Can You Sue for a Head Injury?
One of the worst injuries imaginable is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) – especially when it is caused by someone’s carelessness or recklessness. Slip and falls, car crashes, and other tragic incidents could produce traumatic brain injuries that result in a victim’s death, if not for a lifetime of pain.
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury through no fault of your own in Florida, then you might be able to file a lawsuit to obtain significant compensation. Keep reading for more traumatic brain injuries, including how to protect your right to recovery.
Causes of Brain Injury
Injuries that impact your head can cause serious brain damage. A mild brain injury, such as a concussion, can still cause several long-lasting symptoms. As such, traumatic brain injuries are often severe and life-altering.
Unfortunately, accidents tend to be the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, among other causes. These incidents include:
- Vehicle collisions
- Bike crashes
- Pedestrian incidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Truck crashes
- Slip and falls
- Boat accidents
Severe head injuries occur in other ways. In fact, brain injuries can occur in situations where the victim’s head doesn’t come in contact with another object. For instance, in a car accident, the impact of a crash could cause your brain to make contact with your skull (concussion).
With this in mind, it is essential to seek medical attention if you suffered a head injury or show symptoms after an accident. You may not even be aware of the extent of an injury to your brain, making it vital to get checked out by a medical professional immediately.
Liability in Brain Injury Claims
Most traumatic brain injury lawsuits involve negligence. From the examples above, including car crashes, motorcycle accidents, and other common injury-causing events, you can see that these accidents typically result from one person behaving carelessly or recklessly towards the victim.
For example, suppose you suffer an injury in a car crash because another driver ran a stop sign. In a lawsuit, the driver might be liable for causing your injuries and therefore owes you compensation. However, car crashes can be confusing, as individuals involved in a wreck may claim various causes for that collision. Sometimes, more than one driver is at fault for a car crash or your injury may have resulted, in part, from your own inattention.
Remember, to recover damages in Florida, you only need to prove that another person is at least partly at fault for your injuries. For instance, if you walk across the street outside of the crosswalk area, and a driver strikes you, then you might be partly to blame for your injuries.
However, if the driver is speeding or not paying attention to the road when this happens, then they may also share blame for your injuries. As a result, you could recover damages but the court would reduce the total amount to reflect your share of fault.
Is Florida a Pure Comparative Negligence State?
Comparative negligence is a tort rule for allocating damages when both parties are somewhat at fault to some extent. As such, the jury will allocate fault as a percentage to both the plaintiff and defendant.
Like many states, Florida practices pure comparative negligence. This means that if you are 90% at fault for your injury, but another person is 10% at fault, then you can still recover 10% of your damages from them. An experienced Florida traumatic brain injury attorney can help you understand how liability issues may impact your claim.
Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
3 main types of brain injuries might occur in an accident, including:
- Penetrating brain injuries: These injuries occur when your skull cracks, leading to direct impact, puncture, or bruises on your brain.
- Crushing injuries: Crushing injuries happen when two objects compress your skull, injuring your brain.
- Closed head injuries: These types of injuries occur when your head suffers a direct hit (blunt force trauma) that causes it to shift directions quickly. When this happens, the forces push your brain into your skull, which can damage brain cells and cause significant symptoms. Unfortunately, these injuries frequently go undiagnosed and untreated without proper medical attention.
Traumatic brain injuries can have long-lasting impacts on a person's life. In cases of moderate or mild traumatic brain injuries, you might experience:
- Blurred vision
- Problems with your speech
- Inability to focus
In more severe cases, symptoms may include trouble with your memory, loss of taste or smell, seizures, mood swings, slurred speech, loss of consciousness, permanent confusion, disorientation, or even a coma.
If you suffer a traumatic brain injury, then your medical provider will likely perform diagnostic tests, including x-rays or MRIs. Treatments may require significant time, and improvements may be difficult to measure. Unfortunately, brain injuries are incredibly complex and can cause a lifetime of problems. In the more extreme cases, injuries are not treatable and may lead to death.
How Do You Prove Traumatic Brain Injury?
Brain injury-related symptoms may not always be obvious. If you suffer a moderate TBI, symptoms such as mood swings, blurred vision, headaches, disorientation, and difficulty focusing may be apparent to you and to individuals who know you well.
However, proving the impact of those symptoms to strangers, including a judge or jury, can be challenging. That’s why you need an experienced traumatic head injury lawyer who understands how these cases work and what should be done to hold the wrongdoer liable for your TBI. As part of your traumatic brain injury lawsuit, your personal injury attorney will likely call on a medical expert to testify in court about your injury’s impact on your life.
So, if someone else caused your injury, you could receive damages (compensation) for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Loss of quality of life
- Reduced earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Other related consequences of the injury
To recover the damages to which you are entitled, you must prove the extent of your injuries. Your attorney can work with an experienced health care provider and other valuable witnesses who can attest to the impact of your injury and the estimated costs for your ongoing treatment.
If you sue for your brain injury, your case could either settle or go to trial. If you opt for a settlement, then you receive compensation, but the defendant does not admit fault. If you take the case to trial, then the judge or jury decides whether the defendant is liable, and if so, how much they must pay you for your injuries.
Turn to The Watson Firm, PLLC for Help
Our experienced personal injury attorneys at The Watson Firm, PLLC are devoted to helping victims recover damages from those who caused their traumatic brain injuries. Our attorneys will closely review your situation with you, find out who to sue, and fight hard to get the compensation that you and your family deserve.