Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other brain-related injuries affect thousands of people every day. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 223,135 TBI-related hospitalizations in 2019. This means there were more than 611 hospitalizations due to TBI each day.
If you’ve sustained a brain injury due to someone else’s wrongful or careless actions, you know just how painful and difficult the pathway to recovery can be. While nothing can undo the harm you’ve suffered, a personal injury lawsuit can give you the valuable compensation you need to regain your life.
The process may not be easy, but the right team of advocates can assist you by fighting for your rights moving forward. The GJEL personal injury attorneys can help you do just that. Read on to learn more about how to build a strong case for your California brain injury lawsuit.
What Do I Need to Prove to Win My Brain Injury Lawsuit?
Most brain injury accident lawsuits will require you to prove negligence on the part of the individual that caused your injury. Proof of negligence will require proof of four elements:
- That one party owed a legal duty, or a particular standard of care, to the injured party;
- The at-fault party breached that legal duty by failing to meet the requisite standard of care;
- Breach of that legal duty caused the resulting accident; and
- The injured party suffered actual damages as a result.
Importantly, you must be able to prove all four elements to bring a successful brain injury lawsuit. Thus, having an experienced California personal injury attorney who knows what it takes to prove your claim is crucial.
What Kind of Evidence Can I Use to Show Proof of Negligence and Support My Head Injury Claim?
Proving negligence in a brain injury case is no easy task. This is often due to the fact that many brain injuries are not visible to others and may not be identified until a period of time after the underlying accident.
Even if you feel that your injuries are relatively minor, it’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible to assess the extent and severity of your injuries. In fact, doing so promptly can provide you with valuable evidence you may need to support your legal claim. For example, testimony from a licensed medical professional regarding their diagnosis and assessment of your injuries is some of the best evidence you can have to help prove your head injury claim and recoverable damages in court.
Other types of evidence you might be able to use to support your claim include:
- Police reports;
- Statements from the opposing party whose actions caused your injuries;
- Traffic or security camera footage of the accident scene and surrounding areas;
- Photos of the accident scene; and
- Statements from any eyewitnesses to the accident.
Much of this evidence is more challenging to obtain the further you get from the accident. As such, err on the side of caution and take steps to get any materials and information that could become potential evidence as soon as practicable after your accident.
Recoverable Damages in a California Brain Injury Lawsuit
Brain injuries can leave lasting impacts, and those impacts frequently extend to finances as well. It’s not uncommon for brain injury victims to incur tens of thousands or even millions of dollars in damages due to their injuries. Fortunately, a California brain injury lawsuit can provide an avenue to recover compensation to cover some of these expenses.
Examples of recoverable damages for a brain or head injury claim include compensation for:
- Hospital bills,
- Ongoing medical treatment,
- Rehabilitation costs,
- Lost wages,
- Loss in future earning capacity,
- Transportation costs (if your brain injury prevents you from driving),
- Prescription medication expenses,
- Pain and suffering,
- Mental anguish, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Of course, the amount of damages you may ultimately be entitled to recover will depend on a number of factors, such as the extent and severity of your injury and the length of your recovery. However, a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney can help you maximize your recovery and determine what particular damages might be applicable to your case.
Are the Same Damages Available in Traumatic Brain Injury Settlements in California as in a Brain Injury Lawsuit?
Technically, yes, in the sense that both settlements and damages awarded at trial are intended to provide compensation for your losses and injuries. But there are some notable differences between the two types of compensation.
At the conclusion of a lawsuit, the fact finder (that is, either the judge or jury) will award specific amounts of damages based on the evidence presented at trial. In contrast, a settlement won’t necessarily be a fully itemized sum of all damages you would be awarded in a lawsuit.
Instead, a settlement will often be the result of one or more offers and subsequent counteroffers between the parties that eventually leads to a lump sum settlement amount. Thus, while the parties to a settlement will likely take into account the various types of damages you might seek at trial, the result will be a mutually agreeable amount of compensation that may or may not account for each type of loss you may have actually suffered.
A settlement can be a great option that still allows you to obtain compensation for your injuries in exchange for dismissing the pending lawsuit and potentially saving yourself a great deal of time and stress. However, a settlement may not be right in all situations. At GJEL, we will not settle your case unless that is what makes the most sense for you and your situation.
Do I Really Need an Attorney for My California Brain Injury Lawsuit?
There is no legal requirement stating that you must have an attorney to bring a California brain injury lawsuit. That said, hiring one is strongly recommended to maximize your chances of success.
An experienced and well-trained personal injury attorney can help you:
- Gather crucial evidence to support your claims,
- Interview potential witnesses who may be able to testify on your behalf,
- Prepare and file pleadings and other important documents,
- Negotiate with opposing parties and their legal counsel, and
- Take your case to trial and fight for your rights in court when a fair and reasonable settlement isn’t possible.
It’s important to remember that a brain injury lawsuit is a complex legal process. Thus, let a qualified legal professional help you navigate the process so you can get back to focusing on what matters most—your recovery.
We Are Ready to Help You Today
The GJEL Accident Attorneys have been helping injury victims since 1972. With over a 99% success rate and more than $950 million recovered for our clients, we are confident that we have the tools, resources, and experience to help you too. Contact us today for a free consultation and see what our team can do for you.
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