Fort Lauderdale Brain Injury Lawyers
The brain controls almost every part of the body. It must be handled with care and precaution. This is because brain injuries can change every aspect of a person’s life.
Brain injuries are more common than some people may think. The CDC reported over 64,000 traumatic brain injury-related deaths in the United States in 2020. That’s about 176 TBI-related deaths every day. Of all kinds of injury, those to the brain are most likely to result in death or disability.
If you or a loved person has suffered a brain injury due to another person’s fault in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it’s time to take legal action. Once their fault is proven, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Brain injuries can lead to long-term mental and financial expenses.
With the assistance of a brain injury lawyer, you can pursue justice and monetary compensation. In this article, we’ll explain all you need to know about brain injuries and how to find the best attorney for your case in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.What Is a Brain Injury?
Brain injuries are also referred to as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs are brain dysfunctions resulting from the impact of an outside force on the head. It can be from a simple blow to the head or a penetrating injury to the brain (e.g., a gunshot wound). The damage can be focal (confined to one area of the brain) or diffuse (which happens in more than one area of the brain).
Mild traumatic brain injuries may affect your brain cells briefly. A more severe traumatic brain injury can cause bleeding, tissue damage, bruises, and other physical harm to the brain. These wounds could lead to long-term problems or even death. The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) defines the severity of a TBI within 48 hours of injury.
Around 1.7 million Americans experience traumatic brain injuries, with adults 65 and older and adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 having the highest risk. However, a person with a slight TBI can anticipate making a full recovery in two weeks with specific interventions.
More severe TBIs may require more to heal since they could need one or more of the following:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Life-long medical interventions
A person with a potential TBI should be seen by a healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will provide treatment to help with your recovery.What Are the Causes of Brain Injuries?
Generally, brain injuries are divided into two categories based on what causes them. The injuries may result from blows to the head or head injuries from shaking. Injuries caused by shaking are more common in infants and children.
The ones caused by blows to the head are more prevalent among adults. Available data indicate that nearly 60% of TBIs are due to motor vehicle crashes in all parts of the world; about 20–30% are due to falls; 10% to violence, and another 10% to a combination of workplace and sports-related injuries.What Are the Symptoms of Brain Injury?
Severe brain injuries have immediate symptoms that are clear to notice, whereas mild brain injuries can take time to notice in a person. Therefore, knowing the possible TBI symptoms is essential so an adult or child can receive medical attention as soon as possible.
Below are some general signs to look out for in brain injury cases.Symptoms for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
- Nausea or vomiting
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Speech problems
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Sensory problems, including blurred vision, loud ringing in the ear, a foul taste in the mouth, or loss of the ability to smell
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
- Memory or concentration problems, etc.
The symptoms of mild TBIs may also apply to moderate and severe TBIs. In addition, the following signs may also appear in the hours or days following a head injury.
- Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
- Persistent headache
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
- Loss of coordination
- Profound confusion, etc.
In children and infants, it may be difficult to observe these symptoms because of their inability to communicate. However, you can look for the following when you suspect a problem:
- Change in eating or nursing habits
- Unusual or easy irritability
- Persistent crying and inability to be consoled
- Change in ability to pay attention
- Change in sleep habits, etc.
The following are different types of traumatic brain injuries:Concussions
This is usually a mild TBI without any extreme structural damage and occurs secondary to a nonpenetrating TBI. It usually results from acceleration/deceleration forces secondary to a direct blow to the head.Hematoma
A ruptured blood vessel can produce a pool of blood in the brain.Contusions
Cerebral contusions are bruises of the brain, usually caused by a direct, strong blow to the head.Edema
Edema is a life-threatening condition that causes fluid to develop in the brain. This fluid increases the pressure inside the skull.Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)
This occurs in mild to moderate TBI and potentially results from shearing, stretching, or twisting injuries to nerve cells.
There are other types of brain injuries not included on this list. If you’ve been involved in an accident and you suspect brain injury, it’s well-advised to seek medical care immediately.Treatment of a Brain Injury
The Glasgow Coma Scale is a 15-point test that assists medical professionals in assessing the severity of a brain injury by observing an individual’s ability to follow directions and move their eyes and limbs. Additionally, the coherence of speech may provide some insight.
In cases of a mild traumatic brain injury, no treatment is required besides adequate rest and over-the-counter pain relief medications prescribed by a doctor to treat the headaches. However, an individual with a mild traumatic brain injury has to be closely monitored at home for any persistent, escalating, or new symptoms. They may also have follow-up doctor appointments.
When the TBI is moderate or severe, emergency care is administered to ensure that the person has enough oxygen and an adequate blood supply. Blood pressure must also be maintained, and further injuries to the head or neck prevented.
Additional treatments in a hospital's emergency room or intensive care unit will focus on reducing secondary damage due to inflammation, bleeding, or reduced oxygen supply to the brain. Other treatments that may follow a traumatic brain injury include:
- Medications such as anti-seizure drugs, diuretics, and coma-inducing drugs.
- Surgery may be conducted to remove clotted blood, repair skull fractures, stop bleeding in the brain, and/or open a window in the brain to relieve pressure.
- Rehabilitation for motor or physical skills
- Occupational therapy
- Verbal therapy
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that might have caused a brain injury, the first and most important thing to do is seek medical attention. This should be immediate as waiting may lead to worse consequences.
