Brain Injury Accidents in Bradenton
If you suffered a brain injury in Bradenton as the result of someone else's negligence or recklessness, you're almost certainly losing work (and income), paying thousands in immediate and future medical bills (if not millions), and suffering from personality and emotional changes because someone damaged the organ that regulates and establishes those sides of you.
Maybe a loved one suffered a brain injury in Bradenton, and you're struggling to care for that person. You're losing work because your loved one cannot care for him or herself, and you can't afford to pay for care in an assisted or supervised living facility in Bradenton. What's more, you're suffering because you're not professionally or emotionally equipped to deal with the intensive care of someone who suddenly has such profound special needs.
In these situations, you can pursue compensation for your expenses with the help of the compassionate Bradenton Brain Injury Lawyers at the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. Our Bradenton brain injury attorneys have years of experience helping people just like you.
We Have a History of Achieving Results for TBI Victims
Our law firm will fight to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. We work diligently to bring TBI victims and their families the compensation they need and deserve during this unimaginable time. We have helped numerous TBI clients recover compensation. Some of these case results are:
- $3.85 million for a truck accident victim who suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2018
- $1.75 million for a truck accident victim who suffered a shoulder injury and a mild TBI in 2015
- $1 million for a victim of a motorcycle accident with a TBI, date confidential
While there can be no guarantee of compensation, our legal team will make every effort to get you just and proper compensation.
Read on for more information about brain injuries and the damages our Bradenton brain injury lawyers would like to help you recover if someone else's negligence played a role in your situation.
Brain Injuries Cause Severe Problems
A Bradenton man was recently sentenced to five years in prison after a car accident that resulted in a teenager suffering a brain injury. The accident occurred when the man turned his 2003 Kia Sedona left into the path of a 2018 Audi A3. The 19-year-old driver of the Audi attempted to avoid the collision, but the Kia struck the left rear of the Audi, causing it to roll over several times into a hotel parking lot. The teen was severely injured and the man who caused the accident fled the scene. State troopers searched for him for days before finally locating and arresting him on charges of leaving the scene of a crash and driving without a valid driver's license.
The teen, who was a student at Lakewood Ranch High School, spent weeks in the ICU and continues to recover. His father says that his son's life was forever changed by the accident. This is a common realization for the families of individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury is the result of a violent jolt or blow to the head or body. The injury can happen when an object penetrates the skull or it can involve “closed” head trauma. Any type of brain injury can result in chronic pain and permanent memory impairment or other lifelong impacts to brain function.
The most common causes of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Slip and fall accidents, which are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, particularly in small children and older adults.
- Intentional acts, such as assaults or gunshot wounds. Shaken baby syndrome is a traumatic brain injury in an infant as a result of being violently or forcefully shaken by a caregiver.
- Motor vehicle accidents, including involving car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
- Workplace injuries. One of the most common types of workplace accidents that can result in brain injuries is falls. Another is being struck by or against objects or equipment.
- Military incidents, including explosive blasts.
Some brain injuries lead to a loss of consciousness. If the loss of consciousness lasts for more than 24-hours, the unconscious state is known as a coma. Many individuals acquire other loss-of-consciousness disorders due to the injury to their brains, including a vegetative state in which the person has no awareness of their surroundings, or a minimally conscious state in which the individual has varying levels of awareness. The impacts of a brain injury can vary and depend on which section of the brain suffered the injury, and which side of the brain was injured.
The brain is divided into functional sections, called lobes. Each lobe controls different signals to different parts of the body.
The lobes of the brain, their function, and the deficits that may result due to injury include:
- Frontal lobe: The frontal lobe controls functions such as concentration, the ability to pay attention, the ability to speak, awareness of abilities and limitations, personality, emotions, and the ability to control behavior. Frontal lobe injuries often result in deficits in the injured person's ability to control their emotions and behavior, as well as difficulties with recollection and speaking.
- Parietal lobe: The parietal lobe controls functions such as sense of touch, depth perception, identification of sizes, shapes, and colors, and visual perception. Parietal lobe injuries often result in difficulties with the five senses: touch, taste, sound, sight, and smell.
