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TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a personal injury claim and how does it relate to my traumatic brain injury?
A personal injury claim is a legal process by which an individual who has suffered harm, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), seeks compensation from the person or entity responsible for causing the injury. In the context of a TBI case, a personal injury claim would involve seeking compensation for the damages you suffered as a result of the TBI, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
To succeed in a personal injury claim related to a TBI, you will typically need to prove that another party was negligent, and that their negligence caused your injury. This may involve gathering evidence such as medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony to demonstrate how the TBI occurred and the impact it has had on your life.
It's important to note that personal injury claims related to TBIs can be complex and challenging. In addition to demonstrating negligence, you may need to prove the extent and nature of your injury, which can be difficult in cases involving TBIs. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can be crucial in ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
What are the first steps I should take after suffering a TBI?
Seek medical attention: Your health is your top priority. If you have suffered a TBI, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you feel fine, you should get checked out by a medical professional to rule out any potential complications.
Document everything: It is important to document your injury and the events leading up to it. Take photos of any injuries, and write down any details you can remember about the accident.
Keep track of medical bills and expenses: Keep track of all medical bills and expenses related to your injury. This includes doctor visits, hospital stays, medication, and therapy sessions.
Consult with an experienced TBI attorney: It is important to consult with an attorney who has experience handling TBI cases. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and fight for your rights.
Notify your employer: If your injury occurred at work, notify your employer immediately. You may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits.
Follow your doctor's orders: Follow your doctor's orders and attend all scheduled appointments. This will not only help you recover, but it will also help document the extent of your injuries.
Take care of yourself: Lastly, take care of yourself. Recovering from a TBI can be a long and difficult process. Make sure you are getting enough rest, eating well, and following any other instructions given to you by your medical team.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim after suffering a TBI?
In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those related to traumatic brain injuries (TBI), is generally two years from the date of the injury. This means that you have two years from the date of your TBI to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party.
It's important to note that there may be some exceptions to this rule in certain circumstances, such as when the injury is not immediately discovered or when the responsible party is a government entity. Additionally, waiting too long to file a claim can result in the loss of important evidence and witnesses, which can weaken your case.
For these reasons, it's important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a TBI to determine your legal options and ensure that your rights are protected. They can help you understand the statute of limitations and any exceptions that may apply to your case, as well as gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and pursue legal action if necessary.
What kind of damages can I recover in a personal injury claim for a TBI?
f you have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered. Damages in a personal injury claim related to a TBI can be divided into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are those that are tangible and can be easily quantified. They may include:
Medical expenses: This includes the cost of emergency medical care, hospitalization, surgeries, prescription medication, and ongoing rehabilitation.
Lost income: If your TBI has resulted in you missing work, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, benefits, and future earning capacity.
Property damage: If any of your property was damaged as a result of the accident that caused your TBI, you may be able to recover the cost of repairs or replacement.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intangible and more difficult to quantify. They may include:
Pain and suffering: This includes compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by the TBI, as well as any disfigurement or loss of enjoyment of life.
Loss of consortium: This refers to the loss of companionship and support from a spouse or loved one as a result of the TBI.
Punitive damages: In some cases, a court may award punitive damages to punish the responsible party for particularly egregious conduct, such as in cases of intentional wrongdoing or gross negligence.
The specific damages you may be able to recover in a personal injury claim related to a TBI will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal options and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
How can I prove that my TBI was caused by the defendant's negligence?
Proving that your traumatic brain injury (TBI) was caused by the defendant's negligence can be a complex process, and typically involves gathering evidence to support your claim. Here are some ways that you may be able to prove that your TBI was caused by the defendant's negligence:
Medical Records: Your medical records will likely be a key piece of evidence in your case. They can help to establish the extent of your injuries, the treatments you have received, and the likely cause of your TBI.
Witness Statements: Eyewitnesses who saw the accident occur may be able to provide testimony that supports your claim that the defendant was at fault. You may also be able to use expert witnesses, such as medical professionals or accident reconstruction specialists, to provide additional support for your case.
Surveillance Video: If there is video footage of the accident or its aftermath, this can be used as evidence to support your claim.
Accident Reports: If the police were called to the scene of the accident, their accident report may contain valuable information about the circumstances surrounding the accident, including who was at fault.
Prior Similar Incidents: If there have been prior similar incidents in the same location, this may help to establish that the defendant was aware of a dangerous condition and failed to take steps to address it.
Do I need a lawyer to file a personal injury claim for my TBI?
