If you suffered a traumatic brain injury 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. When facing the consequences of a traumatic brain injury, a knowledgeable injury attorney could help you understand the legal system and explain your right to pursue compensation from whoever caused your injuries.
An experienced traumatic brain injury attorney at Berry Law could fully examine the causes of your injury and offer advice on your legal options. We are here to guide you through the process and give your claim the best chance of success.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) 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
- Blurred vision
- Coordination problems
- Brain fog
- Impaired memory
Someone who is suffering from 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 personality changes. 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 or any trauma to your head, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.
The next best step is to consult a skilled catastrophic injury attorney who has experience handling TBI cases. When your damages are caused by another person’s negligence, a traumatic brain injury attorney in Lincoln can help you seek compensation for your losses.
5 Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries come in several 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.
The five most common types of TBI are:
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 form of TBI. Though many people with minor concussions have few long-term consequences, these injuries should always be taken seriously.
Coup-contrecoup injuries are especially concerning because they involve two points of brain trauma at once. A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when an initial impact to the head causes the brain to shift inside the head and slam into the other side 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 blow 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, depending on the type of injury you sustained.
What Damages Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Recover for a TBI?
A Lincoln personal injury attorney could help you recover the following damages for your severe brain injury:
- Medical expenses, including any expected 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 intentional or 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.
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Legal Limitations to Injury Claims in Lincoln
While you could claim a significant amount of compensation in a traumatic brain injury case, there are also some Nebraska statutes that could impact your ability to seek restitution. A knowledgeable brain injury lawyer in Nebraska can explain 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 convinced 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 others or even to you.
Fortunately, you are not required to prove the other person was totally at fault to recover compensation for your injuries. Nebraska’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 were 50% or more responsible 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 some 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 are awarded $100,000 in economic and financial losses, but you were also 10% at fault, you would only receive $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 consult with a lawyer right away to learn more about your unique legal rights.
What is the 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 or based on your age. However, these exceptions are rare, and you should not wait to seek legal advice following an accident. An experienced lawyer can ensure you meet every deadline while you focus on your medical treatment and recovery.
The Role of a Brain Injury Lawyer in Nebraska
Traumatic brain injury cases are complex, so it is crucial to work with a skilled lawyer who understands these types of claims. An injury lawyer’s efforts typically begin with a thorough investigation of the accident that caused the TBI. A dedicated attorney can help you gather medical records, collect witness statements, and assess your economic and non-economic losses. Throughout the investigation process, your attorney will 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 trial, many claims settle before they reach this point. 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 accepting an unreasonable settlement offer that will not compensate you for all of your losses.
If the other party is unwilling to settle, the case will go to trial. Even seemingly minor lawsuits can become complex, extensive battles. If you do not have in-depth knowledge of the legal system, you might make a mistake that weakens your claim for compensation.
An experienced traumatic brain injury attorney 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. The team at Berry Law has the experience and skill you deserve when fighting for your future.
Speak with a Lincoln Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Today
The laws governing TBI cases in Nebraska can be highly complex. However, a diligent Lincoln traumatic brain injury lawyer who frequently and successfully resolves these types of claims could help you navigate the legal process. Contact our team of legal professionals now for a free consultation and learn how our injury attorneys can help fight for the compensation you deserve.