How Long Does a Brain Injury Lawsuit Take?
By Space Coast Daily // October 5, 2020
Nearly 2.8 million Americans sustain traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year.
While 56,000 people die from their injuries, 5.3 million people experience the long-term, lasting effects of their TBI. Brain juries can be particularly complicated from a legal perspective because the full impact of the injury may not be immediately clear.
First, understand what a traumatic injury is, what it can mean from a legal perspective, and then how long the lawsuit could take. Then determine the best course of action for your case.
What is a Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries involve accidents or incidents that involve direct physical damage to the head. With mild trauma, the effects of brain injury may be temporary, with the partial recovery of brain cells. More severe brain trauma can include bleeding, bruising, brain-tissue damage, or even death.
You may have experienced a traumatic brain injury from a vehicle accident, medical malpractice, a construction accident, causes. Common symptoms of brain injury can involve vomiting, loss of consciousness, sleeplessness, dizziness, headache, speech problems, and loss of balance. Brain injury may present with concentration difficulties, depression, or even mood changes.
How Long Does a Brain Injury Lawsuit Take?
A personal injury lawsuit can take up to two years on average for the case to be resolved, but a personal injury incorporates a range of types of injuries. It could involve life-threatening injuries or simple annoyances. TBI cases involve more serious injuries with lifelong ramifications, so they often take longer to resolve.
If there is a settlement, the case could be resolved immediately. Because of the nature of a brain injury, though, the full extent of the injury may not be fully understood. A medical expert may not feel comfortable testifying to the full extent of the injury without extensive testing and time.
Causes for Delay in a Brain Injury Lawsuit
They could delay a brain injury lawsuit for several reasons. The case could be delayed if your medical condition is not stable, and/or you are still under medical care and treatment related to your injuries. The case could also take longer if you and/or your lawyer experience delays with gathering medical records, medical witnesses, or other evidence essential to the case.
A common reason for a delay is when the courts are busy and the first possible court date is months away. That delay is often further exacerbated by how busy the lawyers are, which makes scheduling the court date that much more challenging. Regardless of the delays and busy schedules for all involved, it is important to understand how the statute of limitations factors into a brain injury lawsuit.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for a Brain Injury Lawsuit?
Most states have a statute of limitations for personal injury cases. In many states, the statute of limitations, the time limit for taking legal action is up to two years. A few exemptions could apply to the statute of limitations, including if the defendant left the state.
Other exemptions could involve mental or legal incapacity, continuing harm, or a discovery rule. So, for example, a person who is incarcerated may argue that they were not able to file the lawsuit within the two-year time frame.
If the person was still undergoing treatment with the defendant in a malpractice lawsuit, a lawyer may have the statute tolled or paused. In other cases, the full effects and discovery of the brain injury may not present until years later.
Next Step: Work with an Attorney to Determine Whether You Have a Brain Injury Case
It’s not always easy to know whether you have what it takes to justify a brain injury lawsuit. Brain injuries are particularly complicated, since you may not understand the full effects (and damage) until long after the initial accident or incident took place.
Because traumatic brain injuries are so complicated, you need a lawyer who will answer your questions and help you understand the entire process. When you schedule your free consultation, we’ll discuss what happened, how it happened, and how we can help. Learn more about our services and then schedule your free consultation today!