Brain Injury Lawyer in Ocala, Florida
A brain injury is practically at the top on the scale of personal injuries suffered in an accident. Along with a spinal cord injury, these are the impacts of an accident that may never go away and will keep you from living everyday life. The economic effects of a brain injury are significant, and you will begin to feel them right away.
You do not have to let anyone get away with causing your brain injury. If you prove their negligence, you can recover money to pay for your costs and other damages. However, it is not always easy to win a brain injury lawsuit. Aside from proving liability, you must secure enough financial compensation to cover your damages, both now and in the future.
The first step towards getting the settlement check or jury award you will need, both now and in the future, is to call an experienced brain injury lawyer. At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., we represent clients in the Ocala area with brain injuries, and we have achieved million-dollar results for their injuries. Contact us for more information today.
Table of Contents
Brain Injuries in Ocala
Some common causes of accidents and resulting brain injuries can include:
- Boating and water sports accidents at Silver Springs State Park
- Commercial truck accidents on I-75
- Intersection car crashes at South Pine Avenue and Southwest 17th Street or SW 27th Avenue and Southwest College Road
- Falls at Publix or Key Food Supermarket
Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Result in Permanent Damage
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.5 million people will suffer a TBI each year. More than five percent of these accident victims will suffer permanent disability. Two hundred thirty thousand people will need hospitalization for their injuries, but they will ultimately survive. TBIs are the leading cause of death in children and young adults. In addition, over five million Americans live with a TBI-related disability.
Different ages will have various risks for types of TBIs. For example, the leading cause of TBIs in young adults is motor vehicle accidents. Among older Americans, falls are the leading cause of a TBI.
How Brain Injuries Happen
Brain injuries can happen in practically any type of personal injury.
Brain injuries can result from:
- Direct trauma to the head can result from slip and fall accidents or when a car accident victim hits their head against the car or pavement.
- A violent and sudden movement that causes the head to snap forward – most commonly, these are injuries that result from whiplash in a rear-end car accident.
- Shaking the head
- Oxygen deprivation can happen in swimming pool accidents and motor vehicle accidents when an accident victim stops breathing and requires resuscitation.
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
Some brain injuries are apparent at the scene of the accident because they are so severe. However, not every serious brain injury shows symptoms right off the bat.
An accident victim may begin to show signs of the brain injury in the days after the accident, which can include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Blurry vision
See a Doctor Immediately if You Suspect a Brain Injury
If you notice any of these symptoms after an accident, seek medical attention right away. These are signs that you may have suffered a brain injury.
Time is of the essence in treating a brain injury.
If you lose valuable time, there is more of a chance that your injuries can be permanent. In addition, the insurance company may blame you for the worsening injuries, claiming that you should have gotten medical treatment earlier. TBIs can easily be overlooked or confused with other symptoms.
Only a doctor can tell you for sure that you have not suffered an injury.
In the meantime, you should document all your injuries, saving all evidence of damages for when you submit a claim or file a lawsuit. You should also note your symptoms and keep a log of your experience because you will eventually need to prove your pain and suffering. The insurance company will want to give you a generic number that does not fully pay you for your damages, so you need to show precisely how you have suffered.
How Brain Injuries Affect You
The extent of your damages will depend on the severity of your brain injury. In addition, the part of the brain that is injured will also impact what functions you may lose.
- Injury to the frontal lobe may result in permanent cognitive issues.
- Injury to the cerebellum will result in loss of muscle tone and coordination (with movement difficulties)
- Injury to the brain stem will affect the body’s ability to control critical functions, such as breathing and swallowing (these are often the most traumatic of TBIs)
The Different Kinds of Brain Injuries
Here are some TBIs and the possible impacts that you may suffer from them:
- Concussion– This injury results from trauma to the head, which causes the brain to bounce and move inside the skull. In the process, the brain may suffer permanent damage through chemical changes or damaged brain cells. Although concussions are relatively common, never think of them as routine, as some may cause permanent injuries.
- Contusions – Sometimes, a blow to the skull can cause bleeding in the brain. When the brain bleeds, it is different from when other internal organs bleed. A brain bleed can cause cells to die permanently.
- Diffuse axonal injury – When the skull moves faster than the brain, it can cause the brain to slam into the skull. This type of injury often happens when someone suffers an injury from whiplash in a car accident.
- Penetration injury – An object can penetrate the skull and the brain, often resulting in the permanent death of the cells and tissue in the area.
- Anoxic brain injuries – As opposed to being caused by trauma, an anoxic brain injury happens when the accident victim doesn’t get any oxygen for a certain length of time. Even 30 seconds of oxygen deprivation can cause brain cells to die and permanent brain damage.
Proving Negligence in a Brain Injury Case
In addition to getting the medical help you need, you must contact an experienced attorney to handle your case. The starting point of a brain injury case is proving that someone else was negligent, which is the basis of their obligation to pay you. Suffering from a brain injury, you are obviously preoccupied and cannot deal with the legal process.
To prove someone else negligent, you must show that:
- They owed you a duty of care
- They breached the duty of care by acting unreasonably under the circumstances
- You suffered an injury
- You would not have suffered an injury but for the defendant’s negligent actions.
Your Case Is Not Over Even if You Prove Liability
Once your lawyer puts you in a position where you are eligible for financial compensation, you must then discuss the actual amount. We cannot pretend that this will be an easy discussion. When you have a claim worth millions of dollars, there is a large margin for error.
If you settle a $2 million claim for $1 million, you made an error. Your lawyer is here for this reason. They know what your claim is worth and will not let the insurance company take advantage of you.
Brain Injuries Have Steep Medical Costs
The medical costs will be significant any time you require medical treatment for a brain injury. The brain is extremely delicate, and a medical professional must treat it carefully and extensively.
The hospital costs for the initial treatment of the TBI can reach up to $400,000, and that is just the early treatment to stabilize the patient. Those suffering permanent damage from a TBI may have medical costs reaching $3 million.
This figure does not even cover the other damages besides medical costs.
Medical costs can include things like:
- Hospitalization charges
- The multiple surgeries that may be necessary to stabilize a brain injury patient
- The extensive rehabilitation that is necessary for a brain injury patient to either adjust to their injury or regain some function
- Prescription drugs
- Adaptive medical equipment that can help the patient with the activities of daily life
- Fitting one’s home to accommodate a handicap
Brain Injuries Cause Significant Pain and Suffering
The more significant the medical costs of the injury, the higher the pain and suffering that the accident victim will experience. An insurance company will usually tie the pain and suffering to the medical bills.
Those who suffer serious TBIs have experienced significant disruption to their life that can include:
- The loss of mobility
- Anxiety and depression
- Lack of ability to control moods
- Inability to sleep
- The loss of habits that they had before the accident
- The overall loss of enjoyment of life
A TBI will affect different people in different ways. The only thing that is consistent between people is that a brain injury will cause upheaval and changes in your life.
You Must Negotiate Enough Brain Injury Compensation
Before you accept a brain injury settlement, you should ensure that it fairly pays you for all of the impacts on you. Accident victims have different lives before the accident and suffer varying damages. Your check should not be dictated by someone else’s injury, based on some pre-set scale on an actuary’s computer. Instead, you should base your settlement or award on your unique situation. The insurance company or jury needs to consider you as a person, as much as they may want to take shortcuts.
How the Insurance Company Tries to Keep Your Settlement Check Low
The insurance company will use tricks to lower your financial recovery. Their main aim is to minimize the severity of your injury.
We are ready for that, and we will help you prepare:
- Consult with your doctors and medical experts to understand both your current medical situation and your prognosis
- Push back when the insurance company suggests that you are not as injured as your claim says
- Work with other experts to know the value of your claim before you file it.
- Reject a settlement offer that does not fairly pay you
- Prepare to take your case to a jury trial if the defendant and their insurance company does not offer you enough money.
You must stand on even footing with the insurance company in settlement negotiations. You do not want them to have an advantage over you because it will cost you money. An experienced attorney will level the playing field.
You Must Take Care of Your Brain Injury Settlement Check
When you deal with such a large potential settlement number, you may have other issues relating to the money.
You may need to consider:
- Whether the settlement will be a lump sum or an annuity
- Whether to establish a trust for the future care
- If the injury is to a child, how the parents or guardians will use the money, both now and in the future
You should work with a financial adviser and consult with your attorney to consider the range of options before you will receive a settlement check. You need your funds to last a lifetime, especially when you have suffered a permanent injury. You cannot just accept a large check that needs to last a long time without any plan for it.
Call an Ocala Brain Injury Lawyer
The legal process after a brain injury is not something that you can or should try to handle on your own. Insurance companies maximize their profits by minimizing their payouts. They do this by using every tactic in their book. They have teams of adjusters and lawyers whose interests do not align with your own. The range of outcomes is too great, and the stakes too high not to put your case in the hands of an experienced attorney.
You need to get every dollar for your injuries now because an insurance company will not just hand it to you. Our attorneys at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A. know how to fight for you. We understand what you are facing because we help injured clients every day. Contact us online or call us today at (352) 377-9000 to start the legal process at no cost to you.
1521 S Pine Avenue
Ocala, FL 34471
My experience was more than great, from the moment I acquired about their services to the moment my case was finalized and settled, there was steady communication, and I was consistently in the loop. They explain things to you in a way that you can understand and ensure that you are involved in the decision making. Everyone is super kind and stays in contact with you even after settling. They truly care about your well being and I will definitely keep them at the top of the list for any other cases.