Traumatic Brain Injuries are easily some of the most distressing injuries that an individual can suffer. They often result in life-altering symptoms that cannot be eliminated; what this means for those suffering is that they have to learn to adjust their lives to the new reality of the brain injury rather than wait for it to heal to continue on. It also means that medical bills for treating such an injury can grow astronomically large.
If you have suffered from a traumatic brain injury then you’re likely wondering what can be done about it. We’ll leave the medical side of the question to your doctors. But as attorneys, we can offer you a legal means to seek compensation for what you suffered. However, it does require fault for the accident to rest on another individual.
Today we’re going into all things traumatic brain injury. We’ll look at the common causes and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries to get a sense of how serious they are. Then we’ll look at how you win a traumatic brain injury lawsuit, which means determining who was at fault. Finally, we’ll look at what kind of damages you can recover through a traumatic brain injury lawsuit.
What Are the Common Causes and Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the term we use for a certain kind of brain injury. There are others such as concussions and skull fractures and these can be very serious or even life-threatening. But a TBI is less about the injury itself rather than the result. For example, a TBI could be caused by a skull fracture. So if the term itself doesn’t tell us much about the accident, what does it tell us?
A TBI is a type of brain injury that is distinct due to the disruption it causes in the natural functioning of the brain. So in that sense, a concussion would be considered a TBI. However, many concussions only result in short-term disruption in brain function and therefore are quite minor compared to what we refer to as TBIs.
A good comparison is to consider the symptoms of a mild head injury when compared to a traumatic brain injury. A mild injury may result in: nausea, headache, sensitivity to light or noise, fatigue, blurred vision, problems with sleep or excessive sleeping, problems with balance, lightheadedness, confusion, and a few others that ultimately are frustrating and impact our lives but not to a major degree. Even a mild brain injury needs to be treated with respect, so mild symptoms are no reason to avoid medical treatment.
But a lot of traumatic brain injuries are not mild and the symptoms they result in can be devastating. Symptoms such are:
- Loss of coordination
- Weakness in fingers, toes, or limbs
- Inability to awake from sleep
- Profound and lasting confusing
- Slurred speech
- Disorders of consciousness
- Persistent headache
Other symptoms may also occur depending on where the damage to the brain was located.
TBIs can be caused by anything that strikes the head. Car accidents are common causes but so are sports injuries, bad falls, and any other type of accident that can result in the head being struck with force. Unfortunately, this means that there is nearly always the risk of suffering a TBI from pretty much any accident you could get into.
How Do You Win a Traumatic Brain Injury Case?
Before you can win a case, you need to know whether or not the facts of the case would allow you to. You can pursue a TBI in three different ways. The injury could be caused by another person’s negligence, which we’ll be focusing on below. A TBI can also be caused by an intentional act like assault or battery, which you can file a personal injury lawsuit over but you also may be more interested in pressing criminal charges. Finally, a TBI can also be caused by a workplace accident, in which case you would want to work with a worker’s compensation attorney.
We’ll assume that the injury was caused by an accident outside of the workplace, like a car accident. In order to win, you need to prove that the person on the other side of the courtroom was at fault. This is shown by proving the following:
- That you were owed a duty of care from the defendant
- That the defendant breached that duty of care
- And that breach is what caused your injury
A duty of care in this case would be to follow the rules of the road and drive safely. A breach of that duty could be speeding or texting while driving. If you can show that your injury was due to a breach of a duty to care, then you can show the courts who was at fault and win compensation for your TBI.
What Damages can be Recovered Through a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit?
In South Carolina, you can recover:
- Economic Damages: This is the medical bills you had to pay, the pay you lost due to the injury preventing you from working, property damage such as car repairs, and anything else with an exact dollar amount.
- Non-Economics Damages: This is compensation for things like pain and suffering and loss of consortium, those things that don’t have a dollar amount but are still a negative result of the accident or injury.
- Punitive Damages: These are damages meant to punish somebody, such as when they acted particularly recklessly.
Should I Work with an Attorney?
A TBI takes a lot of time and patience to return to some semblance of life prior to the accident. You should be spending this time recovering, not investigating the accident and tracking down witnesses or researching the minutiae of personal injury law.
When you hire an attorney, you don’t just increase your cases of winning when compared to self-representation, you also give yourself a break from all the legal confusion so you can focus on what matters most right now: your health and recovery. So hire a professional traumatic brain injury attorney today and let them do the heavy-lifting for you.