Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are unfortunately common and can have a devastating impact. Severe brain injuries can result in loss of cognitive functioning, speech and mobility problems, personality changes, and other life-altering conditions.
Those who suffer from traumatic brain injuries, and their families, might be able to seek damages from negligent parties who caused the accident that led to the injury. It is best to consult a local catastrophic injury lawyer right away to explore your legal options.
Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, TBI results from a violent collision with the head, which causes the brain to smash against the skull. TBI also can happen when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain. There is no effective way to repair brain damage, so treatment focuses on preventing further damage and helping the patient learn to adapt to their new condition.
A simple concussion is a mild form of TBI. Even a concussion that resolves quickly and seemingly without complications can lead to lingering symptoms and disabilities. Headaches, blurred vision, changes in sleep patterns, ear ringing, and decreased attention span are some effects of mild TBI that may persist and diminish the quality of life.
A severe TBI completely changes a person’s life forever. They may have seizures, loss of coordination, speech problems, numbness, constant nausea, sensory loss, and personality changes such as increased agitation, confusion, aggression, or socially inappropriate behavior.
The Statute of Limitations in Clayton County
Like all states, Georgia sets a time limit for an injured claimant to file a claim for damages against the negligent party that caused them harm. The statute of limitations ends two years after the date of the accident. Additionally, if the spouse of an injured person wishes to seek damages for their inability to fully participate in family life—an action called “loss of consortium” —they have four years to bring that action.
Deadline to File Against a Governmental Entity
The statute of limitations is less than two years if the state government, or a county or municipality within the state, is a potential defendant in a lawsuit. This might happen if an accident occurred on government-owned property, or if the actions of a government employee contributed to the accident while they were acting within the scope of their employment. In these cases, the claimant has only a few months to notify the government that they have a claim.
Consulting a seasoned attorney as soon as possible after an accident could keep a claimant from missing important deadlines.
Damages Available for TBI Cases
If negligence caused or contributed to an accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury, the injured person and their family could seek monetary damages. Damages are meant to compensate the injured person for the costs associated with their injury but not all compensatory damages have a clear price tag. A local lawyer could help ensure that a claimant sought all the damages they were eligible to receive. Compensatory damages may include:
- Medical expenses associated with the injury, including co-payments, emergency services, diagnostic tests, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and all other past and future medical costs;
- Wages, the value of sick time or vacation time used during recovery, lost opportunity costs, and compensation for diminished future earning capacity;
- Costs of any rehabilitation services or accommodations;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish; and
- Loss of consortium.
There is an opportunity for claimants to be awarded punitive damages in certain cases. The claimant’s attorney must be able to show that a liable party acted intentionally to harm the plaintiff or acted with disregard for the claimant’s safety, knowing that the risk of harm was high. Drunk driving and intentional assaults are examples of situations where punitive damages might be available.
A Clayton County Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Could Fight for You
After receiving a TBI, your energy should be focused on the recovery process instead of legal action. Claimants and their families need to take time to learn what the long-term impacts of a traumatic brain injury will be and how best to cope with them.
Getting a legal professional to work on your case while you concentrate on recovery is a wise emotional and economic decision. To get a free analysis of your legal options, contact a Clayton County traumatic brain injury lawyer today.