If you were in an accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you might have a legal case against the individuals whose negligence led to the incident. However, it can be difficult to effectively recover damages without guidance from a seasoned catastrophic injury attorney. A Portland traumatic brain injury lawyer could review the circumstances of your injury and determine whether you have a valid case for damages.
What Are Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries occur when something jolts or penetrates the brain. Sudden blows to the head can also cause TBIs. In older people, falls are the most common cause of TBIs. In younger adults and children, the major cause of traumatic brain injuries is motor vehicle accidents. Sports injuries like skiing accidents, rough tackles, or getting hit with a baseball or hockey puck are also leading causes of head trauma in Portland, especially in young people.
Laypersons, and even some medical professionals, sometimes misunderstand the significance of traumatic brain injuries. The federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that more than 60,000 people died of causes related to TBIs in a recent year. Because traumatic brain injuries cover a range of injuries, the CDC separates them into three categories:
Even a mild TBI is a serious injury, because the effects are cumulative. Someone who had one or more concussions as a child might be more prone to a TBI as an adult, and the symptoms could increase in severity and duration. Eventually, repeated concussions could cause severe headaches, trouble concentrating and remembering, and balance issues.
A moderate TBI is typically not fatal but could cause long-lasting or permanent health problems. People with moderate TBIs may experience significant challenges processing and retaining information, have sharp mood swings, and might exhibit a lack of inhibition. Physical symptoms of moderate head trauma may include trouble with balance, motor skills, and speech, as well as severe headaches, problems focusing the eyes, and other symptoms. People with moderate TBIs have a decreased lifespan and usually experience a diminished quality of life.
Severe TBIs are often fatal, and people who survive them are likely to develop other conditions such as infections, seizures, or pneumonia within a few years of the injury. An individual with a severe TBI may not be able to walk, perform activities of daily living, or communicate and might need round-the-clock care.
Damages in TBI Cases
If a Portland attorney could prove that someone’s negligence caused an individual to suffer a TBI, the negligent party can be held liable for the injured person’s damages. Damages include medical costs and lost wages, as well as:
- Incidental expenses
- Cost of in-home care
- Value of household tasks that the injured person can no longer perform
- Home renovations necessary to accommodate an injury and its limitations
- Reduced future earning potential
Damages include payment to acknowledge the change in the injured person’s quality of life due to the traumatic brain injury. An injured person could receive damages for intangible losses such as:
- Embarrassment and humiliation
- Physical pain
- Reduced life expectancy
- Inability to maintain intimate relationships
- Emotional trauma
Statute of Limitations for TBI Claims in Portland
Maine’s statute of limitations in most personal injury cases is six years from the date of injury. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is three years from the date of the malpractice event. However, there are specific situations when the time to sue is shorter. Consulting with an attorney in Portland soon after suffering a traumatic brain injury could ensure that an injured person does not inadvertently lose their right to sue.
For example, if the TBI happened while the injured person was skiing or hang gliding at a ski resort and the ski resort is a defendant, Maine Revised Statute §752-A requires the injured person to file a lawsuit within two years of their injury. If the State of Maine or a local government might be a defendant in the lawsuit, the injured person must serve notice of their claim within one year of sustaining the TBI. If the Federal government might be a defendant, the injured person must serve notice within two years.
Seek Guidance from a Portland Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
TBIs can be devastating, and their effects can last for years. It might be challenging for you and your family to plan for an uncertain future.
Let a Portland traumatic brain injury lawyer help. With extensive knowledge of the legal system and experience representing others with these injuries, a local legal professional could help ensure that a settlement meets all your needs. Call today to speak with a committed legal advocate.