Traumatic brain injury (along with spinal cord injury) cases are some of the most serious types seen in personal injury law. While TBI’s typically result from extensive head trauma, the most common sources of this type of injury is attributed to motor vehicle and slip and fall accidents. Furthermore, these injuries can be life-changing and usually leave the victim permanently disabled. While the disability can be both mental and physical, the injury can be financially devastating for the other family members as well.
Ontario’s Family Law Act gives family members of traumatic brain injury victims the right to seek damages in a personal injury claim and lawsuit when their accident was caused by another individual’s carelessness or negligence. The first step is to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer that specializes in TBI cases. Once the lawyer has determined that you have a valid claim, their next step will be to evaluate what your case is worth and assess the amount of damages that should be sought.
Assessment of Damages
When assessing damages in a Traumatic Brain Injury claim, it is important that the total cost of all medical expenses incurred from the day the accident occurred to the present are documented. If the treating physician determines that you have sustained permanent injuries and that future medical treatment will be required, you will be able to claim those expenses as well. There is a possibility that you will have to endure years of occupational and vocational therapy as well as physical therapy. And that requires constant medical bills that have to be paid. You may or may not be in a position to pay so much which might lead to discontinuing treatment and that can be a major setback for living a normal life.
The goal, of course, is to help you gain back as much of the natural function that you had prior to the accident occurring. People who suffer traumatic brain injuries may wind up with other conditions that deprive them of the ability to talk and walk normally. There may also be extensive nerve damage and paralysis. Basically, you’ll have to re-learn things that you took for granted throughout your lifetime up to when you sustained your injuries. This “re-learning” can be extremely expensive.
Another element that factors into assessing damages in a TBI case and that the injury victim can claim in this type of personal injury case is “pain and suffering.” This basically describes how the accident and your injuries has affected your life overall. In other words, you have to measure the degree to which your injuries have negatively impacted your life and limited your daily activities. Consequently, this is another prime assessment factor when determining damages. The lawyer will work with you to ensure that all bases are covered if the case goes for trial in the next few months.
Traumatic brain injury cases can be considerably more complex than other personal injury law cases by virtue of the extensive medical treatment that may be required over time. In addition to the accrued medical expenses to this point, you will most likely need attendant care and rehabilitation therapy – possibly for the rest of your life. Elements of damages in TBI cases typically include the following:
- Lost income, both past and future
- Medical expenses up to this point and in the future
- Pain and suffering including future pain and suffering
Remember that TBI’s are, at the very least, life-changing and you could be permanently disabled from the injury. Additionally, you may be unable to perform your daily activities and tasks like you once did. Most importantly, this type of injury could negatively impact you emotionally, mentally, and physically. And sometimes, the effects can be temporary and can help you get back your skills as you recover.
On a closing note, the importance of being represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer cannot be overstated. If you are permanently disabled and can no longer enjoy the quality of life you once did, your lawyer will be there to ensure the financial and physical well-being of your family members should you be unable to. Check here for more information.