Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) cause permanent neurobiological damages that alter a person’s life and create debt far beyond the incomes of most families. Those who have suffered this injury because of someone else need the legal assistance that an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer can provide.
Claiming financial damages falls under Florida personal injury law and attorneys who practice this area of law work on contingency. If they win the case, their fee is a small percentage of the awarded damages. If they lose, no fee is charged. Florida law requires traumatic brain injury cases to be filed within two years of the date the injury occurred. Failing to meet the deadline means the case cannot go forward.
Florida Law Regarding Negligence
To prevail in a lawsuit and win damages the injury must have been caused by the negligence of another person or a business entity. The legal definition of negligence is a reasonable person failed to behave in a manner that a prudent person would have in a similar circumstance. Traumatic brain injuries can be caused by accidents on another person or business’s property, or from a car accident.
Florida uses the modified comparative negligence standard, which requires those who have some fault in causing an accident cannot claim all of their damages. Any claimant who was 50 percent or less at fault can still claim damages, they will just be reduced in proportion to the amount of fault. If the claimant is 51% or more at fault for the accident, they are barred from recovery entirely.
Elements of Negligence
If someone is experiencing any elements of negligence, they should speak with a Fort Lauderdale traumatic brain injury lawyer to begin filing their claim for damages. To prove that a person acted negligently, the injured person must prove these five elements of negligence law:
- Duty of care: A reasonable person owes a legal obligation to others not to cause harm or property damage
- Breach: An action, or failing to perform an act, that violates duty of care
- Causation: But for the breach, the accident would not have occurred
- Damages: Financial harm occurred
- Proximate Cause: The foreseeable outcome of an action taken
Types of Damages
A traumatic brain injury, if severe enough, can be a catastrophic injury under Florida law. The legal definition is a “permanent impairment.”
To compensate for the injured person’s losses these are common damages:
- Medical care, including hospitalization, home care, and equipment rented or purchased
- Therapeutic care
- Recovery of current and future lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
Making a Claim
Fort Lauderdale traumatic brain injury lawyers will file a lawsuit with the court presenting the names of the defendants, the facts of the case, and a section claiming specific damages and their amount. To accomplish that, the TBI attorney will develop physical, testimonial, and documentary evidence to prove the case.
Physical evidence is gathered from authorities investigating the accident scene as well as photographs of the injury. Testimonial evidence is developed by deposing all parties involved and any witness. Documentary evidence is all records relating to medical and other expenses related to the accident and its aftermath.
Role an Attorney
At trial, the Fort Lauderdale traumatic brain injury lawyer will systemically present the evidence to a judge or jury, anticipate the plaintiff’s theory of the case and be prepared to rebut it. In highly technical cases such as TBI, a medical expert will explain the injury and its ramifications and counteract the opposing expert witness’s testimony. If the case is settled between the litigants, the experienced lawyer will negotiate a fair settlement with the plaintiff’s insurance company that is satisfactory to the injured client.