Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are upsettingly common in Massachusetts and across the United States. More than 50,000 Americans, including more than 2,000 children, die each year as a result of traumatic brain injuries.
Even minor brain injuries can be life-altering. According to recent studies, more than 2.5 million emergency room visits and hospitalizations occur annually because of a head injury and brain trauma. These incidents may result from a variety of causes, including medical malpractice, car collisions, common sporting accidents, and others.
Brain-related issues tend to require specialized and costly treatment. TBIs can be difficult to diagnose and expensive to overcome. Even a seemingly minor brain injury can have lasting effects. Victims may for months or years require expensive treatments and prescriptions.
Since the cost of related treatments is often so costly, TBI insurance settlements and lawsuits can be time-consuming and costly. While these cases may be complex, the keen eye of a Brockton brain injury lawyer can help you cut through red tape and secure the compensation you need. Selecting a trusted personal injury lawyer to represent you or your loved one after a traumatic brain injury may be the most important step you take in your rehabilitation.
If you believe that you are suffering from the effects of a traumatic brain injury due to the fault of someone else, you have the right to hold the negligent party accountable. To get started with a free initial consultation, contact The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan online or by phone today.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries in Brockton
The Centers for Disease Control and the Mayo Clinic both describe a traumatic brain injury as a blow, jolt or penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. A brain injury may be caused by the head striking or being struck by objects. A penetrating injury may be caused by a foreign object, such as a bullet, that penetrates brain tissue.
Common causes of brain injuries include:
- Slip and fall accidents – Falls are the leading cause of TBI in the United States, accounting for almost half of all TBI-related emergency room visits. Falls are much more likely to occur among children and the elderly.
- Striking or being struck by objects – This is the second-most common cause of TBI. This type of injury is often caused by car accidents when victims strike their heads on dashboards or windshields, or have projectiles hit and penetrate the skull.
- Car accidents – As stated above, car accidents are one of the most common causes of TBI. Traffic violations like speeding, running red lights, or driving under the influence of alcohol may cause an accident and result in catastrophic head trauma.
- Truck accidents – Given their size and weight, commercial trucks can impart a tremendous force upon passenger vehicles in an accident. The accident may lead to a severe impact to the head and brain.
- Pedestrian accidents – Pedestrians have no protection when they are struck by a moving vehicle. A pedestrian’s head can easily be severely injured as the pedestrian is struck violently by the vehicle or hits the ground.
- Construction accidents – Construction workers are at risk of TBIs due to falling objects. Other risks are falls from heights and construction vehicle accidents on the jobsite.
- Medical malpractice – Several types of medical malpractice may result in traumatic brain injuries, including failure to properly diagnose a stroke or heart attack, failure to prevent excessive blood loss during procedures, and failure to follow proper intubation procedures.
- Sporting accidents – From 2001 to 2009, more than two million children were treated for traumatic brain injuries as the result of sporting accidents. This alarming trend shows that you don’t need to be in a violent accident to suffer from a TBI.
- Workplace injury – Employers are obligated to provide their employees with safe working conditions and reasonable accommodations. If you suffer an accident due to unsafe working conditions, your employer may be responsible for your TBI and any other injuries you suffer. Recovery for workplace injury claims is generally handled through workers’ compensation.
- Violent assault – Any violent altercation between two or more people has a chance of causing a TBI. Striking a person’s head with fists, limbs, heads, or other objects may result in concussions, internal bleeding or penetrating injuries.
- Product liability – Product manufacturers have these responsibilities: 1) to test any product before release; 2) to manufacture their product according to relevant safety regulations; 3) to accurately market their product; and 4) to provide appropriate operating instructions. For example, if a ladder was not manufactured correctly, a greater risk for a fall accident and a TBI might occur.
- Premises liability – Property owners have a duty of care for people who are on their property. If a business owner does not notify customers of a wet floor in his store, and a patron slips and falls, the owner may be held liable for the resulting TBI or other damages.
How Our Brockton Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Serious Accident
Traumatic brain injuries are often life-altering events. Following such an injury, you may require costly medical care and attention for the rest of your life. You may be out of work temporarily or even permanently. You may be uncertain about how you are going to pay the stack of bills for your treatment.
If you did not cause your injuries, you should not bear the responsibility for paying those medical bills and other expenses related to your injury. The skilled attorneys of The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan can work together with you. We will learn the circumstances surrounding your accident and how your life has changed since your injury. We will then let you focus on your recovery while we handle the legal complexities.
Our Brockton brain injury lawyers will help you with your TBI claim by:
- Investigating the causes, symptoms, and other effects of your injury
- Collecting evidence to prove your injuries and support your claim
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and expert witnesses for supporting statements
- Working with you to understand your circumstances before and after the injury
- Estimating potential future costs, so you never have to pay expenses out-of-pocket
- Dealing with insurance companies to negotiate fair and full settlements
- Taking your case to trial, if the insurance company will not agree to a reasonable settlement
Our goal is to give you peace of mind in knowing that your medical bills will be covered. We do all of this at no up-front cost to you. Because we work on a contingency-fee basis, we only get paid if you win your claim.
Demanding the Compensation You Need After a Brain Injury
To recover damages for an accident that causes a TBI, you must be able to show that the negligent or willful action of another party caused the brain injury. Many symptoms of a traumatic brain injury do not show up until days or weeks after an accident. For that reason, it can be difficult to prove exactly who or what caused your pain and suffering.
Give yourself the best chance at a full recovery by hiring an experienced Brockton personal injury lawyer at our firm. As your aggressive advocate, our brain injury lawyers will help you pursue compensation for these and other kinds of damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
Time Limit for Filing a Brain Injury Claim in Brockton
The deadline for filing a brain injury claim depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident that led to your TBI. In most cases, such as car accidents or premises liability incidents, Massachusetts’ three-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases will apply. This means that most TBI accident victims have three years from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit in civil court.
If your TBI was the result of medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is usually three years as well. However, in some cases the time limit may be extended for as long as seven years. If your TBI was caused by a workplace injury, any compensation you receive will likely come from a workers’ compensation claim. In Massachusetts, a four-year deadline applies to that claim.
Examples of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury usually results from objects striking or bruising the brain, or from the brain hitting the inside of the skull. Even minor forces can cause a human brain to shift in dangerous ways.
Common traumatic brain injuries include:
- Concussions – Often caused by direct blows to the head or whiplash-like injuries
- Brain contusions – Bruises or bleeding from violent impacts or penetration
- Diffuse axonal injuries – From shaking or quick, strong rotations of the head
- Shaken baby syndrome – A tragic type of diffuse axonal injury seen in infants
- Second impact syndrome – Rapid swelling that occurs with multiple concussions
- Penetration injuries – Which may result from bullet wounds or sharp projectiles
- Anoxic or hypoxic injury – Caused by a lack of oxygen or blood flow, respectively
- Severe brain injuries – Such as crushed, ripped, or sheared brain tissue