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Brain Injury Lawsuit FAQs

If you've suffered a brain injury as a result of an accident that wasn't your fault, you likely have some questions. Below, we will go over some FAQs about brain injury lawsuits and personal injury cases in general.

Q: What Is a Brain Injury?

A: A brain injury is an injury that causes either temporary or permanent functional difficulties in the brain. There are many different ways to injure your brain. Some brain injuries may not be immediately obvious. Brain injuries can result in death.

Q: What Types of Brain Injuries Are There?

A: There are two broad categories: traumatic brain injuries and acquired brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries include more obvious impact-related injuries, like the following:

  • Penetrative injuries: When an object pierces the skull and enters the brain
  • Contusions: When an impact causes localized bleeding in the brain
  • Contrecoup contusions: When an impact that causes the brain to slam into the opposite side of the skull creates a second contusion at the second impact site
  • Diffuse axonal injury: Caused by shaking or rotational forces that tear various brain structures
  • Concussion

On the other hand, acquired brain injuries are caused by oxygen deprivation.

There are two varieties of such injuries:

  • Anoxia: Involves absolute oxygen deprivation and results in cell death and can be fatal
  • Hypoxic: Involves partial oxygen deprivation, which may also result in cell death and can also be fatal

Q: How Do Brain Injuries Affect One's Daily Life?

A: Every brain injury is different, so the effects on one's daily life vary. Brain injuries that cause cognitive deficiencies may:

  • Require cognitive therapy
  • Prevent that person from holding an intellectually demanding job
  • Require social worker aid for fulfilling certain tasks

An example of a brain injury that causes cognitive deficiencies is anoxia, and particularly such an occurrence of anoxia that was not cured before it caused more damage to the hippocampal (memory-forming) brain structures.

Certain brain injuries can affect the emotional systems of the brain, making the affected victim oversensitive and prone to emotional outbursts. This can have long-lasting negative psychological effects on victims and their families.

Often, brain injuries impede physical abilities. Patients with impaired movement or strength may require the use of canes, wheelchairs, walkers, or other physical aids. These injuries reduce the victim's mobility and quality of life.

Q: What Role Does an Insurance Company Play in a Brain Injury Lawsuit?

A: Insurance companies are often involved in brain injury lawsuits because they provide coverage for the at-fault party. They may be responsible for paying out damages if the at-fault party is found liable. However, insurance companies often try to minimize the amount they have to pay out. It's best to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side to negotiate with them.

Q: How Are Medical Bills and Treatment Costs Covered in a Personal Injury Claim?

A: In most personal injury claims, the at-fault party is typically responsible for covering the cost of medical bills and treatment related to the injury. This can include:

  • Hospital stays
  • Surgeries
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Any necessary follow-up care

The exact amount covered will depend on the specifics of the case and the settlement or judgment reached.

Q: What Is an Adjuster, and What Role Do They Play in a Personal Injury Claim?

A: An adjuster works for an insurance company to investigate and evaluate insurance claims. They determine the extent of the insurance company's liability in a personal injury claim. They may try to negotiate a settlement with the injured party, often aiming to minimize the payout from the insurance company.

Q: Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit if My Brain Injury Was Caused by a Defective Product?

A: Yes, if a defective product caused your brain injury, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor of the product. This is a type of personal injury lawsuit that holds manufacturers and distributors responsible for injuries their products have caused. If successful, you can recover monetary damages.

Q: What Should I Do if a Loved One Has Suffered a Brain Injury?

A: If a loved one has suffered a brain injury, get them immediate medical attention. Once their medical needs are addressed, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. They can help you file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Q: What Is a Fair Settlement for a Brain Injury Lawsuit?

A: A fair settlement for a brain injury lawsuit should cover all related medical expenses, lost wages, and any future medical costs. It should also compensate for non-economic damages like pain and suffering. The exact amount will depend on the severity of the injury, the impact on the victim's life, and the circumstances of the case.

Q: Can I Sue for Punitive Damages in a Brain Injury Case?

A: In some cases, you may be able to sue for punitive damages in a brain injury case. Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party for particularly egregious or reckless behavior and deter others from similar conduct. However, the availability and calculation of punitive damages vary by jurisdiction. It's best to check with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Q: What Should I Do if the At-Fault Party's Insurance Company Offers Me a Settlement?

A: If the at-fault party's insurance company offers you a settlement, don't accept it without first consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney. The initial offer is often lower than what you might be able to get with the help of an attorney. Your attorney can help you evaluate the offer and negotiate a fair settlement that fully compensates you for your injuries and losses.

Q: What Is a Wrongful Death Claim in the Context of a Brain Injury?

