Few injuries are as life-threatening or as catastrophic as traumatic brain damage. With the brain being the most complex organ in the human body, when involved in an accident, brain injuries can ultimately be permanent or even fatal.
Those who have suffered debilitating brain trauma may have the right to compensation for their damages. An experienced Florida brain injury lawyer at Luhrsen Goldberg is here to help injury victims and their surviving family members demand justice. With our personal injury team advocating for our client’s rights, they can devote themselves to recuperating and medical treatment while we work on building a powerful case against the liable party.
Contact our office for a 100% free consultation today to learn more about how to recover compensation following a traumatic brain injury, the value of personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims, and what to do next.
What to Do in the Aftermath Of a Brain Injury
The minutes, hours, and days after a brain injury could have a substantial impact on a person’s ability to recover the compensation they are entitled to. Fortunately, having the reputable brain injury lawyers at Luhrsen Goldberg advocate for survivor’s rights can make all the difference. Immediately after the accident, there are specific steps that can help brain injury victims increase their chances of winning their case. These include the following:
Call Emergency Responders
Always call emergency responders for help. When brain injury victims call 911 and get law enforcement officials at the accident scene, police reports will be filed. The police report will contain valuable information about conditions at the accident scene, surrounding property damages, the survivor’s injuries, and include other valuable information that can prove negligence and liability.
If the at-fault party tries to convince the brain injury victim that they do not need to call the police, brain jury victims should remain firm in their decision to notify law enforcement. Otherwise, liable parties could use this as an attempt to avoid being found culpable for the victim’s damages.
Collect Evidence if Possible
Brain injury victims should also do everything possible to collect evidence at the accident scene. This might include writing a detailed account regarding how the accident happened, the extent of the victim’s injuries, taking photos of surrounding property damages and injuries, and securing the names and contact information of all involved parties, including witnesses.
Get Medical Treatment
It is also imperative to obtain a medical evaluation and treatment where necessary. Traumatic brain injuries can be life-threatening. Injury victims do not always know the full extent of the trauma they have experienced until the adrenaline coursing through their bodies settles down. Failure to obtain medical treatment could result in a worsening injury that could be fatal if left untreated.
It is also crucial to get medical help to build a compelling case for compensation. The amount of compensation injury victims are awarded is based on the extent to which their lives have been affected by the injuries they sustained. Getting medical help can prove the extent of the injury victim’s damages.
Brain injury survivors who do not get medical attention immediately after the accident may be at risk. Liable parties will likely argue that injury victims are exaggerating the extent of their injuries or that their injuries occurred in another way, as they did not require or obtain medical treatment right after the accident. All this can be avoided by getting medical attention as soon as possible after the incident.
Call a TBI Lawyer for Help
Our brain injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting injury victim’s rights to compensation and justice. Those dealing with the trauma of a brain or head injury may benefit from the experience and support of a personal injury lawyer.
While victims start to rebuild their lives, our law firm can open up an in-depth investigation into the cause of the accident, figure out who should be held accountable, and take over the negotiations with the insurance company. In some cases, brain injury victims can settle with the insurance company or liable party without going to court. However, our team will be ready to move forward with a brain injury lawsuit should it become necessary.
Common Accidents Causing Brain Injuries in Florida
Brain injuries can happen in virtually any type of accident or incident. However, for victims to be entitled to compensation, someone else must be responsible for causing their injuries. Some types of accidents are known for resulting in traumatic brain injuries more often than others.
Some examples of such events and accidents include:
- Car accidents
- Construction accidents
- Bus accidents
- Slip and falls
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Work-related accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dog bites and attacks
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
- Wrongful death
Brain injury victims should not lose hope if they are injured in another type of accident that was not included in the list above. This is not an exhaustive list of accidents that can cause brain trauma. As long as another party’s negligence is the cause of the brain injury victim’s damages, the victim can be awarded for their suffering.
Proving Negligence and Liability for Damages
The only way a brain injury victim can recover compensation when filing a personal injury lawsuit is by proving the defendant’s negligence and liability. To do this, the traumatic brain injury lawyer must demonstrate how the elements of negligence have been met. These elements include:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
The evidence presented at trial must show how the defendant owed the brain injury victim a duty of care and subsequently breached that duty. The traumatic brain injury attorney will be responsible for showing how the defendant’s duty breach was the proximate cause of the injury victim’s damages.
Not every brain injury victim will be entitled to compensation. Only those who can show that their lives have been substantially affected by the accident or their brain injuries will qualify.
Compensating Brain Injury Victims in Florida
Florida brain injury survivors have the right to total financial compensation. Brain injury victims should be awarded for every single way their lives have been affected by the injuries they sustained and the accidents that caused them.
