Brain Injury Lawyers in Charlotte, Helping Victims of Catastrophic Injuries Seek Justice
Just about any injury can be severe following car crashes, workplace mishaps, or any other type of serious accident. However, there are certain physical harms that are widely viewed as more detrimental than others. Brain injuries fall squarely into this category. If you or a loved one have experienced such an injury, you may be facing years of recovery and an onslaught of debt. Your entire life can change in an instant, and if this occurs due to another party’s negligence, you’re likely wondering whether they can be held accountable. A brain injury lawyer in Charlotte can help answer this question.
At Harman Law, we’ve seen the tragic consequences that far too often accompany acts of negligence and recklessness. Victims frequently are unable to work, and this is at a time when studies show that lifetime medical costs for head injuries could reach $4 million. Lost wages and medical bills are certainly a difficult reality to face, but these are often just the tip of the iceberg for brain injury victims. Even those who survive such incidents often come away without the ability to continue living their former life. Regardless of the severity of your situation, though, the legal team at Harman Law is ready to discuss your case during a free case evaluation. Contact us today.
Are You Entitled to Compensation After a Brain Injury?
Many brain injury victims are entitled to compensation following their injury. Such financial recovery can provide resources to cover lost wages, property damage, current medical expenses, future medical bills, and a variety of associated costs. It’s also possible for an injured party to secure compensation via non-economic damages. This could include money for pain and suffering, loss of support, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and more. It’s even possible to receive a court award for punitive damages — which are primarily meant to punish the defendant for egregious behavior rather than compensate victims for losses.
Whether you’re entitled to any of this recovery, however, will depend on the unique circumstances of your brain injury case. It all comes down to establishing liability. This is often done in a courtroom, but if an insurance company realizes their client is liable, they’ll frequently suggest a settlement offer. In fact, settlements are how the bulk of personal injury cases are resolved. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, however, there are certain factors that must be proven in court if you hope to receive financial recovery. These include:
- Duty of care: A duty of care is everyone’s responsibility to avoid actions that could put others at risk. For instance, all drivers have a duty of care to follow relevant traffic safety laws and not engage in dangerous driving behaviors.
- Violation of duty: When a person violates their duty of care, they put others at risk. For instance, an individual who runs a red light has violated their duty since the action could result in an accident.
- Harm caused by violation: Violating a duty of care does not immediately grant someone the right to compensation. It must be proven that the violation directly caused some form of harm. This can happen when a negligent car accident results in traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Even in the most clear-cut cases, establishing liability can be an uphill battle. This is why negotiating a settlement is often best for everyone involved. At Harman Law, we will work directly with the insurance company so you don’t have to. We strive to ensure they pay a settlement that takes all the losses faced by our clients — emotional, personal, financial, and everything in between — into account. If they’re unwilling to do what’s right, we are more than happy to file a brain injury lawsuit to ensure justice is served.
Contact us today to learn more about your case and how to move forward. Even if it seems clear that you’re entitled to compensation, there are nuances to the law that can make things difficult. Since we offer a free consultation to prospective clients, we can give you a better understanding of your rights and how to proceed.
What Is Contributory Negligence in North Carolina?
One of the nuances of North Carolina law that could affect your case is known as pure contributory negligence. If you or a loved one suffer brain injuries, you might think liability is clear. Perhaps the other party wasn’t paying attention and made a left turn into oncoming traffic. This commonly leads to catastrophic injuries in motorcycle accidents, but even those in passenger vehicles can face serious harm. However, what if the victim was speeding? What if they were splitting lanes while going through the intersection? What if they did anything that could be construed as partial fault?
In North Carolina, this could disqualify them from financial recovery thanks to pure contributory negligence rules. This legal doctrine dictates that a person may be barred from financial recovery if they’re even 1% at fault for their own injury. This could result in massive medical debt, years of physical therapy costs, lost wages, and numerous other costs falling squarely on your lap alone. This approach to negligence is extremely rare in America, but North Carolina is one of the few areas that follows it. This can be disastrous for victims who suffer brain injuries.
Fortunately, there are exceptions to these rules of negligence. If you discuss your case with an insurance adjuster without speaking to an attorney first, however, it’s a safe bet that you won’t be informed of these exceptions. Head injuries have the potential of resulting in substantial compensation, so if insurance companies can avoid paying this, they’re going to do exactly that. The Charlotte brain injury lawyers at Harman Law understand what you’re up against, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. We’re ready to help.
What Are Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Calculating potential compensation in brain injury cases requires an understanding of varying types of injuries. A traumatic brain injury is one that occurs due to a “violent blow or jolt” to a person’s head or body. This is a common outcome in car accidents, serious falls, pedestrian accidents, violent assaults, and other incidents that cause head trauma. Even a minor concussion suffered due to sports injuries falls into the category of traumatic brain injury. This means some TBIs will cause no significant brain damage, and a person may be fine after simply resting for a few days. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Since an accident victim may not realize the severity of their injury, it’s imperative that they seek medical attention immediately. As you can see from the following TBI symptoms, it’s possible that an injury may go completely overlooked by a victim:
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping more than normal
- Concentration problems
As you can see, these symptoms are things that people may normally encounter in their daily lives. Simple dehydration could account for some of them. Medical professionals are likely the only ones who can differentiate between minor physical symptoms of other issues and indicators of a serious brain injury caused by trauma. However, it’s also possible for a person to have more serious symptoms — such as loss of consciousness, vomiting, speech problems, loss of balance, mood swings, and sensory problems (e.g., vision loss). However, don’t wait to see if your symptoms get this severe after suffering a head injury.
