Unveiling the Legal Aspects of a Brain Injury Case

brain injury case

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen to anyone. While vehicle collisions often come to mind as a common cause, any type of accident can result in a TBI. Even a simple slip and fall on a wet floor can cause you to hit your head. This type of injury is often life-altering—however, fatalities can also occur.

There are an estimated 58,600 fatalities annually from TBIs. While this statistic isn’t intended to scare you, it does underline the potentially serious nature of a TBI. If someone’s negligence causes you or a loved one’s TBI, you can take some steps to recover some or all of your damages.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Like most types of injuries, TBIs are also divided into categories. You can experience an open or closed traumatic brain injury. Each type is considered severe by medical professionals and can have a devastating impact on your life and that of your loved ones.

Open Traumatic Brain Injury

An open TBI occurs when your skull comes into contact with a hard surface. For example, hitting your head on a concrete floor after slipping and falling. A fractured skull is the most obvious sign of an open TBI.

However, the skull fracture can have a surprising benefit. Brain swelling (cerebral edema) is less of a risk. The opening in the skull means the bone isn’t pressing on the brain, a common cause of swelling. But this doesn’t mean the injury isn’t severe—symptoms of an open TBI range from a stroke and coma to cognitive disruption and even death.

Closed Traumatic Brain Injury

Even though you’re not dealing with a fractured skull, a closed TBI is typically more severe than an open traumatic brain injury. Brain swelling is common, and this can result in blood clots.

The symptoms are similar to an open TBI, which can also include paralysis. Regardless of whether it’s an open or closed TBI, immediate medical attention is crucial.

Determining if You Have a Traumatic Brain Injury

Unfortunately, you can’t just file a claim for a TBI with an insurance company. This applies whether it’s your insurance or that of the at-fault party. Your medical records are an invaluable source of information. These records can also answer vital questions regarding your TBI accident claim, including:

  • Details about the extent and severity of your brain injury
  • If ongoing or lifetime care is necessary
  • Can you live independently or is at-home care a necessity

Your medical records can also show if you can eventually return to work in the same position you held before the accident. If you can’t resume your previous work duties, can you hold a position with a lower rate of pay? Some TBI sufferers are unable to return to work in any capacity.

The answers to these questions will help determine if you have a valid TBI claim, along with the estimated value of your case.

Florida’s Statute of Limitations

We mentioned Florida’s statute of limitations in TBI cases earlier. In most personal injury cases, and this applies to ones involving a TBI, give you two years from the accident date to file a claim. While two years can seem like plenty of time to file a claim, the legal process can be complicated.

For example, it can take a few weeks to receive your medical records. If your case ends up going to court, this takes additional time. Before you realize it, you’re quickly approaching the claim’s deadline.

While it’s always best to get started as soon as possible on an injury claim, Florida does have a few exceptions to the two-year deadline. For example, minors may have around seven years from the accident date. If the accident is caused by malicious intent, the deadline may also be extended.

If the state of Florida is named as a defendant, your statute of limitations is noticeably shorter. You only have 180 days to file an injury claim. How can the state be a responsible party? An example is if your injury is caused by a state employee or entity.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to find a defendant in a personal injury case. Some people may leave the state. If the named defendant can’t be located by the authorities, the statute of limitations is almost always extended to seven years. This same timeline can also apply if your TBI leaves you incapacitated. If you’re in a prolonged coma or unconscious, you can’t participate in your personal injury claim.

Don’t Go Through the Legal Process Alone

Even if your TBI doesn’t leave you incapacitated for weeks or even months, you don’t want to go through the claim process alone. From proving the extent of your injuries to meeting statute of limitation deadlines, it’s often a complex process.

Working with an experienced TBI attorney can help ensure you receive compensation for your injuries. More importantly, it allows you to focus on your recovery.

What do you think?

Written by Carol Jones

My aim is to offer unique, useful, high-quality articles that our readers will love.


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