Charlotte Brain Injury Lawyer

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The human brain is extraordinary, and the latest medical research has yet to explain everything the brain does. The brain controls the entire body, but it is unfortunately vulnerable to physical trauma. Whenever any type of traumatic brain injury occurs, the victim could potentially face lifelong disability and a wide range of possible effects. If you or a loved one has experienced this type of injury, a Charlotte brain injury lawyer can help determine your legal options.

Legal Counsel for Brain Injury Claims in Charlotte, NC

The attorneys at Butler, Quinn & Hochman, PLLC, have years of experience representing personal injury clients in Charlotte and surrounding areas. We know that the average person is likely to have many pressing legal questions about a personal injury case that they will not be able to answer on their own, and they will need help in securing accountability and compensation for the brain injury they experienced.

When you hire our firm as your legal counsel, you are investing in a dedicated advocate who will rapidly respond to your questions and concerns, help develop a sound legal strategy for recovering as fully as possible, and who will explain all the various challenges and opportunities you could face in your legal efforts to recover. Whatever your case entails, you can expect compassionate and results-driven legal counsel from our team.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries

It’s possible for a person to sustain many types of brain injuries. These injuries are generally classified as either open or closed. An open injury is one in which a foreign object physically penetrates the skull and ruptures brain tissue. This type of injury could happen because of a gunshot, falling object, or severe blow to the head. A closed injury does not break through the skull but causes the brain to strike the inside of the skull.

Any open head injury is a medical emergency. The victim requires immediate care as they have not only suffered a severe traumatic injury, but any brain tissue exposed is susceptible to infection. Closed head injuries are also medical emergencies, but they can be unpredictable in their effects, and this type of injury will generally require several types of imaging to determine the extent and severity of the damage done to the victim.

It is important to remember that any brain injury has the potential to cause a wide range of symptoms, some of which can evolve over time or even result in permanent medical complications. Brain injuries can not only have physical effects like diminished sensory perception, chronic headaches, and more, but they can also have a host of psychological effects like memory loss, personality changes, and other effects that may not be immediately noticeable.

The victim of any traumatic brain injury is likely to require extensive immediate and ongoing medical care to fully recover from their injuries. It is also very difficult to predict any brain injury victim’s future as it is possible for two people to suffer seemingly identical injuries and have completely different recovery experiences. A victim could suffer an apparently catastrophic injury and have few to no long-term complications, and the opposite is also possible.

Potential Complications From Different Types of Brain Injuries

It’s possible for a brain injury to happen in many ways. The most common example of these injuries is concussions. A concussion occurs whenever a sudden shift in momentum causes the victim’s brain to hit the inside surface of the skull. Concussions vary widely in severity and the effects they can cause. It’s possible for a victim to recover without any apparent signs of long-term damage, and it is also possible for a concussion to have devastating long-term effects.

Brain contusions can happen in similar ways and are generally more severe concussions. This type of injury results in bruising on the surface of the brain, and any bleeding that occurs will require immediate medical intervention. Open head injuries are physically damaging and have a high chance of causing permanent disabilities to the victim. Ultimately, there is a significant risk of serious injury with any type of brain injury a person might suffer.

Some of the most commonly cited symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include:

  • Sensory impairment, including blindness or deafness.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Clear cerebrospinal fluid draining from the ears and/or nose.
  • Slurred speech, blurred vision, tinnitus, and sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Memory loss, problems concentrating, and difficulty making decisions.
  • Frustration, irritability, mood swings, confusion, and personality changes.
  • Changes in sleep include insomnia, inability to wake, or difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  • Anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue.
  • Convulsions and seizures.

One of the most challenging aspects of brain injury treatment is the fact that symptoms can appear unexpectedly, change over time, and even appear months or even years following the actual date of the injury. Some people seem to recover from brain injuries with few to no lingering symptoms, while other victims suffer multiple severe medical complications and permanent disabilities.

