A brain injury can create both catastrophic loss of physical or mental function, result in substantial medical bills and care, not to mention place significant financial and non-financial burdens on the injured’s family. An estimated 2.6 million Americans experience a traumatic or non-traumatic brain injury each year. Some five million Americans have lost enough function to require help with everyday tasks.
If you have lost your ability to earn a living or become saddled with insurmountable financial burdens due to a personal injury that includes brain damage, you may have grounds to pursue a claim against the responsible party and get much-deserved compensation. Here are four key points to understand about these kinds of cases:
1. How Personal Injuries Cause Brain Damage
Brain damage may occur for a variety of reasons. The primary categories of brain injury include traumatic brain injuries and non-traumatic brain injuries. Non-traumatic brain injuries may occur due to medical events such as strokes or infections. Anoxia (oxygen deprivation) and toxin exposure can also damage the brain.
Traumatic brain injuries often involve an impact to the head. A sharp blow can jostle the brain, causing this fragile organ to bounce around inside the skull. The damage may range from a concussion (brain bruising) to significant bleeding, swelling, and permanent destruction of brain tissue.
Personal injuries that may produce traumatic brain damage include sports injuries, auto accident injuries, slip-and-fall injuries, or injuries in the workplace. Non-traumatic brain damage as a result of negligence by a person or organization may also be pursuable as a personal injury.
2. How Brain Injuries Lead to Personal or Financial Losses
A brain injury can leave you with numerous symptoms and complications that impair your ability to conduct everyday tasks, perform your job, and support yourself and your family. These symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, vision or hearing issues, loss of physical coordination, and cognitive functional problems.
In addition to loss of income, a brain injury may require ongoing medical treatment, physical therapy, and home health care services to help you cope with your disabilities. Even if insurance covers a portion of your losses, staggering expenses related to these services may continue to accumulate for months or years.
3. How to Prepare a Lawsuit in a Brain Injury Case
An experienced personal injury attorney can review the details of your brain injury with you to determine whether you can or should pursue a claim. You will probably need to show that the other party failed to provide you with a duty of care that the party owed to you, producing a brain injury that negatively impacted your life.
Ask your attorney what kinds of evidence you might need to present to establish and support your case. Typical examples may include doctors’ diagnoses, bills for medical treatment and therapy, and documentation that clarifies your loss of income and inability to work.
Some brain injuries will correspond to specific types of personal injury cases. A workplace injury, for example, may involve workers’ compensation policies and regulations, while a brain injury from medical negligence would likely fall under the category of a medical malpractice claim.
4. How to Decide on a Compensation Amount
Your attorney may include both tangible and intangible losses to come up a compensation request. In addition to current and projected numbers regarding your needs for medical care, home health care, or income replacement, you may have a right to compensation for pain and suffering or damage to your relationships.
Missouri uses the principle of shared liability in figuring awards for personal injury damages. If the court finds you partly responsible for your injury, this may reduce your total compensation award by your percentage of liability.
If you have a very strong case or the other party doesn’t want to go through the ordeal of a trial, you may receive an offer to settle out of court for a portion of your requested compensation. However, you and your attorney must take care to determine whether the settlement will actually address your needs.
Cantor Injury Law can discuss your brain injury circumstances with you and help you decide whether or how to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit. Contact our office to request a free consultation.