You’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury through another’s negligence. Traumatic brain injuries can be life-altering, affecting not just you but your family. Who’s going to pay for the medical bills and your time off work? If your injury is severe enough that you can’t advocate for yourself, who will? Should you talk to a West Virginia personal injury lawyer?
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Around 80 percent of all traumatic brain injuries, also known as TBIs, are mild, caused by a series of events that rattle the brain like a fall, or being hit too hard in a sport, or being in a fistfight, causing a concussion. Those usually require a trip to the doctor to make sure that they indeed are mild. Some TBI however are violent enough to cause moderate-to-severe injuries requiring hospitalization, surgery, and rehab.
Concussions happen during accidents when your neck and head are jolted rapidly. It takes around 70 to 120 g-forces to cause that kind of injury. In a car accident, for example, you may experience a force upwards to 150 g’s or 12 tons of force hitting your body as you come to a stop.
Traumatic brain injuries can bring seriously abrupt changes to your life as you know it.
Repercussions of Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain bleeds and swelling can lead to surgery following CT scans and MRIs to determine the extent of your injury. Then comes the expense of rehab which can last months.
No two TBIs are the same. Every person experiences different aftereffects at different intensities.
- Cognitive: like aphasia, impaired memory, and reduced concentration
- Physical: tremors, balance issues, paralysis and loss of motor control
- Emotional: extreme mood swings, anxiety, depression, and aggression
- Sensory: like numbness, hearing loss, vision problems, and loss of smell
Traumatic brain injuries send 611 people to the hospital and kill 176 people every day, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What Kind of Settlement Can You Get for a TBI?
Traumatic brain injury costs can infiltrate your budget for a lifetime if the injury is severe enough. Expect expenses to run the gamut of a few hundred to several thousands of dollars to millions. Never settle for less than what you need to pay for your current and expected needs.
Settlements should include:
- Current and expected medical care and expenses
- Economic losses such as current income loss and income loss due to loss of earning capacity
- Compensation for pain and suffering, punitive damages if warranted
- Vehicle repairs if your TBI was the result of an auto crash
Punitive damages won’t be awarded for negligence, but for malicious intent.
Compensation for pain and suffering is different in that it is awarded for loss of income and the like.
Common TBI Settlement Amounts
There are wide ranges of settlement amounts when it comes to traumatic brain injury. Common amounts may reach several thousand dollars. Traumatic brain injuries that are irreversible, that will require a lifetime of care, can net settlement amounts in the millions, but that is the exception and not the rule as most TBIs are mild.
Many people who suffer traumatic brain injuries want to accept the first compensatory offer from an insurance company so that they can put the injury behind them. A key issue with that scenario is that often traumatic brain injuries don’t present themselves until later, which is why you should speak with a Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible.
Personal Injury Law Terms You Should Know
Negligence can get complicated. In personal injury cases, the burden lies with the plaintiff to prove negligence. Proof must be established using these four elements: duty, breach, cause, and damages.
- Duty: a duty was owed you
- Breach: that duty was not performed reasonably
- Cause: due to that breach of duty you were injured
- Damages: the court CAN order compensation for that injury
In the case of a traumatic brain injury, you have to prove that duty was breached and that you received your TBI because of that breach. You also have to know that the court can order compensatory damages.
This isn’t contributory negligence determining your compensation, it is comparative negligence. This means that even if you are 99 percent at fault for your injury, you can receive damages. The only reason you would not be able to receive damages for your traumatic brain injury is if you caused it 100 percent.
Statutes are another name for public or private laws.
Statute of Limitations
As you know, there are exceptions to the 2-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. For instance, if you didn’t find out about your TBI until much later after the accident, the statute of limitations would begin on the day you found out that you had a TBI.
Maximize Your Damages with Lawyer Representation
Traumatic brain injury can be a very complicated personal injury case. You don’t want to accept the first compensation offers that come your way, and you don’t want to represent yourself. You’ve been through enough with your traumatic brain injury. The lawyers at The Miley Legal Group can represent you so that you can reap the maximum amount of damages that you deserve.