Seeking Compensation For Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most potentially serious injuries that a person can experience, given the possibility that it can alter everything about a person. From one’s attitude and manner of speaking to their ability to walk, a TBI can be a life-changing injury, but too often, victims cannot get justice. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI, contacting an experienced attorney can be a crucial step in your quest for compensation.
Several Common Causes
Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates approximately 56,800 TBI-related deaths in the U.S. in 2014, with a majority of them caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls, and intentional self-harm. Other often seen causes include accidents (most often household mishaps) and being the victim of a crime, such as assault or robbery. That said, the highest fatality totals were seen in adults over the age of 55, whose most frequent causes of death are accident or unintentional falling. The overall fatality rate for TBIs has decreased over time, but the fact remains that many do die of complications related to their injury.
Depending on the nature of your TBI, you may be able to seek compensation for the harm you have suffered. If you believe that your injury would not have occurred but for the negligence or recklessness of another person (or company), you may be able to bring suit under a negligence theory, seeking damages such as medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, if your injury was allegedly due to a medical mistake or to a defective product, you would be more likely to bring suit under medical malpractice or product liability theories, which can get very complex. Having an attorney on your side can help to answer questions if this becomes necessary.
Auto Accidents Are Unique
While most of the time, one can bring suit against the person who allegedly caused their injuries, this is not technically the case if your TBI came from an automobile accident. Florida is a no-fault state, which means that unless your injury is particularly severe, you may not file suit against the allegedly negligent driver; rather, you must file a claim with your insurer for any injuries suffered. Each Florida driver must, by law, carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance (PIP) and property damage liability insurance (PDL), and one’s first order of business after an auto accident should be to file a claim on your own insurance.
PIP coverage is required by law to cover 80 percent of all “reasonable expenses” for all medically necessary care – but that 20 percent can add up over time. If necessary, you are permitted to file a claim for that remaining 20 percent of your costs with the insurer for the negligent driver. That said, if your injuries are severe – usually, if you have sustained a “significant and permanent loss” of a bodily function, or sustained any other permanent injury – Florida’s tort immunity for drivers will be lifted, and you will be permitted to file suit against them.
Contact A Tampa Brain Injury Lawyer
Even a “mild” traumatic brain injury can be too much to manage on your own. If you have been injured, you need an experienced Tampa brain injury lawyer to help deal with your insurer and with the defendant’s representation if it becomes necessary. The Rinaldo Law Group can provide knowledgeable and compassionate representation for you and yours. Call our offices today for a free consultation.