Suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most catastrophic events that a person can experience. Recovering from a brain injury often requires extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Sadly, many TBI victims never fully recover and are left with permanent disabilities and limitations.

In Winter Haven, Florida, accident victims have the right to seek compensation when someone else’s recklessness causes them harm. If you or a loved one is living with a TBI, you should never be forced to pay out of pocket if the damage was caused by another.

Let a Winter Haven brain injury lawyer at Brooks Law Group stand up for you. Getting justice for injured Floridians is our mission and goal. Our accomplished team of TBI attorneys has the skills, compassion, and legal muscle needed to build strong and solid claims for compensation.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a free case evaluation today by calling 1-800-LAW-3030 or using our online contact form.

What Is a TBI?

What Is a TBIA traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is caused by a blow or jolt to the head that damages or disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. A TBI can also be caused by an impact on the body that causes the head to violently jerk back and forth.

Not every blow will cause a TBI. TBIs can range in severity from mild injuries (causing only minor symptoms or brief changes in mental state or consciousness) to moderate and severe injuries (involving long-term or permanent mental changes or extended periods of unconsciousness). Most TBIs fall into the mild category, usually resulting in a particular type of injury known as a concussion.

Types of Brain Injuries

There are several different types of TBIs, which include:

  • Open injury: Also called a penetration injury, this TBI occurs when an object penetrates the skull into the brain. Although damage will usually be limited to one part of the brain, this injury can have catastrophic consequences and even cause death.
  • Closed injury: A blow to the head that does not penetrate the skull is called a closed head injury. These blunt-force trauma injuries can seriously damage brain tissue, leading to bleeding, tissue death, and permanent disabilities.
  • Concussion: The mildest form of closed head injury, a concussion can cause temporary loss of consciousness, memory problems, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and vision issues. However, these symptoms usually dissipate after a few days of rest and recovery.
  • Diffuse axonal injury: Also known as a deceleration injury, this injury occurs when the sudden movement of the head causes damage to the connections between nerves in the brain tissue, which can result in persistent consciousness disorders such as coma or vegetative state.
  • Toxic injury: These TBIs are caused by exposure to chemicals or other toxins.
  • Hypoxic injury: A hypoxic brain injury is caused by a lack of oxygen, which can happen in accidents involving drowning, choking, and assaults. Babies often suffer hypoxic TBIs in birth injury cases.

How Can an Accident Cause a TBI?

Many kinds of accidents can inflict a force or blow directly to a person’s head. Alternately, a violent force impacting the body can cause the head to violently jerk around. This can cause the brain to suffer damage within the skull. In some accidents, flying debris may directly pierce the skull and brain tissue, causing localized but severe damage.

Examples of accidents that frequently cause TBIs include:

  • Falls from heights
  • Construction site accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Assaults
  • Sports and recreational activity accidents

Getting immediate medical attention is important any time a person suffers a blow to the head. Even if he or she did not lose consciousness, any forceful bump could result in a brain injury.

How to Know If I Have a Brain Injury After an Accident

After a person has suffered an injury to the head, they must be carefully monitored in the hours and days following the incident for symptoms of a TBI. Symptoms don’t always show up right away.

Signs of mild TBIs include:

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
  • Feeling confused, dazed, or disoriented
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Speech problems
  • Insomnia or sleeping more than usual
  • Dizziness or balance issues
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • Changes to smell
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • Memory or concentration issues
  • Mood changes or swings
  • Feeling depressed or anxious

Symptoms of a moderate or severe TBI include:

  • Loss of consciousness for several minutes to several hours
  • Persistent or worsening headaches
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of one or both pupils
  • Clear fluids running from the nose or ears
  • Inability to be awoken from sleep
  • Weakness or numbness in the extremities
  • Loss of coordination
  • Extreme confusion
  • Agitation or combativeness
  • Slurred speech
  • Coma or vegetative state

Even if a person does suffer immediate effects of a mild TBI, they should still be monitored for persistent or worsening symptoms that can indicate a more serious injury.

When Can I Sue for a Brain Injury?

Under Florida law, you only have a limited time period to file a brain injury claim.

In most cases, a personal injury claim arising from a TBI must be filed within four years of the date of injury.

A TBI caused by medical malpractice must be filed within two years of the date the malpractice occurred or two years from the date that the injury is discovered or should have been discovered through reasonable diligence but in no event later than four years from the date of the negligent care.

It’s important to speak to a brain injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Although reaching a settlement may have to wait until the person has recovered as much as reasonably be expected, an attorney can begin investigating the case so that no important details are lost or forgotten.

Defining Liability for a TBI in Winter Haven

A person or party can be held liable for a traumatic brain injury when they willfully, recklessly, or negligently act (or fail to act) in a way that causes another to suffer a TBI.

To collect compensation for your TBI, you must prove negligence. This involves showing:

  • Duty of care: It must be established that the at-fault party was in a situation where they had a duty to prevent you from being harmed. For example, a driver has a duty not to drive drunk.
  • Breach: You must show that the at-fault party breached that duty. If a driver got behind the wheel after drinking, hit your car, and you suffered a brain injury as a result, the driver breached his or her duty to you.
  • Causation: Evidence must show that the accident directly and proximately caused you to suffer a TBI.
  • Damages: You must be able to establish that you suffered losses that can be remedied with an award of compensation.

In certain circumstances, you might hold an at-fault party strictly liable for your injury – no need to prove willfulness, recklessness, or negligence. Strict liability usually occurs with defective products. If you suffered a TBI in an accident caused by a defective product, you can hold the manufacturer liable simply by showing that the product that caused your injury was defective for its intended purposes.

How Much Money Can I Get for a Brain Injury Settlement?

An experienced brain injury lawyer can estimate how much your case is worth after reviewing the facts. However, you should know that no attorney can promise you a specific dollar amount or outcome in a personal injury case.

In general, compensation in TBI claims can include money for:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Costs of long-term care, such as home health care or home care and maintenance services
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment or quality of life due to disabilities or reduced life expectancy
  • Pain and suffering

In cases where the at-fault party’s actions are determined to be particularly careless (e.g., if you suffer a TBI as the victim of an assault), you may also be entitled to an award of punitive damages. This money is intended to punish the responsible party for reckless conduct and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.

When to Contact a Winter Haven Brain Injury Lawyer

If you suffered a TBI in an accident, you need to contact a Winter Haven brain injury lawyer as soon as possible. You will want to give your attorney plenty of time to thoroughly investigate your accident and try to negotiate a settlement of your claim.

How Can Brooks Law Group Help Me?

The Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Lawyers in Winter Haven, FL, at Brooks Law Group can help you recover the financial compensation and justice that you deserve by:

  • Conducting a thorough, independent investigation into your accident and injury
  • Collecting compelling evidence to build a persuasive case for compensation for your TBI
  • Identifying who is at fault for the accident
  • Filing claims with the insurance company(s)
  • Negotiating aggressively for maximum compensation for your losses
  • Preparing to take your case to trial (if necessary) to get the money you are owed

Questions? Let us help you during this difficult time. Call or contact us now for a free consultation.