A: A wrongful death claim can be filed when a person dies as a result of a brain injury caused by someone else's negligence or wrongful act. Close family members typically file this type of claim, such as the spouse of the deceased. The spouse can also file a wrongful death claim on behalf of minor children, one of whom the court appoints as the personal representative of the deceased's estate. Damages in a wrongful death claim can include:

  • Medical expenses incurred before death
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of the deceased person's expected income
  • Loss of companionship or consortium

Q: How Can a Brain Injury Lawyer Help Me With My Personal Injury Claim?

A: A brain injury lawyer can provide valuable help in a personal injury claim. They can help:

  • Gather evidence
  • Negotiate with insurance companies
  • Calculate fair compensation
  • Represent you in court

Q: What if My Brain Injury Was Caused by an Auto Accident?

A: If your brain injury was caused by an auto accident, you could file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If the at-fault driver's negligence led to the accident, they would be responsible for compensating you for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Q: Can I Claim Compensation for a Head Injury That Resulted in Broken Bones?

A: Yes, if your head injury resulted in broken bones, you can claim compensation for this in your personal injury lawsuit. The compensation can cover medical bills for treating broken bones, any necessary physical therapy, and compensation for pain and suffering.

Q: What if I Can't Afford Medical Treatment for My Brain Injury?

A: If you can't afford medical treatment for your brain injury, a successful personal injury lawsuit can help cover these costs. In some cases, an attorney may be able to arrange for medical care with the understanding that any eventual settlement or judgment will pay out the costs.

Q: Can I Make a Claim for Property Damage in a Brain Injury Lawsuit?

A: While a brain injury lawsuit primarily focuses on the physical and emotional harm the injury has caused, you can also claim property damage if the same incident that led to the brain injury caused it. For example, if you were in a car accident that caused both your brain injury and damage to your vehicle, you can include the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle in a separate property damage claim.

Q: What Is a Spinal Cord Injury, and How Does It Relate to Brain Injury Cases?

A: A spinal cord injury involves damage to the spinal cord that results in loss of function, such as mobility or feeling. In some cases, a traumatic event can cause both a brain injury and a spinal cord injury. In such cases, the victim can claim compensation for both injuries in a personal injury lawsuit.

Q: If I've Suffered a Brain Injury, What Legal Claim Can I Bring?

A: Your legal claim depends on the specific circumstances of the brain injury. Slip and fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents, intentional harm (such as a fistfight or strangulation-induced anoxia), and other impacts usually come under the umbrella of personal injury law or premises liability.

In some cases, there may be a separate criminal action stemming from the event that resulted in the injury. Disease-induced, toxin-induced, and birth- or labor-induced brain injuries are often brought as medical malpractice actions when the blame can be placed on the physicians, nurses, technicians, or hospital for performing below the reasonable standard of care.

Q: What Are the Benefits of Filing a Lawsuit for My Brain Injury?

A: Depending on the seriousness of your injury and the extent to which the injury has negatively affected your life, you may be eligible for a substantial damage award. With serious brain injuries, you may require continuing and long-term cognitive, psychological, or physical therapy. These treatments may be very expensive. Additionally, your injuries may preclude you from work or reduce your work efficiency to such an extent that your future earnings potential is limited.

The effect of a serious brain injury on you and your friends and family cannot be understated. Brain injuries fundamentally alter relationships and generally increase financial and emotional stress. A successful lawsuit will, at the very least, help support you financially as you adapt to your injuries.

Q: I Got Into an Accident Several Years Ago. Can I Bring a Claim for My Brain Injury?

A: Although it's better to bring your claim as soon as possible after the accident, your claim may still be possible if you delay making it. Depending on your state, the statute of limitations may not have run out. You may be able to rely on your state's discovery rule, according to which the statute of limitations does not begin to run until you actually discover or should have known about the injury.

If you did not bring a lawsuit earlier because you did not realize that you suffered a brain injury, then your statute of limitations should only begin to run at the date of discovery. This is the date on which you realized that you had the injury.

Some state courts are stricter with their interpretation of the discovery rule. The applicable standard is whether you knew or should have known about the brain injury. If a reasonable person would have known that they suffered a brain injury, then your lack of knowledge may not extend the statute of limitations. For example, if you were in a car accident and hit your head against the window, it is likely a court would recognize that you should have known that you had sustained an injury. After all, it is all too common that injuries result from such trauma.

Need the Assistance of a Personal Injury Lawyer? Get Legal Advice Today

If you worry that you have suffered a brain injury, seek help. It's possible, for example, that you could obtain damages from the party that may have caused your injury. Consider contacting a personal injury attorney experienced with brain injury cases to learn more about your legal options. Many legal teams offer a free initial consultation and operate on a contingency fee, so you won't have to pay anything upfront.

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