While a motorcycle accident can result in several injuries and devastating trauma, suffering a brain injury can turn your whole life upside down. Brain injuries generally result in lifelong effects that may mean victims cannot support themselves or their families or live the life they had planned. Additionally, victims will likely endure astronomical medical expenses for the rest of their lives.
For these reasons, if you suffered a brain injury after a motorcycle accident, understand your legal options and how a lawyer can help you obtain the financial recovery you require.
What Exactly Is a Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a sudden injury resulting in brain damage. This injury usually occurs from an outside force such as a violent bump, blow, or jolt to the head. However, it can also result from an object penetrating the brain tissues. These injuries result in bleeding, bruising, torn tissues, and other physical trauma that can lead to lifelong issues or even death.
In the case of motorcycle crashes, motorcyclists face a higher risk of brain injuries because they have less protection than other vehicles on the road. In a motorcycle accident, riders often get thrown from their bikes, land on the road, or collide with other objects. As a result, even if the motorcyclist traveled fairly slowly, accidents can lead to devastating trauma.
How Can a Brain Injury Change a Motorcyclist’s Life?
Following a motorcycle accident, the effects of a brain injury may not be readily apparent. Sometimes symptoms can take hours, if not days, or even weeks to show up.
However, some of the more common complications that result from a traumatic brain injury include:
- Physical Issues: Severe headaches, vertigo, infections, seizures, and blood vessel damage
- Sensory Issues: Blurred vision, ears ringing, changes in the ability to smell, and sensitivity to light or sound
- Altered Consciousness: Vegetative state, minimally conscious, coma, and brain death
- Communication Issues: Social and cognitive problems
- Behavior Changes: Depression, anxiety, mood swings, and outbursts
- Intellectual problems: Cognitive problems (memory, learning, reasoning) and executive functioning problems ( problem-solving, multitasking, organization)
- Degenerative Brain Diseases: Parkinson’s, Dementia pugilistica, and Alzheimer’s
Although the severity and the extent of these injuries will depend on the circumstances of the crash, many of these complications can result in life-changing outcomes, including extensive medical treatments.
Reach out to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as you can. These lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you are entitled to so you can get the medical care you need.
How Can a Lawyer Help Victims of TBIs?
Though all accidents are devastating and injuries of any kind can drastically alter the course of a life, TBIs are truly catastrophic. TBI victims often face lifelong recovery challenges that may make it difficult for them to lead their previous lives. The expenses and emotional suffering that go along with this catastrophic type of injury can be astronomical, and navigating the legal system is difficult enough with minor injuries like scrapes and bruises.
Luckily, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help in more ways than one. Law firms that specialize in personal injury typically share their case results, so it’s easy for injured parties to determine if the lawyer they’ve selected has relevant experience and understands how to pursue justice with success.
Here’s how a lawyer can help you.
A Lawyer Can Help You Fight for the Monetary Damages You Need
The most prominent example of how a lawyer can help after you’ve suffered a TBI (and the overarching purpose of hiring a lawyer) is to recover the compensation you deserve. Good lawyers can assess case value, including future impairment and future medical care, and can identify categories of damages for which you deserve compensation, but of which you may not be familiar. You did not self induce your injuries. You were not responsible for the car that hit you after failing to check their blind spots.
If another person’s negligence caused your pain, a lawyer can handle the fight on your behalf to compensate for your injuries and pain with these damages:
These damages refer to payment for the easily quantifiable monetary losses that follow an accident.
- Past and present medical bills related to emergency medical services (ambulance rides), doctor appointments, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and other medical treatments
- Future, ongoing medical treatment expenses
- Loss of earnings and reduced earning capacity
- Costs related to personal property damages, such as repair costs or replacement expenses
- Expenses associated with the replacement of domestic services (child care services, cleaning services)
- Other monetary losses
These damages refer to compensation for the subjective losses following an accident that are not easy to prove.
