Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when the brain forcefully comes into contact with the skull or when an object penetrates the brain. The effects of TBI depend on the severity and location of the brain injury. A person might experience a mild concussion, and their symptoms could abate over time. More severe TBI might leave someone unable to walk, work, or care for themselves.
If negligence caused the accident that led to a TBI, the injured person or their family could seek money damages from the negligent parties. Talking with a catastrophic injury lawyer soon after an accident could help a family learn about their options and make an intelligent decision about how to proceed.
Virtually any accident in which a person’s head comes into contact with something hard could cause a TBI. If the skull remains intact, this is called a closed TBI. According to the US Library of Medicine, some of the most frequent causes of closed TBI are:
When a foreign object breaches the skull and enters the brain, the injury is called a penetrating TBI. Gunshots are the most common cause of penetrating TBI.
Negligence contributes to many of the situations that result in TBI. A wet floor in a grocery store, texting while driving, a defective bicycle helmet, or a failure to keep a parking lot lit to deter armed criminals, are all examples of negligence. A knowledgeable attorney could evaluate the circumstances of a particular case to determine whether anyone was negligent and could be held liable.
When an injured person can prove that someone else’s negligence caused their injury, the negligent person could be liable to pay damages. Damages compensate the injured person for their losses, both tangible and intangible. The scope of costs that might be included in an award of damages is broad, and a plaintiff’s attorney could help an injured person and their family calculate the true extent of their losses.
Economic damages reimburse the injured person for the past, present, and future costs of managing their injury. These typically include all expenses associated with medical care, treatment, and rehabilitation. Lost wages and diminished earning potential also make up part of a family’s economic damages. If the injury leaves the person permanently unable to care for themselves, the costs of in-home nursing or other home health care, and necessary renovations to a home, could be included in an award of economic damages.
Non-economic damages compensate for harms like pain and suffering, loss of companionship, mental anguish, and loss of consortium. These losses are difficult to quantify, but a compassionate lawyer could present persuasive evidence of the difficulties an injured person and their family experiences because of the accident. Some states cap the amount of non-economic damages an injured person could receive, but Texas does not limit the amount a jury could award for these losses.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003 allows an injured person two years to bring a lawsuit seeking damages from a negligent party. However, the more time a personal injury attorney has to prepare a case, the stronger it is, and the more likely the parties will reach a fair settlement outside of court. It is to the injured person’s advantage to get legal representation as soon as possible after an accident.
Sometimes the State of Texas or a local government within the state is a potential defendant in a negligence action. This might happen if a person was in a car accident with a government employee or fell on a slippery floor in a government office. Anyone who wishes to bring a lawsuit for personal injuries against a government entity must file a notice of claim within six months of the injury or lose their right to sue the government defendant.
The weeks and months after a TBI are a very difficult time for injured people and their families. Everyone must learn to adapt to significant changes in the way the injured person is able to function. One of the hardest parts is that it could take a long time before it is clear how much functioning the injured person might recover.
Do not spend precious time or energy trying to secure financial compensation from negligent parties. Allow a Harker Heights traumatic brain injury lawyer to take care of that aspect of your family’s recovery. The sooner you begin working with a professional the better, so call today to schedule a consultation.