Brain injuries are devastating to victims and to the people who love and care for them. At the Birk Law Firm, our brain injury lawyer in Cape Girardeau understands the difficulties of dealing with brain injury and can help you get compensation if your brain injury was due to someone else’s negligence or fault.
While the human brain is an amazing organ that controls our thought and bodily functions, it is subject to injury from physical trauma and chemical sources. In severe cases, brain injuries can lead to paralysis, an inability to communicate, coma, or death. The Brain Injury Association of America, reports that over 1.5 million people face traumatic brain injuries (TBI) every year, and at least 50,000 individuals will die from their injury.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through a personal injury lawsuit. While no amount of money can make up for what you are going through, a settlement can help by paying for medical treatment and continuing care and replacing the lost wages of someone who is too injured to work.
Brain injury claims can be complicated, and each situation varies greatly. For this reason, Birk Law Firm provides a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case and the options available. Call our compassionate brain injury attorney in Cape Girardeau today at 573-332-8585 for your free, no obligation case evaluation.
Our Brain Injury Lawyer Explains: What Happens When the Brain Is Injured
The brain is made up of delicate soft tissue floating in fluid within the skull. While the brain is protected by three layers of membrane, an accident that involves a sudden blow to the head can cause the brain to move around violently inside the skull and result in a TBI.A severe brain injury may be caused by:
- Any force that penetrates or fractures the skull
- Destructive shock waves that cause tissue damage
- Bone fragments being pushed into the brain
- Forces that cause the brain to collide against the inside of the hard skull
- Bruising and bleeding in the brain.
When an accident creates trauma to the brain, the brain fills with fluid and swells. Because it is encased in a hard skull, the brain has nowhere to expand. Pressure inside the head increases, which can prevent blood passage to tissue and cause further injury to the brain.
Brain Injury Lawyers Know the Devastating Effects of Brain Injuries
The terms “mild,” “moderate,” and “severe” are used to describe the effects of the injury on brain function.
Mild traumatic brain injury may affect brain cells temporarily but is still serious. If damage is more severe, it can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that can result in long-term complications or even death.Sometimes a brain-injured individual is nothing like the person who existed before the injury. The individual may be unable to:
- Recognize family members or their surroundings
- Speak or understand language
- Move, walk, feed, or dress themselves
- Work or earn money
- Have a social life and interact with people.
If the injury is severe enough, brain injured individuals may wind up in:
- An unconscious state, or coma — They are unable to be aroused or respond in a purposeful way.
- A vegetative state — They are unaware of surroundings, but may open their eyes, make sounds, respond to reflexes, or move.
- A minimally conscious state — Consciousness is severely altered but there are some signs of self-awareness or awareness of one’s environment.
- Brain dead — An irreversible condition with no measurable activity in the brain and the brainstem.
In some brain injury situations, there may be emotional and behavioral issues that cause frustration, conflict and misunderstanding for the individual, family members, and care providers. The brain injured person may need continuing care, and costly therapy and equipment. The person may no longer be able to live at home and may have to be institutionalized and on life support.
While some signs or symptoms may appear immediately after the injury occurs, others may appear over time, and there is always the possibility of increasing expenses and the need for additional care and treatment.
Because the situation is so complex and potentially devasting, it makes sense to contact a brain injury attorney at Birk Law Firm for help as soon as possible. Call us now at 573-332-8585 to make sure everything is handled correctly from the start.
Brain Injury Lawyers in Missouri Can Help with Many Types of Accidents
There are many different types of accidents that can cause a brain injury. Common accidents that a brain injury lawyer in Missouri can help with include:
- Vehicle accidents — Direct trauma to the head can cause serious brain injury in a car accident, or truck, bus, motorcycle, bicycle or pedestrian accident that involves vehicles
- Workplace accidents, which may involve workers’ compensation
- Slip and fall accidents
- Accidents that occur at birth, often due to medical malpractice
- Toxic exposure to chemicals
- Sports injuries
- Product liability.
