San Antonio Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Helping TBI Victims Seek Maximum Compensation in Texas
The CDC estimates that at least 1.5 million people suffer a TBI in the United States every year, with a large percentage of those affected being children and young adults. Unfortunately, many TBIs are caused by falls, motor vehicle accidents, and assaults. When you or a loved one has sustained a TBI caused by someone else’s negligent actions, you need to know what to do to hold the at-fault party responsible and fight for compensation. Learn the basics about TBI cases and how a traumatic brain injury attorney may be able to help.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is an injury that affects the way the brain normally works and is usually the consequence of a blow to the head, but it can also result from a penetrating wound such as a gunshot. At its mildest degree, a TBI is also referred to as a concussion, and most patients suffering from a mild TBI can fully recover without medical interference. Individuals suffering from a mild TBI may lose consciousness for less than 30 minutes or remain awake but unable to think clearly and feel confused, but those symptoms are usually temporary.
On the other hand, a TBI can also be classified as moderate or severe, which occurs if a person becomes unconscious for more than 30 minutes – ranging from a temporary loss of consciousness to a coma state that can last for several days or longer – and the more serious cases could lead to death. Every TBI is different, and the prognosis depends on the extent of damage done to the brain tissue.
How Does a Traumatic Brain Injury Affect Someone?
TBI victims usually report that their injury affects multiple aspects of their daily lives. A TBI can cause physical symptoms such as difficulty controlling arms and legs, trouble with coordination, balance, hearing, and vision, and changes in sensory perception.
TBI patients may also experience cognitive challenges affecting their ability to think and learn. They may have difficulty processing and understanding information and can also struggle to communicate clearly and learn new information. Some patients also have trouble concentrating and remembering information. Because a TBI can affect the way someone thinks, it can also impact a patient’s emotional well-being and behavior. TBI survivors may struggle with anxiety, nervousness, sadness, and depression and may feel more emotional or display more angry or aggressive behaviors. Another possible effect of a TBI is trouble controlling one’s behavior and having frequent episodes of emotional outbursts or being unable to control one’s own impulses. Many may end up with some form of permanent disability. All of these emotional and psychological effects can make it harder for a TBI survivor to maintain a social life, continue in school or return to work.
What Should I Do to Get Compensated for a TBI in Texas?
In many instances, a traumatic brain injury can result from another person’s negligent or reckless actions and is thus considered a type of personal injury case. If you have been in an accident caused by negligence and suffered a TBI, your first step should be to consult a San Antonio traumatic brain injury attorney. Depending on how and where your accident happened, you may be able to receive compensation through an insurance claim, a worker’s compensation claim, or a personal injury civil lawsuit.
For example, if your TBI was caused by an auto accident and the other driver is at fault, the first probable source of damages compensation is the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. You will likely need to file a claim and notify your own insurance carrier. From that point, you will likely be contacted by an insurance adjuster and asked to give a statement or answer questions. Be careful with what you share with them, and refer them to your attorney whenever possible, as insurance adjusters are usually just looking for a way to get you to say something that could later be used as an admission of fault on your part. If your claim is accepted, the insurance company will likely send a final settlement check and close out your claim.
If your TBI happened as a result of a job-related accident, then you may likely have to report the injury to your employer and kickstart the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim. This means that your employer would be responsible for covering your medical treatment and any medical bills, as well as a portion of your regular weekly wages. Unfortunately, in both situations, things may not always go smoothly. Insurance claims can be denied for a variety of reasons – many of them often unfair. If that is your case, then you may need to take legal action and initiate a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your damages.
How Can I Prove Negligence in a TBI Case?
If your TBI was likely a result of someone else’s negligent actions – such as a drunk driver who caused an auto accident, for example – there are a few basic elements you may need to prove to hold the other party responsible for what happened. These are usually present in a variety of personal injury cases, and unlike criminal cases, a personal injury case requires the victim or plaintiff to bear the burden of proof, which means they will need to come up with the evidence needed to support their claim.
First, there needs to be a duty of care that should have been observed by the at-fault party. A duty of care is a term used to explain acceptable or reasonable conduct applicable to a particular situation. For example, drivers have a duty of care towards other roadway users.
Licensed drivers are expected to abide by all traffic laws, drive in a safe manner and not operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Failing to do so can result in a dangerous situation for the driver and others on the road.
Next, the plaintiff will need to demonstrate that there was a breach in the duty of care by the other party. Using the same example, if the driver who caused your accident failed a breathalyzer test and was taken into custody for driving under the influence, that driver has breached their duty of care to you. Once you’ve established that there was a breach in the duty of care, you will need to prove that the breach was the root cause of your accident, meaning if the other party had acted with reasonable care, the accident or unsafe situation might never have happened.
The next essential element of your claim is proving that the breach of duty of care and the accident resulted in damages, i.e., you were seriously injured and sustained other losses, such as financial losses, pain, and suffering. This is when the plaintiff needs to show the devastating effect that the accident had on them physically, financially, and emotionally.
As you can see, proving negligence in a TBI case can be a complex task. Evidence from the scene of the accident, along with other key items such as police reports (if law enforcement was called), medical records, as well as expert witness testimonies, may all be necessary to prove your case. A skilled San Antonio traumatic brain injury attorney is essential to help you put together a strong case and seek the compensation you deserve.
How Much Is My TBI Case Worth?
Survivors of a traumatic brain injury often struggle with symptoms that affect them for the rest of their lives, disrupting not only their social lives and psychological well-being but also their ability to make a living and generate income. For those reasons, TBI victims may be entitled to damages compensation for both economic and non-economic losses.
Most TBI claims seek to compensate the victim for financial and emotional damages, referred to as economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are tangible financial losses that result from the accident, injury, and recovery process. That includes property damage (if applicable), medical bills, lost wages, and loss of future earning ability (if the victim has become partially or totally disabled). It can also include the cost of home health care or long-term nursing care, depending on the victim’s future prognosis. In addition, a TBI affects way more than just a victim’s finances, but has a deep impact on their social life and emotional well-being. Non-economic damages are meant to provide compensation for the pain, suffering, trauma, and other psychological effects the accident and injury may have had on the claimant.
Because each TBI victim and each case is unique, there is no exact formula to calculate how much your case may be worth without analyzing the specifics of your accident, such as who is responsible for it, how it happened, and how it impacted your life at the time of the accident. In addition, the impact a TBI may have on your future should also be taken into consideration. Generally speaking, the more severe your injuries and the more your TBI is likely to affect you in the future, the higher the value of your claim may be. To get a more accurate estimate for your case, it is best to speak to a San Antonio traumatic brain injury attorney to discuss your accident and learn your options.
Why Should I Hire a San Antonio Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney?
Traumatic brain injuries can be trickier to prove because many of the symptoms experienced by TBI survivors are not as visible as other types of injuries, thus requiring special attention when it is time to gather the evidence needed to document the severity of the injury and how it affects the victim now and in the future. A seasoned TBI attorney can help you build a strong case, bringing in expert witnesses such as a neuropsychologist or a neurologist, which often prove to be extremely important in establishing causation and helping the court truly understand just how devastating a TBI can be.
At the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy, Attorney S. Dylan Pearcy and his legal team are dedicated to fighting for the rights of TBI victims in San Antonio and surrounding areas. When you choose to work with our firm, you can expect to receive compassionate, professional services paired with strong, aggressive representation to help you secure your rights to receive maximum compensation and get back on the road to healing. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence, contact the Law Offices of S. Dylan Pearcy in San Antonio by calling (210) 953-7486 and requesting a no-commitment consultation to discuss your case. We look forward to serving you.