Philadelphia Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
Depending on the severity of the injury, victims may be unable to move, eat, speak, or even breathe without assistance. Therefore, a brain injury often requires ongoing therapy and other treatments, as well as specialized living assistance.
Though there is currently no known cure, some improvement can occur if the brain is able to rewire itself to take over the functions of the damaged areas.
The traumatic brain injury lawyers at the Philadelphia law firm of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., are committed to helping accident victims get justice and compensation for their devastating injuries.
We have the resources and experience necessary to fully investigate complicated traumatic brain injury cases. We often work with teams of medical specialists, economists, and other experts to build as solid a case as possible. In one recent case, our attorneys obtained a verdict of $11.2 million for the victim of a brain injury caused by medical malpractice.
Contact us now for a free consultation and claim review to learn more about your best legal options.
Compensation in a Philadelphia Brain Injury Case
The compensation that is awarded in brain injury lawsuit varies greatly from case to case depending on the losses a victim has suffered. In each successful brain injury case, the court attempts to award fair damages by adding together the injured individual’s special and general damages.
Special damages – also called economic damages – are the losses that the plaintiff suffered that have an objective dollar value. For example, compensation for medical bills and lost wages are special damages because they are worth a specified dollar amount.
Other damages that don’t have a price tag attached – for instance, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life – are general damages that the court must assign a value to in the interest of fairness. These are also called non-economic damages.
Additionally, the court may also decide to award punitive damages to the plaintiff if the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious.
The court has a great deal of discretion when awarding damages. Therefore, it is critical that you have an experienced brain injury lawyer representing you and convincing the court of the full extent of your losses.
A well-seasoned lawyer understands that each of the following factors can make a big difference in the amount of compensation that a client will ultimately recover:
- Jurisdiction. Where the case is tried can have a huge impact on the amount of damages that will be awarded as some jurisdictions cap or limit the amount of damages that a personal injury plaintiff can recover.
- Impressions of the plaintiff. The likeability of the plaintiff often has a big impact on the amount of damages awarded, especially if there is a jury trial. How your lawyer portrays you, whether you are a sympathetic plaintiff, and how your injuries are framed is very important.
- Mitigating circumstances. Damages may be mitigated or reduced if the plaintiff contributed in some way to the extent of their own losses. For example, if he/she waited before seeking out medical care and, as a result, their injury worsened then the court may reduce their award accordingly.
- Aggravating circumstances. On the other hand, if the defendant’s actions were willful or wanton then the court may decide to punish the defendant by awarding punitive damages to the plaintiff.
Even though most injury claims are resolved before a case goes to trial and often before it even goes to court, these factors can play an important role during settlement negotiations.
Statute of Limitations on Brain Injury Claims in Pennsylvania
Be warned: Each state limits the timeframe within which a brain injury claim can be filed with the court.
Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations (SOL) that requires most personal injury claims to be filed with the court within two years of the date of injury. There are some very limited exceptions to this rule, but most injured plaintiffs who try to file a brain injury claim in Pennsylvania after the two-year time limit has expired will find that their claim is barred and will not be heard by the court.
This two-year time limit also applies to wrongful death lawsuits and survival actions filed in Pennsylvania. A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action filed by the surviving family members of a victim who passed away due to someone else’s wrongful actions. These lawsuits allow families to seek compensation for the losses that they suffered from the deceased’s passing. A survival action, on the other hand, is a lawsuit filed by surviving family members on the deceased’s behalf seeking compensation the decedent would have been legally allowed to recover had they survived.
Anyone considering filing a brain injury claim should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible because.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Any accident that causes head trauma or skull fracture may result in a traumatic brain injury. Sometimes, a victim can sustain a TBI even if there is no direct impact to the head. A violent jolt can force the brain to collide with the inside of the skull, causing traumatic damage.
The most common causes of traumatic brain injury include:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Car accidents are the leading cause of TBIs. During a crash, a victim’s head may hit the steering wheel, head rest, window, windshield, or another hard surface. Even the force of an airbag can cause a brain injury. A TBI may result even if the head never strikes anything.
- Violence and assault. Gunshots are the most common type of penetrating head injury, which occur when an object is forced through the skull. The resulting brain injuries are often fatal.
- Slip and fall accidents. This kind of accident poses a particular danger for the elderly, who tend to slip more easily and are often less able to prevent head trauma during a fall.
- Medical malpractice. If a doctor fails to diagnose a dangerous condition or makes errors during an operation, a TBI may result. In one medical malpractice case, our attorneys represented the family of an infant who suffered a brain injury when obstetricians failed to properly monitor the child during delivery.
- Construction accidents. Falling debris, malfunctioning equipment, or construction company negligence can all result in a worker suffering a serious TBI.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
Every brain is different, and brains do not heal as easily or as predictably as broken bones. As a result, brain injuries are discussed in terms of “improvement” rather than “recovery.”
Different functions of the body are controlled by specific areas of the brain. Therefore, the location of a brain injury determines which part of the person’s body is affected. Those who suffer head trauma and brain injury may experience symptoms that range from mild to severe.
The most common symptoms of TBI include:
- Problems with eyesight
- Sleep disturbances
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Mood swings
- Loss of sensation
- Cognitive symptoms such as getting lost or confused easily, slowness in thinking, loss of memory, changes in behavior, or becoming easily distracted
- Physical changes such as impaired function of the body and organs, change in appetite, or increased risk of disease (such as Parkinson’s disease)
Since traumatic brain injuries most often result from catastrophic accidents, victims may experience a range of other injuries as well. Spinal cord injury, broken bones, and severe lacerations can complicate a brain injury case. Our traumatic brain injury lawyers always consider the full extent of your injuries when building a personal injury case.
Treatment for Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can cause extensive cognitive, physical, and emotional issues. There are a variety of treatments available to help promote improvement in each of these areas. The success of these treatments varies significantly from person to person and injury to injury. Some of the most successful and widely implements treatments include:
- Rest. Mild traumatic brain injuries (such as concussions) are often treated with periods of prescribed rest. Doctors tell patients with mild traumatic brain injuries to rest completely in the beginning and then to gradually reintroduce normal activities. Rest is critical for a brain that is trying to heal itself.
- Surgery. More serious brain injuries are sometimes treated with surgeries aimed at repairing skull fractures, relieving pressure in the skull, or removing clotted blood in the brain.
- Medication. Traumatic brain injury victims are sometimes prescribed medication to increase alertness, prevent seizures, treat mood instability or depression, reduce muscle spasms, or prevent blood clots.
- Rehabilitation. Individuals who suffer a TBI often benefit form rehabilitation therapies that help them improve their motors kills, re-learn how to walk, live with new limitations, etc.
Talk to a Philadelphia Brain Injury Lawyer Today
If you have suffered serious head trauma due to someone else’s negligence, it is vital to seek legal representation. Our traumatic brain injury lawyers have extensive experience handling complex TBI cases and have the resources necessary to launch an extensive investigation.
We take into account more than just the medical bills that you and your family already face. We also consider the cost of future care, lost wages and opportunities, living expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses. A TBI will affect the rest of your life and your family’s lives as well, but we work hard to secure the means for you to live as comfortably as possible.