How is Fault Determined for a Traumatic Brain?

How is Fault Determined for a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) can have lifelong consequences. If you sustained this type of injury due to the negligence of another party, you deserve to be compensated appropriately. There are often significant medical expenses associated with brain injuries. You may require constant care and no longer have the ability to perform even the simplest of daily tasks. To hold the negligent parties liable, you must prove they were at fault and should be held accountable.      

A traumatic brain injury lawyer in Los Angeles at Ellis Law can investigate your case thoroughly and determine all potentially at-fault parties. We protect your rights while fighting for you to receive the compensation you deserve. It is imperative you have a highly skilled California personal injury attorney on your side. Ellis Law will guide you through the personal injury claims process and stand with you throughout the entirety of your case. 

Proving Negligence in a TBI 

To prove that you were a victim of negligence in a California personal injury case, you and your attorney must establish four key elements: 

  • Duty of care: The defendant must owe you a duty of care. For instance, car accidents are among the most common causes of TBIs. All motorists have a duty to follow the rules of the road and drive safely. 
  • Breach of the duty of care: The defendant must have breached that duty of care. In a car accident, for example, the defendant may have been intoxicated, ran a stop sign, and collided with you. 
  • Causation: The breach caused your injury. Because the defendant ran a stop sign, the crash caused your TBI. There is a direct link between the defendant’s actions and your injury.  
  • Damages: Due to your TBI, you face extensive medical bills, lost wages, the loss of future earnings, and pain and suffering. 

Pure Comparative Negligence in California 

What if you were partly at fault for the accident that caused your TBI? Again, using a car crash example, perhaps you were going slightly over the speed limit when the defendant hit you. You may still collect damages in California even if you were at fault.  

California operates under a pure comparative negligence standard when it comes to liability. In most states, which operate under a modified comparative negligence statute, the plaintiff cannot receive damages if they were more than 50 or 51 percent responsible for the accident, depending on the state’s law. That is not the case in California. 

In California, even if you were 99 percent at fault for the crash, you can still collect damages. However, any damages award is reduced by your percentage of fault, as decided by a judge or jury. If you were severely injured but are deemed 25 percent at fault for the accident, any award is reduced by that percentage. That means a $1 million award is reduced to $750,000.  

Who Could Be at Fault for a Brain Injury? 

Who may prove to be at fault for a TBI depends upon the specific circumstances of your case.  

For example, in truck accidents, liability may extend beyond the truck driver and trucking company–if it is determined that the accident resulted from improperly secured freight. In this case, the cargo company may be at fault. In any motor vehicle accident, the manufacturer or a repair facility may be liable if a defective part contributed to the collision. 

If road conditions caused or contributed to an accident, the jurisdiction in charge of that roadway may hold liability. Perhaps a traffic signal malfunctioned, resulting in vehicles colliding with each other. In some instances, the inherent design of the road or highway is dangerous. 

Statute of Limitations 

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit against a government entity is six months from the accident date. The standard statute of limitations in California is generally two years.  

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries 

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) results from a physical impact to the head, resulting in an alteration in the function of the brain.  Common causes include the following: 

Slip and Falls  

Falls are a frequent cause of TBIs. Property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe and protect others from hazardous conditions that may result in injury. If a property owner is aware of a hazard and fails to remedy it or warn visitors, they may be at fault for your injury.  

Property managers may also prove liable. For example, wet floors in supermarkets and other places frequented by the public are prime areas for slips and falls. The store may hold liability if the store manager did not post warning signs or cordon off the hazardous area.  

Defective Products  

A defective product can cause a TBI if the item causes the victim to fall and hit their head. If such a product explodes, it can result in a penetrating brain injury. The manufacturer is responsible for designing safe products when used as directed.  

Construction Accidents  

If you suffered a TBI in a workplace construction accident, workers’ compensation should cover your medical expenses and part of your lost wages. However, it does not include benefits for pain and suffering. While workers’ compensation is designed to prevent employees from suing their employers, it is possible to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit against others responsible for the accident, such as negligent subcontractors.  

Potential Compensation in a TBI 

Ellis Law wants you to receive all available compensation for your brain injury so you can move forward with your best possible life.  

Treating a severe TBI entails enormous medical expenses. In many cases, that care can last a lifetime. Compensation for a TBI is divided into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the hard costs easily verified by receipts and bills and may include the following:  

  • Lost wages 
  • Medical expenses, current and future 
  • Reduced earning capacity  
  • Property damage  
  • Nursing assistance if unable to care for yourself 
  • Home or vehicle modifications necessary to accommodate a disability 

The process of determining non-economic damages is more subjective. This type of compensation addresses the emotional, psychological, and physical pain caused by the accident—for example, loss of the ability to enjoy life, depression, and emotional distress. 

Schedule a Free Consultation at Ellis Law 

If you or a loved one suffered a TBI due to another party’s negligence or recklessness, you need the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles at Ellis Law. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today. While most cases are settled, we will take your case to trial if the insurer fails to agree to a reasonable settlement. Because we work on a contingency basis, you pay no fee unless you receive compensation.