The victim of any type of brain injury could not only face long-term medical treatment as they work toward regaining full functional capacity again, but they may be unable to work, unable to maintain personal relationships, or unable to handle basic daily tasks in their household. Many people who suffer severe brain injuries will require in-home care, potentially for the rest of their lives.

It’s important to remember that even a seemingly mild brain injury will have lasting effects. Every brain injury leaves the victim more susceptible to future brain injuries. Their other symptoms may prevent them from returning to their job or even being able to work in the future. If another party is responsible for inflicting this type of injury on you or a family member, you should not be left to pay for the aftermath on your own.

Proving Fault for a Brain Injury in Charlotte

A personal injury suit is a legal mechanism you can use to hold another party accountable for their actions after they have injured you through any type of negligence or illegal misconduct. “Negligence” is a legal term to define a lack of reasonable care in a specific situation or a failure to uphold a specific duty of care. For example, every driver has a duty of care to abide by posted speed limits, and speeding is a breach of this duty of care.

If you believe another party is liable for the brain injury you or a loved one recently experienced, you have the right to pursue a personal injury claim against them and seek accountability for the harm you suffered. The majority of personal injury cases filed in Charlotte each year are the results of negligence, but it is also possible for someone to suffer a brain injury due to another party’s intentional and illegal actions.

In either case, you will need the help of a Charlotte brain injury lawyer to successfully establish liability for the injury you or your loved one suffered. Your attorney can help gather various forms of evidence as well as witness testimony to assist you with your recovery efforts. The evidence you will need will vary based on how your injury occurred. A few of the most commonly reported causes of traumatic brain injuries in Charlotte include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents. Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents are the leading causes of personal injuries throughout the state each year, and traumatic brain injuries are some of the most commonly reported injuries from these accidents. It’s possible for a victim of an accident to suffer a severe concussion or even a penetrating head injury from their accident.
  • Workplace accidents. Some workplaces are inherently more dangerous than others, but it is possible for traumatic brain injuries to happen unexpectedly in various workplaces from all types of causes. If you were injured while working, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance may provide some relief, but you will need to consult an attorney to determine the full extent of your options for recourse after a workplace accident.
  • Slip and fall accidents. Property owners must ensure their properties are safe for lawful visitors, taking care to address any foreseeable safety hazards as soon as they notice them. If you suffered a brain injury from a slip and fall, the owner of the property where your accident happened may be liable for your damages. You will need to prove they failed to correct a safety hazard that directly resulted in your slip and fall.
  • Sports accidents. Contact sports such as football are a leading cause of brain injuries in the United States each year. If you suffer a traumatic brain injury while playing a sport, it is vital to consult a Charlotte brain injury lawyer to determine whether any party’s negligence or misconduct directly caused your injury.
  • Criminal acts. Unfortunately, it is possible for many types of illegal activity to result in brain injuries. Interpersonal violence, intoxicated driving, and domestic violence are common examples of how this can happen. The defendant in this type of case faces criminal charges for their actions along with their civil liability for the plaintiff’s damages.

No matter how your accident happened, your attorney can assist you in gathering evidence to support your claim. For example, if you suffered an injury in a car accident, they could secure traffic camera footage, drivers’ cell phone records, witness testimony, and vehicle computer data to help you prove exactly how the accident happened. You will need to firmly establish liability for the incident that caused your injury before you can recover any compensation for your damages.

One issue that you must understand when it comes to filing any type of personal injury suit in North Carolina is the state’s law of contributory negligence. This law prevents a plaintiff from claiming compensation for their damages from any other party if the plaintiff shares even slight fault for causing their damages. This means that if a plaintiff is found just 1% at fault for causing their injury, it will totally negate their ability to claim compensation from a defendant.

Many believe the contributory negligence rule to be unfair to plaintiffs, but it is a reality with which any plaintiff may contend in their case. It’s common for defendants in personal injury cases to attempt to cast blame on those filing suits against them to avoid liability for the damages they have caused. An experienced Charlotte brain injury lawyer can help repel any such allegations made against you in your impending case.