While you are not required to hire a lawyer to file a personal injury claim for your traumatic brain injury (TBI), it is highly recommended. Here are some reasons why:
Knowledge and Experience: An experienced personal injury attorney has knowledge of the legal system and knows how to navigate the complex process of filing a personal injury claim. They also have experience handling TBI cases specifically, which can be particularly complex.
Maximizing Compensation: An attorney can help you to maximize the compensation you are entitled to. They can help you to identify all of the damages you are entitled to, and they know how to negotiate with insurance companies to get you the best possible settlement.
Leveling the Playing Field: When you file a personal injury claim, you will likely be going up against a team of lawyers representing the defendant. Hiring your own attorney can help to level the playing field and ensure that your rights are protected.
Filing Deadlines: There are strict deadlines for filing a personal injury claim, and failing to meet these deadlines can result in the loss of your right to recover damages. An attorney can help you to navigate these deadlines and ensure that your claim is filed on time.
Handling the Legal Work: Filing a personal injury claim can be time-consuming and stressful. Hiring an attorney can take the burden off of you and allow you to focus on your recovery.
In short, hiring an attorney can help to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you are entitled to for your TBI.
What should I look for when choosing a personal injury lawyer for my TBI case?
Choosing the right personal injury lawyer for your traumatic brain injury (TBI) case is an important decision that can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a personal injury lawyer:
Experience: Look for an attorney who has experience handling TBI cases specifically. TBI cases can be complex, and you want an attorney who has a track record of success in this area.
Reputation: Look for an attorney with a strong reputation in the legal community. Check online reviews, ask for references, and do your research to ensure that the attorney you choose has a good track record.
Communication: Look for an attorney who communicates clearly and regularly. You want an attorney who will keep you informed throughout the legal process and who will be available to answer your questions.
Resources: Look for an attorney with the resources necessary to handle your case. This includes access to medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and other professionals who can provide support for your case.
Personal Connection: Look for an attorney with whom you feel comfortable working. You will be sharing personal information with your attorney and working closely with them throughout the legal process, so it is important to choose someone you trust and feel comfortable with.
By considering these factors, you can choose a personal injury lawyer who is the right fit for your TBI case and who will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
What is the typical timeline for a personal injury claim involving a TBI?
The timeline for a personal injury claim involving a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can vary significantly depending on the individual case's circumstances. Generally, these cases are complex and require extensive investigation and evidence gathering to build a strong case.
It is not uncommon for TBI cases to take longer than other personal injury cases due to the severity of the injuries and the need for careful analysis of the damages. The timeline also depends on how quickly the injured person seeks legal representation and medical treatment, how long the investigation and discovery process takes, and whether the case goes to trial or is settled outside of court.
In some cases, a settlement may be reached within several months to a year after the injury occurred. In other cases, it may take two years to reach a settlement or go to trial. Additionally, if the case goes to trial and the judgment is appealed, the timeline may be further extended.
What happens if the defendant does not have insurance or assets to pay for my damages?
If the defendant in your personal injury case does not have insurance or assets to pay for your damages, it may be challenging to recover compensation for your traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, there may still be options available to you.
If the defendant has no assets or insurance coverage, it may be possible to seek compensation from other sources. For example, if the injury occurred on someone else's property, you may be able to seek compensation from the property owner or their insurance company.
Additionally, if the injury was caused by a defective product, you may be able to pursue a claim against the product manufacturer or seller. In some cases, a TBI may be the result of medical malpractice, in which case the healthcare provider or facility may be responsible for compensating you for your damages.
It is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you explore all available options for recovering compensation. Your attorney can investigate the circumstances of your case, identify potential sources of compensation, and help you determine the best course of action.
If no other sources of compensation are available, it may still be possible to obtain a judgment against the defendant. While it may be challenging to collect on the judgment, it will provide a legal basis for pursuing collection efforts in the future, such as wage garnishment or asset seizure.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Phillips & Associates has been handling TBI cases since 1991, and we have the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
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5850 Canoga Ave., Ste. 400
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
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990 Highland Dr. Ste. 212-D
Solana Beach, CA 92075
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Looking for a personal injury law firm that puts clients first? Look no further than Phillips & Associates - Injury and Accident Attorneys. We're not the kind of firm you'll see advertising on bus benches or billboards - we're the kind you hear about through word of mouth. Our long history of dedication to client service and a track record for producing results has earned us a reputation as one of the most trusted law firms in southern California. We offer free and immediate consultations, so there's no reason not to give us a call and see how we can help you with your personal injury case. Contact us today and let us show you what we can do for you.
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