Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the worst injuries imaginable. Brain injuries can cause many complications, including the inability to return to work, developing chronic neurological conditions, and requiring lifelong medical care.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer from TBIs annually. They also reported over 64,000 people died from TBIs in the United States in 2020.
After a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s carelessness, victims might be able to file a claim or lawsuit to recover damages. Talking to an experienced Palm Beach Gardens personal injury lawyer will help determine if a victim has a valid claim.
Read on to learn who can sue for a traumatic brain injury in Florida.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
TBI is a brain injury sustained when the brain suffers abrupt and severe damage. The two most common causes of TBI are blunt force trauma to the head and penetration of the skull by an instrument.
Symptoms of a TBI
A traumatic brain injury can cause various physical and mental complications. Some symptoms may manifest right away, while others may take days or weeks to show up.
Mild TBI Symptoms
Physical and sensory signs of a mild traumatic brain injury include:
- Vomiting or nausea.
- Drowsiness and fatigue.
- Speech problems.
- Loss of balance.
- Sensory issues like blurry vision and ringing ears.
- Light sensitivity.
TBI victims can also exhibit behavioral issues such as memory and concentration problems, mood changes, and difficulty sleeping.
Moderate and Severe TBI Symptoms
These signs may develop during the first few hours to days after the head injury. Symptoms of moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries might include:
- Loss of consciousness.
- Chronic headache or headache that worsens.
- Vomiting or nausea on many occasions.
- Seizures or convulsions.
- Pupil dilation of one or both eyes.
- Clear drainage from the nose or ears.
- Inability to wake up.
- Weakness or numbness in the fingers and toes.
- Coordination problems.
Infants and young children with brain injuries may be unable to convey their headaches, sensory issues, disorientation, and other symptoms. Look for warning signs such as irritability and disrupted sleep patterns.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries in Florida
Below is an overview of the most common scenarios that may lead to a TBI:
Motor Vehicle accidents
According to the CDC, car accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. Concussions and other forms of TBI are common among drivers and passengers due to the force of a collision. A body’s quick and severe movement during a crash can also cause the brain to shift and sustain damage inside the skull.
Injured drivers and passengers can seek financial compensation for car accidents in most cases. Most vehicle crashes involve driver negligence, such as speeding or inattentive driving. However, vehicle faults, road problems, poor maintenance, and other concerns can also support compensation claims.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Although they appear mild, slips and trips often cause concussions and other forms of traumatic brain injuries. When people fall and bang their heads on the floor or another object, especially when falling backward and hitting the back of their head, they may suffer brain damage.
The property owner may be liable for injuries sustained by visitors due to a fall caused by a hazard on their premises. Any dangerous condition constitutes a hazard, from dim lighting to a lack of safeguards around the pool.
Falling from Height
Unsurprisingly, people who fall from great heights often suffer from brain injuries. Many people who suffer severe head trauma in a fall go on to develop long-lasting emotional and mental scars due to this. Sadly, traumatic brain injuries from high falls are typically deadly, leaving loved ones to deal with the aftermath of someone else’s carelessness.
Construction sites are another dangerous place for workers because of the prevalence of these incidents. Unfortunately, many construction companies do not take the necessary measures to ensure their employees’ safety when working from heights.
Florida had more recreational boating accidents than any other state in 2020. Recreational boaters and those working in marine industries are at high risk of traumatic brain injury. Bumping into onboard items, collisions with other passengers, falls while participating in watersports, and job-related mishaps are all prominent causes of TBI.
In vessel collision circumstances, seeking financial compensation will usually involve submitting a claim with the insurance company of the irresponsible operator. Seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney to determine the next best step.
While it is the responsibility of employers to ensure their workers’ safety by providing a secure workplace and the necessary protective gear, this is not always the case. A workplace accident can cause mild or severe TBI.
TBI from gunshots, attacks with other weapons, and physical altercations can be severe or fatal. Assaults can cause open or closed head injuries and brain damage if victims fall to the ground.
Under Florida law, assault victims and their families have the right to file claims against the perpetrators of their or their loved ones’ assaults.
Who Can Sue for a TBI in Florida?
Brain injuries can have devastating cognitive and physical repercussions, making one unable to work or perform simple duties. As a result, one may be entitled to compensation.
If an individual sustained a TBI because of a negligent individual or company, they might have a claim against the liable party. If the injured person dies or lacks the legal capacity to make decisions, the family can file a claim or lawsuit on their behalf.
When filing a TBI personal injury claim, victims must prove the following elements:
- Duty: They must demonstrate that the party owed a victim a responsibility of care, similar to how drivers have an obligation to others on the road to drive appropriately and prevent accidents.
- Breach of duty: They must demonstrate that the other party violated the duty of care due, such as if a driver fails to cede the right of way and causes an accident.
- Causation: They must demonstrate that the breach of duty caused damage directly and that victims suffered harm because of the party’s actions or inactions.
- Damages: They must demonstrate that they suffered damages and losses from the accident.
Talk to a Palm Beach Gardens personal injury lawyer for the best course of action for seeking recovery through compensation.
Take Prompt Action
A delay in treatment might make proving the cause of brain damage challenging, lowering the injury claim’s value. A significant delay may potentially make bringing the matter to court difficult. The statute of limitations for filing claims for negligent actions in Florida is four years from the date of the accident.
Contact a Florida Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
Contact us for a free and confidential consultation about your legal options if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our TBI attorneys in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, are well-equipped to handle even the most complex situations (by appointment only). To arrange a complimentary consultation, please call our office at (561) 800-8000.