When you’re involved in an accident, you should first speak with a medical professional. Afterward, a legal professional should be your next call. At Harman Law, there’s a brain injury attorney in Charlotte waiting for that call.
What Is a Non-Traumatic Brain Injury?
Serious accidents are often the first thing people think of when they hear of brain damage. In reality, it’s just as likely that an individual could suffer such damage without a violent accident having occurred. Non-traumatic brain injuries — also known as acquired brain injuries — occur due to internal factors. For instance, a person who gets trapped between two objects may have their breathing obstructed. In such a case, oxygen may not be able to get to their brain. This can lead to cell death and other major issues. Here are the most common causes of acquired brain injuries:
- Toxic poisoning
- Infectious disease
- Oxygen deprivation
- Drug overdose
As evidenced by some of these causes, internal causes do not necessarily mean that a personal injury lawsuit isn’t warranted. For instance, there is no negligent party in most cases when someone has a stroke. However, what if oxygen deprivation was caused by drowning when a property owner allowed a child in their pond? What if chemical damage occurred in a hospital when an anesthesiologist used the wrong medication during surgery? Not all brain injuries stem from motor vehicle accidents and other traumatic events, so don’t make the mistake of thinking an acquired brain injury isn’t eligible for compensation.
Contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation, and a brain injury lawyer in Charlotte will help you figure out what you may be entitled to.
How Much Is My Brain Injury Case Worth?
Whether a person suffers acquired or traumatic brain injuries, there’s no way to estimate their potential compensation without reviewing their case. There are a few rules regarding North Carolina cases, however, that dictate how much financial recovery is possible. A Charlotte personal injury attorney would be able to help you better understand how this pertains to your case. Understanding these nuances from the start, however, will give you a better grasp on the law and help you come up with questions you may wish to ask during your free initial case evaluation at Harman Law.
There is no cap on personal injury damages. Acquired and traumatic brain injury lawyers will only be limited in their task to secure maximum damages by your actual losses. Perhaps you’ll reach Maximum Medical Improvement after just a few months and $20,000 in medical fees and lost wages. On the other hand, maybe brain damage suffered in a car accident will result in the need for ongoing care that approaches $3 million. Whatever the case may be, North Carolina will typically not restrict the amount of financial recovery you can receive for either economic or non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering, emotional distress).
However, there is a cap on punitive damages in the state. An award for punitive damages may only be three times the level of compensatory damages. This means an award of $500,000 for economic losses could be accompanied by punitive damages of $1.5 million. Punitive damages can also cap out at $250,000 if the aforementioned calculation is worth less than $250,000. As of 2001, there’s also a cap of $500,000 on non-economic damages suffered due to medical malpractice. You should speak with a personal injury attorney to understand whether these caps apply to your case.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Filing a Brain Injury Claim?
Whether you’re seeking compensation on your own or working with a team of Charlotte brain injury attorneys, there is a deadline for you to file. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in North Carolina is three years. This means TBI victims or those with acquired brain injuries must file a lawsuit within three years of their accident. Failing to do so will typically forfeit their right to seek compensation. A similar outcome will occur if you wait longer than two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a loved one to such an injury.
It’s worth noting that there are some exceptions to North Carolina’s statute of limitations rules. For instance, it’s often not immediately obvious that medical malpractice has occurred. Courts will consider these cases based on when the precipitating act was recognized or should have been identified. There are also exceptions for minors and instances where the defendant leaves the state to interfere with the victim’s legal options. Obviously, these are all complex issues. That’s why you should always seek legal representation after suffering an acquired or traumatic brain injury.
Contact a Brain Injury Lawyer in Charlotte Today
Both acquired and traumatic brain injuries can cause significant disruption to a person’s life. In a worst-case scenario, such injuries can even lead to wrongful death. If you or a loved one have found yourself in this situation due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, the law says that you may be entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, this is not automatic. Even brain injury cases where fault is clear can be complex if the defendant or their insurance company fights back. Luckily, this isn’t a fight you have to undertake on your own. Charlotte personal injury attorneys can help.
At Harman Law, our team of legal professionals has spent years helping injury victims seek justice. Unfortunately, brain trauma is one of the most detrimental physical harms that a person could experience. Such injuries can remove a person’s ability to live any semblance of a normal life. While our law firm cannot take back what has happened to you, we can work tirelessly to advocate for appropriate compensation on your behalf. Contact us today by calling (704) 286-0947 to schedule a free consultation with a brain injury lawyer in Charlotte. No one should have to go through this on their own, and we’re here to ensure you don’t have to.