There are several ways to go about demanding the compensation brain injury victims deserve. Most often, survivors will file insurance claims or file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Filing an insurance claim may be possible if the at-fault party has insurance coverage in place. Injury victims who purchased no-fault protection coverage may have the option of filing a claim against their own insurance policies. However, insurance is rarely enough to fully compensate survivors for the damages.
Insurance will generally only pay out up to the highest limits of the policyholder’s policy, which means victims may have remaining damages after an insurance payout. Furthermore, insurance typically only provides compensation for medical bills, personal property damages, and in some instances, lost wages. For this reason, it is almost always in the brain injury victim’s best interests to prepare to go to trial.
Filing a civil lawsuit is another way injury victims can fight to recover total compensation for their damages and suffering. Traumatic brain injury lawyers are tasked with reviewing survivor’s economic and non-economic damages to calculate the value of the personal injury claim.
In civil court, brain injury victims have the right to be made whole or awarded compensation for every single loss related to their injuries. Some examples of the economic and non-economic damages that may be recoverable include:
- Mental anguish
- Emotional trauma
- Disfigurement and skin scars
- Loss of consortium, including an intimate spousal relationship
- Physical suffering and chronic pain
- Loss of future potential earnings
- Personal property losses
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of household services
- Anticipation and apprehension
- Shock, fear, and indignity
- Loss of employee benefits
- Increases to insurance premiums
- Damage to credit scores
- Personal and professional reputational damages
How to Deal With the Insurance Company
Dealing with the insurance company is one of the most difficult elements of the brain injury claims process. Survivors may be dealing with severe emotional trauma and physical injuries that require 100% of their attention. Traumatic brain injury attorneys can take over the insurance claims processes on the victim’s behalf. This way, individuals dealing with brain injuries can focus on recuperating while our team builds a compelling case against the responsible party.
Remember, insurance companies make money by paying out as little as possible on claims and bringing in as much as possible in premiums. When filing a claim with the insurance company, injury victims can expect the insurer to blame them for the accident, potentially misrepresent the policy terms, or even delay the processing of the victim’s claim. To protect themselves, survivors can get help from a legal advocate who understands insurance company tactics and how to challenge them.
Essential Florida Personal Injury Laws Impacting Brain Injury Victims
Several tort laws in the state of Florida could have a significant impact on the ability to recover compensation after an accident caused by another party’s negligence. The TBI lawyers at our firm will analyze the specific circumstances of our client’s cases to determine which laws are relevant and how to ensure they do not impact the brain injury survivor’s right to total compensation for their damages.
The Statute of Limitations
Florida’s personal injury statute of limitations used to be some of the most victim-friendly laws across the United States. However, that has all changed as of March 2023. In 2023, Governor DeSantis passed legislation that changed the amount of time injury victims have to file their claims.
According to the new statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in Florida, survivors have only two years from the accident day to file suit. Previously, injury victims would have up to four years from the accident date. There may be certain circumstances that allow the statute of limitations to be temporarily paused. This is often seen in cases where injury victims are minor children or victims are not diagnosed with injuries related to their accident until a later date.
Failure to file a personal injury lawsuit before the statute of limitations deadline will most certainly result in brain injury victims being prohibited from moving forward with their case.
Modified Comparative Negligence
The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is not the only law to have changed as of 2023. Shared liability laws in Florida have also been updated. Previously, when injury victims shared the blame for the accident they were involved in or the injuries they suffered, under pure comparative negligence laws, they would still be entitled to compensation for their damages but at a reduced rate. The amount that would be deducted from their settlement would correlate with their percentage of liability.
However, Florida legislators made changes to these laws. Now, injury victims follow a modified comparative negligence system. There is a 50% threshold, so if injury victims are more than 50% responsible for the accidents they are involved in or the injuries they are diagnosed with, they will not be entitled to compensation for their damages.
As long as their portion of blame is less than the bar, they can still receive a brain injury award with a shared fault deduction. Having an experienced TBI attorney can ensure that liability is accurately evaluated so injury victims are not taken advantage of by profit-motivated insurance companies and liable parties.
Connect With Our Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys Today
It is easy to feel overwhelmed after suffering a permanent disability or catastrophic injury. But that does not mean the liable party should get away with their negligence. Brain injury victims and their surviving family members can fight for justice and get the support they need when they need it most.
With help from our experienced TBI attorneys at Luhrsen Goldberg, injury victims can demand maximum financial compensation. Those who are ready to take back control of their lives but are unsure of where to begin can reach us through our convenient contact form or by phone to schedule a 100% free consultation today.