Traumatic brain injuries that occur as a result of the negligence of others may entitle injured individuals and their families to compensation. When others act in careless disregard of your safety or that of your loved ones, you have the right to hold them accountable when injuries occur. A Western PA traumatic brain injury lawyer could make a significant difference in your ability to obtain compensation and hold others responsible for their wrongful actions. Reach out to a compassionate Western PA catastrophic injury lawyer today.
Traumatic Brain Injuries Types and Causes
Traumatic brain injuries are a type of catastrophic injury that can occur when there is any blow or force to the head. These injuries can also result from a quick or violent movement of the head without the need for the head to actually strike an object, such as shaking a raw egg. This often occurs in car accidents where the force of the impact causes the occupant to be quickly moved about within the vehicle. There are three basic types of traumatic brain injuries, which include:
- Open head injuries, which consist of skull fractures
- Closed head injuries, including concussions, contusions, and intracranial hemorrhage
- Diffuse axonal shearing, a kind of closed head injury that occurs in rapid deceleration incidents
Some common causes of traumatic brain injuries are cases of slip and falls, motor vehicle accidents, and sports-related head trauma. Doctors further classify these injuries as mild, moderate, or severe, based on the type and extent of the injuries. The severity of the traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have a substantial effect on the amount of damages that are available in personal injury claims.
What are Signs and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Signs of traumatic brain injuries may not appear immediately, which makes it critical to monitor accident victims following any potential head injury. When symptoms do appear, they can vary based on the severity of the injury. For instance, a mild TBI may result in headaches, nausea, sleeping difficulties, dizziness, and fatigue, but often does not result in unconsciousness.
On the other hand, a severe TBI can result in far more problematic symptoms, including slurred speech, cognitive impairments, memory loss, agitation, weakness or numbness in limbs, and the most extreme cases, coma. Individuals suffering from severe TBIs also may have difficulty awakening from sleep or staying awake.
While an MRI or CT scan might identify intracranial hematomas or similar injuries, diagnosing the severity of a TBI is not always easy. Tests designed to measure symptoms of a TBI often focus on the eye, motor, verbal, and cognitive responses. A traumatic brain injury lawyer in Western PA can present medical proof to build a compelling claim on their behalf.
Deadlines in Western PA Traumatic Brain Injury Claims
Under 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524, all personal injury claims, including traumatic brain injury claims, are subject to deadlines for filing. This is called a statute of limitations. Meeting this deadline is a requirement for obtaining damages in a traumatic brain injury claim. Generally, individuals must file their personal injury accident claims within two years of the date of the accident that caused their injuries.
While a two-year time frame from the accident date is the default time frame, there are some exceptions to this general statute of limitations. For example, if a government entity is a potentially liable party, complainants must submit a written statutory notice of the claim to that entity within six months of the accident. Therefore, potential plaintiffs should take care to contact a traumatic brain injury lawyer in Indiana to ensure that they meet all necessary deadlines.
How Can a Claimant Prove Their TBI Case?
It is important to preserve any evidence that might be relevant to the case. For example, if the catastrophic injury was caused by a vehicle wreck, a claimant should collect a report from the vehicle’s electronic data recorder that records speed, braking, and points of impact.
It is also imperative to document the scene of the accident whether it is an auto accident or a slip and fall. A skilled TBI attorney in Western PA could collect video and photo evidence, as well as witness statements.
Even though the injured person is not at fault for the accident, the law still places the burden on the plaintiff to prove his or her entitlement to damages. It is incumbent on the injured person’s lawyer to prove the full nature and extent of the case including all of the injuries and damages.
Talk to a Western PA Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Today
Although recovery from a traumatic brain injury is possible, even a mild TBI can lead to lifelong complications. In severe cases, recovery is unlikely, and the TBI can cause permanent damage. A Western PA traumatic brain injury lawyer may be able to evaluate the circumstances that led to your TBI and determine whether you have a claim.
Fighting back against negligent persons who caused your injuries can result in compensation, but also can empower you to hold those individuals accountable for causing your injuries. Seeking justice can often be more satisfying than any amount of money, but financial support may be equally essential as you continue to work toward medical stability. To discuss your options, contact us to speak with the traumatic brain injury lawyers at Marcus & Mack today.