- Occipital lobe: The occipital lobe controls vision. Individuals suffering an injury to this part of the brain can have difficulty seeing and perceiving the size and shape of objects.
- Temporal lobe: The temporal lobe controls memory, the ability to understand spoken or written language, sequencing, hearing, and organization. An individual suffering a temporal lobe injury will likely have difficulty with communication and memory.
- Cerebellum: The cerebellum controls balance and coordination, skilled motor activity, and visual perception. An individual suffering an injury to this area of the brain often will experience difficulties with balance, movement, and coordination.
- Brainstem: The brainstem controls involuntary responses such as breathing, the sleeping and waking cycle, consciousness, and heart rate. Brainstem injuries often result in death as the individual's body may no longer engage in life-sustaining involuntary bodily functions without mechanical assistance.
In addition to the lobes, the brain is divided into two halves, which also each control specific traits:
- Traits of the left side of the brain include: Analytical, logical, precision, and literal understanding. Injuries to the left side of the brain can result in difficulties speaking and understanding language, impaired logic, and emotional states such as anxiety or depression. Because the left brain controls the right side of the body, a person who suffers a left brain injury may also experience diminished control or function on the right side of the body.
- Right brain traits include: Creativity, intuition, empathy, and figurative thinking. Individuals with a right brain injury may experience deficits in their visual memory and experience visual-spatial impairment. They can also exhibit a decreased awareness of deficits, lost big picture thinking, and lost control on the left side of their bodies.
What Complications Can Brain Injuries Cause?
Because of the many complications that can arise from a brain injury and the likelihood of permanent deficits, brain injuries are among the most serious—and expensive—injuries one can experience.
Some complications brain injury victims commonly experience include:
- Fevers and infection: Infection is a common occurrence for individuals with brain injuries who can't care for themselves or to let others know when they don't feel well. Some usual suspects when it comes to infection after a brain injury include infections of the lungs and the bladder. Other conditions, including blood clots, may also result in a fever. Sometimes fevers occur because the brain's ability to control the body's temperature has been damaged.
- Blood clots: Deep vein thrombosis, which is clotting in the deep veins of the legs, can result in a life-threatening condition known as a pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a blood clot in the leg breaks free and travels to the lungs. Nearly 40 percent of individuals suffering a moderate or severe brain injury will experience blood clots.
- Seizures: About half of all individuals who suffer a penetrating head injury will suffer seizures, along with about five percent of those with closed head injuries. Seizures involve the brain taking action on its own. The location and the severity of the seizure depend on the part of the brain where this occurs. Not all seizures involve violent shaking. Some seizures result only in an abnormal sensation in the body or a lapse in mental function.
- Fluid buildup on the brain, also known as hydrocephalus: This build-up of fluid places pressure on the brain and can result in symptoms such as difficulty staying awake and alert. Often, hydrocephalus requires surgical placement of a shunt to drain this excess fluid.
- Heterotopic ossification: This condition occurs in between 10 and 20 percent of those suffering from moderate or severe brain injuries, and involves an extra bone growing in the body. These bones generally develop in the large joints of the hips or shoulders, and result in swelling and lost range of motion.
- Spasticity: This condition refers to the involuntary tightening of muscles in part of the body such as the arms. Because of this intense muscle tightening, this condition often results in chronic pain and the victim's inability to use that body part.
How Much does a Bradenton Brain Injury Cost?
The brain has a limited ability to heal itself, which means that brain injuries frequently lead to permanent deficits and complications that can continue over the injured person's lifetime. The lifetime costs of medical treatment for traumatic brain injuries are generally between $85,000 to $3 million.
Unfortunately, medical expenses aren't the only ones that people with brain injuries may need to shoulder. Other expenses can include paying for someone to help with household chores and personal care, mobility devices such as wheelchairs or rockers, and home modifications to accommodate the injured individual's disabilities. For some, expenses can even include the price of a long-term skilled nursing facility.
Compounding the steep cost of living with a brain injury is the fact that many injury victims cannot continue working in the same job they held before the injury, and some cannot work at all. Sixty percent of adults who have suffered a traumatic brain injury are unemployed two years after the injury occurs.
