It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that up to 1.4 million people suffer brain injuries every year, ranging from mild to severe to life altering. Needless to say, because the brain is the primary organ that controls just about everything in your body, there is never a brain injury that is not a cause for concern.
When a preventable brain injury takes place, it opens up the possibly of a lawsuit. To be able to win a case, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant was legally responsible for the injury. This is based on the legal argument for negligence.
In a suit involving negligence, a plaintiff must be able to show:
That the defendant was required to be careful, owing the plaintiff a “duty of care” as part of their actions. For example, a driver must obey traffic laws when transporting a passenger in their vehicle.
The defendant did not act with due and reasonable care. In our example, the driver went way over the speed limit and weaved in and out of traffic.
The defendant’s actions are what caused the brain injury to occur. In this instance, the driver hit another vehicle, causing head and brain injuries.
The plaintiff suffered injuries or losses as a result. These losses must be measurable under the law. For example, a permanent brain injury would lead to a lifetime loss of income.
Brain injuries can be difficult to pin down because they can either be temporary or permanent. Standards will vary from situation to situation, and affixing the right level of blame and therefore the right amount of damages can be a highly complex affair. But when permanent brain injuries take place, the awards can be substantial because the victim will require life-long care well beyond what most people can afford.
Choulos, Choulos & Wyle proudly serve clients in San Francisco, Oakland and in cities throughout the Bay Area.