Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer in Tampa
Someone else’s carelessness or recklessness can injure a person in Tampa in many ways. One of the most devastating injuries to suffer is a traumatic brain injury due to the brain’s limited ability to heal after damage. These injuries often result in permanent impacts that can impact the sufferer’s ability to earn an income or—in many cases—even impact their ability to complete daily living tasks independently. Reach out to a Tampa traumatic brain injury lawyer.
If you or your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another, the legal team from Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can help you understand the process you can use to seek compensation for the profound financial and psychological impacts that this type of injury creates. We can also explain our services to assist you with your claim.
Why Trust Holliday Karatinos With Your Claim?
Combined, attorneys James Wayne Holliday and Theodore (Ted) Karatinos have more than 50 years of experience assisting injured Floridians in seeking the compensation they need. We have built a reputation as relentless trial lawyers and fierce advocates of the law inside the courtroom and out.
The legal team at Holliday Karatinos has garnered more than $125,000,000 on behalf of our clients since 2006. While no result can be guaranteed, contact us today to see how we can help you and your case. Holliday Karatinos Law Firm is here to help.
How Brain Injuries Happen in Tampa
Traumatic brain injuries involve damage to the brain that occurs as a result of a violent blow to the head or body.
This injury can affect individuals of all ages but is most common for certain groups of people, including:
- Racial or ethnic minorities.
- Veterans and service members.
- Homeless individuals.
- Incarcerated individuals.
- Domestic or intimate partner violence survivors.
- Individuals who live in rural locations.
Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries. In the Tampa area, motor vehicle accidents killed 273 people and injured 1,035 in one year. Sixty-three percent of area drivers who participated in a survey about the county’s roads stated that the drivers here are engaging in unsafe driver behaviors. Thirty-six percent noted that speeding drivers were a common cause of concern. The force of a collision involving a speeding vehicle is increased, which often results in more severe injuries.
Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Tampa is home to more than 150 highrises, meaning that there are ample staircases in the area that members of the public come in contact with regularly. Falls can also result from property hazards such as worn or torn flooring, liquid or debris on the floor, or cracks and potholes in sidewalks or parking lots.
An Injury That Can Affect Every Part of Your Life
Traumatic brain injuries are generally considered to be catastrophic injuries because they commonly result in permanent brain damage simply due to the part of the body where the injury occurred. This brain damage can impair the sufferer’s ability to earn an income.
The unemployment rate among brain injury sufferers two years after the onset of the injury can exceed that of non-injured individuals. However, the injury does not simply impact the sufferer’s ability to work, but rather every facet of their life. Here is a look at some of the common impacts suffered by those who have incurred a traumatic brain injury.
In addition to the inability of many brain injury sufferers to work after suffering the injury, they and their family members often suffer extreme financial impacts due to the high cost of medical care to treat the injury. It is not uncommon for brain injury sufferers to incur between $85,000 and $3 million in medical expenses.
Impacts on Family and Friends
Traumatic brain injuries can result in several disabilities, depending on the part of the brain that was injured, the severity of the injury, and the provision of early treatment to address common complications that can result in further damage, such as fluid buildup and swelling on the brain. Many of those impacts, including loss of mobility, memory loss, or difficulty controlling one’s behaviors or emotions, can strain friends who find they no longer have much in common with the injured person.
Family members often find that the relationship they had with their loved one before the injury has been forever changed, and life now features caregiving responsibilities. The spouses of individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury often suffer the loss of physical intimacy and companionship due to the extraordinary physical and psychological changes brought about by the injury.
The injury can cause significant changes to the sufferer’s personality, even when the injury is considered “mild.” It is worth noting that even mild traumatic brain injuries can result in permanent injury, chronic pain, and memory loss. Some of the psychological changes often experienced by individuals who have incurred a brain injury include becoming easily angered or frustrated, becoming confused, repeating oneself, and having difficulty concentrating.
Difficulty Obtaining an Education
Contrary to popular belief, children do not suffer fewer impacts from traumatic brain injuries than adults do. However, it can take many years to realize the true nature of a brain injury occurring in a child as they continue to grow and develop. Children who have suffered a traumatic brain injury often have extreme difficulty in an educational setting, where they are frequently exhausted, disoriented, and unable to concentrate or remember lessons taught to them. Many brain-injured children require a paraprofessional’s assistance navigating the highly complex and stimulating school environment.
Accommodating the Injury at Home
Depending on the part of the brain that sustained the injury, traumatic brain injuries can result in immobility caused by impacts on the brain’s ability to move in a balanced and coordinated manner. Accommodations are often required in the home to make it easier for the sufferer to complete tasks independently.
Examples of the type of accommodations needed for individuals with brain injuries include:
- Roll-in showers and widened doors for wheelchair access.
- Ceiling lifts, which provide caregivers with the ability to lift the injured party out of bed without risking injury to themselves.
