A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a serious diagnosis resulting from trauma to the head that causes damage to the brain. Those who suffer from a TBI often spend the rest of their lives with side effects that affect their ability to work, drive, and even participate in day-to-day activities at home. TBIs often cause personality changes as well.
Unfortunately, TBIs are all too common. More than 2.8 million people in the U.S. are admitted to emergency departments with Traumatic Brain Injuries each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. TBIs are commonly caused by vehicle accidents, falls, workplace incidents, and falling objects. Those who suffer from moderate to severe TBI can expect a long treatment period that can range in cost from around $85,000 to $3 million, depending on the severity of the injury.
No amount of compensation can give TBI victims back the quality of life they had before their accident. However, victims have a right to pursue financial compensation for medical bills, reduced quality of life, and pain and suffering when a TBI occurs due to the negligence of another person or entity.
Like all personal injury cases, an attorney must prove that your TBI was caused by the accident in question and that the accident was the result of the defendant’s negligence. Your attorney will need to demonstrate that the defendant owed the victim a reasonable duty of care (for instance, driving without distraction), that this duty of care was breached (the defendant drove while texting on a cellphone), and that this breach resulted in the accident which caused the TBI.
Your attorney will present evidence to show that the defendant is at fault for causing the accident and its subsequent injuries. This can include videos and photos of the accident, eyewitness testimony, police and first responder reports and other resources. In addition, the extent of the injury, cost of treatment, and any damages must be shown.
Traumatic Brain Injury cases can sometimes be difficult to prove because the injury may not be obvious in commonly available brain imaging devices like MRIs. A victim’s family and doctor may notice a marked change, but physical evidence can be challenging to produce. Common defenses against TBI cases make the claim that because the injury is not physically visible, it is does not exist. To combat this argument, an attorney may advise you to undergo further testing utilizing different brain imaging software such as PET scans, functional MRIs or TESLA 3 MRI technology. Such tests have improved technology that can often show physical evidence of TBI.
A skilled attorney will also enlist the expert testimony of neurologists, neuropsychologists or other physicians to testify about the nature of the injury, its side effects and long-term prognosis. Additionally, the victim and his or her family members may be called to testify about how the victim’s behavior and day-to-day life has changed since the injury occurred.
Though it may feel like a great challenge for victims of TBI to enter into a lawsuit over their injuries, it’s important to remember that a positive outcome for your case can make life easier for years to come. A settlement or trial award can cover the cost of ongoing treatment, getting additional help for everyday household duties, past medical bills and compensation for various accommodations to help victims cope with the changes they have suffered. If you have experienced a TBI due to the negligence of another, contact our experienced attorneys at Lowe Eklund Wakefield today. We offer free legal consultations to help you determine if you have a case and no-risk, contingency-based fee agreements.