Brain injuries can result from many different kinds of accidents, and often they are caused by another person’s negligence. Recovery from this type of injury can take a long time, and along with the impact on the victim’s quality of life, mounting medical bills combined with lost wages places an additional burden on the victim and his or her family.
If you or someone you care about has suffered a brain injury, it can be beneficial to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer. At Geoff McDonald and Associates, our lawyers are well-versed in Richmond’s personal injury laws and how they may affect your potential claim. Our firm has been helping injury victims and their families in Virginia for more than two decades and have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. This includes a recovery of $1.25 million for a victim who sustained a brain injury after being assaulted by a commercial driver.
One of our Richmond brain injury lawyers is prepared to review your claim during a free consultation. If we represent you, there are no upfront fees and you only pay us if we help you win.
How Do I Know If My Case Has Merit?
Each situation is different and determining whether your case has merit is typically a multi-step process. Our legal team must determine how the injury happened, understand the type of brain injury you suffered, assess your medical records and treatment plans, and take into consideration all other contributing factors.
To pursue a legal claim, you must have suffered harm caused by another’s negligence. This means you must prove the four elements of negligence:
- Duty of care – The other party had an obligation to exercise reasonable care to prevent you and others harm. For example, doctors have a duty to provide safe and effective medical care. This includes the duty to properly diagnose and treat patients.
- Breach of duty of care – The other party breached his or duty of care by failing to act as another reasonable person would have done in a similar situation. For example, a motorist who decides to speed through an intersection when the light turns red is making a deliberate choice that puts other lives at risk.
- Causation – The other party’s breach must have caused your injury. Had the property owner put up a warning sign or fixed the loose staircase railing, you would not have fallen and sustained an injury.
- Damages – Your injury caused you to suffer actual damages, such as medical bills to help pay for emergency services, hospitalization and doctor visits, and lost income from being unable to work.
What is Value of My Case?
The value of a case will be based on several factors. Generally, the damages a brain injury victim may be eligible for includes both special damages (economic losses) and general damages (non-economic losses).
These damages are meant to compensate the victim for any financial hardships endured, such as:
- Medical expenses required for treatment
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Life care costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Funeral and burial costs in the event a loved one passes
These damages are meant to compensate the victim for any emotional or psychological hardships experienced. General damages are also more difficult to quantify and could include:
- Physical pain
- Mental suffering
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
For questions regarding how much your case could be worth, request a risk-free, no-obligation consultation with a knowledgeable Richmond brain injury lawyer from our firm.
Do I Need A Brain Injury Lawyer?
After suffering a brain injury, you may be coming to terms with accepting newfound limitations. The other party’s insurance company will do everything they can to not fully compensate you for the harm you have sustained and may attempt to have you settle the case for as little money as possible. The insurer will try to find any reason to devalue or deny your claim. This is typically done by placing some negligence onto you.
To avoid saying or doing anything that might harm the case, it is in your best interest to consult with a licensed brain injury lawyer to communicate and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Our legal team has the experience, knowledge and resources needed to build a strong case for fair compensation.
If you have a case, we are ready to conduct a detailed investigation to collect evidence to help prove negligence occurred and identify all liable parties involved.
Time Limit for Filing Brain Injury Claims
In Virginia, victims of brain injuries typically have just two years from the date of the accident to file claims against negligent motorists, doctors, property owners, and others for their losses. If you miss the two-year filing deadline, your claim will be dismissed by the court and you will be unable to recover compensation.
There are certain scenarios, however, that may cause the deadline to be extended. If the victim is a minor or considered incapacitated at the time of the accident, the clock will not begin until two years from the date of his or her 18th birthday or until he or she is no longer incapacitated.
Questions about the claims process? We recommend contacting our Richmond brain injury lawyers for help.
Types Of Brain Injury Cases We Handle
Our legal team at Geoff McDonald & Associates has over 20 years of experience handling a variety of brain injury cases often caused by the following types of accidents:
- Car accidents
- Birth injuries
- Defective products
- Construction accidents
- Slip and falls
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
Brain injuries fall typically into one of two categories: traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and acquired brain injuries (ABIs), both of which disrupt normal brain function.
- Traumatic brain injuries – These injuries are the result of an external force, such as a sudden blow or impact to the head. That sudden force causes the brain to move about the skull, resulting in brain damage.
- Acquired brain injuries – These are injuries to the brain after birth, such as damage sustained by an infectious disease, lack of oxygen, tumor, stroke, accident or near-drowning experience.
The extent of damage done to the brain also depends on the level of the brain injury. Mild brain injuries are temporary and may cause headaches, nausea, confusion and memory issues. Moderate brain injuries can cause physical, cognitive or behavioral difficulties that may last for months or become permanent. Severe brain injuries can cause victims to suffer life-changing and debilitating problems.
Some other types of injuries may include:
This is a type of TBI in which the skull has not been broken. It is usually caused by a sudden blow or jerking motion that has caused the brain to move within the skull with enough force to damage tissue. The brain may swell, which creates pressure that leads to further damage. A concussion is an example of a closed-head injury.
Diffuse Axonal Injury
Widespread brain damage may be described as a “diffuse axonal injury,” or DAI. This is typically a closed-head injury. A concussion is a mild DAI. A severe DAI can cause long-term loss of consciousness (coma) or a persistent vegetative state. The few who wake from a coma are likely to have significant impairments.
This is a type of TBI caused by an object breaking though the skull and into the brain. When an object penetrates the skull and exits at a different location, the wound is known as a “perforating open-head injury.” In addition to primary brain damage, an open-head injury can easily become infected.
Anoxic / Hypoxic Brain Injury
If the brain is without oxygen for five minutes or more, brain cells can die. This is known as “anoxic brain injury.” A reduced oxygen level can cause less-severe hypoxic brain injury. Loss of oxygen to the brain can cause permanent physical disabilities, cognitive problems and psychological disorders. Cerebral palsy, which usually manifests as a deficit in physical coordination, is an incurable birth disorder primarily caused by oxygen loss either during birth or soon afterward.
Focal Brain Injury
A focal injury is damage to a specific area of the brain, usually from an open-head penetrating injury. A sharp blow may also cause a closed-head focal brain injury.
Brain Injury Symptoms and Treatment
Brain injury victims can suffer a wide range of symptoms, such as:
- Loss of consciousness
- Persistent headaches
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Weakness or numbness
- Changes in appetite
- Sensitivity to light
Although brain injuries do not always result in long-term disability or impairment, it is important to seek immediate medical care to obtain the correct diagnosis and treatment needed to contain or minimize the damage. You may be eligible to recover compensation for physical, occupational, or speech and language therapy in addition to psychological support services.
Contact Our Richmond Brain Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury as the result of another party’s negligence in Virginia, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries and out-of-pocket costs for medical treatment.
Our Richmond brain injury attorneys are standing by to take your call or chat online. We offer initial consultations that are free and provide the opportunity to have your potential brain injury claim or brain injury lawsuit reviewed by our attorneys at no cost to you. Should you have a case and we represent you, you do not pay us for our legal services unless we are successful in recovering compensation for you.
Our office in Richmond is located less than 20 minutes from the Brain Injury Association of Virginia.