TBI disability refers to a disabling condition related to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). When someone becomes disabled because of a brain injury, they can seek compensation from those responsible.
If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury and want to seek compensation for medical care, lost income, and other damages, a lawyer can help. A traumatic brain injury lawyer will explain your legal options and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Why Brain Injuries Are Often Disabling
A brain injury actually refers to a wide range of injuries, some more serious than others.
However, any brain injury can potentially cause significant economic and non-economic harm because:
- The brain is critical to healthy physical and cognitive function: The brain is the operating center for everything your body does. A brain injury affects the brain and can cause symptoms throughout your body. Therefore, there is a higher-than-average likelihood that a brain injury will be disabling.
- The brain is fragile: Despite having protection in the form of your skull, the brain is a relatively fragile organ. When the brain strikes the inside of the skull, suffers a penetrating blow, or suffers an injury in any other way, there is a significant chance of injury.
- Certain brain injuries may not heal: While the brain has some capacity to heal, many brain injuries cause permanent damage. Someone may experience lifelong changes in their personality, memory, consciousness, and general brain function. These types of long-lasting health problems are typically disabling.
- The symptoms of brain injuries can disable you: The nature of brain injury symptoms can affect every aspect of a victim's life. In severe cases, victims may be unable to hold a job or even care for themselves.
- Most jobs require you to use your brain: When determining whether an injury is disabling, lawyers, doctors, and government agencies generally consider one’s ability to work. If you cannot work or can only work in a limited capacity because of your injury, it is likely a disabling injury.
Your brain injury lawyer will work with qualified medical professionals. Those doctors will evaluate you and determine if you have a TBI-related disability.
When Negligence Results in a Brain Injury, Victims Can Often Sue
If someone’s negligence caused your brain injury, you can likely sue. Negligence occurs when someone acts in an unreasonable manner that causes harm to another person.
Brain injury attorneys prove negligence by:
- Establishing that the liable party owed their client a duty of care
- Proving that the liable party acted unreasonably, in doing so violating their duty of care to the client
- Proving that the liable party’s negligence directly caused the brain injury
- Explaining the damages the client suffered because of the liable party’s negligence
Attorneys are familiar with this process, and they tailor the process to their client’s case.
Common Examples of When Negligence Causes a TBI
While the circumstances of each brain injury are unique, lawyers see many clients with similar circumstances. For example, some of the most common causes of brain injuries include:
Some industries, including construction, pose a higher-than-average risk of brain injuries. Jobs that require frequent driving, such as trucking and delivery positions, may also expose workers to a high risk of TBI.
Defective or Dangerous Products
Many product liability cases have involved victims with brain injuries. Airbags, protective helmets, and other products may cause brain injuries when they malfunction. Manufacturers and sellers can be liable for injuries caused by defective products.
Someone may hit their head and suffer a brain injury after:
- Falling from heights
- Falling when floors, stairs, scaffolding, or other structures collapse
- Falling over during a state of impairment (such as when someone is on medication)
Falls can result from someone’s negligence. For instance, a property owner may be liable for a brain injury when someone slips and falls on their property. Your lawyer will determine the cause of your fall and identify liable parties.
Elder Abuse and Neglect
The elderly are more susceptible to injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Falls, lack of oxygen, and physical abuse are ways elders may suffer a brain injury.
These are just a few ways a brain injury can happen. If you or a loved one suffered a TBI under these or other circumstances, speak with a personal injury lawyer about fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Why Those with Brain Injuries Sue Liable Parties (and Hire Brain Injury Lawyers)
The symptoms of brain injuries can disrupt the victim's life and the lives of their loved ones. From behavioral changes to loss of memory and mood disorders, the symptoms of brain injuries often leave victims in need of financial assistance and costly medical services.
Some of the reasons why brain injury victims sue liable parties include:
- The need for significant financial relief due to medical bills and loss of income
- The need for mental health services
- The desire to hold liable parties accountable for causing a brain injury
There are several reasons why those affected by a brain injury hire brain injury lawyers.
You may let a lawyer lead your claim or lawsuit because:
- Attorneys offer valuable experience with personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits
- Attorneys understand how to value the cost of a brain injury
- Attorneys cover the cost of completing their clients’ claims and lawsuits
- Those with brain injuries often lack the time or health to handle their own case
Brain injury cases often involve large sums, as these injuries can be very expensive. If you do not put forth an effective case, you can stand to lose a potential settlement or judgment. This is why many brain injury victims let an experienced attorney lead their case.
Recoverable Damages for Someone with a Traumatic Brain Injury
The cost of each brain injury differs. The nature of the injury, the severity of the injury, the patient's medical needs, and other factors can affect the cost of a TBI. As your brain injury lawyer prepares to negotiate a settlement, they will assign a financial value to:
Diagnosis of the Injury
Diagnosing a traumatic brain injury may require expensive scans and tests, including:
- A physical examination
- Neurological exams
- CT scans
Even if you have health insurance, you may face significant out–of–pocket costs just to diagnose your injury. Your lawyer will include these diagnostic costs in your case for compensation.
