Incidents involving traumatic brain injury lead to expensive medical bills, debilitating conditions and loss of income for the injured. Traumatic brain injuries occur in a number of situations, including vehicle accidents, workplace settings, slips and falls or product malfunctions. Traumatic brain injuries are either “open” or “closed.” Open injuries usually occur when the head comes in direct contact with an object and the skull becomes fractured or pierced. Closed injuries usually occur in high, or sometimes low, impact collisions, such as with car accidents.
Ultimately, a traumatic brain injury can cause paralysis or death and personal injury cases seek compensatory or punitive damages, depending on the circumstances. Following are some of the most important components of a traumatic brain injury legal case:
Medical histories and exams: The plaintiff should seek medical care immediately and have every visit to the emergency room or doctor’s office documented. The severity of the injury will determine who can record and document the required information, as some victims of traumatic brain injury are unable to care for themselves. The medical histories and current examinations will establish the severity of the condition and that it was not preexisting.
Proving fault and negligence: The plaintiff is responsible for proving that the defendant had a duty to provide reasonable care, failed to act in a manner that protected her from harm and ultimately, is at fault for the resulting injury.
Calculating compensation: The nature of traumatic brain injury makes it difficult to predict the time and finances required to provide adequate care to the victim. As a result, calculating the amount of compensation can be complicated because some patients recover and others do not. Further complicating the issue is the spousal relationship. A spouse may feel she has lost love, compassion, support and sexual relations, depending on how severe the injury is. This opens the door for a plaintiff’s spouse to also file a claim against the defendant.