What to Know About Your TBI Claim
At the Law Offices of Pius Joseph, we understand how devastating a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be. If someone else is responsible for your brain injury, California personal injury law allows you to seek financial compensation from the at-fault party.
For many people, life after a TBI is never the same. As the body’s command center, the brain coordinates vital functions such as breathing and blood pressure as well as complex motor activities, thinking, sensory processing, and emotions. Any blow to the head can lead to permanent damage and long-term disability.
Are you or a loved one living with a TBI? Compensation can help with the high cost of medical bills, lost income, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering that often accompanies a brain injury.
But TBI cases are complex. Brain injuries are sometimes called “invisible injuries” because they cause severe impairments that can’t always be detected just by looking at someone. Obtaining compensation in a TBI claim depends upon getting compelling proof of fault and how the injury has impacted — and will continue to impact — your life.
Need help with a TBI claim in Pasadena? Talk to a Pasadena brain injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Pius Joseph right away. Call or contact us now for a free consultation.
Traumatic Brain Injury Laws in California
California has several laws related to traumatic brain injuries. For example, the state sets limits on how long you have to file a TBI claim.
Brain injuries fall under the umbrella of personal injury law in California. When a negligent individual or other party causes someone’s TBI, the victim typically has up to two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Once this deadline passes, the victim usually loses his or her right to compensation, with a few exceptions.
For example, if medical malpractice caused the TBI, then the injured victim has either three years from the date of the injury (or one year from the time they became aware of the TBI) to file a claim. Yet for claims against a government entity, victims have only six months from the date of injury.
Meanwhile, if the injured person is a minor, the clock to file a TBI claim starts on the day he or she turns 18. A knowledgeable California TBI attorney can help determine which of these timelines might apply to your specific circumstances.
Another California law related to TBI claims is the state’s fault rule. Under this standard, accident victims must prove that someone else caused their TBIs in order to recover compensation. This involves proving both that the other party was liable for your TBI and that they did something negligent to cause it.
For example, if you are injured in a car accident, you must show that the other person had a responsibility to keep you safe and that they violated this duty by doing something negligent that caused the TBI (e.g., driving drunk).
A related rule is California’s pure comparative fault standard, which allows victims to recover compensation even if they partially contributed to the accident. However, whenever a person is partly responsible for an accident, the courts or insurance company will reduce the amount of compensation he or she can receive according to their percent of blame.
Understanding Your Legal Rights After a TBI
TBI victims have a right to pursue compensation when they’re injured because of someone else’s negligence, wrongdoing, or carelessness. These types of injuries often affect victims for the rest of their lives and disrupt the lives of their families. A person with a TBI might not be able to work, finish school, care for children, or even take care of his or her own daily needs.
Brain injuries often significantly impact a person’s relationships as well. Old friends might have trouble connecting with TBI victims because the injury can drastically change the person’s personality and cognitive abilities. It can also change romantic relationships, when a spouse must turn into a caregiver instead of a collaborative life partner.
Additionally, if your loved one died because of a TBI, then you could have a right to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. This type of claim can help surviving family members recover damages to help cover the costs of this tragedy, such as loss of the deceased’s income and burial and funeral expenses.
How to Pursue an Injury Claim for a TBI
To pursue a TBI claim in California, it’s critical to gather evidence to convincingly prove your case. While proof of the cause of your accident is important, it’s also essential to collect evidence to show the severity and the impacts of your injuries. For example, detailed medical records, as well as a note or testimony from your doctor, can help prove that your accident caused your TBI instead of an earlier incident or other condition.
Testimony from friends, family members, colleagues, and specialists can also help you prove the ways that your TBI has changed your behavior, personality, or prevented you from being able to work. They can also testify to the ways the TBI has changed your ability to learn new things or process information, kept you from being able to take part in activities you used to enjoy, or caused other disruptions to your life.
Additionally, it’s critical to keep documentation of the costs of dealing with your injury. Examples include medical bills, pay stubs, financial records, or lists of accident-related expenses. For instance, if you would normally do household repairs or yard work yourself but can longer do these tasks because of the TBI, keep a record of how much you had to pay for replacement services.
Collecting all of this information can be especially overwhelming for TBI victims. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. An experienced brain injury attorney can collect all of the important evidence needed to build a compelling TBI claim on your behalf.
TBI claims can take time because victims typically must negotiate back and forth with the insurance company and potentially even go to court to try to get the money they’re owed. A knowledgeable TBI lawyer can help relieve this stress by handling all the details of your claim for you, so you can focus on the important work of recovering from your accident.
How Much Is the Average Settlement for a Brain Injury in California?
The specific amount of money that you might be able to recover for your case will depend on the severity of your injuries, the total value of the costs of your TBI, who was at fault for the accident, the amount of insurance the liable party has, and other details that are unique to your case.
However, the average settlements in California brain injury cases typically help cover damages such as:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Lost quality of life
- Lost enjoyment of life (e.g., the ability to perform activities you did before the accident, such as sports or other hobbies)
- Lost earning capacity
- Costs for nursing assistants, nurses, adaptive equipment, and rehabilitation
- Disability accommodations
- Pain and suffering, mental anguish, or emotional distress
- Replacement services for things you can no longer do around the house because of your injuries, such as home repairs, childcare, yard work, and cleaning
- Loss of consortium or companionship
How to Prove Injury Was Caused by an Accident
A challenge for any TBI claim is the fact that these injuries often impair the abilities of the key witnesses to the accident — the victims themselves. It’s difficult for an injured victim to provide proof if he or she can’t remember what happened or has lost the verbal or cognitive abilities to explain the accident.
However, experienced TBI attorneys have the skills and resources needed to help gather all the evidence necessary for your claim. For example, they can hire independent consultants, such as medical experts or traffic reconstruction specialists, who can testify to help prove what caused your accident and the corresponding injuries, as well as the limitations you face now.
What the Law Offices of Pius Joseph Can Do for Me
Don’t wait to stand up for your rights after an accident leaves you or a loved one with a TBI. Let the Law Offices of Pius Joseph fight on your behalf to help you get the compensation you deserve. Schedule your free consultation right away.