More than half of the homeless population in the U.S. has suffered a brain injury, although it is unclear how many of those individuals acquired the injury while being homeless and how many became homeless due to the extreme financial and emotional pressures injured people and their families must shoulder.
Beyond the financial costs, brain injuries can result in mental and emotional costs, as well. The injury often impacts every part of an individual's life.
- Family relationships become strained if the injured person's spouse or children must take on a role of caregiver.
- Spouses often struggle to resume intimacy with their brain-injured partners due to hormonal changes after the injury that may result in changes in the injured person's sex drive or their ability to have sexual relations at all.
- Children who return to school after a brain injury often struggle to understand or complete tasks, and the damage caused by their injuries can become even more apparent as they continue to grow and develop.
- Friendships fall away as people find that they don't have much in common with their friend who is now suffering from the effects of a brain injury.
What Compensation Is Available to Bradenton Individuals With Brain Injuries?
If you or your loved one have suffered a brain injury due to careless, reckless, or intentional actions committed by someone else, it may be possible to recover the expenses you face through a personal injury lawsuit. This civil action is used to obtain compensation from the liable party for expenses and non-economic impacts that were a result of the injury. In Florida, personal injury lawsuits generally must be filed within four years after the date the injury occurred.
Some of the compensation victims and their families may recover through this process include:
- Medical expenses, including emergency treatment at the scene of the accident as well as the hospital emergency department, transport to the hospital, physician services, diagnostic testing, surgical services, hospitalization, prescription medication, physical therapy, rehabilitation, mobility devices such as wheelchairs or walkers, and ongoing treatment of complications that are likely to arise in the future.
- Modifications to the injured person's home to accommodate their injury, such as wheelchair ramps, lowered counters, or roll-in showers.
- Lost wages due to being too injured to work.
- Lost future earning capacity if the injured person cannot work at all or can't earn the same income as they were earning before the accident occurred.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Mental distress.
- Loss of consortium, which is the loss of physical intimacy and companionship suffered by the brain-injured individual's spouse.
What Compensation Options Do You Have If You Suffered a TBI in a Car Crash?
Under Florida Statutes § 627.737, Bradenton residents injured in car accidents can pursue the at-fault party in a third-party liability claim for the full scope of their injuries and losses if they meet the serious injury threshold. You can seek the full amount of medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering if one of the following is true:
- You suffered significant and permanent impairment.
- You have permanent injuries within a reasonable degree of probability, meaning it is likely the injury is permanent.
- You suffered severe scarring and disfigurement.
- Death occurred (in the case of a wrongful death claim).
Given the severity of TBIs, those who suffer from them are generally able to file a third-party liability claim against the at-fault party in a car accident.
Other routes toward compensation include:
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
In the event the other driver is not insured, you may be able to file a claim with your own uninsured motorist protection (UM). You can collect damages for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering up to your policy limits.
Pursuing Compensation from At-Fault Drivers with No Insurance
You have the option to sue the at-fault driver personally to cover your losses if they don't have insurance, their coverage is insufficient, or your UM doesn't cover everything. The Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles can enforce your judgment for compensation by suspending the defendant's license if you win and they do not pay.
Our traumatic brain injury lawyer serving Bradenton will work with you to determine the best option for your financial recovery if you were in a car accident.
Bradenton Brain Injury FAQs
What Are the Different Types of Brain Injuries?
Two types of acquired brain injuries are not the result of degenerative, congenital, or hereditary causes and don't occur during childbirth. These acquired brain injury types include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, which often result from falls, motor vehicle accidents, assaults or abuse, sports and recreational activities, or military actions.
- Non-traumatic brain injuries, which are caused by conditions such as strokes, infectious disease, seizures, electric shock, toxic exposure, neurotoxic poisoning, lack of oxygen due to drowning or choking, or drug overdose.
Who Is Most Likely to Suffer a Brain Injury?
Roughly 2 percent of the U.S. population is living with the long-term consequences of a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries can occur with any type of activity that results in a blow or jolt to the head or body.
This injury can happen to anyone. However, some individuals are more likely than others to suffer a traumatic brain injury, including:
- Adults over the age of 60. Older adults have a higher likelihood of suffering a brain injury as a result of a fall. Falls are the most common cause of brain injuries.
