Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys in Dothan, Alabama
Brain injuries are some of the most severe and catastrophic injuries an individual can suffer. These are commonly caused by jolts and blows to the head from various types of accidents. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can turn the whole world of the victim (and their family) upside down. These types of injuries effect individuals differently, and it is often hard to predict the recovery time and what the victim’s life will be like in the future. When traumatic brain injuries occur because of the negligent or reckless actions of another party, the victim should be fully compensated.
At Smith Law Firm, we have over three decades of combined experience representing victims of traumatic brain injuries and other types of catastrophic personal injuries in Alabama. Our lawyers have a strong track record of success with these types of cases, and we are dedicated to providing the strong legal representation our clients need and deserve. We are highly acclaimed not only for our experience and skill, but also for our individualized approach.
We work closely with our clients, taking the time to thoroughly investigate their case and explore all potential legal avenues toward a favorable outcome. We are skilled litigators and strong negotiators. Whenever possible, we look to negotiate a settlement that will fully compensate for our clients’ injuries. If the other side is unwilling to be reasonable, however, we are ready and able to aggressively advocate for your rights and interests at trial and upon appeal.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
There are number of ways traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can occur, these include:
• Car Accidents
• Truck Accidents
• Motor Cycle Accidents
• Boating Accidents
• ATV Accidents
• Bicycle Accidents
• Pedestrian Accidents
• Slip and Fall Accidents
• Daycare Accidents
• Workplace Accidents
• Sports-Related Accidents
• Medical Malpractice
• Blows to the Head
TBIs are not always detected right away. Sometimes, it can take a while for the symptoms to materialize. While each individual case is unique and the specific effects of TBI depend heavily on the severity of the injury, how the individual reacts to it, and other factors, there are some common symptoms that frequently occur in TBI sufferers:
• Blurry vision
• Severe and constant headaches
• Nausea and vomiting
• Loss of coordination
• Mood changes and changes in behavior
• Impulsive and inappropriate behavior
• Lack of ability to focus or concentrate
• Difficulty controlling emotions
• Difficulty processing and understanding information
• Difficulty with reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making
• Slurred speech
• Memory loss
How Traumatic Brain Injuries Affect Families
When an individual suffers from TBI, the impact is felt by everyone in the household. TBI affects the whole person, and it may very well affect the way others in the family relate to the TBI sufferer. These are difficult times for families. For starters, someone who has a traumatic brain injury is often unable to go back to work at the same job they were at before they became injured.
If TBI happens to the primary breadwinner, this can put enormous financial stress on the entire household. To make matters worse, the medical bills to treat TBI can be astounding, in some cases even topping six figures. Rehabilitation can take months or even years, and in the meantime, family members need to develop seemingly infinite patience to get through these tough times.
Caring for a Loved One with a Traumatic Brain Injury
Rehabilitation after TBI
Rehabilitation aims to help your loved ones live and function as independently as they can. The process of rehabilitation helps the body recover and assists the brain in relearning processes to allow recovery to be as efficient as possible. Further, rehabilitation helps the patient learn innovative ways to do things when previous abilities have been compromised.
How You Can Assist a Loved One Cope with a Brain Injury
No official handbook exists on how to manage a brain injury. However, there are some recommended ways to help. It is important to support the injured individual to allow them to become familiar with their changed circumstances.
Patience and Understanding is Important
Remember, when learning how to care for a loved one with a TBI, it is likely that your loved one is going through the worst time of their life. They likely feel stressed, impatient, and frustrated with their inability to perform the simple tasks that they were able to accomplish before the injury. Consequently, you must practice utmost patience and understanding.
Believe their Pain and Emotion
While validation is usually undervalued, it can make a huge difference. You may question why your loved one is feeling as tired or why you feel emotional, but the aftermath of a TBI has no time limit. Your loved one may need to deal with the injury’s side effects for weeks, months, or even years after the injury occurred, and their emotions are real.
Be Conscious and Respectful of Changes
After their TBI, your loved one may not appear to be the same person they were before. They may need your help to fully accept this new reality. The most effective way to achieve that is to be mindful of such changes and respect them. Your loved one possibly already feels depressed or frustrated from all the changes in their life after the injury. With that said, help them accept that it is perfectly alright to relearn to live life.
Damages Available in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases
If an individual suffers from TBI because of the negligence of another party, they may have a personal injury case. In such cases, the victim may be able to receive compensation for:
• Medical Expenses: Compensation for medical costs to treat the traumatic brain injury both now and into the future. This will likely include rehabilitation costs and could also include ongoing health care costs to treat permanent symptoms.
• Lost Wages: Suffering from TBI may cause the victim to be out of work for quite some time. In more severe cases, they may not be able to work again at all. Victims should receive compensation for all the time missed from work.
• Pain and Suffering: TBI sufferers may be entitled to damages for pain and serious discomfort from the injury, and any ongoing pain and suffering (such as severe headaches) that are not likely to go away anytime soon.
• Emotional Distress: Compensation for the psychological effects of TBI, such as fear, anxiety, and loss of sleep because of the current stress and future uncertainty.
• Diminished Quality of Life: Loss of enjoyment of favorite activities, loss of consortium, and other ways in which the victim’s quality of life has been diminished.
• Punitive Damages: In rare cases in which the conduct of the responsible party was particularly egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant for their actions and deter them (and others) from similarly egregious behavior in the future.
Alabama’s Contributory Negligence Laws
Winning a traumatic brain injury case in Alabama is more difficult than in other states because the state uses the legal doctrine known as “contributory negligence.” This means that plaintiffs are unable to collect damages if they are determined to be even 1% at fault for the accident and subsequent injuries. Because of the high burden of proof in this state, it is essential to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim, and to work with a lawyer who has extensive experience successfully arguing these types of cases. Alabama also has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. For this reason, it is important to act quickly if you want to have sufficient time to bring a case against the party that is responsible for the injuries.
Speak to a Seasoned Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer
There are very few injuries more severe than traumatic brain injuries. TBI can have a lasting impact on victims and their families, and when another party is at fault, they must be held fully accountable. These types of cases can become highly complicated, however, and you are often going up against well-funded adversaries such as large insurance companies. At Smith Law Firm, we are not intimidated by insurers and their armies of high-priced lawyers. They know our track record, and they know that we have the skills, resources, and commitment to ensure that our clients the just compensation they are entitled to.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury and another party is at fault, contact us today at 334-702-1744 or send us a message through our online contact form for a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We can meet you at our office or we can travel to wherever is most convenient for you.