If you or someone you love suffered a brain injury in these or other situations where someone else was at fault, you may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit with the help of our personal injury attorney at Birk Law Firm.
To Win, Your Brain Injury Attorney Must Prove Negligence
To win your lawsuit, your Birk Law Firm brain injury attorney must prove that your brain injury was caused by another party’s (the defendant in the case) negligence, oversight, recklessness, or fault. Missouri considers two factors in deciding whether a defendant’s actions were negligent.
- The “reasonably prudent person” standard. If the defendant failed to use reasonable care to prevent causing harm in a way that another reasonable and responsible person would have in similar circumstances, that party was negligent and therefore liable.
- The four elements. The existence of the following elements:
- Duty. The defendant owed you a duty of care to prevent harm.
- Breach. Defendant breached this duty by acting or failing to act.
- Cause. This breach caused injury to you.
- Damages. You suffered actual damages as a result.
For example, if brain injuries were caused by a drunk driver who sped through a red light and crashed into your vehicle – the driver owed you a duty to drive carefully but failed to do so, and this caused your brain injury and resulting damages such as medical costs and loss of wages.To prove this negligence, depending on your case, our legal team would investigate your accident and gather evidence by:
- Interviewing witnesses
- Examining police records and reports, medical reports, and medical testimony as to the extent of the injuries
- Gathering evidence such as video records of the accident from surveillance or traffic cameras
- Getting experts to reconstruct the accident and provide testimony as to what happened, and to prove past costs and projected future costs.
Compensation a Brain Injury Lawyer in Missouri Can Win
In a successful lawsuit, our brain injury lawyer at Birk Law Firm can win compensation for your losses, called “damages.” In Missouri, there are two types of damages you may be awarded: actual (or compensatory) damages and punitive damages.
Actual damages are for both your economic and noneconomic damages, as follows.Economic damages — These are for monetary expenses that have an actual dollar value, including:
- medical and rehabilitative bills
- lost wages and earnings
- property damage.
- pain and suffering
- loss of companionship or consortium
Punitive damages – In some cases, when a defendant acted with extreme recklessness, you may also receive punitive damage. These are meant to punish the defendant and discourage future negligence.
Missouri Laws Related to Brain Injury Cases You Should Know
Missouri has several laws that can affect your case, including:
Comparative negligence – Under the legal doctrine of comparative negligence, if you are partially to blame for your accident and brain injury, your award would be reduced by the proportion of fault you bear. However, you can still collect compensation that is directly in proportion to the defendant’s degree of fault.
Statute of limitations – This is a deadline or time limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit after an injury. Generally, you have five years after the accident to file for personal injury and three years after a death occurs to file for wrongful death, unless the death was caused by medical malpractice wherein you would only have two years, or the courts will not hear your case.
Call Our Brain Injury Lawyers in Missouri For Help
Severe brain injuries are emotionally and financially devastating to victims and their families and may require life-long care and expense. Missouri law allows compensation through insurance or a lawsuit for brain injured individuals who were injured by someone else’s negligence. In either case, having an experienced brain injury lawyer on your side can make a major difference in how your case resolves.
The Cape Girardeau Missouri brain injury attorneys at Birk Law Firm will aggressively fight for justice and a settlement that will relieve your financial problems and make your burdens easier to bear. We provide support and guidance throughout all legal processes.
Call us today at 573-332-8585 for a free initial consultation to discuss your individual situation and see how we can help. There is no charge unless we win a settlement for you.
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Why Choose Birk Law?
Birk Law Firm is a small firm by choice that is big on client services. Attorney Kelvin Birk and his team are responsive to their clients’ needs. When we sign on as your law firm, you can count on us for strong legal counsel, from negotiations to settlement to trial.
Our clients benefit from the intertwining of Kelvin Birk’s legal and CPA background and experience. We provide well-rounded advice to solve both legal and financial issues and to come up with creative solutions. We use modern technology to deliver legal services in a more efficient and client-focused manner than was previously possible.
We provide personalized and compassionate service. We believe that each client’s matter is the most important matter in the world to them, and we strive to treat it that way.