Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) should always be taken seriously in San Clemente, whether a concussion occurs on a sports field or a vehicle occupant sustains head trauma in a car crash. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traumatic brain injuries “affect how the brain works,” and they are “a major cause of death and disability in the United States.” On average, 166 Americans suffer fatal brain injuries every day, and more than 223,000 people have to be hospitalized with TBIs each year. Who is liable when these injuries occur?
- Responsible Party Will Depend Upon the Specific Facts of Your Case
The party or parties responsible for a TBI will depend upon the specific facts of your case. The CDC reports that approximately 15% of high school kids in the U.S. report sustaining at least one concussion in sports or recreation activities, in which case the educational institution or a coach may be liable. At the same time, studies also show that motor vehicle collisions and falls are leading causes of brain injuries, which could result in a motorist or a property owner being responsible for paying damages.
- Comparative Fault Could Affect Liability and Your Damages Award
Could your own negligence affect the at-fault party’s liability for a brain injury? California uses a pure comparative fault model, which means that the at-fault party will not stop being liable altogether. However, if a court determines that you are partially to blame for your TBI, your damages award could be diminished by your portion of fault. To be clear, however, the defendant can still be liable and responsible for paying damages.
- You Will Only be Able to Hold Another Party Accountable if You File Your Claim on Time
You should know that, even if you have clear evidence of another person’s or entity’s liability for a traumatic brain injury, you will only be able to hold that party accountable and to obtain damages if you file your lawsuit within the time window set by California law. The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years in most cases. What this means is that you must file your brain injury lawsuit within two years from the date of the TBI, or else you may lose your ability to seek compensation by allowing your claim to become time-barred.
Our firm knows that some people do not develop serious consequences of multiple concussions or other TBIs until many years later, especially in the case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and other degenerative brain conditions that may arise after multiple concussions, especially in contact sports. A San Clemente TBI lawyer at our firm can evaluate your claim and discuss the California personal injury statute of limitations with you.
Contact Our San Clemente Brain Injury Attorneys
If you or someone you love recently sustained a brain injury and you believe another party may be liable, you should seek advice from an experienced San Clemente brain injury lawyer who can help. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about the services we provide to plaintiffs with traumatic brain injuries.
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