Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur often, causing nearly 3 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths every year. A large percentage of these injuries result from preventable accidents due to someone else’s negligence.
TBIs can permanently alter brain function and neuronal activity and compromise metabolic activity, functional memory, and nerve conduction. If you suffer from a TBI after an accident caused by another person, that third party may owe you compensation for your losses, and legal counsel may be necessary to recover it. A Chattanooga traumatic brain injury lawyer could help you identify who is at fault and obtain the necessary compensation to start your recovery process.
The type of accident and the severity of the impact can determine the specific injury to the brain in TBI cases. Each type of injury can cause unique impairments or damage.
A Chattanooga lawyer who has experience handling TBI claims could review an injured individual’s medical documentation to accurately project an appropriate amount for damages.
Concussions are the most common type of TBI and occur when a sudden impact or movement causes trauma to blood vessels within the brain or cranial nerves. Typical accidents that cause concussions include whiplash force in a motor vehicle accident, direct blows to the skull, and gunshot wounds. While concussions can be mild in many cases, it may take months or years to heal fully, and the damage is often permanent.
When a closed head injury occurs, the skull remains intact following a blow to the head, but the brain experiences significant swelling. This swelling can result in increased pressure within the skull, forcing brain tissue to expand into the person’s eye sockets or any other available opening. Closed head injuries are common following motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, and assaults with blunt objects.
Penetrating TBIs, also called open head injuries, occur when the brain’s outermost layer, the dura mater, is ruptured by a sharp object or a projectile. Common accidents that cause open head injuries include assaults involving gunshot wounds or knife attacks.
To successfully obtain compensation in a TBI case, the injured party must be able to prove that the party who caused the accident owed a certain duty of care and breached that duty, that the breach caused the accident, and that the accident caused demonstrable damages to the plaintiff.
In some situations, it can be difficult to identify who is at fault. A Chattanooga attorney could help a person who suffered a TBI determine whether more than one party is responsible for the accident. Once fault is established, the plaintiff needs to assess whether they have played any role in the accident, because the state abides by the theory of contributory negligence when determining damages. If the plaintiff’s negligence contributed partially to the accident, the amount of compensation for which they are eligible would be reduced by the percentage of their fault.
Proving a negligent party’s fault following an accident that caused a TBI can be challenging. A successful claim requires extensive documentation of how the accident occurred, the severity and prognosis of the resulting injuries, and proof of the defendant’s negligence.
Though this process can be complicated, the guidance of a seasoned legal professional could aid your chances of obtaining compensation. Get in touch with a Chattanooga traumatic brain injury lawyer today and learn more about your options.