If you suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to the recklessness or negligence of another person or entity, a Lincoln traumatic brain injury lawyer could help you take legal action against the at-fault party. If you are facing the consequences of a traumatic brain injury, a knowledgeable injury attorney could assist you with your case.
A well-versed attorney from Berry Law could fully examine the causes of your injury and offer you advice on your legal options. They could then guide you through the process and give your claim the best chance of success.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury is a severe brain injury stemming from external trauma to the head. Several types of accidents can result in blunt force trauma to the head. Some of the most common causes include falls, work-related accidents, motor vehicle collisions, and being struck by a fast-moving object, often associated with playing sports.
Physical symptoms of a TBI may include loss of hearing, dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision, coordination problems, brain fog, and impaired memory. Someone who is suffering from the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury could also experience many emotional side effects, such as:
- Sadness and depression
- Mood swings
A TBI can also lead to significant changes in your personality. While some brain injuries like mild concussions may only have short-term effects, others could result in severe, long-lasting impairment. It is crucial to be aware of these symptoms, but only a medical professional can diagnose a traumatic brain injury. After an accident, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.
The next step should be consulting a skilled attorney. When your damages are caused by another person’s negligence, a traumatic brain injury lawyer in Lincoln can help you seek compensation for your losses.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries come in many different forms. While each of these injuries has its differences, any form of severe head trauma could have lifelong consequences. Understanding the nature of these injuries could be helpful when pursuing a claim for monetary compensation.
A concussion occurs when a jolt to the head causes the brain to shake, resulting in damage. Concussions are not only the most common type of traumatic brain injury, but they are also considered the least severe of these injuries. Though many people with minor concussions have few long-term consequences, these injuries should be taken seriously.
Coup-contrecoup injuries stand out given that they are two incidents of brain trauma at once. A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when an impact to the head causes the brain to accelerate and strike the inside of the skull. The two points of impact cause damage to both sides of the brain. Coup-contrecoup injuries are most common in motor vehicle accident cases.
Diffuse Axonal Injuries
A diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is similar to a concussion. While these injuries also involve a sharp jolt to the brain, the outcome of a DAI is often more severe. With these injuries, the jolt to the brain is so severe that it causes the nerves connecting the brain to the spinal cord to strain or tear.
Brain contusions are commonly known as brain bruises. This condition occurs when an injury causes bleeding beneath the surface of the brain. Brain contusions frequently heal on their own. However, they have the potential to be fatal if they are left untreated. For some, surgical intervention could quickly become necessary.
Penetrating Brain Injuries
While the vast majority of traumatic brain injuries result from some form of blunt force trauma, that is not always the case. Some traumatic brain injuries occur as the result of an object penetrating the brain. These injuries are often severe and generally result from construction accidents or gunshot wounds. The legal team at Berry Law can help you determine the potential value of your TBI claim, given the type of injury you have.
Potential Recoverable Damages for a TBI
A Lincoln attorney could help you recover the following damages for your severe brain injury:
- Medical expenses, including any future medical bills stemming from the injury
- Lost income
- Lost future earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship or consortium
When the negligent party’s actions are particularly egregious, the court may order the defendant to pay punitive damages in addition to the other financial recovery awarded. Punitive damages are designed as a way to punish the at-fault party for their grievous wrongdoing and discourage any future reckless or negligent acts.
Potential Limitations to Legal Claims in Lincoln
While you could claim a significant amount of compensation in a traumatic brain injury case, there are also many legal statutes that could impact your ability to seek restitution. A seasoned lawyer can keep you informed of comparative negligence laws, the statute of limitations, and any other potential roadblocks in your TBI case.
Modified Comparative Negligence
If you are pursuing a lawsuit for a severe head injury, you may be certain that another person or entity caused your accident. However, there are often several factors contributing to an accident, and the negligent party will likely try to shift some of the blame to you.
Fortunately, you are not required to prove the other person was 100% at fault to recover compensation for your injuries. Lincoln’s modified comparative negligence law permits injured parties to pursue restitution in a civil claim even if they were partially responsible for the accident.
Under Nebraska Revised Statutes §25-21, 185.09, you are only barred from recovering compensation if the court determines you bear 50% or more of the fault for your injuries. In other words, compensation could be available to you as long as you are less responsible for your injuries than the other party. In other jurisdictions, any portion of fault could automatically disqualify a person from recovering compensation.
Though partial fault will not automatically prevent you from seeking restitution in Lincoln, it will impact the amount of compensation you receive. The court will assess your responsibility for the accident and reduce your compensation by your percentage of fault. For example, if you incurred $100,000 in economic and financial losses and were also 10% at fault, you would only recover $90,000.
There are several types of actions that could constitute partial fault. For example, in a car accident case, speeding at the time of the crash may contribute to partial liability. Alternatively, in a premises liability case, a negligent property owner may argue that you were not paying enough attention to your surroundings. If you believe the other party will argue that you were partially negligent, you should reach out to a lawyer right away.
Time Limit for Filing a Lawsuit
It is also important to note that state law sets a time limit for filing personal injury claims based on negligence. Generally, you have four years from the date the accident occurred to bring a lawsuit against the parties responsible for your traumatic brain injury. Depending on the specific circumstances, there could be exceptions if you did not discover your injury until a later time.
However, these exceptions are rare, and you should not wait to seek legal help following an accident. An experienced lawyer can keep up with these deadlines while you focus on your medical treatment and recovery.
The Role of an Attorney in a Traumatic Brain Injury Claim
Traumatic brain injury cases are complex, so it is crucial to work with a skilled lawyer who understands these types of claims. A lawyer’s efforts typically begin with a thorough investigation of the accident that caused the brain injury. A dedicated attorney can help you gather medical records, collect witness statements, assess your economic and non-economic losses. Throughout the investigation process, your attorney will begin to develop a theory of liability and identify an appropriate legal strategy.
Though the attorneys at Berry Law prepare every case as if it is going to court, many claims settle before they reach trial. Obtaining a favorable outcome in a TBI settlement requires strong negotiation skills. The other party or their insurance company will likely urge you to quickly accept a low offer. A seasoned lawyer can warn you against prematurely accepting an unreasonable settlement offer.
If the other party is unwilling to settle, the case will go to court. Even seemingly minor lawsuits are complex. If you do not have in-depth knowledge of the legal system, you may make a mistake that weakens your claim for compensation.
A lawyer will understand the trial process, rules for submitting evidence, and other critical factors impacting your legal case. Whether you are negotiating a settlement or going to trial, it is vital to retain a lawyer.
Speak with a Lincoln Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
The laws governing TBI cases in Nebraska can be highly complex. However, a diligent Lincoln traumatic brain injury lawyer who frequently deals with these claims could help you navigate the legal process. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn how an injury attorney can help fight for the compensation you deserve.