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Key Facts to Know for TBI Lawsuits

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Key Facts to Know for TBI Lawsuits

Personal Injury Attorney Fighting for TBI Injury Victims throughout the Chicago Area

Each year, there are more than 1.4 million who suffer from some form of brain injury. While not all brain injuries are considered traumatic brain injuries, any damage to the brain can result in grave consequences and financial burdens for the victims.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur for a variety of reasons, including a motor vehicle collision or recreational activity injury, for example. Regardless of where or how the injury occurred, if the injury was the result of someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. When filing a TBI lawsuit, it is imperative that you work alongside an injury attorney, while also performing your due diligence and familiarizing yourself with what you can expect during a TBI lawsuit.

What is a TBI?

A TBI is any trauma to the brain, such as a sharp jolt or penetrating object, that disrupts the brain’s normal function. The injury could result in a mild or severe TBI, and a person may or may not be unconscious at the scene of the accident.

Recovery from a TBI Might be Slow

If you have suffered a TBI, you may notice that your recovery is quite slow. This is to be expected with any trauma to the brain. A mild traumatic brain injury will recover quicker than a severe TBI. If, however, you have a history of prior brain injuries, such as a concussion in the past, you may take longer to recover from a mild injury, and a severe TBI could result in long-term brain damage.

You Might Experience Cognitive Issues

During the first year post-TBI, you might suffer cognitive problems; your physician may offer rehabilitation or other coping mechanisms so that you and loved ones can deal with your inability to think or remember things critically.

TBI Lawsuits Vary

Depending on how you were injured, you may file a personal injury lawsuit or medical malpractice lawsuit against the negligent party. Personal injury lawsuits are typically used for TBIs that result from car accidents, construction site accidents, assaults, and slip and fall incidents.

Medical malpractice lawsuits occur when your TBI is the result of a surgical or health care mistake. Say, for example, that you were not properly monitored while on anesthesia; therefore, you suffered from a lack of oxygen that resulted in permanent brain damage.

Another type of lawsuit is a product liability suit. If your TBI was the result of defective equipment or poisonous substances, you might be able to file a claim against the manufacturer or retailer that sold the defective item.

TBIs Might Quality for a Wrongful Death Suit

In some cases, medical malpractice or personal injury cases can turn into wrongful death lawsuits if the TBI victim dies due to the injuries. Consider the following examples: A loved one died from severe trauma to the brain after a car accident, or a physician failed to diagnose a TBI and the patient then died.

The Elements of Negligence Will Apply to Your TBI Lawsuit

Just like any other personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit, the law requires you to prove that the legal theory of negligence applies. This includes:

  • Proving that the party responsible owed you a duty of care.
  • Proving that the defendant did not act with a reasonable level of care.
  • Showing that the defendant’s negligence caused the TBI.
  • Showing that the TBI resulted in financial, physical, and emotional damages.

The Statute of Limitations Still Applies

Even if you have a few months or years left for recovery, you must file your lawsuit within the specified time of the statute. In Illinois, you have up to two years to file your lawsuit for personal injury. Therefore, you must initiate the claim within the two-year mark to receive compensation.

Speaking with a Chicago injury attorney to see how you can proceed with a lawsuit – even if you have a long recovery ahead – is best. A TBI attorney may initiate the process or advise you to wait a little while longer. Furthermore, if your injuries are permanent, your attorney may project future costs associated with your recovery, as well as financial losses, so that you receive adequate compensation.

The Insurance Company Will Fight Your TBI Claim

It is imperative that you speak with an attorney because insurers are notorious for fighting against TBI injuries. The complexity of a TBI gives insurers power to deny claims when an ordinary consumer tries to file one. Some insurers will try to use the patient’s symptoms as a sign of anxiety or depression, or state that the patient is making it up.

Insurance companies may also try to claim that there is a lack of coverage available to cover the costs of the TBI, which can make the victim assume that he or she will be without coverage. While the insurance company will inevitably fight, you can win your TBI case. Using a personal injury attorney with experience in TBI claims and fighting against insurance companies is your best option.

Treatments for Severe TBIs Are Expensive

Even a mild TBI will result in substantial medical costs. However, severe and permanent injuries from a TBI can result in very expensive care costs. In fact, mild TBIs result in almost $30,000, while a severe TBI could cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars for the remainder of the victim’s life.

Trying to Go Back to Work Might Help Your Case

Juries admire those who attempt to go back to work, even if it turns out that they cannot work. A jury could punish a person who sits at home without any attempt to seek employment or make a living, unless he or she has a convincing reason for doing so. Victims must also realize that a doctor’s testimony must show that the victim is unable to work or seek any employment, especially if the victim does not return to work.

Seek Medical Attention Right Away

After your accident, it is imperative that you seek medical treatment immediately – even if you feel fine. The more effort you put into resolving your injuries and treating them, the better it is for your case. Also, you could suffer from a TBI and not notice it right away. After all, some TBIs do not exhibit symptoms for days or even weeks. Others are mild and are dismissed for other things.

If you notice the signs of a TBI within a few days or weeks after the accident, you must seek immediate medical attention.

Some symptoms of a TBI include:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Migraines or headaches
  • Changes in mood
  • Agitation
  • Difficulty thinking or remembering
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Insomnia

Individual Factors Influence the Value of Your Case

While TBI claims are common in civil court, TBI claims are hard to evaluate. They can range from a few thousand to millions of dollars, but it all depends on the facts of the case and the severity of the injury. Naturally, your TBI will affect you differently than another person, which makes comparing previous TBI cases and injuries difficult.

Some factors that will influence the value of your TBI include, but are not limited to:

  • The severity of the injury.
  • The permanence of the injury.
  • The costs you have encountered for the injury.
  • The estimated value of lost wages, and the appraised value of future lost earnings.
  • The estimated value of future treatments.
  • Your particular pain and suffering.

Your Personal and Social History Will Affect Your Case, Too

Because TBIs are difficult to establish, even with medical imaging technology, your credibility and overall appearance will play a massive role in the case’s outcome. If you have a history of filing false claims or accusing people of negligence, it will obviously harm your case – even if you have a legitimate brain injury. If you have a history of exaggerating your symptoms, the jury may have difficulty trusting you.

It is critical that you approach the case with care – never misconduct. Always be honest in your answers and never exaggerate; if you are unsure of an answer, let them know that you are unsure rather than just guessing. Also, speak with a Chicago injury lawyer immediately regarding how you should act during the case. Most personal injury lawyers will advise that you not use social media for the duration of your claim, because social media posts, videos, and photographs might be used against you at trial.

Hire an Experienced TBI Attorney

No matter how severe your TBI or the prognosis is, the most important step is hiring an injury lawyer. You need legal counsel to file a TBI lawsuit because these types of claims are extremely complicated. Therefore, contact a personal injury attorney from the team at Malman Law today.

Malman Law works as your advocate after a TBI. We know how to negotiate with insurers, and we know how to calculate the costs of a TBI. Furthermore, (i) there is no obligation when meeting with us; and (ii) we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay unless we win a settlement for you.

Explore your legal options today with a free consultation. Schedule your appointment now by calling us or requesting a consultation appointment online.

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