A TBI can turn life upside down in just a few seconds. These injuries can lead to long-term problems that may plague an individual and his or her family for a lifetime, requiring costly care and therapy. Many who have suffered a TBI are frozen with fear and not sure what to do.
If you or someone you love has suffered a brain or head injury, you must get the appropriate legal guidance quickly. Contact The Stoddard Firm, your Atlanta brain injury lawyer,
today at 470-467-2200.
Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries
Mild TBIs Versus Moderate/Severe TBIs: All Can Be Devastating
As with most illnesses and injuries, the seriousness of brain injuries varies considerably. While some are much more severe than others, all can impact your abilities and your life. The following information comes from the Mayo Clinic . . .
Mild TBIs have a broad range of symptoms. These can be categorized as physical, sensory, and cognitive. Physical symptoms include, among others:
- Speech issues
Sensory symptoms include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Bad taste in your mouth
Finally, cognitive symptoms include:
- Any loss of consciousness
- Memory and concentration issues
- Mood swings
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Sleep changes
Those affected by a moderate to severe TBI can experience any of the symptoms listed above.
Additionally, other physical and cognitive issues may appear in the days following the injury. These include, but are not limited to, persistent and worsening headaches, convulsions/seizures, pupil dilation, fluid drainage from ears/nose, and numbness in fingers and toes.
Cognitive symptoms may appear as severe confusion, slurred speech, and atypical behavior. Some individuals with severe TBIs may be in a coma; these injuries can also result in death.
Causes of TBIs
Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most challenging conditions to overcome. They occur when head or neck injuries impact your brain. According to the Mayo Clinic, TBIs can occur after a blow or jolt to the head or body, when an object penetrates the skull and brain, or when the skull is fractured. A TBI can be as simple as a concussion or as serious as a deadly head injury.
The symptoms of TBI may be minor and temporary, or they can be permanent and serious. You should be aware that not all symptoms present immediately. And even mild TBIs, like concussions, can impact your future.
More serious head injuries may cause symptoms that do not appear until days after the accident.
Some TBI victims will experience physical disabilities if the connection between the brain and the body is disrupted. Sometimes TBI patients suffer depression, personality disorders, and detachment disorders. Both the symptoms and consequences of TBIs can significantly impact the quality of life. Extremely serious TBIs are often fatal.
TBI Lawsuits: Recovering Some of What You Have Lost
When TBIs Occur Due to Negligence
If your brain injury was the result of the negligence of another individual or organization, you may be able to file suit for compensation. This situation is not uncommon. When another party is responsible for causing the traumatic brain injury, the injured individual or the affected family has the right to file a personal injury claim. In such circumstances, a lawsuit can secure funds to pay for recovery, long-term care, and other expenses associated with a TBI.
Most brain injury lawsuits are negligence claims. In these situations, the injured victim or their family believes that someone’s inappropriate behavior (or lack of necessary oversight) was to blame for the TBI. That said, you can’t just claim negligence: you must prove it.
An experienced TBI attorney in Atlanta can help determine whether your case qualifies. Basically, to succeed in making a negligence claim, you must be able to prove the following:
- Duty of Care: This means that the person or organization you believe caused your injury had a responsibility to you.
- Breach of Duty: This occurs when the party you believe is responsible failed to exercise reasonable care in fulfilling the duty.
- Cause of Injury: Because of the direct action or inaction of the other party, the injury occurred.
- Damages Occurred: The injuries or losses occurred as a direct result of the negligence and are significant enough to warrant a claim.
Proving negligence can be complicated. Working with a brain injury attorney is critical.
Why Choose Our Brain Injury Law Firm in Atlanta
Our Experience at The Stoddard Firm Benefits You
The Stoddard Firm is a well-regarded personal injury and litigation firm in Atlanta, Georgia. For years we have successfully advocated on behalf of our clients in TBI cases. We strongly believe that those who are negligent in their actions are responsible for making restitution to those who have been injured.
We know how to handle traumatic brain injury cases. We have an in-depth understanding of both the causes and the effects of these injuries, and we are experienced in both negotiating and litigating them. Some of our successes include:
- An $8 million settlement for an individual who suffered serious head injuries from hitting a sprinkler pipe in a parking garage while driving. The judgment was based on The Stoddard Firm’s helping to prove that the parking garage management was negligent by not identifying the sprinkler as a hazard or fixing it.
- A $2.1 million judgment on behalf of an individual who suffered a brain injury as a result of an electrical shock while at work. The Stoddard Firm showed that shock was caused by faulty wiring.
- A $700,000 settlement for an individual who suffered a concussion (and permanent corneal scarring) in an auto accident with a truck. Expert witness testimony was leveraged to prove the depth of the injury.
