What to Expect During a Traumatic Brain Injury 

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A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can leave you with physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms that last a lifetime. Depending on their severity, you may no longer be able to work or even care for yourself. According to one study, at least one-fifth of those with more severe brain injuries have reported difficulties with their physical health decades after the accident.

If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation, but a personal injury claim can be a daunting and complicated process, especially when dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic injury. 

At the Scott Carr Law Firm, our San Francisco TBI lawyers are committed to helping victims and their families navigate the legal process and obtain the compensation they deserve. In this blog, we’ll discuss the main steps involved in a traumatic brain injury lawsuit and what you can expect along the way.

Filing a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit in California

The first step is to find a compassionate and experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer who will take over the hard work involved in filing a lawsuit. You want to work with someone who has a strong track record with TBI cases, a good success rate, and a deep understanding of the challenges that TBI victims and their families face. It’s also important to find a lawyer who is willing to take the time to explain the legal process and answer any questions you may have. 

Once you hire an attorney, they will begin by gathering evidence. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, this evidence may include:

  • Medical records and reports documenting the TBI and its impact on your life.
  • Eyewitness statements and accident reports describing the cause of the injury.
  • Expert witness testimony from medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, and others.
  • Employment records and financial documentation demonstrating the impact of the injury on your ability to work and earn income,
  • Evidence of your pain and suffering, such as personal journals, diaries, and mental health records.

Other evidence may include: 

  • Photographs and videos of the scene of the accident
  • Safety records and inspection reports
  • Any relevant industry standards or regulations.

Once everything has been collected and assessed, your lawyer will file a lawsuit in the Superior Court of California. This lawsuit will outline the damages you suffered, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related costs.

Most personal injury cases are settled outside of court. Trials are usually seen as a last resort option when both sides can’t agree on a settlement amount or the liability of the defendant. They can be time-consuming and expensive, so many parties prefer to avoid them if possible. However, in some cases, going to trial may be necessary to obtain fair compensation, especially in traumatic brain injury cases involving a lot of money.

The Settlement Process for a TBI Lawsuit

The settlement process typically starts with your lawyer sending a demand letter outlining the damages you suffered due to the TBI. The defendant then has the opportunity to respond with a counteroffer or reject the initial demand altogether. Negotiations then take place between the parties until an agreement is reached. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial. 

Settlement amounts should fairly compensate the injured party for their losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any future medical or care expenses related to the traumatic brain injury. A knowledgeable and experienced TBI lawyer can help navigate the settlement process and negotiate a fair compensation amount on your behalf.

How Long Do You Have to File a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit in California?

In California, the statute of limitations for filing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) lawsuit is generally two years. This means that you must file your claim within two years of the date of the accident or incident that caused your TBI. If you fail to do so, you may lose your right to sue for compensation. 

However, there are some exceptions to this two-year deadline. For example, if the injury wasn’t immediately apparent, the deadline is one year after you discover it. Other exceptions are as follows:

  • At the time of the injury, you were under 18 or lacked the capacity to make legal decisions (e.g., a temporary or permanent mental illness).
  • The defendant left California before the lawsuit could be filed. In this case, their period of absence generally won’t count toward the two-year deadline.

It’s important to consult a knowledgeable traumatic brain injury lawyer to determine the applicable statute of limitations for your case.

What is the Average Traumatic Brain Injury Settlement?

When it comes to traumatic brain injury settlements, it’s important to understand that each case is unique and settlement amounts can vary widely depending on a variety of factors. Some of the factors that dictate settlement amounts include:

  • The Severity of the Injury: The more severe the traumatic brain injury, the higher the settlement amount is likely to be. A TBI that results in long-term or permanent disability, for example, will likely result in a higher settlement amount than a mild TBI with no lasting effects.
  • Medical Expenses: The cost of medical treatment for a TBI can be astronomical, and these expenses will factor heavily into any settlement. This includes the cost of initial treatment, ongoing medical care, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages and Future Earning Capacity: If a TBI results in lost wages or a diminished ability to earn income in the future, these losses will be factored into the settlement amount.
  • Pain and Suffering: Traumatic brain injuries can be incredibly painful and lead to a diminished quality of life. Settlements often include compensation for pain and suffering, both physical and emotional.
  • Insurance Policy Limits: The amount of compensation a victim can receive is often limited by the insurance policies of the at-fault party. In cases where the damages are significant, it may be necessary to pursue compensation through multiple insurance policies or a personal injury lawsuit.

Some settlements may be in the tens of thousands of dollars, while others can be in the millions. The best way to understand what kind of settlement you may be entitled to is to consult with a San Francisco TBI lawyer who can evaluate your case and provide guidance based on the specifics of your situation.

Questions? Get a Free Consultation From a San Francisco Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer!

Filing a traumatic brain injury lawsuit can be complicated, but with the right guidance and support, you can obtain the justice and compensation you deserve. The San Francisco TBI lawyers at the Scott Carr Law Firm have extensive experience and knowledge in handling these types of cases and are here to help you every step of the way. Whether you need assistance in collecting evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, or presenting your case in court, our team is committed to fighting for your rights and securing the best possible outcome for you. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and learn more about how we can help you.

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