- Young children, aged 4 years or younger. Falls are also the most likely culprit for brain injuries in this age category. Children can also suffer brain injuries as a result of shaken baby syndrome, which occurs when someone shakes the baby violently, generally to get the child to stop crying.
- Males in any age group. Males account for around 80 percent of all new brain injuries each year.
- Military service members who are deployed to combat zones where they are likely to experience explosive blasts or other situations that pose a risk of a brain injury.
How do I Recover Compensation for My Brain Injury?
If the accident that resulted in your injury was caused by the careless or reckless actions of someone else, you can recover compensation through a brain injury claim filed in civil court. These claims typically resolve through mediation, settlement, or court action.
Liability is proven by showing:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care. The duty of care depends on the type of accident that occurred and how the individual or entity could have prevented such an accident from taking place. For example, if your brain injury was the result of a car accident caused by another driver, the duty of care that the driver owed to you would be to drive his or her motor vehicle safely and to observe Florida's traffic laws.
- There was a breach in the duty of care. The breach is the action that the at-fault party took that was contrary to his or her duty of care. For example, in the car accident case, the breach in the duty of care can be something such as distracted driving, speeding, or any other unsafe driving practice that amounted to an accident.
- The breach in the duty of care resulted in the accident that caused your injury and subsequent expenses or life impacts.
My Brain Injury Is Considered “Mild.” Does That Mean I Am Ineligible to Recover Compensation?
Even so-called “mild” brain injuries can provide serious and permanent consequences, including post-concussion syndrome. Post concussion syndrome is a group of conditions resulting from a brain injury, regardless of the severity of the injury. Some of the conditions suffered by those who have this syndrome include chronic headaches, depression, anxiety, and memory problems. All of these conditions are compensable through the brain injury claims process.
Will PIP Compensate Me for a Brain Injury I Suffered in a Car Accident?
Bradenton drivers who register their vehicles in Florida are required to purchase a personal injury protection insurance policy of at least $10,000. Also known as no-fault insurance, these policies are designed to provide coverage of medical expenses and lost wages resulting from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. The policies are designed to reduce car accident lawsuits by only allowing those injuries that meet the serious injury threshold to qualify for compensation through the court system.
While PIP policies are available to cover the initial expenses endured after a brain injury, the limits of these policies generally prevent full compensation of the expenses incurred. Brain injuries are serious injuries that result in permanent deficits and loss of certain bodily functions. Because of this, these types of cases usually pass the serious injury threshold, enabling you to seek enhanced damages to fully compensate you for the enormous expenses experienced by those who incur this type of injury.
PIP covers 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of your lost wages, subject up to $10,000, following a traumatic brain injury in Bradenton. Note that it does not cover pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
What Is the Glasgow Coma Scale and What Does It Show?
The Glasgow Coma Scale is an assessment tool used by medical providers to determine an individual's level of consciousness after suffering a traumatic brain injury. The tool considers and rates the individual's responses and assigns a number. The higher the number, the more responsive the individual is.
The responses assessed through the Glasgow Coma Scale include:
- Eye opening – Does the person open his or her eyes and blink spontaneously? Do the eyes open in response to verbal or painful stimuli?
- Verbal response – Can the person speak? Is his or her speech clear and focused, or does he or she appear confused?
- Motor response – Does the person provide the appropriate motor response on command? Does he or she perform purposeful movements in response to painful stimuli? Does he or she withdraw from pain?
My Brain Injury Was the Result of a Workplace Accident in Bradenton. Should I Sue My Employer?
Most workplace accidents in the Bradenton area, and throughout the state, are covered by Florida's workers' compensation program. This program requires most employers to provide an insurance policy that covers lost wages, medical treatments, and provides other benefits to injured workers instead of the worker filing a lawsuit against an employer. The exception to this is when the accident that caused your injury is the result of a third party's actions.
For example, if you work as a delivery driver, a brain injury that was suffered in a car accident caused by another driver would likely result in a Bradenton brain injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, not your employer.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Bradenton Brain Injury Lawsuit?
Several different types of economic and non-economic damages are eligible for recovery through a Bradenton brain injury lawsuit.
