Sustaining a traumatic brain injury from another person or entity’s negligence puts your life on hold. Such injuries take weeks, if not months, to recover from and can have lasting consequences. As challenging as the recovery process can be, contacting an Augusta brain injury lawyer from Barrios Virguez is strongly recommended.
A legal professional with experience and expertise in this type of personal injury claim helps you build a strong case that hopefully results in significant compensation.
The Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury occurs because of external force, not an acute illness or chronic disease. There are many causes for such injuries, including:
- Vehicular accidents, including commercial truck and bus accidents
- Slip-and-fall injuries
- Near drowning
- Industrial accidents
- Work accidents
- Recreational accidents
- Premise liability accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Bicycle accidents
- Intentional violence
- Falling objects
Traumatic brain injury symptoms vary by individual but typically entail dizziness, temporary loss of consciousness, confusion, disorientation, and neurological changes. It is also possible to have problems recalling the events before or after the injury.
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Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury
If the injury includes a concussion or when the brain moves within the skull, symptoms can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe headaches
- Irritability and moodiness
- Personality changes
- Depression and anxiety
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
- Appetite changes
- Problems understanding other people
It is possible to experience a traumatic brain injury even if the individual did not lose consciousness or was not directly hit on the head. For example, a jolt to the head from a rear-end car accident can cause a traumatic brain injury in addition to other injuries, such as whiplash and fractured bones. Numerous other types of traumatic brain injuries include a hematoma, where a mass of blood or swelling occurs within the brain.
Hematomas can also occur between the brain and the skull. Other brain injuries include skull fractures and lacerations where the blood vessels in the brain or the brain tissue are torn. Nerve damage to the brain is known as a diffuse axonal injury, while a coup-contrecoup is where the brain sustains damage on both sides. Auto accidents are common causes of these injuries.
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Establishing Blame in a Brain Injury Case
To prove negligence in this type of personal injury claim, a brain injury lawyer in Augusta, GA, must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff duty of care or take steps to ensure the relative safety of others. For example, say water spills on a grocery store floor, and no “Wet Floor” signs are placed around the spill until it is cleaned up.
A customer does not notice the water and slips and falls, resulting in a traumatic brain injury. The owner or manager failed to provide the customer with the duty of care, and the store is liable because the injury directly resulted from this breach of care. Establishing blame in a brain injury case also requires showing damages.
In the grocery store example, the Augusta brain injury attorney must show that the plaintiff suffered traumatic brain injury symptoms and was treated for them at a nearby medical center. They can also show that the injuries resulted in time away from work and lost wages. Medical records and work logs provide evidence that supports the damage claim.
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Damages a Plaintiff Can Collect from a Brain Injury Claim
Economic damages cover monetary losses relating to the plaintiff’s injuries. They typically include emergency medical care, ongoing medical care such as physical or occupational therapy, and lost wages. These expenses are included if the individual is currently paying for trauma counseling or can no longer hold a job because of their injuries.
Non-economic damages refer to the mental and emotional components of the recovery process and usually include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish. Loss of life enjoyment is another non-economic damage brain injury victims cite if they experience ongoing neurological difficulties.
Punitive damages are requested in the event of extreme wrongdoing and malice on the defendant’s part. They are not common in brain injury cases since most are based on general negligence. For punitive damages to apply, the defendant must have purposefully tried to harm the plaintiff.
Assault and battery charges are typical in such cases.
Wrongful Death Claims
Sadly, fatalities can also occur from traumatic brain injuries. If the plaintiff’s untimely passing, their surviving loved ones can file a wrongful death claim against the appropriate party or parties. Damages in wrongful death claims usually include emergency medical care, funeral or memorial service expenses, loss of income, burial or cremation expenses, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
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The Statute of Limitations for Brain Injuries in Georgia
According to Georgia Code §9-3-33, a plaintiff with a brain injury or other negligence-related injury has two years from the date of the accident to file. Filing after the two-year deadline typically results in a case dismissal from the court and no compensation. However, there are exceptions.
If the defendant leaves Georgia before the plaintiff has filed the claim, this “leave of absence” does not count towards the two-year filing period. The “clock” starts when the defendant returns to the state and is served with legal papers.
Other exceptions include when the plaintiff is a minor and therefore under 18 years old or “legally incompetent” at the time of the accident due to mental illness or an intellectual disability. Once the plaintiff turns 18 or recovers from their mental issue, the statute of limitations on the claim begins.
Speak with an Augusta Brain Injury Lawyer Today
If you need to consult a brain injury attorney in Augusta, now is the time. A lawyer from the offices of Barrios Virguez Attorneys will hear your case and determine how best to move forward. They provide counsel throughout the case and represent you as necessary to hopefully result in significant compensation.
Call our office, or submit our contact form today to schedule your free initial consultation with an Augusta brain injury lawyer.
Call or text 678-888-2222 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form