Brain Injuries in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Statistics from the Brain Injury Association of America suggest that about one in five brain injuries are caused by a motor vehicle accident. When the collision was the result of carelessness or recklessness, an injured person can often pursue compensation from the driver who caused the harm. Such a lawsuit is called a “negligence” suit and proceeds in much the same way as any personal injury case. It takes an experienced and dedicated motor vehicle accident attorney to pursue justice on behalf of Boston residents who have suffered catastrophic injuries as the result of a crash. The Law Firm of Kenneth I. Kolpan has over 30 years of experience representing traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims, and we will be glad to review your case at no charge.Pursuing a Claim for Compensation against a Negligent Driver
The word “negligence” is a relatively common term, but it has a very specific meaning in the legal context: the failure to use the level of care that a reasonable, prudent person would have used under the same or similar circumstances. This type of inquiry asks whether the defendant did something that a reasonable person would not have done, or failed to do something that a reasonable person would have done.
In pursuing a negligence lawsuit, a claimant must prove four elements in order to be successful. Each element must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence:
- Duty – an obligation that one party owes to another in a particular situation;
- Breach of duty – a careless action that falls short of the standard of reasonable care;
- Causation – a cause and effect or “but for” relationship between the defendant’s breach of duty and the harm to the victim; and
- Damages – actual costs or losses incurred by the victim.
Damages in a motor vehicle accident case typically include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The calculation of such damages can be complex, with many factors taken into consideration. A victim may want to seek compensation for not only the harm that has already occurred but also probable continuing medical expenses in the years to come. An injured person’s inability to continue in his or her livelihood may also be part of the calculations, and so may be the discomfort, emotional distress, and pain that the injuries have caused and are likely to cause in the future.
Because of the catastrophic level of injuries that come with a TBI, it is important that the case is handled by an attorney who understands what can happen to a person’s brain in a collision. In some crashes, the force on the brain is significant enough to cause the brain to strike the inner surface of the skull, including the sharp, bony ridges of the skull’s interior, often resulting in a devastating injury. Also, brain axons may shear, tear, or twist during the acceleration, deceleration, or rotation that the crash causes. These injuries may or may not result from an actual impact between the occupant’s head and the windshield or interior of the vehicle.
People who have suffered a TBI may have some level of amnesia after the accident, making it challenging for the person to testify on his or her own behalf about what happened. In such a situation, efforts must be made to interview other witnesses and possibly secure the services of an accident reconstructionist. Medical experts are also common in TBI cases because they can help explain not only the victim’s inability to remember the details of the accident but also the ways that the injuries affect the person’s abilities, behaviors, and personality.Consult a Boston Attorney to Seek Damages for Your Injuries
If you or a loved one has been affected by a TBI in a devastating motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts, you can seek guidance from injury lawyer Kenneth I. Kolpan. Call our firm at (617) 426-2558 or complete our online form for a free appointment to discuss your case. We assist accident victims throughout Massachusetts, making sure that their rights are asserted at every stage of the legal process.