While many types of brain injuries exist, each one falls under two broad categories: penetrating and non-penetrating brain injuries. Any type of brain injury can cause a variety of symptoms and limit your ability to function normally. When you sustain an injury because of someone else's actions, regardless of the type, you can take legal action against the liable party.
A brain injury attorney could stand up for you throughout the legal process. Your attorney can focus more on the damages you sustained and help you recover compensation for them. When you choose to have a brain injury attorney represent you, you don't have to deal with the legal matters alone.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention With Any Type of Brain Injury
Regardless of the type of brain injury you sustained, you must seek medical attention immediately. Some brain injuries can continue to worsen over time. A medical professional can diagnose the extent of your injury. Without a proper diagnosis, your injury could worsen, and you could experience significant and long-lasting side effects.
You should also seek medical attention quickly to show the liable party that you have done everything you can to stabilize the injury. If you don't seek medical treatments, the liable party could later claim that your injury got worse because you didn't properly manage it. Doctors can provide the documentation you need to prove the cause and cost of your injury.
Proving Liability in Brain Injury Cases
If you sustained any brain injury because of someone else's actions, it's critical to identify the liable party. By identifying the liable party, you can file a claim against them to seek compensation.
After receiving the proper medical care, you can consult an attorney to learn your legal options. A lawyer can advise you on whether you should file a lawsuit or claim against the person or entity who caused your brain injury.
Potentially Liable Parties for a Brain Injury
To determine who you should file the brain injury case against, your attorney may analyze the cause of the accident. There could be one or more parties to blame for your accident.
Potentially liable parties for your brain injury could include:
- The property owner: If you suffered a brain injury because of a slip and fall due to unsafe property, you could file a case against the property owner. The owner must have acted negligently for them to be found liable. Your attorney can build a case to prove their negligence caused your injury.
- A vehicle operator: If you sustained a brain injury in a car accident, you could file a case against the at-fault driver. Typically, when vehicle operators don't follow the rules of the road or drive recklessly, you can file a case against them based on negligence.
- A violent offender: If a violent offender hits you in the head with a blunt object or puts a bullet through your brain, you could file a case against them. In addition to the civil claim you file, criminal prosecutors could also seek to punish the offender.
Also, if your child sustained a brain injury during a sports activity, you could file a case against the person in charge if their negligence caused the injury. For example, if your child suffered a brain injury during football practice, and the coach did not require helmets at the time of the injury, you could file a case against them for negligence.
An Attorney Can Build a Strong Case Against the Liable Party After You Sustain a Brain Injury
To recover compensation for your losses, you need to build the strongest case possible against the liable party. A brain injury lawyer can help you build your case. Your attorney would serve as your legal advocate throughout your entire case. Having someone who understands personal injury laws on your side can make this stressful process easier for you.
Your attorney can build a strong case against the liable party on your behalf by:
- Investigating the incident: Your attorney can conduct their own investigation into the incident that caused your brain injury. During their investigation, they can gather evidence and speak to witnesses so they understand what happened.
- Collecting information regarding your treatments: When your attorney has ample information to understand the level of care your injury requires, they can explain to the opposing counsel how your injury has affected your life.
- Identifying your recoverable damages: Your brain injury could cause you to visit medical care providers often. Also, you could miss work, experience physical pain, and now suffer from mental health issues. Your attorney can fight for you to recover compensation for any loss you experienced because of your head injury.
- Demanding compensation from the liable party: Your attorney can send a letter to the liable party demanding they pay you for your damages. If they decline, your lawyer can negotiate with them to reach a fair deal that both sides agree to.
If both sides agree to a fair deal during negotiations, you could receive money quickly. However, sometimes negotiations don't end in a fair settlement agreement. Your attorney can file a lawsuit if they believe the insurance company has acted in bad faith and owes you compensation.
