Navigating the Legal Landscape: Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries and Liability
By Space Coast Daily // August 9, 2023
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have profound and long-lasting effects on individuals and their families.
Beyond the physical and emotional toll, TBIs can also have legal implications. Understanding the legal landscape surrounding traumatic brain injuries and liability is crucial for both victims and those involved in potential legal disputes. This article provides an overview of TBIs, their causes, and the legal aspects of liability in such cases.
Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Definition and Causes
Traumatic brain injuries occur when an external force disrupts the normal function of the brain. This disruption can be caused by various incidents, including:
Falls are a leading cause of TBIs, particularly in the elderly and young children.
Motor Vehicle Accidents: Collisions involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles, or pedestrians can result in severe head injuries.
Contact sports like football, soccer, and boxing pose a risk of traumatic brain injuries.
Assaults: Violent acts, including physical assaults, can lead to head trauma.
Explosions and Blasts
Military personnel and individuals in certain industries are at higher risk due to exposure to explosions and blasts.
Types and Symptoms
TBIs can be classified into three primary types based on their severity:
Commonly referred to as a concussion, this type of injury typically involves a temporary disruption of brain function, with symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and memory problems.
Moderate TBIs may result in more severe symptoms, including loss of consciousness for up to several hours, persistent headaches, confusion, and cognitive impairments.
Severe TBIs involve prolonged loss of consciousness, significant cognitive impairments, and may have life-altering consequences for the individual.
Legal Liability in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases
When it comes to legal liability in TBI cases, negligence is a key concept. To establish negligence, the following elements must typically be proven:
Duty of Care
The defendant had a legal duty to act in a reasonably safe manner to prevent harm to others.
Breach of Duty
The defendant failed to fulfill their duty of care by acting negligently or recklessly.
The defendant’s breach of duty directly caused or significantly contributed to the plaintiff’s traumatic brain injury.
The plaintiff suffered actual damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering, as a result of the TBI.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the TBI, various parties may be held liable, including:
Those who directly caused the injury through negligence or intentional acts may be held responsible.
If the injury occurred in the workplace, employers can be held liable for failing to provide a safe working environment or proper safety training.
If the injury occurred on someone else’s property, the owner may be held liable if they failed to maintain safe conditions or adequately warn of potential hazards.
In cases involving defective products, the manufacturer or distributor may be held liable for the injury caused by the product.
Proving Traumatic Brain Injury in Court:
Establishing a traumatic brain injury in court often requires medical evidence, including:
Imaging scans such as CT scans and MRIs can help identify brain abnormalities and support the diagnosis.
Detailed medical records documenting the initial evaluation, treatment, and ongoing care can provide crucial evidence.
Medical experts specializing in traumatic brain injuries can provide professional opinions regarding the cause, severity, and long-term effects of the injury.
In TBI cases, damages may include both economic and non-economic losses:
These cover quantifiable financial losses, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and future medical needs.
These encompass intangible losses, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, and loss of consortium.
Traumatic brain injuries can result in significant legal ramifications. Understanding the causes, types, and symptoms of TBIs, as well as the legal concepts of negligence and liability, is essential for navigating the legal landscape surrounding these cases. When pursuing legal action, gathering comprehensive medical evidence and establishing damages are crucial steps. By staying informed and seeking appropriate legal guidance, individuals affected by traumatic brain injuries can effectively navigate the legal system and seek the compensation they deserve so make sure you call a traumatic brain injury attorney from Zanes Law to help with your case.
Early in his journalism college years, Kerry had a revelation: there were not nearly enough law communicators. People’s difficulties in understanding the law, procedures, and how the justice system worked stemmed from the fact that no one took the patience to explain complicated matters to them. Therefore, he took upon himself the task of helping people navigate legal matters easier. He works with attorneys and other legal journalists and spends time researching so that everyone – from a mother whose child got a bike injury to a company needing insurance counsel – to find the actionable answers they are looking for.