Brain Damage Lawsuits: The Basics
Brain damage can permanently transform the victim’s life. Even minor traumatic brain injury can leave the victim with symptoms that linger more than a year after the initial accident. More serious brain injury can cause lifelong impacts: loss of short-term memory, trouble with focus and concentration, sleep disturbances, and even challenges with emotional regulation that can make it incredibly difficult for the victims to manage normal social interactions.
A brain damage lawsuit cannot bring back normal functionality after a traumatic brain injury, nor can it restore the losses suffered both by the victim and by friends and family members. It can, however, provide the funds the victim needs to pay for medical bills and handle other expenses.
Brain Damage Lawsuits: The Compensation Victims Can Expect
Following traumatic brain injury caused by the negligence of another party, the victim, whether a victim of a construction accident, a slip, and fall, or an auto accident, deserves compensation for those injuries. Permanent brain damage can leave the victim with lifelong costs or the inability to return to work in his former profession.
What compensation does the victim of a brain injury deserve?
When filing a personal injury claim, most victims claim the same general damages: medical expenses, lost wages related to the accident, and pain and suffering. Some victims, however, may not realize everything that counts as medical expenses. Victims with brain damage may need to include:
● Occupational therapy
● Physical therapy, when brain injury causes weakness in certain areas of the body
● A stay in a long-term care facility
● In-home care
● Ongoing care, when the victim cannot spend time alone due to his injuries
Talk to an attorney to get a better idea of what damages you can include in a traumatic brain injury claim. An attorney can also help you assess the limitations of the insurance policy that covers the liable party. In some cases, as in auto accidents, insurance policies might offer only minimal provision for even relatively serious injuries. In most states, for example, auto insurance provides an average of $10,000 to $25,000 in coverage for bodily injuries caused by the insured driver. Other entities, including commercial truck drivers, construction firms, or stores, may carry substantially higher-limit policies that will provide additional financial protection for victims with traumatic brain injuries.
The Liable Party in Brain Damage Lawsuits
In a brain damage lawsuit, the liable party includes all entities that share liability for the accident. In order to share liability, the party must:
● Have had a duty of care to the victim at the time of the accident. Drivers, for example, bear a high duty of care to others on the road, including pedestrians, cyclists, and bikers. Likewise, nursing homes bear a high duty of care to all their residents.
● Violate that duty of care in some way. Typically, that violation occurs due to negligence. In a slip and fall accident, for example, employees might neglect to properly clean the floor or place signs warning of a slick surface, leading to an accident.
● Cause injuries due to that violation. In a brain damage lawsuit, that means the brain damage caused by the accident.
An attorney can help identify the liable party or parties in a brain damage case, collect evidence about those injuries, and help the victim seek compensation. In many cases, more than one party may share liability for a traumatic brain injury.
Consider, for example, an auto accident. Most obviously, the driver that caused the accident, whether due to distraction, inebriation, or ignoring the rules of the road, bears liability for the accident. In some cases, however, other factors may contribute to that accident.
● Mechanical failure could lead to a severe accident. A tire blowout, for example, could cause the car to swerve violently out of control, making it impossible for the driver to get out of the way fast enough. If that tire blowout occurs because the driver improperly maintained the vehicle, the driver still bears liability. On the other hand, if a properly-used tire blows out, causing a severe accident unexpectedly, the manufacturer of that tire might share liability for the accident.
● The driver worked for a company with highly unrealistic expectations at the time of the accident. Truck drivers, for example, can spend a maximum of eleven hours per day behind the wheel of their trucks. If they exceed that mandate due to company regulations or the mistake of their company, the company may share liability for the accident.
● A falling load caused an accident with severe injuries. Falling loads may leave liability for the accident resting on the shoulders of the company that loaded the truck.
If multiple parties contributed to permanent brain damage, they may all share liability for paying for those injuries. Often, this can increase the funds received by the brain injury victim and the victim’s family, which can make it easier for the family to move forward following an accident.
How Brain Injury Impacts the Victim’s Life
Brain damage can impact every area of a victim’s life. The victim may suffer physical, mental, and emotional consequences of brain injury, especially in the case of permanent brain damage. Often, the victim does not recover the ability to resume normal functions. Victims may struggle with:
Holding A Job
The mental and emotional impact of traumatic brain injury can make it incredibly difficult for the victim to hold down a job. A victim who struggles with short-term memory complications may have trouble remembering what they need to do in order to function in the work environment. A victim that has trouble with concentration may struggle to complete complicated job responsibilities. Many traumatic brain injury victims also lose some of their creative capabilities and their problem-solving skills, which can make it difficult for them to manage many of their job tasks.
Traumatic brain injury often causes extreme emotional distortion. Some victims react inappropriately: showing signs of anger over things that would normally make them sad, for example. Others may struggle to moderate their emotions, leading to reactions out of proportion with the severity of the incident. Some victims with traumatic brain injury also suffer personality changes that can make it difficult for them to maintain relationships with their former friends and family members.
Some victims with traumatic brain injury, especially severe brain damage, struggle with basic self-care. Victims may struggle to remember what they need to do in order to get ready in the morning or forget how to operate the stove. They may lose track of where they usually place items in their homes and cabinets. They may forget whether they have taken medications, or even whether they have medications they need to take. As a result, many victims with traumatic brain injury need ongoing, in-home care to help them maintain quality of life.
A brain damage lawsuit cannot restore the functionality lost in an accident resulting in traumatic brain injury, but it can help the victim gain the funds needed to pay for necessary medical expenses and help maintain quality of life. If you suffered brain damage in an accident, contact The Joel Bieber Law Firm today.