For more than 30 years, West Virginia brain injury attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group in Fairmont have been dedicated to helping West Virginia families and individuals who have been harmed by the negligence of others.
If a loved one has suffered a brain injury because of someone else’s wrongful conduct — you can put our experience to work for you and your family by calling (304) 367-1862.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury attained from a blow to the skull, such as an object falling and hitting you on the head. When a bump or jolt to the skull is intense enough to damage the brain, it can cause a traumatic brain injury. Brain injuries can describe lack of oxygen to the brain, lack of blood to the brain, nerve damage, swelling, bruising, bleeding, contusions, penetration and many other types of damage to the brain.
A doctor might diagnose you with a TBI after an accident such as a car crash, fall, sports impact or violent crime. Negligence is at the heart of most of these accidents, as well as most traumatic brain injuries in general. Negligence is someone’s failure to uphold a duty of care lawfully or ethically owed to you. When negligence or recklessness results in a TBI, the injured victim will have grounds for a civil claim. A personal injury claim in West Virginia seeks to hold a negligent party liable for the victim’s related damages.
A traumatic brain injury affects a victim by interrupting the regular function of the brain. This can lead to a wide variety of symptoms. A TBI can impact the way a victim walks, thinks, feels and functions. It can impact a victim cognitively, emotionally and physically. Every victim will experience different symptoms, as this type of injury is unique to the person. Two patients with the same types of concussions, for example, may have different symptoms. These symptoms may be temporary or permanent.
Many symptoms associated with traumatic brain injuries dissipate within a few days or weeks. A mild TBI may cause a brief change in mental status or ability. A severe brain injury, however, could impact a victim for life. A major TBI, such as a severe diffuse-axonal injury or coup-contrecoup injury, could permanently affect a victim with symptoms that last a lifetime. These could include cognitive impairment, sensation changes and mental health disorders.
The effects of a traumatic brain or closed head injury can be very subtle or completely debilitating. In “milder” cases, victims may suffer chronic headaches, loss of intellectual functioning, memory difficulties or slight changes in their personality. In more severe cases, the effects can include an inability to control voluntary bodily functions or even a coma. Traumatic brain injury cases are further complicated by the fact that very real and significant injuries may not show up on imaging scans and could potentially take months or years to fully reveal themselves.
The long-term prognosis for someone with a TBI can vary significantly. Treatments are available, but the patient’s brain may or may not fully heal depending on factors unique to each case. Treatments for a TBI include rest, pain relievers, fluids, emergency surgeries, skull fracture repairs, muscle relaxers, rehabilitation and therapies. Some patients’ brains respond better to treatments and therapies than others. A serious TBI could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in lifetime medical expenses.
If you or someone you love has a traumatic brain injury, you may be eligible for financial compensation to cover the costs you will have because of the injury. Recovering compensation takes holding the at-fault person or party accountable. This will be the liable party, known as the defendant during a personal injury claim. Determining liability may take assistance from a West Virginia personal injury lawyer. At Manchin Injury Law Group, we use investigators and analysts to confirm the liable party for our clients. The party liable for your TBI will be the one most answerable for causing the injury.
These are examples of common defendants named in traumatic brain injury claims in West Virginia. Your defendant will depend on where and how your TBI occurred. If you were in a car accident, for example, the defendant could be a negligent or reckless driver. A TBI at work could point to employer liability. Our traumatic brain injury attorneys will investigate your accident to identify the at-fault party. Then, with this information, we will file a claim against the correct defendant on your behalf.
A brain injury lawsuit could have the power to change your life. A successful negligence claim could provide the money you and your family need to pay for TBI-related medical bills and move forward with financial stability. You may not have to pay out of pocket for the substantial costs related to a TBI if someone else’s negligence caused the accident and injury. Securing fair and full compensation from the at-fault party could make you whole again. In West Virginia, the courts can award a plaintiff a few different types of damages.
Economic damages refer to your total out-of-pocket costs in relation to the traumatic brain injury. It can cover past and future medical bills, surgeries, therapies, special education, travel costs, live-in care, disability-related expenses, home or vehicle modifications, medications, medical devices, lost wages, lost future capacity to earn, vehicle/property repairs, and many other expenses. Anything you paid or foreseeably will pay out-of-pocket for the TBI could come back to you in a settlement.
Noneconomic damages are the intangible losses related to your TBI, such as emotional distress, anxiety, depression, mental health disorders, post-traumatic stress, mental anguish, inconvenience, lost quality of life, lost enjoyment of life and loss of consortium for a loved one’s brain injury.
A judge in West Virginia may give you punitive damages for a TBI in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages specifically serve to punish the defendant. A judge may grant punitive damages in a traumatic brain injury case that causes severe or permanent losses. A defendant guilty of gross negligence or intent to harm may also have to pay punitive damages.
The value of your traumatic brain injury claim will depend on several factors unique to your case. At Manchin Injury Law Group, we assess each client’s damages on a case-by-case basis. We will look at your age, income, health before the accident, severity of the brain injury and many other factors to estimate how much we believe your TBI case is worth. Then, we can go up against insurance companies to demand maximum financial compensation for past and future losses.
Because our lawyers have handled numerous lawsuits involving traumatic brain injury — we know better than to settle these cases too quickly, have access to the kinds of medical experts these cases require and are skilled at giving victims an effective voice in front of opposing counsel, judges and juries alike, and we know how to make insurance companies listen to keep you from going to court.
In addition to making sure that the compensation sought is equal to the damage you or your loved one has suffered, our firm is committed to helping you in other ways as well. For instance, we can help you find and obtain appropriate medical treatment or deal with frustrating insurance coverage issues.
You can schedule an appointment with one of our West Virginia brain injury attorneys by calling (304) 367-1862 or by contacting us online.