- Automatic door openers that will eliminate the need for the injured party to open doors on their own.
Accommodating the Injury at Work
Individuals who can return to work after the injury are also commonly in need of some accommodations for the injury, such as shorter workdays, more frequent breaks, a lighter workload, or even assuming a different role in the workplace. Many sufferers receive vocational rehabilitation services to obtain new skills that can be used to secure employment after the injury.
Seeking Compensation After a Brain Injury
If you or your loved one have suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s carelessness, you can seek compensation for the financial and psychological impacts of the injury through Florida’s personal injury claims process. Here is a look at the various parts of this process.
Hiring an Attorney
While having a personal injury lawyer to assist you with your claim is not required, an attorney can play a crucial role in your ability to obtain the compensation you need. An attorney can bring experience and knowledge of the law to a process that often becomes complex and even overwhelming for individuals to navigate on their own.
The suggestion of hiring an attorney is often met with hesitation, as many people do not believe they can afford one. However, because of the contingent fee billing method most attorneys use, anyone needing legal assistance after being injured can access it. The contingent fee means you do not have to pay for your attorney’s legal services until your claim has been compensated.
Valuing the Claim
One of the important services an experienced Tampa brain injury lawyer will provide is the valuation of your claim. The claim’s value does not solely consist of the medical expenses or wage loss you incurred due to the injury. Instead, there are many expenses and psychological impacts you can seek compensation for.
One important consideration in catastrophic injury cases involving a traumatic brain injury is the claimant’s loss of future earning capacity. If the brain injury results in permanent disabilities that impair their ability to earn an income, the future wages and benefits that the injured party would have likely earned if they had not been injured can also be sought.
Psychological impacts such as physical pain and suffering or emotional distress resulting from the injury can also be claimed. These impacts are valued based on several factors, including the severity of the injury, the amount of insurance held by the at-fault party, and even the level of recklessness exhibited by the at-fault party leading to the accident.
Filing the Claim with the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Provider
Once the claim has been valued, your attorney can submit it to the insurance provider who services the at-fault party’s relevant liability insurance policy. Depending on the accident that caused the injury, this could be another driver’s auto insurance policy or even a homeowner’s, renter’s, or property insurance policy.
Upon receiving the claim, the insurance provider will assign one of their claims adjusters to evaluate it and determine whether their insured was liable and how much compensation is owed to the claimant (if any). The claims adjuster works for the insurance company, and the insurance company does not want to pay you for their insured’s liability. They can try to find reasons not to pay you to protect their bottom line, and often use several tactics in order to do this.
Your attorney can protect your claim’s value from these insurance company tactics by managing communication with the insurance provider on your behalf.
Negotiating a Settlement
The insurance claims adjuster has three responses they can give to submitted claims. They can approve the claim as submitted, accepting the liability of their insured and processing the claim for payment. This is relatively rare, as the adjuster will almost always look for ways to reduce the claim’s value. The adjuster can also deny a claim for several reasons. However, to do so, they must notify the claimant in writing and include the reason for the denial.
Most often, personal injury claims are resolved through an out-of-court settlement offer. If the adjuster offers a settlement, it will usually be far below the claim’s value. Your attorney can negotiate with the adjuster to convince them to increase their offer.
If they make an offer that you decide fairly compensates your claim, you can enter into a settlement agreement. This agreement will provide you with compensation for your claim, and by accepting the offer, you waive your right to pursue your claim in court. Your attorney can play a valuable role in providing guidance and information to help you make this decision.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If the insurance provider fails to compensate the claim, it can be filed as a personal injury lawsuit. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Florida is four years.
This law means that you generally have four years from the injury to file the lawsuit. Failing to file the claim in court within the statute of limitations will almost always result in losing the right to use the court process when seeking compensation. Unfortunately, this will also almost always result in the insurance provider failing to make a settlement offer since the whole reason for settling the claim is to avoid the expense, time, and uncertainty associated with litigation.
At the conclusion of your claim, your compensation would be sent directly to your attorney. They can help you negotiate any medical liens placed on the award by group health insurers or healthcare providers who have provided services that you were unable to pay for. The attorney would also be paid before finalizing the case and turning the remainder of the compensation to you.
If You or Your Loved One Suffered a Brain Injury, Contact Us
Brain injuries are extraordinarily impactful injuries, both for the sufferer as well as their family. If you or your loved one have suffered a brain injury due to someone’s negligence, the Tampa personal injury lawyers from Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can help you understand the process and help you seek compensation for your injury.
For your free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (813) 868-1887. Contact the brain injury lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm today.
“Attorney James Holliday is the best attorney I have ever worked with. I went to him after an auto accident and I was impressed with his knowledge of the situation and judgement on how to proceed. In the end, Mr. Holliday was able to obtain full compensation. He was also a pleasure to work with.”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Barb C.
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