A traumatic brain injury is one of the most severe and debilitating injuries a person can experience. If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may be eligible for compensation to pay your medical bills, make up for lost income, and more.
Click to read about some of our record-breaking brain injury verdicts, then call (800) 985-1819 to schedule your free consultation.
Defining traumatic brain injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when there is a blow to the head, such as hitting the ground in a slip and fall accident or TBIs can be “closed” or “open.”
A “closed” (“nonpenetrating”) TBI means that the external blow did not break the skull. Most TBIs are closed. An “open” TBI means the external blow or object, such as a bullet or piece of metal pierces the skull, possibly penetrating the brain.
While a TBI is caused by something external, a non-traumatic, or “acquired” TBI, happens due to damage done by internal factors. A lack of oxygen due to a heart attack or near drowning is one example. A developing tumor can apply pressure to the brain, leading to an acquired TBI as well.
Steps to take after being hurt
You’ll likely be confused and in a lot of pain after suffering a brain injury, but if you follow these steps, you can protect your health and your chances of obtaining full compensation.
1. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance and the police
Don’t hesitate to call 911 to report the accident and any injuries sustained by you and anyone else involved. When emergency personnel arrives, follow their recommendations regarding treatment such as being transported to the hospital.
When the police interview you, give them the facts regarding what happened, but don’t admit even the slightest degree of fault. Doing so could severely damage your case.
2. Take notes and photos of the scene
Try to write down whatever you can regarding what happened. Use your smartphone to take pictures and videos, too. Get photos of anything you think is important. If you were in a car accident, take pictures of any fresh skid marks on the road as these could show the at-fault driver was speeding. You should also take pictures of any damages sustained during the accident and of your injuries.
3. Collect contact information from witnesses
Collecting the contact information of people who saw the accident could help you obtain maximum compensation. Get their name, phone number, and email address, and ask if you can relay their information to your attorney.
4. Keep a written or digital record of your experience
Be honest about the pain you’re experiencing, as well as your emotional trauma. You could be eligible for significant compensation for these and other issues associated with the accident.
5. Visit your primary care physician or specialist
A brain injury can be deceptive. See a doctor even if you don’t feel that you’ve suffered an injury so you can get the treatment you need. It’s common for brain injuries to worsen over time, so regular checkups might be necessary.
6. Speak with an attorney
Talk to a Chicago brain injury lawyer immediately so they can investigate the accident and collect the evidence you need.
Don’t miss the deadline to file your claim
In Illinois, you have two years from the date that you discovered your injury to take action. This time limit is called a “statute of limitations.” Failing to act before the deadline will result in you forfeiting your chances of pursuing compensation from those responsible.
Possible damages you can claim
These are your so-called “tangible” financial losses, such as wages lost because you can’t work and medical expenses. Pursuing a brain injury claim requires extensive research and input from relevant experts that can help determine the full extent of a plaintiff’s damages and likely future medical concerns.
Any lawyer can prove economic damages, but the same can’t be said for non-economic damages. These are the losses mentioned earlier, such as emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and others. Plaintiffs generally receive pain and suffering compensation in proportion to their physical pain and psychological suffering resulting from a brain injury.
How to find the right lawyer for your needs
Don’t choose an attorney just because they have catchy TV ads. It’s recommended that you do some research by asking friends or family for referrals, contacting the Chicago Bar Association, and looking online to see what other clients are saying about the attorneys you’re considering.
Common causes of brain injury
Brain injuries have many potential causes. Here are just a few of the more common ones:
- Car and truck accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction accidents
- Gunshot wounds
- Sports injuries
We’ll fight the insurance company to get you maximum compensation
When you choose Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, you’ll never have to worry about insurance companies intimidating any of our attorneys. We defeat huge insurance corporations on a regular basis, just like we have for decades.
Parties who may be liable for your injury
There could be several people and companies that played a role in the accident. Your Chicago brain injury lawyer will investigate to determine all the parties you could possibly sue whether it’s a commercial truck driver or their employer, your employer, a property owner, or the manufacturer of a defective product.
How our attorneys prove liability
A brain injury lawsuit functions similarly to any other personal injury claim–the injured person (the plaintiff) files an action against the person who harmed them (the defendant). A plaintiff’s Chicago personal injury attorney must establish four elements of negligence to succeed with a brain injury lawsuit.
Duty of care
The plaintiff’s attorney must establish the defendant’s duty of care in a given situation. For example, in a brain injury claim resulting from a car accident, every driver has a duty to other drivers and pedestrians to follow traffic laws to ensure everyone’s safety.
Breach of duty
The next element is the breach of duty. The plaintiff’s attorney must convey to the court how the defendant violated his or her duty of care to the plaintiff.
Next, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove the plaintiff suffered damages and provide evidence that establishes the extent of those damages. Proving complex damages or non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, often requires testimony from expert witnesses.
The final element is causation. Causation is proving the plaintiff’s damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
If a plaintiff’s attorney can establish these four elements of negligence, success with the case is likely. However, brain injuries are very complex medical issues that can result in unpredictable and highly variable short and long-term effects for victims.
Brain injury lawsuit process
The following is a quick look at some of what to expect if you pursue legal action.
1. Legal consultation
This is where you speak to a Chicago brain injury lawyer to tell them what happened and determine if they’re a good fit for your case.
2. Accident investigation
If the attorney takes your case, they’ll investigate to determine all potentially liable parties.
3. File the lawsuit and a demand for compensation
Your lawyer will then send demand letters to the insurance companies that cover the liable parties. The letters will spell out how much money each party owes you.
The demand letter will be the starting point for negotiations aimed at settling the case. There might be several back-and-forth settlement offers because although most cases settle rather than go to trial, that doesn’t mean the insurer will offer the compensation that you’re due. Your attorney will fight for you throughout these settlement discussions to get you maximum compensation.
5. Take the case to trial
Although the vast majority of cases reach a settlement, those that don’t proceed to trial where evidence and testimony are presented to a jury, and the jury issues a final verdict. The skilled legal team with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates is second to none and is prepared to take your case in front of a jury.
Why it’s important to visit the doctor
You’ll not only jeopardize your health if you don’t get medical help, but you’ll also jeopardize your chances of obtaining compensation. Waiting to get medical care could cause more damage than you think, especially with brain injuries that aren’t visible like cuts or bruises.
Cost of hiring a Chicago brain injury lawyer
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates works on a contingency fee basis, meaning we won’t receive a penny unless we help you achieve a positive outcome in your case.
Why hire Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates?
Each Chicago personal injury lawyer on our staff is highly experienced and passionate about fighting for our client’s rights.
Our Chicago brain injury lawyers are here to help
We understand that both the injured and their families need help navigating the often-fragile circumstances they face. Our Chicago TBI lawyers will work hard to ensure you or your loved one does not suffer financially. This also includes protecting your right to have the appropriate insurance company pay for necessary future treatment, loss of wage, loss of livelihood, and pain and suffering.
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates invites you for a free consultation to discuss your injury with our Chicago brain injury lawyers. You can contact us online or even speak with us right now on LiveChat, located in the lower right corner of the screen. Even if you do not wish to retain an experienced Chicago brain injury attorney, we can set you on the right path for free.
Most of our lawyers have more than 30 years of experience. We have an outstanding track record in helping our clients and creating a strong trust relationship, as you can see in our Success Record. Please call our office at (800) 985-1819 to see how we can help you.