Suffering from a traumatic brain injury could have long-lasting effects, the consequences of which may be devastating. If you or a loved one suffered from a TBI, contact a Gwinnett County traumatic brain injury lawyer today. An experienced catastrophic injury attorney could help analyze your case and determine if you qualify for compensation. Call today to schedule a consultation.
Basics of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are a major cause of death and disability in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traumatic brain injuries contribute to about 30 percent of all injury-related deaths, and every day over 150 people in the U.S. die from injuries that include a TBI. Moreover, between 2007 and 2013 the rate of TBI-related emergency room visits in the United States increased by 47 percent.
A TBI can be caused by an impact or blow to the head that results in a disruption of the normal functioning of the brain. Some of the leading causes of TBIs include slip and falls, being struck by an object, and automobile accidents. The severity of a TBI can range from mild—like a concussion, for example—to more severe injuries with serious effects. In the same vein, the effects of a TBI may last a few days or for the rest of a person’s life.
How to Prove Negligence TBI Cases
The majority of personal injury claims, including those arising from traumatic brain injuries, are based on negligence. A successful civil claim based on negligence, as the term is defined under Official Code of Georgia §51-1-2, requires the injured party to demonstrate the presence of all four elements of legal negligence in their case:
- Duty of Care
- Breach of Duty
- Causation (actual and proximate)
Each element must be met in order for the plaintiff in a traumatic brain injury case to recover damages from the defendant. A seasoned Gwinnett County traumatic brain injury lawyer could help an injured individual prove negligence in their claim.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a law that prescribes how long an injured party has to bring a legal claim against a defendant following an accident that causes them harm. Georgia law recognizes, though, that some injuries do not present themselves right away.
Therefore, under O.C.G.A. §9-3-33, an injured party has up to two years to file a personal injury claim against a defendant. Furthermore, in some cases, the two years does not start to accrue until the injured party discovers—or reasonably should have discovered—their injury.
Like the rest of Georgia, Gwinnett County has adopted a modified comparative negligence rule set out in O.C.G.A. §51-11-7. To reduce the amount of damages they may have to pay out, the defendant in a traumatic brain injury case could assert under this law that the injured party was also negligent.
Under the rule of comparative negligence, a plaintiff may have their total damage award reduced by the same proportion of fault they themselves bear for the accident that injured them, or for their injuries as a whole. For instance, if the court finds that the plaintiff in a civil suit was 35 percent responsible and the defendant was 65 percent responsible for the accident in question, the amount of damages the injured party could recover would be reduced by 35 percent.
How a Gwinnett County Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Could Help
Suffering from a traumatic brain injury, no matter how mild or severe, can be a very scary and life-altering experience. If you or a loved one suffered from a TBI and believe someone else’s negligence was the cause of your injury, schedule a consultation with a Gwinnett County traumatic brain injury lawyer as soon as possible to start exploring your legal options.