Maryland Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious medical condition that may cause permanent physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities, or life-threatening complications. Depending on the severity of the traumatic brain injury, a TBI victim may require lifelong care, including assistance with tasks like eating, bathing, and walking.
A traumatic brain injury often stems from some injury or accident and can range from mild to severe. Common accidents resulting in TBIs include car accidents, slip and falls, and accidents at work. Liability is often determined based on negligence, and various parties might have acted negligently when your accident happened. If you, your spouse, or one of your family members suffered a head injury or brain injury in a serious accident, an experienced Maryland TBI lawyer like Randolph Rice can fight to help you recover compensation for medical bills and other damages.
Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case review with our traumatic brain injury attorneys.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
A “traumatic” brain injury is any brain injury caused by a physical blow to the head, as opposed to an illness. While the word “traumatic” sounds severe, not every instance of a TBI is life-altering, and many people eventually recovery. On the other hand, some TBIs can be devastating, and victims are left permanently injured or disabled.
TBIs are divided into three levels of severity, depending on how the patient scores on the Glasgow Coma Scale:
- Mild TBI, better known as a concussion
- Moderate TBI
- Severe TBI
One of the most common examples of a TBI is a concussion. Many people are surprised to learn that concussions can be a serious, potentially fatal brain injury. Depending on the severity, it may take months or even years for a patient to recover from a concussion completely.
You might experience one of a number of different TBIs. Hematomas occur when blood pools in the brain after a blow to the head. Edema involves brain swelling, which puts intense pressure on the brain since the skull cannot expand to accommodate the swelling. Skull fractures, in especially serious cases, can cause injuries to the brain and lead to serious complications.
Common Side Effects of TBI?
TBI can have varied effects, depending on factors like the severity of the injury, where the injury is located within the brain, and how rapidly the patient is able to receive treatment. The effects of a traumatic brain injury can include the following:
- Chronic pain or headaches
- Depression and anxiety
- Difficulty making decisions, focusing on tasks, or learning information
- Difficulty swallowing, speaking, or breathing properly
- Disorientation or confusion
- Memory loss
- Problems with balance or movement, such as fine motor skills
- Vision loss or impaired vision
The nature of your TBI symptoms will vary depending on how you were injured. Some people are lucky and do not experience serious symptoms or long-lasting effects of the TBI. Others are less fortunate and might contend with debilitating TBI symptoms and long-term consequences of the injury.
What Types of Accidents Can Cause TBI in Maryland?
A traumatic brain injury occurs when the head or skull sustains a blow that results in bruising, bleeding, or other damage to the brain. For example, the head may be struck by a falling object, especially in the event of an explosion or building collapse. Excessive motion or vibration can also cause the brain to strike the skull, which can lead to dangerous swelling.
Numerous types of accidents can lead to catastrophic brain injuries in adults or children. TBIs are more common than many people think, and numerous accidents, incidents, or conditions could lead to a TBI. Some common examples of accidents that frequently cause head and brain injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Bicycle and motorcycle accidents, with the risk especially great, if the rider is not wearing a helmet
- Bus crashes
- Car accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Falls from heights
- Pedestrian accidents, such as hit-and-run accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Truck accidents
- Workplace accidents
Who is Liable for an Accident that Causes a Head Injury in Maryland?
You might have a TBI lawsuit if your injuries were caused by the negligence of another individual (such as a careless driver who caused a collision) or by the negligent actions of a business (such as a restaurant where inadequate maintenance led to a slip and fall accident). You might instead have a TBI lawsuit on your hands if the defendant intentionally caused your injuries.
You may be entitled to financial compensation if your TBI, or that of your family member, was caused by another party’s negligent or intentional acts. The responsible person or their insurance provider may be liable for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and certain losses you are expected to incur due to the TBI.
Negligence generally involves failing to meet reasonable, expected standards of care and safety, leading to a preventable injury or death. For your case to succeed, we must establish the four legal elements of negligence in court. These elements are duty, breach, causation, and damages.
Duty is the legal obligation the defendant owed you when your TBI occurred. The nature of this element will change based on the relationship between the parties. The breach is how the defendant violated their legal duty. The breach encompasses exactly what the defendant did to cause your injuries. Causation is how the defendant’s breach of duty is the direct cause of your injuries. Finally, we must show that your injuries and damages are real, not imagined or hypothetical.
