How Do You Prove a Traumatic Brain Injury in Court?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) impact millions of people’s lives every year. Even “mild” or moderate head injuries can have major consequences for your health. Brain injuries are typically catastrophic in nature, and can result from all types of accidents, such as traffic accidents, slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, and more.
In 2019 alone, 61,000 Americans died from TBI-related causes, equaling about 166 deaths per day. Many others live with disabilities caused by traumatic head injuries or concussions, impacting their ability to function, work, or enjoy day-to-day life.
Traumatic brain injuries could involve:
- Blunt force trauma, concussions, whiplash, brain swelling, or bleeding
- Becoming unconscious, anywhere between a few seconds to days or longer
- Memory loss that can be mild (for a few days) or severe (permanent)
- Difficulty speaking, forming words, or controlling speech functions
- Blindness, vision impairment, or inability to open your eyes
- Loss of motor function, inability to move, or paralysis
- Changes in cognition or personality
TBI often requires intensive medical treatment and even long-term care. If you were left to foot the bill, the cost of treating a traumatic brain injury could drain your savings or even bankrupt your family. If you want to put responsibility where it belongs, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the person (or company) who caused your injuries.
These types of lawsuits help you get monetary compensation for traumatic brain injuries caused by someone else. In order to successfully file a personal injury lawsuit and get a settlement or court judgment in your favor, you must prove that:
- The person responsible for your injury had a duty of care that they failed to meet,
- You suffered personal harm or injury as a result, and
- Their actions actually caused your injuries.
TBI cases are fact-specific. The outcome depends heavily on the unique circumstances of your situation:
- How did your injury happen?
- Who caused it?
- What did you suffer as a result?
All of these questions must be answered with convincing evidence.
So how do you prove a TBI case? What exactly do you need to hold someone responsible for the harm they caused? A personal injury lawyer can help answer these questions and gather the evidence you need to prove your case. Call Wilshire Law Firm 24/7 at (800) 501-3011 or use our online form now to get a FREE consultation of your case.
Proving Your Claims in a TBI Lawsuit
Let’s break down what types of evidence you need in your TBI case.
- You must first prove that you suffered an injury – primarily through medical records. As soon as you see a medical professional, you start a paper trail documenting the injuries you’ve suffered. This evidence can be used in court to back up your claims.
- You must prove the severity of your injury. This determines how much you ultimately get in compensation. Damages in a personal injury case are meant to cover all of your medical bills, even in the future. The more severe your injury, the more costly your treatment is likely to be and the more you should get in a settlement.
- This involves proving the long-term impact of your injury. You must determine whether you’ll need any future surgeries, rehabilitation treatments, assisted care, or in-home care. If your injuries make you unable to work, you must prove how much income you expect to lose over the years so that your settlement our court judgment can cover the cost.
- Finally, you must prove that your injury was caused by the accident or incident related to your claim. This is why it's so important to see a doctor right after you suspect you've been injured. The longer you wait to get a proper diagnosis, the more challenging it can be to tie the injury to your accident.
How much of this evidence will you need? As much of it as you can get.
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury because of an incident such as a traffic accident, you’ll probably end up dealing with an insurance company in your case. Despite what they say in all their commercials, insurance companies are not on your side. An insurance company’s first priority is their profit margin, which is negatively affected with each claim they pay out.
In fact, insurance companies will usually reach out with a low settlement offer early on after your accident, hoping you’ll settle for much less than you’re actually owed. (Read this article to learn the 10 tricks car insurance companies use to mislead people.)
Talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you avoid becoming a victim of these predatory practices. Instead, your attorney can help you put forth your strongest possible case.
You can build a stronger case with more evidence. If you can convince an insurance company that they will lose to you in court, they will often make a better settlement offer. At Wilshire Law Firm, our lawyers help clients get the evidence they need to win.
What Kind of Evidence Can You Use in TBI Cases?
Traumatic brain injuries aren’t as obvious as cuts or broken bones, which is why they can go undetected for years. To make matters worse, even the medical establishment still has a lot to learn about how head injuries, concussions, and TBI affect health.
Evidence in a traumatic brain injury case could include:
- Medical images such as CT scans, MRI scans, or x-rays
- Brain mapping, diagrams, or computer simulations
- Intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring to determine any brain swelling
- Diagnostic tests that determine your level of mental function, physical function, cognitive ability, information processing skills, speech control, and motor skills
- Witness testimony from both eyewitnesses and TBI experts
- Medical experts like neuropsychologists, neurologists, or rehabilitation doctors
- “Before and after” witnesses who can testify about how the injury has affected your life
- Testimony from mental health experts like psychologists and psychiatrists
A traumatic brain injury can affect not only your cognitive and physical functions but also your personality and memories. You may become unable to work. Such changes can be devastating for you and your family, not just financially but emotionally, too.
Our team at Wilshire Law Firm wants to be here for you and your family so you don’t have to deal with the aftermath of a brain injury alone. Let us help you evaluate your case and your legal options for recovery!