Economic damages refer to actual financial expenses paid out-of-pocket for items such as:
- Medical treatment, including emergency treatment at the scene of the accident or in the emergency room, ambulance transport to the hospital, hospitalization, diagnostic testing, physician and surgical services, prescription medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages due to being too injured to work.
- Loss of future earning capacity if the injury results in permanent disability and the inability to earn as much money through employment as you could before the accident occurred or even the inability to work at all.
- Property damage resulting from the accident. For example, if your injury was the result of a car accident, you can claim the expense of repairing or replacing your vehicle, as well as the cost of a rental car while that action is taking place.
Non-economic damages involve the impacts to your life that are incurred as a result of your injury. These types of damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium, which is a damage collected on behalf of the injured person's spouse for the loss of physical intimacy and companionship suffered as a result of the injury
- Loss of the enjoyment of life, which is a damage collected as a result of the inability to participate in activities and events that the injured person previously found enjoyable
You might collect other damages in brain injury cases. Your brain injury lawyer will look carefully at the details of your case to identify all damages you can seek to collect through your claim.
What Is the Average Settlement Amount in a Bradenton Brain Injury Case?
While the vast majority of Bradenton brain injury cases settle out of court, there is no average settlement value for this type of case as every case presents its own unique facts.
However, some factors can increase or reduce the value of your case or the amount of settlement you can collect, including:
- The amount of insurance that the at-fault party has. Brain injuries incur an estimated cost of medical treatment in the range of $85,000 to $3 million—and that cost doesn't include other expenses or the value of emotional impacts. Although it is possible to sue an uninsured person, the likelihood of collecting an award in your case is low due to the inability of most people to pay the extraordinary costs of this type of injury out-of-pocket.
- The severity of the injury. More severe injuries are likely to incur higher costs of medical treatment and more impacts on the individual's lifestyle. This results in a significantly higher value to the case.
- The person's age at the time of the injury. While no one's life is worth more than another, cases involving a person who becomes injured during the prime of their career are often valued higher than cases involving a child or young adult just starting the career or those who are retirement age. The reason for this is that the damage categories of lost wages and loss of future earning capacity will be much higher for those who earn higher wages, and the life impacts involved in non-economic damage categories are generally higher for those who are raising a family.
- Patience. Settlements are subjective things. Insurance companies are in the business to make money, and one of the ways they do this is by avoiding large payouts such as those that often result from injuries that involve permanent disability. Because litigation is also expensive, the more likely your case is to go to court, the more motivated the insurance company becomes in negotiating a settlement. Settlements can be negotiated at any time after the injury occurred up to the statute of limitations expires; from before the court paperwork is filed up to the point where the trial has begun but a verdict has not yet been rendered. Patience through the process often results in a higher payout than accepting the first lowball settlement that is offered.
Why do I Need a Bradenton Brain Injury Lawyer?
Lawyers who regularly handle brain injury cases can provide you with knowledge and experience both in the legal process of obtaining compensation for your injuries as well as in the complex nature of these injuries and the various non-economic damages that make this type of injury so difficult to recover from. Knowing about the impacts caused by brain injuries will greatly affect the value of your case, which is the amount that your lawyers will attempt to obtain on your behalf through settlement negotiations or—in lieu of a fair settlement offer—through litigation.
Brain injuries impact every facet of a person's life. If your injury was the result of the careless or reckless actions of someone else, let our experienced Bradenton personal injury lawyers help you make sense of the legal process of pursuing compensation. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA anytime.
Call Our Bradenton Brain Injury Lawyers Now
Our experienced Bradenton brain injury attorneys are eager to speak with you about your case and help you seek the compensation you need to put your life back together again following a brain injury. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach the Dolman Law Group or by contacting us online.
We also offer free consultations to our clients. Our attorneys also work on a contingency-fee basis. That means that we don't charge any upfront or out-of-pocket fees, retainers, or hourly rates. Our fee comes out of the compensation we secure for you at the conclusion of your case. That way, we help eliminate your financial risk and can start working on your claim or lawsuit right away.
6703 14th Street West Suite 207
Bradenton, FL 34207
Phone: (941) 613-5747
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