Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers South Carolina

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In recent years, there has been a lot more attention paid to head injuries. Many states require bicyclists to wear helmets, for example, and there is more conversation about long-term damage to the brain from playing sports like football. This focus on preventing head injuries is incredibly important, as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause serious disability or even death.

A TBI often involves a blow to the head, and can also occur when an object goes through the brain tissue. These injuries are often caused by falls, car accidents, violence, sports injuries, and explosive blasts. If you have been diagnosed with a TBI that was caused by another person’s careless or reckless behavior, then our South Carolina traumatic brain injury attorneys will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.

Based in Simpsonville, the Derrick Law Office advocates for the rights of accident victims throughout the state. We understand how devastating a brain injury can be, and are committed to helping our clients get top dollar for their losses. Reach out to our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries

Our brains are both wonderful and complex. While they are well-protected by our skulls, they are susceptible to injury. There are two primary types of brain injuries:

  1. Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI: this type of injury involves some sort of trauma to the skull. It is often linked with motor vehicle accidents and slips and falls. TBIs can be life-threatening.
  2. Anoxic Brain Injury: this occurs when a person’s brain is deprived of oxygen for a significant amount of time. It may occur due to medical malpractice or other factors.

Concussions are often described as a third type of brain injury. However, a concussion is a mild TBI. While concussions are not likely to lead to death, they should still be taken seriously. If you have suffered any type of blow to the head – including from whiplash in a car accident – then you should seek medical treatment to rule out a more serious head injury.

Most frequently, a TBI is caused by a closed head injury, where a person suffers blunt force trauma to the head without skull penetration. This can cause the brain to swell, leading to further complications. Open head injuries happen when an object penetrates the skull, damaging brain tissue. Coup-contrecoup injuries involve a sudden impact or change in momentum, which causes the brain to collide with the skull at the point of impact and the opposite side. Finally, diffuse axonal injuries involve the brain rapidly shifting inside the skull, creating tears in the nerve tissues.

Doctors will use a variety of diagnostic tests to determine the extent of a brain injury. They typically start with the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), which examines a person’s level of consciousness after a brain injury. Points are assigned based on set criteria, with lower scores indicating a more serious injury:

  • Mild TBI or concussion: a GCS of 13 to 15, with relatively mild symptoms including headache, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, dizziness or loss of balance, sensory problems, loss of consciousness for up to a few minutes, and concentration problems.
  • Moderate TBI: a GCS of 9 to 12, with more serious symptoms. A person with a moderate TBI may experience a persistent headache, loss of consciousness of several minutes to hours, repeated vomiting, seizures, inability to awaken from sleep, profound confusion, slurred speech, and/or a coma.
  • Severe TBI: a GCS of 8 or less, with severe, life-threatening symptoms that are similar to those of a moderate TBI. A severe TBI has the potential to cause death due to brain damage and related complications.

Even a mild brain injury is still a serious injury that requires prompt medical attention. Complications of a TBI can include headaches, vertigo, a vegetative state, paralysis, cognitive problems, and even death. There is also a link between head trauma and certain degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.

Immediate medical treatment can ensure that a person has adequate blood supply to the brain and prevent further injury from the swelling of brain tissues. If you have been hurt in a bike accident, motorcycle accident, fall, or any other type of crash, you should seek medical care as soon as possible.

Can I File a Lawsuit for My Traumatic Brain Injury?

Brain injuries have many different potential causes. It isn’t always possible to file a personal injury claim for this type of case. However, if someone else caused your accident, then you may be able to seek financial compensation.

Brain injury lawsuits often arise from motor vehicle accidents and slips and falls. In these situations, you can file a claim against a person whose negligent or intentional behavior caused your injury.

Negligence is a legal standard that essentially means that a person failed to use the level of care that a reasonable person would use in a similar situation. For example, a person who runs a stop sign and causes an accident would be considered negligent (or careless). Most personal injury lawsuits are based on negligence.

