other hard surface. When this occurs, accident victims can suffer several different types of TBIs. One common type of TBI is a concussion.
Motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, and construction accidents commonly cause concussions when the accident victim strikes their head with significant force.
As a result, the accident victim may suffer a brain bruise, which may also disrupt the brain’s neurons and axons. These brain components transmit messages between the brain and other parts of the body, and significant damage can lead to both short-term and long-term complications.
Some common short-term complications of concussions include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and short-term memory loss. However, other concussions may result in additional symptoms, including long-term or permanent memory loss, post-concussive migraine syndrome, and comas.
When an accident victim falls into a coma, they may remain unresponsive for a significant period of time and in some cases, permanently. If an accident victim falls into a permanent coma, they may wind up in a vegetative state and rely on life support indefinitely.
Other severe head injuries may occur to the outside of an accident victim’s head and can happen when an object penetrates the head or skull. These injuries can also lead to permanent brain damage or cause the accident victim to fall into a permanent coma.
If you suffered a severe head injury in an accident that another individual caused, you should speak with legal counsel in your case right away. Your attorney can go over all of your legal options with you and help you pursue a personal injury claim with the appropriate insurance company.
After filing the claim on your behalf, your lawyer can negotiate a favorable settlement offer so that you recover the total monetary damages you need for your accident-related head injury.
A brain injury attorney can help you take the legal steps necessary to recover the compensation you deserve for your head or brain injury. Depending on your jurisdiction, if you suffered a head or brain injury in a motor vehicle crash such as by striking your head on the steering wheel or headrest you may first need to turn to your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage for compensation.
However, you can file a claim or lawsuit with the at-fault party’s insurance company if you suffered a permanent injury or disability, including a permanent head or brain injury, in your car accident.
In other jurisdictions, you can file a third-party claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, seeking the monetary damages you need for your head injury.
You can also involve the at-fault party’s insurance company and file a third-party personal injury claim – if you suffered your head injury in some other occurrence, such as a premises accident or construction accident where a third party was negligent in some way.
To successfully recover monetary compensation in a third-party claim or lawsuit, you must satisfy several legal elements of proof.
First, you must demonstrate that the at-fault party owed you a legal duty of care. For example, in a slip-and-fall or other premises accident, property owners owe property visitors a duty of reasonable care.
Specifically, property owners must ensure that their premises are free from hazardous conditions. Property owners also have a duty to properly correct these hazardous conditions, or at the very least warn about them, within a reasonable amount of time.
Next, the injured accident victim must demonstrate that the other party violated their legal duty of care by acting unreasonably under the circumstances. For example, in the context of a slip-and-fall accident, the property owner might have failed to clean up a spill on the premises within a reasonable amount of time.
Then, the accident victim must show that as a direct result of the other party’s negligence, the subject accident occurred. Finally, the accident victim must demonstrate, through expert testimony, that they suffered a head injury in their accident – and that their head injury directly resulted from the accident.
In a traumatic head or brain injury case, medical experts play a very important role. First, a medical expert can relate the head or brain injury to the accident. In addition, a medical expert, such as a neurologist, can establish that the injured individual suffered a permanent head injury in their accident that is unlikely to get better – even after a significant amount of time passes.
A knowledgeable brain injury attorney can help you retain the necessary experts to prove each legal element of your third-party claim and recover the monetary compensation you deserve.
In some instances, insurance companies and their adjusters are skeptical about traumatic head and brain injuries. They may believe that the accident victim’s complications were pre-existing or that the brain injury did not result directly from the accident.
Therefore, accident victims must have a strong medical expert on board in their case. However, in some situations, the accident victim may still need to litigate their case if the insurance company does not offer them the favorable monetary compensation they deserve.
The litigation stage of a third-party personal injury claim begins when a lawyer files a lawsuit on the accident victim’s behalf in court. The parties will exchange various documents, including medical records and medical bills. They may also answer written questions and take one another’s depositions during a process known as discovery.
Once the discovery process is complete, the insurance company may offer the accident victim additional monetary damages for their head injury. However, if the parties cannot agree to a reasonable settlement amount, they may have to take their case to a civil jury trial.
At trial, the jury will listen to all of the verbal testimony presented, review all medical documentation and other records, and determine the amount of monetary compensation to award the injured accident victim. Instead of taking a personal injury case to a jury trial, the parties may elect to pursue one or more types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
One type of ADR proceeding is called mediation. During a mediation hearing, a mediator, who serves a neutral role in the case, can help the parties reach an agreement by facilitating settlement discussions and trying to bring them closer together.
During a binding arbitration hearing, on the other hand, the parties will submit various documents and present testimony to a preselected arbitrator, who will then decide the issue of monetary damages in the case.
A skilled brain injury attorney in your area can help you decide on the best course of action for your head injury case. Your lawyer can also determine a reasonable settlement or verdict value for your case and help you make informed and intelligent decisions along the way.
Victims of serious head and brain injuries may recover various types of monetary compensation in their brain injury case. The types and amounts of monetary damages that accident victims can recover will depend on various factors, including the nature and extent of their head injury, the type of medical treatment that they underwent, whether they will need to undergo medical treatment in the future, the cost of their medical treatment, and other accident-specific factors.
Monetary damages that head injury victims can recover in a third-party claim include both economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate head injury victims for their out-of-pocket costs, medical expenses, lost earnings, and loss of earning capacity.
However, head injury victims may also be eligible to recover various types of non-economic damages for the intangible losses they suffered due to their injury.
Those damages may include monetary compensation for all of:
Your lawyer will do everything possible to maximize your total monetary compensation so that you can become whole again, to the greatest extent possible, following your accident.
Brain injuries that an accident victim suffers can lead to severe and sometimes permanent complications that affect every aspect of their life and well-being. If you or someone you love suffered a traumatic head or brain injury in an accident, you should have a skilled personal injury attorney in Tampa on your side representing you at every stage of the legal proceedings in your case, from beginning to end.
Your attorney can investigate your accident, file a claim with the right insurance company, and help you negotiate a fair settlement offer from the insurance adjuster handling your claim.
If you are pursuing a third-party claim or lawsuit, your attorney can assist you with every step of the process, litigate your case in the court system, represent you at all legal proceedings in your case (including a civil jury trial or binding arbitration hearing), and help you achieve the best possible result that brings you justice and makes you whole again.
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