After they file a lawsuit against the liable party, they can represent you during each phase of the legal process. During the entirety of the lawsuit process, they can continue negotiating with the at-fault party in an attempt to reach a settlement agreement outside of court. If not, they can represent you in a trial.
Proving Negligence in a Brain Injury Case
Proving negligence may be difficult to do on your own. When you hire an attorney familiar with these cases, they will understand how to build a strong case based on negligence.
Your lawyer can gather evidence to satisfy the four elements of negligence.
The elements of negligence include:
- Duty of care: You must prove the liable party owed you a duty to act in a reasonable manner. For example, property owners must keep their property in a safe condition, and drivers must follow the rules of the road to ensure the safety of others around them.
- Breach of duty: You must then prove the liable party breached their duty of care to you. For instance, if a vehicle operator caused an accident after speeding excessively, they didn't uphold their duty of care to act in a safe way that a prudent person would.
- Causation: You must prove the correlation between the injuries you sustained and the liable party’s breach of duty. Your attorney can prove the other party caused the accident by collecting photos, videos, and witness statements.
- Damages: You must prove that you suffered damages because of the accident the liable party caused. Damages could include medical expenses, the income you lose, pain and suffering, and other monetary losses you sustained.
You Could Seek Compensation for Your Losses After Suffering From a Brain Injury
You can file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the party that caused your injury. Your attorney may recommend pursuing both of these routes simultaneously, depending on the details of your case.
Your attorney can help you by taking note of the damages your brain injury caused and calculating the value of your case. Once you know your case’s value, you can send a demand letter to the liable party.
Recoverable damages in a brain injury case could include:
- Medical costs: Brain injuries could require extensive diagnostic tests to determine the location and severity of the injury. Once you have a diagnosis, you could go through treatments or procedures to relieve the pain you feel and repair your brain. These costs could put you into significant medical debt. By filing a claim, you could seek compensation for these losses.
- Future medical costs: Certain brain injuries could require medical treatments in the future. You must think about future medical costs when determining the value of your case to ensure you are pursuing a fair amount of compensation. If your doctor states that you will need ongoing medical care, your attorney can pursue the cost of treatment in your demand for compensation.
- Lost earnings: Brain injuries can affect you cognitively and physically. If these side effects have decreased your working abilities, you could seek compensation for lost earnings. When your attorney speaks to your employer, they can gain insight into how much income you lost while you missed work during your injury recovery.
- Diminished earning capacity: Your brain injury could lower your ability to work again. If you can no longer perform the duties of your job and your earning power has lessened, you can include diminished earning capacity damages to your case. When you seek compensation for these damages, you won't have to stress about your inability to work in the future.
- Pain and suffering: Brain injuries can cause pain that can linger for months or years. You deserve compensation for any physical pain your injuries have caused you. Your attorney can work with your healthcare providers to determine your level of physical and emotional suffering.
- Mental anguish: Many brain injury victims face mental suffering after an accident. Emotional issues could include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleeping issues, or anxiety. You can recover compensation for your mental suffering, as well as for treatment such as mental health therapy.
- Loss of enjoyment: Many people with brain injuries lose the ability to participate in activities they once could before their accident. If you used to play sports, ride bikes, or go on hikes and no longer can, you could seek compensation for loss of enjoyment damages. You can provide testimony, pictures, and other documentation to prove you could participate in these activities before your accident. A medical professional could testify that your injuries now affect your quality of life.
When you suffer from monetary and non-monetary losses at the hands of someone else, you deserve justice. By filing a case against the person who caused these losses, you can take back your power. You shouldn't have to deal with the financial consequences of your brain injury when someone else caused it.
Brain Injury Attorneys Often Offer Free Consultations
A personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for all losses you suffered as a result of your brain injury. Most attorneys understand how many types of brain injuries there are and can explain how you can seek compensation based on the type you have.
Brain injury attorneys often offer free consultations, so you can have your questions answered and learn about your next steps. By speaking to different law firms, you can choose the right fit.