Treatment of the Injury
Your lawyer will consult your doctors to value the cost of your treatment, which may include:
- Emergency medical transport
- Emergency care
Your attorney will also consider the cost of transportation to and from medical appointments.
Rehabilitation of the Injury
If you undergo any type of rehabilitation for your brain injury, your attorney will calculate the total cost of rehabilitation. If your rehab will be lifelong, your lawyer will consult medical experts to project the cost of future sessions.
If you suffer professional harm because of the brain injury, your lawyer will evaluate:
- Lost income
- Diminished earning power
- Lost benefits
- Lost fulfillment from working
- Missed performance bonus opportunities
- Missed promotion opportunities
Brain injury lawyers sometimes need to project the cost of future professional damages. For example, if someone with a brain injury can never work again, their lawyer must consider income, pay raises, and benefits that person may have secured in the future.
Pain and Suffering
A brain injury can make life considerably harder.
It is common for brain injury victims and their loved ones to suffer intense pain and suffering, which may include:
- Emotional anguish
- Physical pain
- Psychological distress
- Sleep problems
- Suicidal thoughts (which can happen when someone feels overwhelmed by the symptoms of a brain injury)
- Lost quality of life
Loved ones who must care for someone with a brain injury may also experience pain and suffering. Brain injury lawyers know how to calculate pain and suffering, even though these damages have no obvious financial cost.
In many brain injury cases, the victim has property expenses. This includes cases where an auto accident leaves a victim injured. Lawyers consider vehicle repair costs and other property expenses when representing clients with brain injuries.
Someone with a TBI may need:
- A full-time caregiver
- A part-time caregiver
- A motorized wheelchair
- Ramps and handrails for their residence
- A specialized vehicle to accommodate a wheelchair
- To relocate to a facility for disabled individuals
The specific symptoms of a brain injury will determine what items and services the victim needs.
Brain Injuries Can Cause Wrongful Deaths
In the most heartbreaking cases, traumatic brain injuries lead to the victim's death. In fact, in a year, as many as 190 Americans died each day from traumatic brain injuries.
Surviving loved ones may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against liable parties and may seek compensation for:
- Loss of consortium: When you lose a loved one, the most painful losses are often non-economic in nature. These losses include a parent's guidance and support and a spouse's companionship and intimacy.
- Lost financial support: Your lawyer will seek compensation for income, employer-provided benefits, household services, and any other forms of financial support the decedent provided.
- Funeral and burial expenses: Liable parties should cover the funeral and burial (or cremation) cost when their negligence causes a wrongful death.
- Pain and suffering: In wrongful death cases, the decedent and surviving loved ones may experience pain and suffering. Grief is often the most obvious type of pain and suffering survivors endure because of a loved one's fatal brain injury.
- Any other economic or non-economic damages from the wrongful death: Your attorney will speak with you, consult experts, and account for all the harm caused by your loved one's brain injury.
Whether you’ve suffered a brain injury or lost a loved one, you shouldn’t worry about the cost of your damages. A brain injury attorney will identify, document, and value your losses while you move forward with your life.
Should I Hire a Lawyer to Seek Compensation for TBI Disability?
Everyone affected by a brain injury must decide whether to hire a lawyer, which is your decision. One of the soundest ways to make this decision is to consider the possible risk of moving forward without an attorney.
If you choose to handle your own brain injury case, you may:
- Worsen the brain injury: Avoiding stress and exertion may be one of your doctor's recovery guidelines. If you decide to manage your claim or lawsuit, you may compromise your recovery or worsen your brain injury.
- Compromise your mental health: Whether you suffered a brain injury or lost a loved one, you need to prioritize your mental health. Without a lawyer, you may become overwhelmed and burnt out by the demands of your brain injury case.
- Fail to build a strong case: Inexperience, physical limitations, and mental health issues may prevent you from building the case you’d like to build. Attorneys have time, resources, and experience that may allow them to build a case you can be confident about.
- Fail to secure the compensation you deserve: Hiring a lawyer does not guarantee your desired financial results. However, you may decide that a lawyer can build a stronger case than you are. If you don't hire a lawyer, you may not obtain all the compensation you deserve.
Personal injury lawyers generally charge no upfront fee. They will only receive payment if they win for you. Therefore, you have nothing to lose by hiring a brain injury lawyer.
Do Your Research and Hire a Lawyer as Soon as Possible
You may have a limited time to file your TBI disability case, so don’t wait to hire a skilled personal injury lawyer that will lead your lawsuit or claim.