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Severe head trauma can result from many different kinds of accidents. For example, the impact of a motor vehicle collision could leave you with a traumatic brain injury which requires intense medical treatment. In cases where another person’s negligence causes a head injury, compensation may be available.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a traumatic brain injury, you might benefit from the assistance of a dedicated catastrophic injury attorney. A diligent Vineland traumatic brain injury lawyer could review your case and help you discover your legal options for obtaining a recovery.
Defining Severe Head Trauma
The Center for Disease Control defines a traumatic head injury as that which disrupts the normal function of the brain. Moreover, a sudden impact may cause an open or closed head injury.
An open head injury occurs when an external object penetrates the skull, whereas a closed head injury happens when the brain hits the inside of the skull from an abrupt impact to the head. Closed head injuries typically result from car crashes which cause the head to violently thrash.
The severity of an injury may determine a compensatory award in a civil suit. Mild traumatic brain injuries are commonly referred to as concussions. However, catastrophic brain injuries can lead to comas and even death. An inability to concentrate, memory loss, fatigue, mood swings, headaches, nausea, and blurred vision are all symptoms of a traumatic brain injury.
Criminal Charges Versus Civil Claims
Severe head injuries can be caused by criminal behavior such as an intentionally inflicted gunshot wound. Responsible parties could face criminal charges in addition to civil penalties. A traumatic brain injury which results from an intentional tort such as assault, battery, or infliction of emotional distress can form the basis of a successful claim for damages. Any evidence which is used to convict an at-fault party may be admissible in a civil suit, as well.
Also known as negligence, unintentional torts hold defendants liable for causing harm to a claimant when they fail to act as a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. In order to establish an at-fault party’s negligence, you must show that he or she owed you a duty of care at the time of the incident. You must also prove that he or she breached this legal obligation and caused the accident which led to your injuries. Fortunately, a seasoned traumatic brain injury lawyer in Vineland could help you demonstrate a negligent defendant’s role in your claim for damages.
Seeking Damages for Traumatic Brain Injuries
Regardless of the exact cause of your traumatic brain injury, you may seek economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages compensate for monetary losses such as medical bills, missed wages, and other related expenses. Non-economic damages would be awarded to cover intangible losses like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.
Punitive damages are awarded less often than other compensatory awards and are designed to punish defendants for particularly egregious conduct. New Jersey Revised Statutes §2A:15-5.12 states that punitive damages are only awarded when a plaintiff can prove that the defendant’s behavior was malicious or committed with willful disregard of foreseeable harm to others.
Additionally, NJ Rev Stat §2A:14-2 generally affords two years for those suffering from severe head trauma to bring a lawsuit for their injuries. This legal time limit is designed to promote the collection and preservation of critical evidence which could otherwise be lost or destroyed over time.
Reach out to a Vineland Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Today
The devastating effects of a traumatic brain injury can make it difficult to pursue compensation alone. A knowledgeable Vineland traumatic brain injury lawyer could provide guidance and support during court proceedings and advocate for your monetary recovery. Start exploring your options by calling today and scheduling a consultation with qualified legal counsel.