Traumatic Brain Injuries & Car Accidents
Auto accidents can cause a myriad of different injuries, depending on the severity of the crash. One of the most potentially devastating injuries that can occur in a car crash is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs can cause long-term disability and personality changes, and the medical bills associated with them can be very high. Contacting an experienced attorney to help with these cases can make a big difference in terms of the bureaucracy you may have to contend with.
Many Different TBIs Possible
There are plenty of misconceptions about TBIs, namely that one must have a severe, penetrating-type injury for it to be classified as a TBI instead of something less serious. In reality, any kind of trauma to the brain can be classified as a TBI, and they are extremely common in auto accidents – the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ranks motor vehicle accidents as the third-most common cause of TBIs. The amount of force and weight involved in most crashes can wreak havoc on the human body, especially if someone is not wearing a seatbelt.
There are various types of TBIs, and most or all of them can occur in an auto accident. Even if there has been no visible damage to the skull, the brain underneath can be affected due to the sheer amount of force being exerted on riders in an automobile during a crash. Whiplash-like injuries such as concussions (where the brain strikes the inside of the skull) and diffuse axonal injuries (which is essentially a stronger form of a concussion) can require surgery and long-term therapy to manage if they are severe enough.
While TBIs can be diagnosed as mild, moderate, or severe, in reality, even a mild TBI will often come with symptoms that take weeks or months to recover from. Sometimes, symptoms may not even manifest until some time later. If you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, normally you would be directed to make a claim with that person’s auto insurer, given that Florida has a no-fault auto insurance system, which prohibits lawsuits between drivers except in rare circumstances, namely if the injured driver has sustained “significant and permanent loss” of a limb or an important bodily function, which does apply to some TBI cases.
If you can show that you have been injured enough to be able to sue, you must establish four criteria in order to prevail. You must be able to show that the defendant owed a duty to exercise reasonable care toward the plaintiff (and in Florida, motorists are always required to exercise that level of care with regard to other motorists). You must also be able to show that the defendant breached that duty of care, and that the harm you suffered (since you did suffer tangible harm) occurred directly because of the defendant’s conduct, and not because of any other event.
Can A Tampa TBI Attorney Help You?
Traumatic brain injuries can be devastating. If you have been injured in an auto accident and sustained a TBI, please know that you are not alone or without options – you need an attorney who understands the law in these types of cases and will fight hard for your rights. The Rinaldo Law Group has been handling these cases for years, and we are happy to try and assist you with yours. Call our Tampa personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation.