Ohio Brain Injury Lawsuits: What to ExpectFeb 24, 2022 Traumatic Brain Injury
Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects a person’s ability to use their brain and could permanently alter their quality of life. TBIs are also a frighteningly common cause of death and disability in the United States; according to the CDC, over 60,000 Americans died as a result of a TBI in 2019.
TBIs are most often caused by falls, motor vehicle crashes, or assault. If you or a loved one received a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you could file a lawsuit to recover damages for things like your medical bills. Here’s what to expect.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBIs affect your brain, skull, and spine and can ultimately impact the use of the rest of your body if the injury is severe enough. Brain injuries are classified into a few categories:
Closed vs. Penetrating Brain Injuries
Closed brain injuries are non-penetrating and do not cause a break in the skull. They result from a sudden blow or jolt to the head or body that causes the brain to bounce or twist around in the skull, causing bruising (contusions) or tearing of brain tissue. Concussions are the most common closed brain injury.
Penetrating brain injuries occur when an object enters the skull and directly hits the brain and often result from assault with weapons or gunfire.
Primary vs. Secondary Brain Injury
Primary brain injuries occur at the moment of the initial trauma, such as skull fractures or contusions.
A secondary brain injury is caused by complications from the main injury and can occur hours or days after the trauma. Examples include hemorrhaging, stroke, and cerebral edema (brain swelling).
The Potential Effect of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury ranges from mild to severe and can vary significantly during recovery. The effects of a mild TBI, such as a concussion, can include fatigue, memory loss, and headaches, but people rarely experience long-term complications.
Moderate or severe TBIs can cause permanent damage to physical and psychological health such as:
- Difficulty communicating and remembering information
- Hearing and vision problems
- Loss of motor skills
- Personality changes and impulsive behavior
People with moderate to severe TBIs face chronic health problems and obstacles to their quality of life; among people alive five years after injury, 57% are moderately or severely disabled.
TBI Treatment Costs
As you might imagine, the cost of treating a brain injury, especially a moderate to a severe one, can be extremely high — between $85,000 to $3 million for total lifetime care, according to an estimate from Next Avenue.
Costs accrue quickly from all the treatment a TBI may require, such as:
- Hospital bills
- In-home care
- Adaptive equipment such as a wheelchair
- Prescription drug costs
You may be unable to work and lose years of wages; you might also suffer emotional damage such as loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.
When to File a Brain Injury Lawsuit
You may have legal recourse to recoup the expenses listed above. If someone else’s negligence caused your injury, you could file a lawsuit to recover damages.
Under the Ohio statute of limitations, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit.
Brain Injury Lawsuit Process
The first step to filing an Ohio brain injury lawsuit is to contact an attorney. Your attorney will ask questions about how your brain injury occurred and begin to investigate your case.
Then the following steps will occur:
Pre-Trial, Discovery, and Deposition
In discovery, you and the party you filed a suit against will exchange evidence and witness information.
You will also participate in a deposition, which is out-of-court testimony to preserve the story of both sides before trial. The discovery process may take several months to complete.
Trial Phase (or Settlement)
Most personal injury cases settle before trial. Settlement can happen at any point in the pre-trial phase. If you receive a settlement offer, talk it over with your attorney; you may be able to negotiate for a better settlement.
However, if your case goes to trial, the judge or jury will determine if the defendant is at fault for your brain injury. If they are found to be negligent, they will be ordered to pay damages to you.
Your attorney will attempt to prove the defendant’s negligence and show the extent of your brain injury through evidence such as your medical reports or a doctor’s testimony. A trial can take several days or up to a few weeks.
Contact an Ohio Brain Injury Lawyer
Filing a brain injury lawsuit while dealing with your injury can be complicated. You deserve to have guidance and a chance at recovering your losses. Whether your brain injury was mild or severe, the Ohio attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick can help you get the compensation you deserve.