Recovering Damages after a Traumatic Brain Injury
Posted in Brain Injury on November 30, 2020
It’s news that no one wants to hear after an accident — they or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI can result from a variety of accidents, and the impact on the victim’s life will depend on the location and severity of the injury.
TBI victims deserve to recover for injuries caused by the negligent or intentional act of another person. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the complicated recovery process. Read on to learn more about the information and work required to secure recovery for your damages.
Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Its Impact on Your Life
A TBI is an injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain and is normally caused by a bump or blow to the head but can also be caused by a penetrating head injury. Victims suffer from a wide range of physical, sensory, and cognitive symptoms:
- Physical: Loss of consciousness, headache, feeling dazed or confused, vomiting or nausea, fatigue, speech problems, increased sleep, convulsions or seizures, pupil dilation, clear fluid draining from ears or nose, decreased coordination, facial weakness, loss of bladder control
- Sensory: Blurred vision, ringing in ears, bad taste in the mouth, change in the ability to smell, light and sound sensitivity
- Cognitive: Memory problems, concentration problems, mood changes, depression, anxiety, agitation, combativeness, coma
Some victims will experience a reduction in the type or severity of symptoms over time. Others will face long-term physical, intellectual, sensory, communication, emotional, and behavioral problems.
There are an estimated 13.5 million individuals living with a TBI-related disability in the United States with nearly 3 million additional cases occurring each year. TBI injuries are responsible for approximately 50,000 fatalities each year in the U.S.
Determining Liability: Who is Responsible for Your TBI?
Any party that acted intentionally or negligently in a way that caused the accident and your injury is responsible. While any number of accidents can result in a bump or blow to the head, the leading causes of TBIs are falls and motor vehicle crashes. Parties commonly responsible for crashes and falls are:
- Drivers: If a driver involved in a motor vehicle accident acted negligently, they are responsible for your injuries. Negligent actions include any violation of a traffic law or regulation including speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or failing to obey traffic signs or signals. Be sure to secure a police report after an accident to document the scene and evidence of negligence.
- Property Owners: Property owners generally owe an obligation to keep their premises safe, but the level of care required depends on the status of the visitor. A visitor to a business property (a licensee) is owed the highest duty of care, and the owner must take all reasonable precautions to ensure safety. Social visitors (invitees) must be warned of hidden dangers. Because the property owner has no reason to suspect a trespasser is on the property, they generally do not owe any duty to a trespasser, though limited exceptions exist.
- Medical Practitioners: Medical practitioners, including doctors, nurses, and other health providers, are obligated to act with the same level of care as a professional under similar circumstance. If a medical practitioner does not live up to the standard and causes a TBI, they are responsible.
- Employers: Workplace accidents are handled through Louisiana Workers’ Compensation which does not require a showing of negligence to secure recovery. An employee must follow all notice and administrative requirements, and recovery is generally limited to medical expenses and cash compensation for temporary or permanent disability.
Your lawyer will work with you to assess the evidence of negligence to build a case for recovery against the responsible party.
Calculating Your Compensation: What Damages Can You Recover?
Once you have determined which party is at fault, it is important to prepare a thorough assessment of the damages you have suffered.
- Medical Expenses: The defendant is responsible for all medical costs associated with your TBI and any other injuries resulting from the accident. Be sure to include future medical expenses including the costs of a home nurse, physical therapy, or assistive devices like a wheelchair.
- Lost Income: Victims of a TBI are often unable to return to work or can only return on a reduced schedule. The defendant is responsible for your lost wages, including future lost wages and loss of future earning potential.
- Property Damage: If your property was damaged or destroyed in the accident, the defendant is responsible for repair or replacement. This is very common when the TBI occurred in a car accident.
- Emotional Distress: Victims of a TBI are often forced to face a future that looks dramatically different from the one they expected. As a result, it is common for TBI victims to suffer emotional distress including anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic distress order. Work with your attorney to include these damages in your demand.
- Loss of Enjoyment: Many TBI symptoms make victims unable to participate in activities that previously very important to them. The defendant is responsible for such a loss.
- Punitive/Exemplary Damages: Punitive damages punish the defendant for particularly egregious action. In Louisiana, you must demonstrate that the defendant was reckless, malicious, willful, or wanton in their actions. Your lawyer can advise if punitive damages are available based on the details of your case.
Victims suffering from a TBI are often confronted with long-term pain as well as emotional and financial burdens. Be sure you have considered all your damages before considering any settlement offer and discuss any settlement with your lawyer before accepting.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will be a critical partner as you seek to recover for your injuries. The attorneys at John W. Redmann, LLC are experienced in identifying negligent parties and holding them accountable. Our team is focused on empowering clients and working with them tirelessly to secure fair results. If you or a loved one in Louisiana is suffering from a TBI caused by the negligent or intentional actions of another party, contact our firm today at (504) 608-4631 or through our website to schedule a free virtual consultation.