There are four elements needed to prove negligence in a brain injury claim, including a duty of care, breach of that duty, causation, and damages. In order to recover monetary compensation for your traumatic brain injury, you must establish each of these four elements in your case. The failure to prove even one of these elements could result in your inability to recover the compensation you need.
Many traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) carry lifelong consequences that could require costly medical treatment, which is often compounded by a person’s inability to return to work. According to the journal Brain Injury, only 40% of individuals with brain trauma are able to return to work in the two years following their injury. If you suffered a TBI through no fault of your own, the following elements must be met in order for you to recover compensation.
Element 1: Establish a Duty of Care
Every traumatic brain injury claim must begin with establishing a duty of care. Ultimately, the defendant will only face liability for a brain injury claim if they owed the injured party a duty of care. The existence of these duties is hotly contested in some cases and hardly at issue in others.
Under certain circumstances, the duty of care in a brain injury case is often not difficult to prove. The most prominent example involves brain injuries that occur in motor vehicle accidents. Every driver has a duty to operate their vehicle in a safe manner. If your TBI occurred during a car accident, proving duty of care could be a straightforward task.
There are other cases where the existence of a duty of care is highly disputed. This is often the case when injuries occur on the property of another person. The duty to protect a visitor can vary, and it is often subjective.
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Element 2: Prove the Duty was Violated
Proving that the defendant owes a duty of care is only the first step in the process. To recover compensation for a brain injury, a plaintiff must also show that there was a breach of this duty. Typically, whether or not the duty of care was breached is a central question in a traumatic brain injury claim.
Whether or not a breach occurred will largely depend on the facts surrounding an injury. A breach can involve any act that is careless, reckless, or intentional. If this act resulted in another person’s injury, it could be an example of a breached duty of care. Some examples of a breached duty of care could include:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Making an error during brain surgery
- Failing to repair a loose handrail
- Reckless driving
- Violent assaults
Element 3: Provide a Causal Link
Your traumatic brain injury could lead to monetary compensation from the responsible party. That said, you will only be able to recover damages for those injuries that are directly tied to the breached duty of care. This element of negligence is referred to as causation.
Without a causal link between the actions of the defendant and a brain injury, monetary compensation will not be available. For example, injuries that occurred prior to the breached duty of care cannot be included in a traumatic brain injury claim.
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Element 4: Prove Your Damages
The final step in proving negligence in a traumatic brain injury case is proving damages occurred. Given that these damages are tied to the severity of the injury, establishing damages for a brain injury might not be challenging. However, a successful claim will require a plaintiff to prove the amount of damages they are owed.
Often, defendants in these cases will admit liability but make the case that the damages caused were minimal. A plaintiff could pursue a claim for damages including lost wages, pain and suffering, medical costs, and disability expenses, among other things.
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Our Attorneys Can Help You Pursue Monetary Compensation for Your Brain Injury Claim
Brain injuries are complex, and the same is true for pursuing a legal claim for compensation for a brain injury. If you have questions about the elements needed to prove negligence in a brain injury claim, the team with Loncar Lyon Jenkins is ready with the answers.
Loncar Lyon Jenkins offers free consultations for all brain injury claims. This consultation provides you with the chance to ask any questions you might have and receive a thorough evaluation of your claim. To discuss your case in detail, get a free consultation by calling today.