Each year, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), almost a million and a half Americans suffer brain injuries. The causes are myriad – car accidents, sports injuries, slip-and-fall injuries, etc. Lucky people might experience a mild concussion. Those not so lucky could end up with severe brain damage.
If another party’s negligence or misconduct has caused you or a loved one to sustain a brain injury, an attorney who specializes in such cases can help you to obtain compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you believe that someone else is responsible for the brain injury that you or a loved one has suffered, you should seek out a qualified brain injury attorney to discuss your options. Frequently, the party who is at fault will try to have you sign a waiver absolving them from responsibility, or have their insurance company offer you a settlement in order to avoid going to court.
Under no circumstances should you absolve the other party, or even speak with their lawyers. They’re not working for you. Even in cases where you’re dealing with worker’s compensation, you should not act on your own. Brain injury cases are complex, with myriad medical and legal issues, so it’s vital that you have a competent brain injury attorney protecting your interests.
In many cases, the matter will not even go to court. The party that caused your injury can incur a great deal of expense fighting a lawsuit, and if you have proper representation, they may be disposed to offer an out of court settlement. Your lawyer is the best person to negotiate a settlement. And if you do end up going to court, you’ll have someone on your side who has the expertise in the field of brain injury that an attorney can provide.
Building a Case
Brain injury cases are generally built on the legal theory of negligence. This means simply that the other party did something, or failed to do something, and that action or failure was the proximate cause of your injury. Your brain injury attorney will help you to investigate the case and compile all the relevant evidence. That evidence is what you will use in order to prove that you’re entitled to compensation.
To prove liability for your brain injury, your attorney will show the following:
- That the defendant was required to take reasonable care in the circumstances
- That the defendant did not act with reasonable care
- That the defendant’s actions, or failure to act, caused your injuries
- That you suffered losses and injuries that can be measured under the law
In short, your brain injury attorney has to prove that the defendant did or didn’t do something – drove negligently and caused an accident, left his stairs in such poor repair that you fell, didn’t tell you that his pool wasn’t deep enough for diving, left a hammer on a scaffold in such a way that it could fall on you, fed you a noxious substance, or any other negligent activity – and you were injured as a consequence. This type of negligence can be difficult to prove, and with brain injuries, the level of damage (and therefore the amount of the compensation) can be difficult to determine.
If you have sustained a brain injury, an attorney can help you to make the party who caused that injury accountable, and can help you to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. As is the case with virtually any situation where another party has done something to cause you harm, you should not attempt to deal with the matter on your own. Your interests are best protected by retaining a brain injury attorney.