Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are a sudden injury that damages the brain. A brain injury is caused by an outside force, often from a violent blow to the head from a car accident or sports injury. Brain injuries can lead to lifelong disabilities and often require long-term, expensive treatment. When a TBI is suffered because of the negligence of another, a brain injury lawsuit may be an appropriate way to recoup a fair settlement.
Brain injuries are complex; symptoms can vary widely and may not appear right away and the injury can be life altering. Brain injury lawsuits have their own unique characteristics. Here are four things you should know before pursuing a brain injury lawsuit:
Most brain injury lawsuits are based on a legal theory called negligence. In a negligence claim, the person bringing the lawsuit (the “plaintiff”) must prove that the party they are suing (the “defendant”) is at fault for their injury. If you sustained a TBI in a car accident or a slip and fall accident your personal injury attorney would file a negligence action on your behalf.
If your brain injury was sustained as a result of a birth injury or other type of medical malpractice, your attorney would file a medical malpractice suit.
If you suffered a brain injury because of a defective product such as an airbag defect, your injury lawyer may choose to file a products liability lawsuit.
An experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer will be able to determine which type of lawsuit, if any, is appropriate for your claim.
In Washington State, negligence claims have a three-year statute of limitations. This means that the plaintiff has three years to file a claim against the defendant and if you try to file a lawsuit outside the time periods provided by state law, the case will be dismissed. It is in your interest to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury so there is time to gather evidence and interview any witnesses; they may also be able to help you receive appropriate treatment if contacted early on.
Many brain injury patients require ongoing medical care and personal care to help them with everyday tasks that they can no longer take care of on their own. It is important to carefully document all medical bills and treatments and get a thorough calculation of future damages in order to fight for a settlement that will make you whole again after the accident. A qualified personal injury lawyer can help you calculate current and future damages.
While most personal injury cases are settled out of court, it is a personal injury attorney’s job to take a case to trial if a favorable settlement cannot be reached in pre-trial negotiations. If your case goes to trial, you can expect your attorney to call many types of witnesses in order to prove your claim. For example, an expert medical witness may be called to testify about how the brain injury has affected your brain function and what current and future medical treatments you will require while a car accident reconstruction expert may be called to testify that you were not at-fault in the car crash that led to your brain injury. You will want to work with a brain injury lawyer that has a network of experts who can potentially testify at your trial.
In order to maximize the value of your brain injury claim and ensure the best chance of recovery, it is imperative to seek medical treatment immediately after a brain injury, to follow all prescribed treatments, and to document your injuries.
Insurance companies will pounce on any delays in treatment and/or failure to follow or complete a medical treatment plan to reduce the value of a claim.
The personal injury attorneys at Tinker Law Firm have been winning birth injury, medical malpractice, and personal injury cases for individuals and their loved ones in Seattle and across Washington State since 1974. We seek justice for injury victims who have been harmed by preventable medical errors, and the negligent or abusive actions of another. Our clients pay no fees or expenses to file a personal injury claim; our firm advances out-of-pocket expenses and is only reimbursed when we recover a settlement on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims in Washington State have a statute of limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time from the date of the injury.
Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled and experienced injury attorneys.