A head-on car collision, a motorcycle crash, and even a fall down improperly maintained steps are just a few ways that someone else’s negligence could lead to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The results of these kinds of injuries can be completely unpredictable and ultimately debilitating or disabling.
If you believe someone is liable for your head or brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation under state law. Brain injury cases can raise complex legal and medical issues, so it is highly advisable to consult with an Oak Lawn traumatic brain injury lawyer before filing suit. A seasoned attorney who is knowledgeable in brain injury litigation could help you review your options and take steps to protect your right to fair compensation.
Proving Fault in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases
A traumatic brain injury claim requires the injured plaintiff to prove that the party they are suing is legally responsible for the injury. This can be accomplished with the help of an Oak Lawn traumatic brain injury lawyer. However, proving that a traumatic brain injury or head injury occurred and linking that to the defendant’s conduct can sometimes be a tall order. Brain injuries can be more difficult to detect than other types of injuries, and TBI symptoms are often unapparent or overlooked at first.
Many TBI lawsuits are based on the legal theory of negligence. There are a number of important elements that can be crucial in determining negligence in a traumatic brain injury case. To prove negligence, the injured plaintiff may be tasked with proving that:
- The defendant owed a duty of care
- The defendant failed to meet that duty
- The failure directly caused the injury
- The victim suffered some loss due to the injury
Modified Comparative Negligence
Illinois adheres to a modified comparative negligence standard for determining damages in a traumatic brain injury case. Under 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, if someone is injured and files suit against another party, that party can make a claim in response if the plaintiff was more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
On the other hand, if a jury were to find that the plaintiff was between 1 and 50 percent responsible for the accident, any recovery awarded may be reduced by that percentage of negligence. For instance, if the plaintiff was found 30 percent responsible for the accident resulting in their injuries, they may only be awarded 70 percent of their total damage award based on their comparative fault for the accident. For more information, get in touch with an Oak Lawn traumatic brain injury lawyer.
What is the Deadline for Filing a TBI Lawsuit?
Any lawsuit arising from an accident or injury must be filed within a certain time limit, or the injured party’s legal claim may be barred and their right to sue would be lost forever. Under 735 ILCS 5/13-202, an injured plaintiff has two years to file a lawsuit in civil court. However, there may be exceptions for certain situations.
The statute of limitations for municipalities is one year. This means victims of TBIs have only one year from the date of their accident to file a claim against a local public entity, if that entity is the party responsible for the injury. In addition, the discovery rule may apply in many traumatic brain injury cases. This rule extends the limitation period to file a claim and may not begin until the victim knows or should have known there was malpractice involved in their injury.
Talk to an Oak Lawn Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Today
Traumatic brain injuries can be a common yet serious injury that occurs in accidents involving an impact to the head. In many cases, you may believe are well-aware of the extent of your injuries until the case is settled and it is too late to seek the recovery you need for your damages.
An experienced Oak Lawn traumatic brain injury lawyer could help you learn about your options for pursuing a claim and whether you are entitled to fair compensation. To get started on your case, call today to schedule a consultation.