Filing an Insurance Claim for a Brain Injury in Charlotte

If you suffered a brain injury in a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy to secure some compensation for your damages. Their insurance is unlikely to fully cover all your damages, but a successful claim can still be valuable for any accident victim in Charlotte.

After you prove liability for your accident, an experienced attorney can guide you through the auto insurance claim filing process. You will need to send supporting evidence along with your proof of loss forms to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, and it is vital to report your intent to file a claim as quickly as possible after your accident. Never discuss a settlement with an insurance company without speaking to an attorney first.

Almost every insurance company will do everything it can to avoid paying out on a claim. The company will look for reasons to deny claims or justify the smallest possible settlement offers. It will try to use claimants’ own words against them and will sometimes even engage in bad-faith tactics. When you have legal representation on your side, an insurance company representative is far less inclined to attempt any such mishandling of your case.

The insurance company will investigate your claim and then issue a settlement offer. Your Charlotte brain injury lawyer can help determine whether the offer is fair and reasonable, negotiating on your behalf if necessary. Your brain injury is likely to result in significant damages that an insurance claim alone will not be able to cover, but success with your claim can still yield valuable compensation that aids in your recovery efforts.

Building a Personal Injury Suit for Traumatic Brain Injury

Whether an insurance claim is not an option in your situation or the at-fault party’s insurance cannot fully cover your losses, the right attorney can help build a compelling personal injury suit that aims for maximum compensation for your damages. To succeed with any personal injury suit in the state, the plaintiff must first establish fault, and they must be ready to disprove any allegations of contributory negligence.

Your Charlotte brain injury lawyer can be an invaluable asset for gathering the foundational evidence you will need to prove fault for your injury. Whether you are seeking legal recourse on your own behalf or on behalf of an injured loved one, you will need help building your claim. Some evidence may be difficult or impossible for you to secure on your own, but a good attorney will know how to secure what you will need for your claim.

Once you have sufficient evidence for your complaint, you can submit it to the court, and your case can go in two possible directions at this point. Either the defendant can accept liability, and you can engage with them in settlement negotiations, or they can deny liability, and your case will proceed to litigation. In either scenario, having legal counsel on your side is a tremendous asset.

Many personal injury cases filed end in a settlement because of the advantages this process provides to all parties involved. Settlement is private, whereas court proceedings are public records. Settlement also moves more quickly, while litigation takes a long time to complete due to the various pretrial stages that must be addressed before courtroom sessions even begin. Settlement also allows both parties to have more influence over the final outcome.

During settlement, the plaintiff, defendant, and their respective attorneys meet privately to negotiate a set of terms to resolve the claim. If these parties are willing to compromise, it is possible for them to settle the case in a fraction of the time litigation could require. Settlement may take only a few weeks to complete, while litigation can potentially last several months to more than a year.

If the case cannot be settled, it will need to go to trial. A judge and/or jury will oversee the case and consider evidence and arguments from all parties involved. Ultimately, no matter how you resolve your personal injury claim, having experienced legal representation on your side will dramatically increase your chances of reaching a favorable result in the swiftest fashion possible.

Damages You Can Claim for a Traumatic Brain Injury

Success with your personal injury claim will mean securing compensation for your damages from the defendant who injured you. In every personal injury suit, the plaintiff has the right to seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages they incurred because of the defendant’s negligence or illegal misconduct. Your immediate damages may be apparent, but long-term damages and non-economic damages can be confusing to the average person.

Your Charlotte brain injury lawyer can assist you with an accurate calculation of all the economic damages you can seek from the defendant in your claim. These are the direct financial losses resulting from the defendant’s negligence or illegal misconduct, and you will need to prove that they did not result from any other cause. This is very difficult in some cases, but the right attorney can provide the guidance you need to establish causation.

Economic damages you could potentially recover from the defendant may include property damage, medical treatment costs, and lost income. Property damage is the most straightforward of these; if the defendant damaged or destroyed your property with their actions, they are liable for all associated repair and replacement costs. Medical expenses and lost income, however, can be more challenging to compute in a brain injury claim.