These damages include losses related to:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment and the quality of life
- Physical impairment
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Inconvenience due to resulting disabilities
A Lawyer Can File Your Legal Case Before Time Runs Out
According to the statute of limitations, which is a law that dictates how much time a person has to file a lawsuit following an alleged offense, after a motorcycle accident in Colorado, victims will only have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
If they fail to file by this deadline, they cannot pursue compensation for the harm they suffered. In addition, this deadline can change depending on whether exceptions apply to it.
For these reasons, to file your case before the statute of limitations runs out, it may be in your best interest to speak with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney as quickly as possible following your motorcycle collision. Your lawyers can verify the maximum time you have to file your legal case and ensure that your motions, documents, and files are prepared correctly and submitted to the proper court before this time runs out.
Plus, it is usually not advisable to wait long because you may have years to file your legal claim. This is because the more time you wait to file your case, the higher the chance is of evidence disappearing, memories of the incident failing, and witnesses no longer being able to testify all things that can hurt your case.
A Lawyer Can Help You Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim if Your Loved One Died From Their Brain Injuries
If your loved one passed away from their brain injuries after a motorcycle accident, you and your family may be able to pursue compensation for the losses you endured due to this death.
In Colorado, wrongful death is caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another entity or person. Certain family members can bring this claim in any situation where the deceased could have brought a personal injury claim had they survived. However, because the individual passed away from this wrongful action, the family enumerated in the state’s statute can bring legal action against the wrongful party instead and go after specific financial damages.
This compensation includes:
- Wages and other compensation that the decedent would have earned if they lived
- Lost benefits due to the death, such as life insurance, and
- Funeral and burial expenses
More importantly, when working with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, you will not have to take on this complicated claim yourself. Instead, these legal professionals can review the facts of the accident, figure out whether you and your family have a valid wrongful death case, and help you go after the money you require.
A Lawyer Can Help You Prove Another Party Was Responsible for Your Accident and Brain Injuries
To obtain compensation for your brain injuries and other damages following a motorcycle collision, you must show that this accident and your injuries resulted from another person’s careless, intentional, or negligent actions. In general, negligence is defined as conduct that falls below the standard of care you expect from a reasonable person and, as a result, causes harm to another person.
However, to prove negligence following a motorcycle crash, a victim and their attorney need to show that:
- There was a duty of care, where the liable party had a responsibility to avoid certain situations that could cause harm to others.
- The responsible party breached this duty of care, or their actions fell below the reasonable or accepted standard of care.
- The breach was the proximate and direct cause of the accident and the victim’s injuries.
- The victim suffered harm and other monetary losses because of this breach.
While proving negligence can be challenging, you will not have to tackle it alone. Instead, when you retain an experienced motorcycle accident attorney after your motorcycle crash, these legal professionals can promptly review your accident, gather the evidence needed to prove each of these elements, and help you obtain fair compensation.
A Lawyer Can Help You Go After the Justice You Deserve Following a Motorcycle Accident
Money will never erase the stress, pain, and disabilities you suffered. However, recovering just compensation for your financial and abstract losses can help you get back on your feet, pay for the medical treatment you need, and give you and your family peace of mind.
For these reasons, following a motorcycle collision that resulted from the wrongful actions of another, you should reach out to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
Once hired, your lawyers can:
- Go over the facts of your motorcycle collision and the details of your brain injury, determine if you have a viable legal claim, and determine the legal options you can pursue.
- Answer your questions and concerns regarding the situation and the legal proceedings involved.
- Investigate your motorcycle collision and secure the evidence needed to show what happened and the extent of your brain injury and other damages.
- Figure out who was liable for your motorcycle crash and hold all these parties accountable for the damages you endured.
- Hire experts, including medical specialists, financial specialists, engineers, and accident reconstructionists, to validate your claim.
- Handle the settlement negotiations with the other side, including the insurance company and the defense team, and go after a fair settlement offer.
- Take your case to trial if the other side is unwilling to provide you with the money you need, and fight for maximum compensation.
If you sustained a brain injury in a motorcycle collision, do not wait to get the legal help you need.