Fort Collins Brain Injury & Head Trauma Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION WITH A FORT COLLINS PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
Accidents involving injury to the brain, spinal cord, or other forms of head trauma are serious events that may have lifelong consequences. In addition to potentially having to undergo a grueling rehabilitation process, brain injury victims must also face the financial challenges involved with brain injury accidents. If another party caused or contributed to the accident, the victim may be able to pursue compensation for costs incurred as a result of the injury.
If you would like to learn more about your rights following an accident, or to learn more about filing a claim, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive a free case evaluation with one of our Fort Collins brain injury lawyers.
COMMON CAUSES OF BRAIN INJURIES
Most brain injuries are a direct consequence of some form of physical trauma. For instance, a brain injury may occur after a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or neck area. Brain injuries may also be chemically induced. For example, oxygen deprivation or consumption of poisonous toxins may also result in brain injury. Ultimately, the type and severity of the damage depend on several factors, including the nature of the injury, the force of impact, and duration of the victim’s exposure to the trauma.
Other events which may cause some form of traumatic brain injury include:
- Automobile accidents
- Gunshot wounds
- Slip and falls
- Sports injuries
- Assault, fighting, or other violence
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Prolonged use of controlled substances
- Severe food poisoning
RECOGNIZING A BRAIN INJURY
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) as a “disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” The degree or severity of a TBI may come in two forms: mild and moderate-severe.
One of the hardest parts of properly treating a brain injury is recognizing that an injury has occurred in the first place. Unlike many physical injuries, which can be observed with the naked eye, brain injuries typically cannot be seen or observed unless highly specialized medical equipment is used. Thus, detecting the presence of a brain injury may be a tricky process. Fortunately, there are certain signs which, if present, may indicate that a potential brain injury exists. Those symptoms differ depending on the degree or severity of the TBI.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
The following symptoms are typically associated with mild TBI. The presence of one or several of the following symptoms may indicate that a person has suffered some form of brain injury.
- Loss of consciousness (ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes)
- Blurred vision or temporary loss of vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
- Hypersensitivity to light and sound
- Trouble sleeping
- Memory issues
- Trouble concentrating
- Mood swings
Moderate-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
An individual who has sustained a moderate-severe TBI may exhibit some or all the symptoms associated with mild TBI. Furthermore, the following symptoms are typically associated with moderate-severe TBI.
- Prolonged loss of consciousness (ranging from several minutes to several hours)
- Constant vomiting
- Clear fluids draining from nose or ears
- Numbness in fingers or toes
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Extreme confusion
- Agitation, aggressiveness, or other atypical behavior
If a brain injury is suspected, it is important to remember that the first and most important step to take is to seek immediate medical attention by visiting a doctor, hospital, or emergency room.
HOW TO FILE A CLAIM FOR A BRAIN INJURY
If a brain injury was caused by the intentional, reckless, or negligent actions of another person, the brain injury victim may have the option of filing a lawsuit against the person or entity that caused the injuries. The steps that comprise the claim filing process include:
1. Contact an Attorney
The first step towards filing a claim for a brain injury is to contact a Fort Collins personal injury attorney with brain injury experience. A personal injury attorney may wish to speak with you in person or over the phone to discuss important facts about the case. For instance, during this conversation, the attorney may ask important questions such as how the accident occurred, where it occurred, what types of injuries you sustained, and whether you sought any medical attention. Once this important information has been received, a personal injury attorney may be able to provide legal advice regarding your options moving forward.
The second step of the claim filing process is the investigation phase. During this phase, the attorney may collect critical information regarding your accident and injuries. For instance, the attorney may interview witnesses, obtain surveillance footage, review medical records, and gather any additional evidence which may strengthen your claim. The investigation phase may also involve accounting for your damages, such as medical bills and lost wages.
3. Settlement and Lawsuit
Prior to litigation, a brain injury victim may have the option of accepting a settlement from the at-fault party or the at-fault party’s insurance company. If a settlement is offered, an attorney may work on your behalf by reviewing and negotiating the terms of the settlement with the other party. If it is not in your best interest to accept the settlement offer, your case may proceed to trial. In this case, an attorney may advocate on your behalf in front of a judge and jury to establish fault on the part of the other party.
BRAIN INJURY COMPENSATION
“Damages” is the legal term used to refer to the monetary compensation that may be awarded to a victim of a personal injury case. Damages can generally be separated into two broad categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are damages that can be quantified or calculated. The primary forms of economic damages involved in brain injury cases may include:
- Medical bills
- Pharmacy bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income (present and future)
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses that cannot be calculated on paper. Rather, non-economic damages are subjectively evaluated by the jury in a lawsuit. Types of non-economic damages in a brain injury case may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Because traumatic brain injuries often involve lifelong consequences and drastic lifestyle changes, the damages awarded in a brain injury case may be significant. Thus, it may be in a brain injury victim’s best interest to consult with a personal injury attorney before settling a case or making any other important decisions. A personal injury attorney may be able to evaluate the case and help the victim determine which avenue would best protect the victim’s long-term interests.
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
A “statute of limitations” is a legal time limit by which a person must initiate a lawsuit. If a victim of a personal injury accident fails to bring a claim within the statute of limitations, that party is effectively barred from litigating the claim in court.
In Colorado, there is a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims involving automotive accidents. For most other personal injury claims, like premises liability or medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is two years. This means that a party that is injured in a personal injury case must file a lawsuit within the appropriate period.
In certain situations, the statute of limitations may be paused or “tolled.” Tolling has the effect of giving you more time to initiate a lawsuit. However, it is important to remember that tolling a statute of limitations is an exception, not the norm.
Discussing the facts and details of your case with an attorney can give you a better understanding of the statute of limitations and help ensure that your claim is filed in a timely fashion.
ZINDA’S FORT COLLINS ATTORNEYS ARE HERE TO HELP
Zinda Law Group’s brain injury attorneys may help protect your legal rights following a brain injury incident. Our Fort Collins attorneys have years of experience handling a wide range of personal injury cases, including those involving brain injuries and head trauma. With a Zinda attorney in your corner, you can expect to receive:
At Zinda Law Group, our attorneys take the utmost pride in providing exemplary service to our clients. Throughout the entire representation, from the initial consultation up to the disposition of the case, our attorneys are ready to guide clients through the claim filing process.
A victim’s claim is often only as strong as the resources used to support it. Thankfully, Zinda Law Group has access to a wide range of resources that may be utilized to strengthen a claim. Our offices handle large and complex cases, conduct thorough interviews with the necessary parties, hire expert witnesses, and use state-of-the-art technology.
Effectively communicating with opposing counsel, insurance companies, and third parties is a critical part of a personal injury claim. Zinda Law Group’s attorneys have years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and claims adjusters. Our team of attorneys may negotiate on your behalf to ensure that multi-million-dollar insurance providers do not take advantage of your inexperience.
Zinda Law Group’s attorneys also have years of experience litigating claims from beginning to end. Because we treat every case as if it is going to trial, we give our clients’ cases the attention to detail they deserve.
Our firm also believes that an injury victim should never have to worry about being able to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. You pay nothing unless we win your case.
If you would like to discuss the details of your case with an experienced Fort Collins injury lawyer, or if you would like to learn more about what options are available to you after being injured in an accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free case evaluation.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.