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What You Need to Know Before You File a TBI Lawsuit in Ohio

  • November 10, 2018

Some of the toughest cases we take in central Ohio are traumatic brain injury lawsuits. The disabilities and chronic pain associated with TBIs may not be immediately obvious and proving that another person or a company inflicted the injury is always a legal challenge.

At the same time, we welcome opportunities to fight for TBI victims, who often require expensive lifelong care and support to perform even the most basic tasks.

If you believe you have grounds for filing a traumatic brain injury lawsuit, here are five things you must know.

Understand How TBIs Are Defined

The National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) developed this basic definition of what constitutes a traumatic brain injury:

Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain. A person with a mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. Other symptoms of mild TBI include headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue or lethargy, a change in sleep patterns, behavioral or mood changes and trouble with memory, concentration, attention or thinking. A person with a moderate or severe TBI may show these same symptoms, but may also have a headache that gets worse or does not go away, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, an inability to awaken from sleep, dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination and increased confusion, restlessness or agitation.

We bolded the passages that we believe might help you decide if you have a legally justifiable reason to pursue compensation and damages through a personal injury lawsuit.

Know the Causes of TBIs

NINDS further explains that the majority of TBIs occur when a person’s brain suddenly and forcefully strikes the inside of the skull. Such a trauma can result from a car or truck crash, a fall, a blow from a falling object or a physical assault.

Disabling brain injuries can also result from medication errors, surgical errors and medical mistakes.

Recognize What You Need to Do to Prove the Existence of a TBI

Damage to the brain does not always show up on scans. Often, the plaintiff in an Ohio traumatic brain injury lawsuit must rely on the following types of evidence:

  • Medical records of treatment following an accident or assault;
  • Diagnoses and prognoses from doctors, therapists, and psychologists; and
  • Testimony from friends and family members on the symptoms and life complications of the TBI.

Understand the Legal Concepts of Negligence, Recklessness, and Intent

Succeeding with a TBI lawsuit requires convincing a judge or jury that the person or organization named as the defendant caused the brain injury by acting negligently, recklessly, or with intent to do harm. How you and your Columbus, Ohio, brain injury attorney go about proving this will depend on the facts of your case, but the general legal standards are as follows:

  • Negligence — The defendant committed a preventable error such as driving through a red light or administering an overdose of anesthesia but did not mean to inflict an injury.
  • Recklessness — The defendant could not control his or her actions due to rage or intoxication, or a company blatantly disregarded regulations intended to protect people.
  • Intent — The defendant meant to leave the plaintiff injured or dead.

Know Who Can File a TBI Lawsuit

People who suffer traumatic brain injuries often lack the ability to act as their own legal advocates, especially since mental impairment is a hallmark TBI symptom. Courts recognize this and, therefore, allow a spouse, adult child, parent or designated legal representative to file a lawsuit in a disabled plaintiff’s name.

Know Where to Find a Dedicated and Caring TBI Lawyer

The Columbus, Ohio-based brain injury attorneys with Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman offer free consultations to TBI victims and their loved ones. You can schedule an appointment online or call us at (614) 678-3318.

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