Injuries to the brain are common and may be especially serious. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.7 million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries each year. These injuries can occur from unexpected accidents, and it is sometimes unclear whether anyone in particular is to blame for causing a traumatic brain injury. However, if you or a loved one recently sustained a traumatic brain injury of any kind due to the actions of another party, it is essential to know your rights when it comes to holding them accountable for the injury and its effects.
A TBI is unlike other types of injuries because each one is different. Complicating the situation is the fact that little can be done to treat one, and there is no current method to estimate how long symptoms or effects will last — making such injuries difficult to prove in court. Our attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler have seen serious TBIs leave people in Charlotte unable to work or enjoy the same activities they used to.
If you or a loved one recently suffered a TBI due to the actions of another party, it is easy to feel helpless and isolated, unsure of how to hold the responsible party accountable for the damages they caused and the uncertain future you may face. Working with a Charlotte traumatic brain injuries attorney offers you the best chance of ensuring accountability for the responsible party and securing the compensation you need.
When most people imagine hiring legal counsel, they immediately think that an attorney would be too expensive for them. Some individuals will attempt to manage their personal injury claims on their own. While it is technically possible to file a personal injury case and even win without an attorney, doing so is incredibly difficult. If you do not have any formal legal training or experience with the civil court system, you will be likely to make significant errors that may jeopardize your ability to recover damages. You would also be forced to meet your case’s procedural requirements while simultaneously managing the aftermath of your injury.
Many traumatic brain injury victims will be forced to rely on their family to assist them with their personal injury claims. Whatever your situation may entail, the attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler can provide the compassionate legal counsel you need during this challenging ordeal. We understand that you may be hesitant about the potential cost of your legal fees, but we make our services accessible by offering contingency fee billing. This means you pay nothing upfront for our services and only pay legal fees when we win your case. Your fee comes out of your total case award as a predetermined percentage, ensuring you can have the legal representation you need to secure appropriate compensation for your losses.
Working with a Charlotte traumatic brain injuries lawyer not only makes it easier to handle your case proceedings, but also significantly increases your chances of success with the case. Your legal team can help you determine the full scope of your claimable damages by working with expert witnesses and your medical providers. They will also assist you in gathering the evidence you need to firmly establish the defendant’s liability for your TBI.
The most reported causes of TBI are falls and motor vehicle collisions. Other causes include:
Symptoms associated with TBIs depend on the area of the brain that suffered the blow. You may experience problems with your senses, thought processes, emotions, or motor skills.
One of the most difficult aspects of TBIs is the fact that every TBI is unique. Two people could suffer what appear to be identical brain injuries and have completely different recovery experiences. One may appear to make a complete recovery within a few months while the other is left profoundly disabled for years or even permanently. Some of the most commonly reported short-term symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include:
This is not an exhaustive list, and every person who experiences a TBI will have different symptoms. In some cases, symptoms may begin at severe levels and then gradually improve. In other cases, seemingly mild symptoms will gradually worsen. It’s also possible for symptoms to appear weeks or even months after the initial injury. When TBIs result in long-term or permanent symptoms, these typically include:
It’s important to understand that the long-term effects of a brain injury can be psychologically damaging as well as physically debilitating. It can be incredibly distressing to realize that another party’s actions have left you or a loved one permanently disabled. This may interfere with the ability to work and earn a living or even prevent the victim from living independently. A Charlotte traumatic brain injuries attorney can help their client examine the full scope of claimable damages in a TBI claim to ensure the fullest possible recovery.
For people who suffer a TBI, it is important to work with a lawyer who understands that there are long-term factors to consider. Injuries to the brain have been shown to increase people’s risk for dementia and other diseases as they age. Additionally, new symptoms or complications may develop, rendering someone permanently disabled.
If the accident occurred while you were on the job, money may be available through workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits if you are no longer able to work. We have extensive experience helping people apply for and receive every type of benefit for which their injury qualifies.
