Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI is Not Always Easy to Detect
Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI isn’t always easy to detect. If you’re involved in an accident with any sort of head trauma make sure to take proper steps to protect yourself. Someone else’s negligence shouldn’t be the reason your future is uncertain.
If you’ve been in an accident and you suspect there was trauma to your head – even just a little – please see a medical professional.
By seeing a doctor you’re protecting yourself.
By seeing a doctor you’re doing your best to protect yourself and your family from any medical issues. You’re also creating very strong evidence if you need to file a lawsuit. Doctors give us an expert opinion about the seriousness of your accident. This provides a direct example that your injuries were the cause by your accident.
What a TBI Accident Might Look Like
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a strong force directly to the head, a quick back and forth motion to the body or head that jostles the brain, or an object that comes in direct contact with the brain. TBI injuries range from mild, to moderate, to strong. They can be life-altering, expensive, and scary. Not every TBI accident can be avoided, but some can.
You can find more information about how to detect a TBI here – FDA.GOV | Traumatic Brain Injury: What to Know About Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Our Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help
Brain injury lawsuits are a type of personal injury where the person who is responsible for the accident that caused the injury can be held liable. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury we’re here to help.
How Much is a Brain Injury Lawsuit Worth?
The value of a traumatic brain injury lawsuit is difficult to determine. The range of a TBI injury can include economic-damages and non-economic damages.
- Economic-Damages – medical expenses for the initial accident and ongoing treatment, lost wages or earnings, lost property
- Non-economic-damages – pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.
Since each accident is different, each accident has to be assessed differently. In some severe cases patients might need extensive rehabilitation services or a life-long care-giver. Brain injury cases need to have an expert analysis to determine present and future costs. This is where a personal injury lawyer who works with Traumatic Brain Injury lawsuits is worth their weight in gold. A brain injury attorney with a history of working these cases will know what specialist to go to and what kind of information will be of most help to the lawsuit.
Your best first step is to talk with our Traumatic Brain Injury attorneys.
Recovering Damages in a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit
Ongoing medical care for a victim suffering from a traumatic brain injury can cost extreme amounts of money. The financial impact will likely create certain hardships on the victim and their family. If another person caused those injuries, the victim would have the right to seek compensation from the liable party.
Illinois law allows an injured person to collect economic damages, which compensate the victim for the money they spent and lost as a result of the injury. For instance, medical bills, lost income, rehabilitation, the need for ongoing care and support, and in some cases, vocational training can be recoverable.
Brain Injury Accidents That Make it Difficult to Enjoy Life
Victims of severe brain injuries will often find that the harm caused by an accident seriously impacts their enjoyment of life. Their ability to engage in the activities they enjoyed before their injuries are diminished. Non-economic damages compensate the victim for this type of harm. The damages available in these types of cases can be extensive. The medical care alone will likely persist for long periods, potentially years or indefinitely.
Recovering compensation from the responsible party can help reduce the burden on the victim and their family. It is essential to obtain legal counsel from an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the traumatic brain injury case’s implications.
Illinois also allows injury victims to recover punitive damages in certain instances. Punitive damages punish the defendant for wrongful behavior. For a court to award punitive damages, the defendant must have engaged in incredibly wrongful conduct, such as drunk driving.
Proving Negligence in Traumatic Brain Injury Accidents – Illinois
Most lawsuits rely on the theory of negligence. To explain the different degrees of negligence we’ll use car accidents as an example – also car accidents are a leading cause of TBI cases.
A negligent driver is one who fails to use the level of care a prudent person would in the same situation. Examples of negligent drivers include individuals who are distracted, drunk, speeding, or engaging in other reckless driving behaviors.
Sometimes, more than one person’s negligence is responsible for the cause of a crash. The victim of a collision might have also played a part in causing the accident to take place. Fortunately, an injury victim who suffers harm due to an accident that they partly caused might still be able to collect compensation from another person who was also liable for the incident. If the victim is more than 50 percent liable, the court will not permit that individual to recover damages from another driver. However, if the victim is less than half at fault, then they will be able to collect damages from the at-fault person. The damages recoverable will reflect a reduction equal to the victim’s percent of the liability.
For example : If a driver is 80 percent at fault for a crash that causes a traumatic brain injury, and the victim is twenty percent at fault – the victim can recover 80 percent of the total damages. If the victim is able to show the damages are $1,000,000, they will be able to collect $800,000, or 80 percent of their total loss.
Levels of TBI’s and Why You Should Seek Medical Advice
Not all brain trauma is so bad that you feel you need to seek medical advice. Sometimes we can get a concussion and not really think it’s much to worry about – but it could lead to a more severe situation. It’s important to understand that if you are in an accident and you have any type of head or body injury you should get checked out by a medical professional – and keep good notes and records.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Still Serious
Mild traumatic brain injuries do not typically result in the victim losing consciousness. Sometimes, the victim may lose consciousness but only for a matter of seconds or minutes, and yet the injury will only be a mild form of brain trauma. Even in these cases, the injured person can suffer from post-traumatic amnesia.
