One of the unfortunate consequences of a serious accident, such as an auto collision or fall, can be a traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries range from somewhat mild, temporary conditions, such as concussion, to very serious, life-altering ones, such as paralysis or permanent brain damage.
Brain injuries are very serious and have the potential to result in long-lasting symptoms, permanent disability, or even death. If you or a loved one have a TBI from an accident you didn’t cause, you have rights. Discuss your case with an experienced Macon traumatic brain injury attorney from John Foy & Associates.
How to Prove Fault for a Traumatic Brain Injury
Your claim must also prove the other party’s fault. If you were injured in a car accident, you’ll need to gather evidence from that accident. Important evidence includes:
- Witness statements
- Pictures from the scene
- Medical records
- Traffic camera footage
A traumatic brain injury lawyer in Macon can help obtain crucial information, such as black box data from a commercial vehicle or a driver’s cell phone records. The right evidence will depend on the details of your accident.
The best way to prove fault is by working with a trusted lawyer. An attorney who has worked on traumatic brain injury cases is ideal. They’ll know how to build a factual claim and advise you the entire way.
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Why Is It Important to See a Doctor After a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Head injuries are not always immediately noticeable unless there is apparent damage to the skull or brain (open injuries). The signs and symptoms of a brain injury may also be delayed or misconstrued. It is therefore critical to consult a medical doctor as soon as possible after an impact to the skull or car accident to determine if a brain injury has occurred.
It is also important to see a doctor to assess the extent of the injury and treat it accordingly. Brain injuries that are left untreated will get worse and result in more severe long-term consequences.
Costs of a Traumatic Brain Injury
A brain injury affects your life in more than a few ways. For one, treatment is very expensive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a traumatic brain injury’s lifetime cost is around $76.5 billion.
Brain injuries often require intense treatments, such as hospitalization. Expenses include direct and indirect medical costs. A TBI also takes a big toll on someone’s home, family, and work life.
Victims should consider all the costs when bringing an injury claim. If another party caused the accident, that party is responsible.
Common costs are broken into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
When building a compensation claim, it’s important to consider all damages. Damages are the losses you experience because of your accident.
Economic damages are also known as special damages under Georgia law. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-12-2, special damages directly result from someone’s carelessness. You must also prove these damages to recover them.
Special damages include:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital bills
- Prescription drug costs
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Psychological counseling
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Medical bills make up the most substantial part of a TBI claim. However, don’t forget about the other costs of your accident. You might have severe vehicle damage that needs repairs. A brain injury also affects your ability to work. Victims often have to stop working or earn a lot less. Your claim should outline each of these losses.
General, also known as economic, damages are about the impact on your life. Unfortunately, brain injuries take a toll on many aspects of your life. Non-economic damages do not require proof to recover. The law assumes that these damages flow from your accident.
These losses include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Anxiety or depression
The brain is a complex organ. When it sustains damages, the results can be unpredictable. Every person is different, so non-economic damages can vary widely.
Speak openly and honestly with your doctor and lawyer. Your Macon traumatic brain injury lawyers will need to value your non-economic damages as accurately as possible. The at-fault party should pay for what their negligence has taken from you.
Wrongful Death Damages Related to a Traumatic Brain Injury
Tragically, TBI injuries lead to death for many people. A brain injury can impact someone’s life in many different ways. As the brain suffers, a patient can die, even years after their accident. According to the CDC, 50% of those with TBI will have daily cognitive decline or die within five years of the injury.
If a family member was killed because of a brain injury, contact a lawyer. You could have a wrongful death case. Certain loved ones can bring a wrongful death claim for damages like:
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of companionship or consortium
Your traumatic brain injury attorney can evaluate your total damages after an accident. If you lost a loved one, they can determine if you qualify for compensation. Wrongful death claims can really help surviving family members after a tragic brain injury.
Knowing When a Settlement Offer Is Fair for a TBI
If someone else caused your traumatic brain injuries, they are legally liable for the damages. However, the burden is on the victim to bring a legal case. When you file a case, the insurance company might send a quick settlement offer. Beware of this. The first offer is usually a lowball amount.
You will want to know how a fair settlement looks. Fair compensation should:
- Cover all your accident-related damages
- Hold the at-fault party fully responsible
- Happen once you know all your losses
Before accepting any money, contact an experienced attorney. A traumatic brain injury attorney in Macon can examine your accident and your medical costs. They’ll help you understand what type of settlement you should expect.
Most accident claims settle without having to go to court. You and the insurance company might reach a settlement that works for both sides. However, complicated cases can be the exception.
Negotiation vs. Trial
TBIs are severe injuries. They often come with massive damages for the victim. Since insurance companies are for-profit companies, the insurer might refuse to pay for everything. Insurance policies also have limits. If your damages are in the millions or billions, you might need to sue for the compensation you deserve.
A legal team can determine the best course of action for you. If you decide to take your case to court, they can be there for each step and fight for your rights at every stage.
What Process Is Used When Filing a Brain Injury Case in Georgia?
Before you get started with the process of filing your lawsuit, the first thing you should do is speak with a traumatic brain injury attorney in Macon who can determine whether you have a valid claim. For it to be valid, your injuries must be the result of the intentional, negligent, or reckless actions of another individual.
If an out of court settlement with the at-fault party is not reached, your lawyer can help prepare you for court proceedings with a lawsuit. This will require testimonies from expert witnesses like medical professionals, and any other witnesses to the accident, to shed some light on how the at-fault party’s actions caused your injuries and impacted your finances.
Are There Time Limits for Filing a Brain Injury Case in Georgia?
Brain injury cases have to be filed within a certain time from the day of the incident, which is the same as any other personal injury claim. The statute of limitations in Georgia is two years. This deadline can differ if the brain damage was caused by negligence by a medical specialist or if the injuries result in death.
The start or end of timing depends on the circumstances surrounding the case. To avoid getting locked out of your compensation just because you were not able to file the case within the time stipulated by law, make sure you talk with your traumatic brain injury attorney as soon as possible.
Discuss Your Case With a Macon Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer for Free
If you suffered a TBI, you need legal representation to help you collect compensation. It costs nothing to schedule a free consultation with a Macon traumatic brain injury attorney at John Foy & Associates to discuss your case and learn how we can help.
Get the power of the “Strong Arm” with a simple phone call or form submission. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn your rights. We have 20-plus years of experience and do not collect a fee unless we win your case. Call or contact us online to get started.