If you believe another party is directly responsible for causing a traumatic brain injury to you or a loved one, a personal injury claim can enable you to hold them responsible for the damages they caused. Your successful civil claim can potentially yield substantial compensation for immediate and future damages, both economic and noneconomic. However, the first step toward recovery from a TBI is proving fault.
You must identify the party or parties responsible for causing your TBI and prove their actions directly caused your claimed damages. Depending on the nature of the incident that caused your TBI, you may need to prove that the defendant lacked reasonable care in the situation or that they engaged in willful mis conduct that resulted in the injury in question. Your attorney can help you gather evidence that helps you establish the defendant’s liability. This may include physical evidence from the scene of the accident, witness testimony from parties who saw the incident occur, and your own recollection of events.
Due to the complex nature of most traumatic brain injuries, your attorney may seek to consult with expert witnesses who can support your case. For example, you may need to consult various medical experts who can testify as to the full extent of the symptoms you are likely to experience in the short term and long term following the incident.
When it comes to establishing fault for a TBI in North Carolina, it’s vital for the plaintiff to understand the state’s contributory negligence law. This law states that if a plaintiff is in any way responsible for causing their claimed damages, they cannot recover compensation through a personal injury claim. It’s common for defendants in personal injury suits to assert comparative negligence to deflect liability for plaintiffs’ damages. If you have any concerns about any contributory negligence you might bear in your case, it’s vital to consult your Charlotte traumatic brain injuries lawyer as soon as possible.
Once you and your legal team have firmly established the defendant’s liability for the TBI in question, the next phase of your case requires you to prove the full extent of the damages resulting from the defendant’s actions. North Carolina law allows a personal injury plaintiff to seek compensation for any and all damages caused by a defendant. Due to the severe nature of most TBIs, plaintiffs in these claims can potentially secure substantial compensation for both immediate and anticipated future damages:
When you calculate the total amount of economic damages you can seek in your TBI claim, you may be surprised to learn that your case is worth much more than you initially expected. However, in most TBI cases, plaintiffs recover more in noneconomic damages than they do for their economic damages. Noneconomic damages are typically referred to as “pain and suffering.” Economic damages are typically easy to calculate with documentation, but noneconomic damages are more challenging.
Your Charlotte traumatic brain injuries attorney can assist you in determining a fair amount of pain and suffering compensation to seek in your claim, based on the severity of your injury. North Carolina does not impose any limits or caps on the amount of pain and suffering a plaintiff can seek, with the sole exception of medical malpractice claims. If you are suing a medical professional or hospital for a TBI they caused, the most you can secure in pain and suffering compensation under North Carolina law is $500,000.
If the defendant in your claim is not a doctor, hospital, or other medical provider, your attorney can help you determine a fair amount of pain and suffering to include in your claim using various methods. The most commonly used method is a simple lump sum calculation. Your attorney will multiply your claimed medical expenses by a factor of two to five to reflect the severity of your injury. For example, if you incurred $200,000 in medical bills for a severe TBI that caused a permanent disability, your attorney could multiply this amount by five to reflect the severity of the situation and seek $1 million or more in pain and suffering compensation. Extreme cases involving chronic pain, permanent disability, inability to work, and diminished quality of life may justify seeking even more substantial pain and suffering damages.
Attorneys may also use “per diem” calculations that award a set amount per day until the victim reaches maximum medical improvement, but this method is typically reserved for when a victim is likely to make a full recovery in a relatively short time. Pain and suffering is likely to be the most substantial form of compensation you secure from a successful TBI claim in North Carolina.
The right attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of a complex personal injury case. Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler have extensive experience handling difficult civil claims, including those involving complex brain injuries and substantial damages. We know that receiving compensation makes all the difference in recovering from or living with a serious injury. Our law firm has a reputation for obtaining results. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation by submitting your information online or by calling us at 704-594-4317.
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