Post-traumatic amnesia causes a person to act in strange ways. The victim will be awake and appear conscious but might not be aware of their surroundings or people in their vicinity. These individuals can suffer from anxiety, agitation, distress, and confusion. They can even behave violently, aggressively, or begin shouting even when those behaviors are uncharacteristic for that person. Other people may react by behaving quietly. In minor cases, post-traumatic amnesia should only last a short while. When those individuals behave strangely, someone should be available to monitor the individual to prevent further harm.
Concussions are considered a form of mild traumatic brain injury. Individuals suffering from a concussion are likely to experience several symptoms, including:
- Head pressure
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory loss
- Ringing in their ears
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty responding to questions
Even though a concussion is considered a mild traumatic brain injury, it can result in serious problems for an individual. People suffering from concussions should see a doctor right away. These patients will need a great deal of rest, and medical professionals to monitor their symptoms.
Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms and Complications
Moderate brain injuries are more severe than a concussion. For example if the patient loses consciousness for anywhere between one and 24 hours, doctors may consider that a moderate injury. In these cases, the post-traumatic amnesia will also likely last for longer than it would in a mild brain injury. Unlike mild traumatic brain injuries, brain-imaging scans will be able to show signs of damage and abnormalities in the person’s brain.
Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries
If the victim of a traumatic brain injury is unconscious for greater than 24 hours or goes into a coma, that individual likely suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Post-traumatic amnesia also occurs in these cases and will last for more than 24 hours as well. When medical providers use brain-imaging scans on a patient with severe traumatic brain injuries, the images should readily show signs of abnormalities and damage. Severe traumatic brain injuries will likely result in permanent harm and complications for the patient.
When a patient suffers from a severe traumatic brain injury, they are likely to experience a number of serious symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:
- Fluid running from the nose or ears
- Difficulty waking up from sleep
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
The permanent damage caused by one of these injuries may lead to that person being incapable of carrying out their former responsibilities, including their job. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to cognitive disabilities and have lifelong effects on a person’s psychological health.
How a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Can Help
Suffering from a severe injury is an emotionally, physically, and financially difficult situation that can impact a person and a family for many years to come. Hiring an attorney means that the victim or their family will have a powerful advocate who can stand up for the injured person’s legal rights and fight to recover compensation that will help that individual better support themselves and focus on recovering from the accident. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident in Illinois, speak to one of our Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers Today.
Stages of a TBI Lawsuit in Illinois
Victims of a traumatic brain injury should contact an attorney to discuss their legal options for filing a claim against a liable party. Lawsuits start when an attorney files a complaint with the court. The complaint must state the facts of the case, including allegations regarding the defendant’s negligence. Within that document, the plaintiff will also include an indication of the level of damages they are seeking. The Sheriff will then serve the defendant with the complaint and a summons informing that person of the lawsuit. In many cases, the defendant will file an appearance and answer, but they also may file a motion attempting to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint. Assuming the lawsuit proceeds and that motions to dismiss the case do not succeed, the case will enter the discovery phase.
Written discovery is the first step in the discovery process. The parties will exchange documents, and each individual will have to respond to a list of questions or interrogatories. In personal injury cases, the defendant will likely request the plaintiff’s medical records, including those from before the accident.
Following written discovery, the parties, witnesses, and experts may participate in depositions. Depositions are a form of an interview. The attorneys for both parties will attend the depositions. A deposition allows the attorneys to ask the person questions relevant to the claim and allows the attorneys to determine how well a witness will present in the event of a possible trial. In most cases, the parties are able to settle the claim. However, some lawsuits go to trial. At trial, a jury will make decisions regarding who is at fault and how much compensation the injured person should recover from the defendant.
How long, or what is the time limit I have to file a TBI lawsuit?
When a person suffers injuries in an accident in Illinois, there is a time limit for how long they have to file a legal claim—it’s called a Statute Of Limitations. In most cases, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of an accident. In wrongful death claims, the statute prevents parties from filing a claim more than two years after the date of the victim’s death. The statute of limitations prevents injured individuals from filing claims after the statutory term expires, with few exceptions. Even if a person has a strong legal case for recovering damages, courts will not hear a claim that violates the statute of limitations. For this reason, the injury victims must reach out to an attorney right away. Developing a strategy for a case takes time, and it is better to give your lawyer the chance to investigate and build your case.
Hire Brain Injury Lawyers Who Can Help
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to an auto accident, fall, or other incident Rockford Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help. For a free, no-hassle, honest consultation about how we may be able to help, call, text message, or email us at (815) 964-8303.