To win a negligence claim, you will need to prove four things: 

  1. That the at-fault party (defendant) owed you (plaintiff) a duty to use reasonable care;
  2. That the defendant violated this duty in some way;
  3. That this violation was the direct cause of your injury or accident; and
  4. You suffered losses (damages) as a result.

Imagine a scenario where you slipped and fell on a wet floor at a store, and hit your head. You may be able to file a personal injury claim against the store owner based on their failure to either clean up the spill or warn customers about it. A South Carolina personal injury attorney can help you determine if you have a potential TBI claim.

In some cases, a brain injury is the result of intentional or reckless conduct – such as a physical assault or a drunk driving accident. You can still file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, in addition to any possible criminal charges that they may face.

Understanding your rights and options when it comes to filing a lawsuit can be difficult, especially if you are dealing with a TBI-related disability. During a free consultation, our Simpsonville personal injury lawyers will listen to your story and offer you legal advice on your rights and options for pursuing a claim. Reach out today to set up an appointment.

Compensation in a TBI Case

Like other types of personal injury cases, you may be entitled to three types of compensation for a brain injury claim: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic and non-economic damages compensate an accident victim for their losses. Punitive damages are awarded as a way to penalize a defendant who acted intentionally or recklessly.

Economic damages pay for direct financial losses. One way of looking at economic damages is that they are the kind of loss that you can more easily document, such as medical expenses, future medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity. 

Non-economic damages pay for indirect losses. They typically don’t come with an invoice but are just as important as economic damages. Non-economic damages may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring, and disfigurement.

Punitive damages are not available in every case. Instead, they may be awarded by a jury in cases involving reckless or intentional conduct (like a drunk driving accident or physical assault). Punitive damages are capped in South Carolina to the greater of $500,000 or three times compensatory damages (economic plus non-economic damages).

Finally, if a person dies as a result of a TBI, then the personal representative or executor of their estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. Any damages that are recovered – such as for funeral and burial expenses, lost financial support, loss of consortium, and medical bills – will go to the deceased person’s surviving family members.

Damages in a brain injury case can often be quite high, given the serious nature of these injuries and the potential for lifelong complications. The key in these cases is to hire a tough, smart lawyer who can hold the negligent party accountable for your losses. If you have suffered a brain injury that was caused by another person, the best way to protect yourself is by hiring a seasoned Simpsonville traumatic brain injury attorney.

How Our Law Firm Can Help

Any type of blow to the head can lead to severe injury, disability, or even death. When a brain injury is caused by another person, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. Through a personal injury claim, you can seek financial recovery – and a measure of justice.

The Derrick Law Office represents accident victims throughout South Carolina who have suffered everything from mild to life-threatening injuries. For each case, our goal is to help our clients get maximum compensation from the insurance company for their losses. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a South Carolina traumatic brain injury lawyer, give us a call at 864-531-7765 or fill out our online contact form.

How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Brain Injury? 

In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is 3 years. With some exceptions, you have 3 years from the date of your accident or injury to file a claim. While this may seem like a long time, it can go quickly when you are dealing with doctor’s appointments and focusing on your health. Contact the Derrick Law Office today to schedule a free consultation with a Simpsonville traumatic brain injury lawyer.

How Can I Pay for a Personal Injury Lawyer for My Case? 

Personal injury law firms handle cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will pay nothing up-front, and will only pay a fee if you recover money through a settlement or verdict at trial. This type of fee agreement means that everyone can afford to hire a lawyer, even if they are out of work and worried about medical bills. Call the Derrick Law Office today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Will My Brain Injury Lawsuit Go to Trial?

Most personal injury claims are resolved outside of the courtroom. Insurance companies know that going to trial is a risk, and are more likely to offer a fair settlement when the accident victim is represented by experienced legal counsel. It may be necessary to file a lawsuit to preserve your legal rights, but most cases will not go to trial. To learn more, reach out to the Derrick Law Office to schedule a consultation with a South Carolina traumatic brain injury attorney.