Even if it appears as though nothing is wrong from the outside, you should still see a doctor. Several tests and scans will be conducted to appropriately determine the injury's extent. Health comes first.
Suppose the brain injury directly resulted from another party’s violence, negligence, or recklessness. In that case, you might be eligible for financial compensation. However, juggling between a brain injury and the legalities of the case may be draining, and, understandably, hiring a lawyer may be the last thing on your mind but possibly the best choice you can make.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations allows victims of negligence or violence to file a claim up to four years from the day of the accident. However, the longer your case is prolonged, the more it can lose credibility and become difficult to pursue. The best action to take is to begin the process early on. Hiring a personal injury attorney who has dealt with similar cases and has the knowledge needed can help.Do I Have a Case?
Brain injury cases fall under personal injury law. A personal injury claim is a court case to hold a defendant accountable for causing someone else's injuries. Florida law allows the injured person to pursue compensation from the responsible party to recuperate their losses.
However, to be eligible for compensation, several elements must be proven. The following has to be established:Duty of Care
Duty of care is a legal obligation imposed on a person, requiring adherence to a standard of reasonable care while carrying out any acts that could harm others. It is the first element that must be proven in personal injury cases.Breach of Duty
Breach of duty occurs when someone fails to do something that is their duty to do according to the law. In this case, the negligent or violent individual breached their duty of care. An example is a drunk driver or a medical professional that carried out surgery in a manner unacceptable by medical community standards.Causation
The plaintiff’s attorney must prove that the defendant’s negligence was directly responsible for the damage or injury.Damages
This is the last element to be proven. To be able to file a claim, the injury must have caused economic or non-economic damages.
Once all of these are confirmed, then you may have a case and can begin to seek justice. However, you must make sure to begin the process within the timeframe of the Statute of Limitations.When Should I Call a Lawyer?
If your brain injuries result from another party’s negligence, violence, or malpractice, then it is recommended to look into hiring a lawyer. There is no specific timeline for when you should hire a brain injury lawyer for your injuries in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but the sooner, the better.
This is because the 4-year time frame provided by the law is ticking, and the case may become more difficult to prove if it lingers for a long time. If you are the individual experiencing the injury, it can help to have a family or friend help search for an attorney on your behalf. Even while you’re still in the hospital, you can hire a brain injury lawyer and give them access to your medical records.Why Should I Hire a Lawyer?
What exactly can a brain injury lawyer do for you? Lawyers who specialise in this field of law provide many helpful services, including:Collecting Evidence
To prove fault, you need evidence. Once you hire a lawyer, they can begin gathering all of the relevant and important evidence for your case.
Personal injury lawyers have the experience and knowledge to collect the evidence needed to file a claim. This includes medical bills, accident reports, police reports, accounts from eyewitnesses at the accident scene, expert opinions, traffic cam footage, etc.Negotiating on Your Behalf
The financial compensation brain injury victims are eligible for is often paid by the negligent party’s insurance company. Unfortunately, these insurance firms often offer unfair settlements.
Your claim can even be denied. An excellent Fort Lauderdale brain injury lawyer knows the other side’s motives and will have experience in negotiating with insurance adjusters.Assisting You in Filing for Disability or Other Assistance Programs
A lawyer will help you navigate the entire claims process. They will also help you file the necessary paperwork and appeal (if necessary).Representing You in Court
If an out-of-court settlement with the insurance company cannot be reached, the matter will be decided in a court of law. Hiring a lawyer is highly advised so that you can seek the compensation you truly deserve.What to Look Out for When Hiring a Brain Injury Lawyer?
There are several law firms in Fort Lauderdale, but you will want to choose the right one with a good reputation. Having the right brain injury lawyer on your side can make a huge difference in your claim. Below are some qualities to look for when hiring a lawyer.Experience
One of the top qualities to consider when hiring a lawyer is their experience. You want someone who has previously worked with brain injury cases in your city. Ideally, you want to hire an attorney who has helped other victims seek compensation for their traumatic brain injuries. Experienced attorneys usually have profound knowledge of the law, the local courts, and insurance companies.Reviews
Before hiring a brain injury lawyer, read past clients' reviews. Analysing different assessments can be helpful when determining whether an attorney is right for you. Also, review the attorney’s website, legal websites, Google, and social media for more insight.Effective Communication Skills
When choosing an attorney, ensure you find one with excellent communication skills, particularly a lawyer that is patient and has empathy. This is important as you may just be recovering from a brain injury and may need certain aspects explained to you more precisely. Most attorneys offer free consultation sessions, so you can gauge their communication skills before hiring them.Payment
When choosing the right lawyer for your case, cost matters. Do not let the budget of an attorney steer you away if they are the ones you want to work with. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
Below are some of the damages you could collect when you file a personal injury claim:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of income and future costs
- Loss of companionship
- Ambulance bills
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of amenities
- Loss of household
- Physical therapy bills (cases of broken bones)
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Punitive damages
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we understand how devastating it can be to undergo a brain injury for any family. Individuals who have suffered from these injuries due to another party’s violence or negligence can seek justice by seeking compensation to cover medical bills and future costs.
We have the knowledge, experience, and empathy to handle these cases. We are waiting to help you and have been handling personal injury cases for decades.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation so you can speak to our attorneys. Scheduling your consultation starts with calling our firm at (561) 800-8000. Contact us today, and let us help you seek the compensation you deserve.