Yes, the victim can sue for traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a car crash only if the accident was caused owing to the negligence or wrongdoing of someone else.
To file a personal injury lawsuit, you need to prove that the other driver must drive safely and have breached that duty by acting negligently. If the liability is of another driver, they need to provide compensation for the damages. Moreover, it is the other driver’s negligence that caused the TBI. The victim also needs to prove the severity of the damages, which includes lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering, to pursue compensation.
To prove negligence, you must collect significant evidence, including witnesses’ statements, expert testimony, police reports, and medical records. Sometimes, it gets challenging to determine negligence in truck accident cases. The insurance company may try to compensate you for your damages without going to court.
What is a TBI After a Car Collision?
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) refers to unexpected damage that has been caused by a blow to the head or by a jolt. A car accident TBI will dislocate the normal functioning of the brain, thereby leading to amnesia, bleeding, torn tissues, and loss of consciousness.
The damage that is caused due to immediate effect is referred to as a primary injury. These types of injuries generally impact the specific lobe of the brain and even can affect the entire brain in some cases. In other cases, the skull may get fractured.
The brain may, at times, undergo a delayed trauma or may swell, which may lead to a reduction in the oxygen flow of the blood. This is known as a secondary injury. (Learn more on brain swelling after a car accident) Secondary injuries are known to cause severe damage to the brain in comparison to primary injuries.
Types Of Accidents Cause A Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain damage after a car accident may depend on several factors, such as the nature of the injury and the force with which it is caused. Some common collisions that may lead to brain trauma are:
- Motor vehicle accidents: Accidents that involve cars, motorcycles, trucks, bicycles, and pedestrians may lead to traumatic brain injury to the passengers, walkers, and drivers. In extreme cases, it may even lead to wrongful death. (Get more information on Is A Wrongful Death Settlement Taxable?)
- Sports injuries: Some sports that may cause brain trauma are soccer, baseball, boxing, hockey, and others. Sports injuries are mostly found in youth.
- Blasts: Blasts can result in TBI and generally affect military personnel and veterans. The brain functioning gets affected as the pressure wave of an explosion crosses the brain.
- Falls: Falls can affect every age group, such as young adults and older people, and can cause brain injury. (Get detailed insights on what to do after a slip and fall)
- Assaults: Physical assaults, gunshots, and other violence can also cause traumatic brain injury. (Learn more about what felonious assault is)
Some other causes of TBI include penetrating wounds, severe blows, and collisions with objects.
Symptoms Of A Traumatic Brain Injury
The symptoms of TBI can range from mild to moderate and severe. However, it may vary depending on the impact and force of the crash. In some cases, symptoms may begin to appear immediately after the collision, whereas in others, it may take months or years.
Mild brain trauma symptoms are
- Headache (Learn more on headaches after car accidents)
- Memory loss
- Blurred vision
- Mood or behavioral changes
Some brain injuries may cause life-long impairment. In such cases, the cognitive and psychological functioning of the brain is affected. Other symptoms of brain injury are:
- Dilation of the pupils of the eyes
- Inability to awaken from sleep
Fundamental Types Of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Fundamentally, brain injuries may be categorized into two:
- Closed brain injury
- Penetrating brain injury
- Closed brain injuries: They occur when there is no breakage in the skull. It means that no penetrating injury has happened in the brain. In this type, the brain shakes violently, leading to forward and backward movement. Extreme sports can cause this type of injury, falls, and car accidents.
- Penetrating brain injury: These types of injuries are also called open-head injuries. In this type, an object penetrates the skull, resulting in brain damage.
Other types of TBIs are concussions, contusions, diffuse axonal injury, hematoma, and traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Who Is At Risk For Traumatic Brain Injuries?
People who are most at risk of brain damage from car accidents are children. They may be newborns to 4 years, youth from 15 to 24 years, and 60 and older.
What damages can you pursue in a TBI lawsuit?
The injured party can pursue economic and non-economic damages from the liable party or parties. Depending on the severity of your injury case, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for the following:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Long-term treatment expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
To seek compensation in a brain injury lawsuit, you must prove that:
- You are suffering from a brain injury
- You do not have a pre-existing injury
- Your injury was caused due to the negligent action of another entity or person
Suffering From TBI After Car Accidents? Contact An Attorney
An experienced car accident lawyer will gather evidence to strengthen your accident claim and represent you in court. They will also help to negotiate with the insurance companies and understand the legal complexities.