- A $500,000 settlement for an individual who suffered a brain injury as the result of a fall down a staircase. With expert witness testimony, The Stoddard Firm proved that the staircase was dangerous and did not meet building code requirements.
Our Atlanta brain injury lawyers will do everything within our power to ensure our clients receive the settlement they deserve. We are proud of the success we have had in the past and are confident we will continue to serve our clients well in the future.
How Your Atlanta TBI Lawyers Work
Recovering from a TBI can be complicated, slow, and painful. It is likely to require all of your efforts, not to mention a great deal of assistance from your loved ones. When you engage our TBI attorney, you can rest assured that we will handle everything concerning your case. You can focus 100% of your time and energy on your recovery.
As we plan for your TBI lawsuit, our first step will be to gain a complete understanding of your story. Not only do we want to know how the accident happened, but we also want to understand you. We need to know about your life before the accident as well as what it is like today. And, we also must look to the future.
Insight into the timeline of your recovery and expectations regarding your abilities are crucial to building your case.
We know that TBIs can be “tricky” when it comes to personal injury cases. While the effects of this type of injury can be significant, they are not always visible, and the future is unsure.
It is our job to accurately depict what happened to you, your health today, and how the future looks with regard to both your medical and care expenses and your ability to work. We will conduct a thorough investigation, leveraging expert witnesses in any number of areas (including those in your industry as well as highly regarded physicians and therapists, just to name a few) to paint a clear picture of your life and your future.
Additionally, our brain injury attorney will work with these experts to accurately quantify the costs associated with your injury. We want to make sure that we account for all past and future expenses.
Finally, we will ensure that your claims and any possible lawsuits are filed according to the timelines dictated by Georgia Law.
How Much Can You Expect to Receive in a Brain Injury Case?
No Two Cases Are Identical
It’s not surprising that this is one of the first questions raised by many of our clients. It makes a lot of sense.
Because each case unique, however, we cannot offer a general settlement figure. Much goes into that determination. In Georgia, the law allows TBI victims to be compensated for a range of damages. These include:
- Medical Expenses: With regard to TBIs, medical expenses can be astronomical. Emergency care at the time of the incident, follow-up medical appointments, therapies, rehabilitation services, and medication all must be tracked. Additionally, because the effects of a TBI can be long-lasting (sometimes for a lifetime), it is important to gain an accurate accounting of future medical expenses in addition to those already incurred. Other costs that fall under the umbrella of “medical expenses” are care (both in-home and in-facility) and even specialized transportation.
- Lost Wages (both past and future): Commonly those who experience brain injuries are unable to work, particularly right after the incident. You may be entitled to compensation for the wages you lost while recovering from your injury. Some who suffer from TBI will be unable to work in the same capacity in the future. These injuries are devastating. If this is the case, you may be eligible to be compensated for the future wages you will be unable to earn. Legally, this is known as diminished capacity.
- Loss of Consortium: These damages may be available to the spouse of a person who suffered a TBI. This civil law term is used to identify losses experienced by the spouse of an injured person due to negligence.
- Pain and Suffering: Traumatic brain injuries quite clearly result in tremendous pain and suffering, in both the short and long terms. In addition to physical pain, the injured may face limitations on their abilities. These could result in a reduced quality of life. Compensation for this may be appropriate.
- Punitive Damages: These can be awarded when the negligence was particularly reckless. Designed to punish the at-fault individual or organization, these are only awarded in cases of gross negligence. In some cases, a portion of the punitive damages must go directly to the state. Your brain injury attorney can explain these instances and determine whether your case would be one in which this rule applies. If you have a TBI or love and care for someone who does, you know firsthand that the expenses regarding the injury can be overwhelming.
Get Legal Help to Move Forward After a Traumatic Brain Injury
Understanding the Process
Appreciating how the legal process works in Georgia with respect to TBI and personal injury cases can help you establish realistic expectations. Certain steps must be taken, and the proceedings can be lengthy. While it can be extremely difficult, patience is key. The Stoddard Firm brain injury attorneys will work to make the experience as easy as possible.
As mentioned, when you contact us we will take the time to learn what happened to you.
While our attorneys are aggressive negotiators and expert litigators, they also have a reputation as sympathetic listeners.
They know how important your story is and pay close attention to all that you and your loved ones have to share.
The more information we have, the better equipped we are to advocate for you. Once we have determined that your claim is valid, that your TBI was the result of the negligence of another person, we will begin to work on your behalf.
Our brain injury lawyers will research all aspects of your case, quantifying past, present, and future expenses to determine what we believe is appropriate compensation. Of course, we will attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement. However, if we are unable to reach an agreement, one that compensates you for your past costs, future expenses, and losses, we will go to court. During the hearing we will call expert witnesses, whenever relevant, to provide important information regarding your case.