When it comes to your medical expenses, the defendant is liable for both immediate and future medical treatment costs related to your brain injury. These may include hospital bills, ambulance fees, the cost of necessary surgeries, medication costs, and everything else related to the treatment of your injury. Additionally, you have the right to seek compensation for projected future medical expenses you are likely to incur because of the injury.

Many people who suffer traumatic brain injuries will require various forms of ongoing care to reach maximum medical recovery. They may require physical, occupational, or speech therapy, mental health counseling, language counseling, and various other treatments to regain as much functional capacity as possible. Some will suffer profound disabilities and require the use of medical assistance devices along with constant in-home care.

Lost income works similarly as the plaintiff can claim compensation for the income they cannot earn during their initial recovery, as well as income they will no longer be able to earn in the future because of their injury. For example, if your brain injury has left you disabled in a way that leaves you unable to perform your previous job, the defendant would be liable for this lost earning capacity.

If a plaintiff has been permanently disabled by a brain injury to the point that they are unable to work at all in the future, the defendant would be liable for the future income they are no longer able to earn. This means their attorney can help them calculate how much income they realistically would have expected to earn in the future and add this amount to their claim. The amount they can receive typically depends on their age and their previous earnings.

Claiming Pain and Suffering Compensation for a Brain Injury

Along with your economic damages, you are also entitled to claim compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced because of the defendant’s actions. The average person is likely to struggle to assign a monetary value to these intangible losses, but your attorney can provide valuable direction with this aspect of your claim.

State law only enforces a cap on pain and suffering compensation in medical malpractice suits. For all other personal injury cases, plaintiffs may seek whatever pain and suffering compensation they believe to be appropriate to reflect the severity of the harm done to them. Attorneys in Charlotte generally use two methods for calculating pain and suffering for their clients — the multiplier method and the per diem method.

The multiplier method involves adding the total of the client’s economic damages and then multiplying this amount by a factor, usually between one and five, that reflects the overall severity of the client’s condition. The per diem method focuses on the time it takes the victim to reach maximum medical improvement, awarding a set amount of compensation for each day the victim spends in recovery.

Due to the severity of most brain injuries, victims of these injuries tend to secure substantial amounts of pain and suffering compensation when they have experienced legal counsel on their side. When you choose Butler, Quinn & Hochman, PLLC, to represent you in your brain injury claim, we will do everything we can to maximize the compensation you obtain for the pain and suffering you experienced.

Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Beyond your economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages could also come into play in your case if the defendant who harmed you did so through some illegal act. When a defendant has broken the law, the plaintiff can seek punitive damages from the court, and it is possible for them to receive these punitive damages at the court’s discretion. If your brain injury resulted from violent crime, intoxicated driving, or other illegal activity, you may receive punitive damages.

The amount you receive in punitive damages will typically be greater than $250,000 or three times the total of your compensatory damages. The defendant’s financial status will also influence the court’s decision; wealthy defendants tend to pay more in punitive damages than those with minimal assets. Your Charlotte brain injury lawyer can explain how punitive damages may factor into your recovery.

What to Expect From Your Charlotte Brain Injury Lawyer

Butler, Quinn & Hochman, PLLC, offers comprehensive personal injury counsel to our clients in Charlotte. Whether you are seeking accountability and compensation for an injury you suffered or you are seeking legal recourse on behalf of a family member, you can rely on our team for ongoing support through every step of your case.

We excel at resolving complex personal injury cases and approach every case with the goal of helping our clients secure as much compensation as state law allows in the most efficient possible manner. During your initial consultation with our team, we can answer your questions, address your concerns, provide our initial professional interpretation of your case, and explain the legal services we can provide to help with your recovery.

Contact Bulter, Quinn & Hochman, PLLC, today and schedule your consultation with an experienced and compassionate Charlotte brain injury lawyer regarding your recovery.

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