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Brain Injuries in Florida Can Be Devastating, but We Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can happen for any number of reasons. You may sustain an injury at work, during a car accident, because of a sports injury and other common reasons. According to the Florida Department of Health, in 2013 there were more than 19,000 hospitalizations caused by nonfatal traumatic brain injuries, as well as nearly 4,000 fatalities that resulted from TBIs. These injuries may range from minor, needing little to no medical attention, to severe, leading to comas and/or death.
Personal injury lawyer Steve Hoskins understands how terrifying a traumatic brain injury can be for both the victim and his/her family. Our team of Florida brain injury lawyers has been helping people just like you get the full compensation they deserve for over 30 years. Call us today at 866-460-1990 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Kind of Compensation Are You Entitled to after a Traumatic Brain Injury?
If you suffer an open or closed traumatic brain injury because of someone else’s actions or negligence, you have legal rights. One of those rights is being able to seek compensation for your injury.
In Florida, you may seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages you suffered. Economic damages are those to which a dollar amount can be easily assigned, such as medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Noneconomic damages are more subjective. They include mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.
In rare cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. These are designed to punish the offending party and to deter others from acting in the same manner. Under Florida law, punitive damages may only be awarded if the court “finds that the defendant was personally guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence,” meaning they knew what they were doing or were so careless that they consciously disregarded the safety or rights of others.
There are no caps on economic and non-economic damages in Florida. However, punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of economic and noneconomic damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.
In order to successfully pursue legal action against a person who caused your injury, you must prove that he/she either intentionally caused harm, such as in cases of violence, or he/she was negligent.
Legally speaking, negligence occurs when someone acts in a way that a “reasonable” person wouldn’t, and in doing so, they caused your injury. There are four general elements of negligence: Duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Generally speaking, people have a duty of care not to harm other people. This may manifest in different ways in different situations. For instance, drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicles safely and follow all traffic laws. If they do not act in the same way a “reasonably prudent person” would in these situations, they are said to have breached their duty of care.
If that person’s actions caused your injury, and it was not because of an unforeseeable event like a random act of nature, causation is proved. Finally, you must have suffered real monetary damages, such as medical bills, to prove negligence.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Brain injuries are generally categorized into two types: closed and open TBIs. Closed TBIs are, by far, the most common type. They occur when an outside force impacts the head, but the skull remains intact. Closed TBIs are also known as concussions, and they are divided into three grades: mild, moderate, and severe.
Open, or penetrating, TBIs occur when the skull is penetrated, fractured or broken. These tend to be severe injuries and can be immediately fatal depending on the portion of the brain affected by the open TBI.
While TBIs can occur for any number of reasons, the most common causes include:
- Falls, especially among the youngest and oldest populations
- Car accidents
- Sports injuries (such as football tackles)
- Explosions, especially for military members
- Self-inflicted injuries
Symptoms and Complications You May Experience After a TBI
After a traumatic brain injury, you may face a wide range of symptoms and complications. While some mild concussions typically resolve themselves, it’s always important to seek medical treatment and have a doctor diagnose your symptoms.
Mild TBI Symptoms
If you suffer a mild TBI, you may suffer any or all of these symptoms:
- Short loss of consciousness
- A state of confusion, feeling dazed or feeling disoriented
- Fatigue, drowsiness, dizziness or loss of balance
- Headache, nausea or vomiting
- Speech, vision, hearing, smell or taste issues
- Sleeping issues (sleeping too much or not enough)
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Problems with memory or concentration
- Mood swings, depression or anxiety
Moderate to Severe TBI Symptoms
Symptoms of more serious TBIs include the above symptoms, but they may be more extreme. For instance, you may lose consciousness for several minutes or hours. You may also repeatedly vomit.
Other symptoms include:
- Seizures or convulsions
- Dilated pupils
- Inability to wake up
- Clear fluids leaking from the ears or nose
- Numbness or weakness in fingers or toes
- Loss of coordination
- Extreme confusion
- Feeling combative or agitated
- Brain swelling
- Blood vessel damage
In very serious cases, victims may also go into a coma, a vegetative state, a minimally conscious state, or even suffer brain death.
In cases of severe or repeated brain injuries, such as football players who are constantly tackled, the risk for degenerative brain diseases increases. Victims may be at a greater risk to develop dementia/Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and even chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Get in Touch with a Florida Brain Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of someone else’s actions or negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Steve Hoskins always offers free, no-obligation consultations. Our Florida brain injury lawyers will evaluate your case and help you determine your legal options at no cost to you.
To schedule your consultation, contact us online or call us today at 866-460-1990.
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