4 FAQs About Car Accident Head Injury Claims
Car accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the United States. The vast majority of these collisions are the result of negligent behaviors such as speeding, texting behind the wheel, and drunk driving.
If you or someone you love sustained a head injury in a crash, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other damages. Since brain injuries usually meet the “serious injury threshold,” you may be able to bring a claim against the at-fault party rather than just relying on Personal Injury Protection insurance.
Read on to learn the answers to four FAQs about car accident head injury claims:
1. How Can I Prove the Severity of a Head Injury Following a Car Accident?
Since TBIs are not always visible in diagnostic images, proving their severity can pose a challenge. Fortunately, MRI scans and X-ray images are not the only kinds of evidence your attorney can use to demonstrate the extent of a TBI.
Other ways to prove the severity of a head injury include:
- Medical records;
- Statements from neurologists, psychologists, and other specialists;
- Journal entries detailing the ways in which the TBI is affecting your everyday life; and
- Testimony from friends, family members, and coworkers explaining the changes they have noticed in you since the accident.
2. What Kinds of Damages Can I Pursue After Sustaining a Head Injury?
If you sustained a traumatic brain injury in a motor-vehicle collision in Florida, you can pursue compensation for:
- Property damage;
- Past and future medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future earning capacity and lost benefits;
- Home care, domestic help, alternative transportation, and other economic damages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment in life;
- Emotional distress; and
- Loss of consortium.
Depending on the circumstances, you might also be entitled to a punitive award. These damages may be available if the liable party’s conduct constituted gross negligence or intentional misconduct—for instance, if the at-fault driver was drunk or fled the scene.
3. How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit Following a Car Accident?
In Florida, the typical statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit following a motor-vehicle collision is four years from the date of the accident. If you want to sue a government entity, though, you have just three years from the date of the accident to file suit; however, you must submit a notice of claim and allow for a 180-day investigation period before filing the lawsuit.
4. Why Should I Hire an Attorney to Help with My Case?
A skilled car accident lawyer can help you avoid critical mistakes and take the necessary steps to ensure your claim has the best possible chance of resulting in a fair settlement. Your attorney can gather evidence, interview witnesses, consult with experts, calculate your damages, and handle settlement negotiations. Having a seasoned litigator by your side also tells the insurance company that you’re prepared to go to trial if they refuse to cooperate.