Brain injuries are complex, and treatment for such injuries can be expensive and long term. Because of these factors, lawsuits involving brain injuries have distinguishing characteristics. Here are four things your should know about brain injury lawsuits:
1. The type of lawsuit you bring will depend on how you sustained the brain injury. For example, if you sustained a traumatic brain injury after slipping and falling or in a car accident, your attorney would file a negligence action on your behalf. If you sustained your brain injury while being treated by a doctor, the proper type of lawsuit would be a medical malpractice suit. If your brain was injured because of a product, like a trampoline or an airbag, a products liability lawsuit could be the proper course of action. Different types of lawsuits have different components and must follow different rules. A qualified personal injury attorney will be able to determine what type of lawsuit will lead to a damage recovery for you.
2. A trial will likely require the use of experts. If your case goes to trial, your attorney will call many types of witnesses in order to prove your claim. These experts will testify to liability and/or to damages. This testimony given at trial can last for days. For example, a car accident reconstruction expert would testify that you were not at fault in the accident that inflicted your brain injury. A medical doctor may be called to testify to how the brain injury has affected brain function and to testify to what future medical treatment you will need. An economist could be called to testify to your earning potential had you not been in an accident. Experts will help communicate to the judge or jury how your brain injury has affected your life so far and how it will affect your life in the future. While these experts can be expensive, they are a necessary component of proving your case. An experienced attorney will have a network of experts who they can recommend to testify at your trial.
3. The goal of the lawsuit is to make an injured person whole after the accident. Brain injuries are traumatic and can change your entire life. The purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to put you in the place you would be have been had you not been hurt in the accident. This is typically done by awarding you, and in some cases your family members, monetary damages.
4. You have a limited time to file a suit. The number of years you have to bring a lawsuit depends on the type of lawsuit and the cause of your injuries. In general, California law limits the amount of time you have to bring a suit. In some cases you may only have one year to file. If you try to file a lawsuit outside the time periods provided by law, the case will be dismissed. If you feel that you need an attorney and want to file a lawsuit, it is very important that you contact an attorney before this time has run.
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