Although acts of negligence are implicated more often in injury lawsuits, intentional acts of harm sometimes come up. Dealing with these cases can be painful for victims and their families, as the defendant meant to cause harm. Assaults, fights, and acts of criminal violence are a few examples of how intentional conduct might lead to a TBI.
Instead of proving the elements of negligence, we must prove the defendant’s intent. This can be difficult, but evidence regarding the defendant’s actions and conduct can be helpful. Often, defendants are criminally charged and tried in criminal court before a civil lawsuit can commence. If the defendant is convicted in criminal court, we can use their conviction against them in civil court.
Proving Negligence in a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit
As discussed before, negligence is made up of four critical legal elements that each must be proven to prove negligence. However, negligence might look completely different in different cases. An attorney can help you identify and prove how negligence occurred in your case.
Car accident cases are common, and many involve traumatic brain injuries. For example, in TBI cases after a car accident, the defendant’s duty is to drive with reasonable safety under the circumstances and obey traffic laws. Their breach is whatever they did to violate this duty, like running a red light, speeding, or failing to signal. Causation is sometimes tricky, but we need to show that no other intervening or independent sources could have caused the accident. Your damages obviously include your brain injury but can also include vehicle damage, medical bills, and other losses.
Slip and Falls
A slip and fall case is a bit different, as the defendant does not necessarily have to be directly involved with the accident to be liable for your injuries. In many slip and fall cases, defendants are the people who owned the property where the accident happened. The defendant’s negligence in these cases stems from their failure to maintain the premises for the safety of others.
More specifically, the defendant’s duty involves removing or repairing known hazards or dangerous conditions from the premises and making reasonable inspection for yet unknown dangerous conditions. For example, a wet floor after a spill in a restaurant might seem mundane, but someone could slip, hit their head, and suffer a traumatic brain injury. The restaurant might be liable for the injured victim’s injuries because they failed to clean up the spill.
In medical malpractice lawsuits, the standard for negligence looks a bit different. While the four legal elements are still present, there are other factors to consider. Medical malpractice involves negligence that falls below the standards of care. Doctors and medical professionals have a duty to provide patients with treatment that meets the standards of care imposed across the medical field.
What is so complicated about medical malpractice cases is that not all mistakes made by a doctor are considered negligence or malpractice. Treatment outcomes are rarely guaranteed, and patients are often advised that complications might arise.
To prove your TBI was caused by medical malpractice, we need to show how your doctor provided care that fell below standards of care and that their negligent treatment is the direct cause of your TBI.
Construction workers are at high risk for various accidents on the job, including traumatic brain injuries. Even with safety gear like hardhats, TBIs might still occur if employers, general contractors, or subcontractors are negligent.
Exactly who is held responsible depends on numerous factors, including how you were supervised and the conditions of the construction site. Often, general contractors may be liable for injuries sustained by workers because general contractors largely oversee the whole construction project. However, if the general contractor hired subcontractors, and one of the subcontractors hired you and supervised your work, that subcontractor might be liable.
Evidence in a Lawsuit for a Traumatic Brain Injury in Maryland
Evidence of how the defendant caused your traumatic brain injury will mostly revolve around your medical records. Brain injuries are often very complex and far above the medical knowledge of the average person. Because a brain injury might be very difficult to explain to a jury of your peers, we need your medical records to help us.
Your medical records should contain details about how your injuries occurred, how you were diagnosed, any treatments you received, and various notes from medical professionals who treated you.
Simply having these medical records can be helpful, but explaining them might be above our heads. As such, we can call in medical experts to review your records and explain them to the jury. These expert witnesses often make or break cases involving complex injuries like TBIs, and having a qualified expert is key to the success of your case.
How Can a Maryland Brain Injury Attorney Help?
Two TBI patients might experience very different symptoms and have radically different medical needs. You should consider having your case evaluated by an experienced brain injury lawyer in Maryland, like Randolph Rice, to ensure that none of your medical expenses, treatment needs, or future losses are overlooked by insurance companies and care providers.
An attorney can make sure your rights are protected while investigating your claim in detail, facilitating the process of filing your lawsuit, and handling all matters related to evidence-gathering, settlement negotiations, or litigation. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, our goal is to maximize your recovery and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Maryland TBI Lawyer for Head + Brain Injury Lawsuits
Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case evaluation with our traumatic brain injury lawyers.