Head injuries are any type of injuries that are sustained to the head region. They can be particularly serious if the injury involves serious damage or if the injury affects other bodily functions. Head injuries frequently involve other types of personal injuries, such as neck injuries or brain injuries.
Injuries to the head can be sustained from a variety of causes or accidents. Head injury claims may involve a number of different medical conditions including pain, concussion, loss of consciousness, loss of memory, and loss of motor coordination.
What are Some Symptoms for Head Injuries?
Some people do not realize that they have suffered some type of head injury because it may be difficult to determine the symptoms. Some head injury symptoms may be:
- Confusion and difficulty remembering recent events;
- Unusual tiredness and laziness;
- Severe headaches;
- Weakness or numbness of certain parts of body; and/or
- Fever or nausea.
Which Legal Theories are Usually Associated with Head Injury Cases?
Head injury lawsuits may be based on a number of legal theories, depending on the facts surrounding the incident. Some legal theories that commonly form the basis of a head injury case may include:
- Negligence: If a party breaches their duty to exercise reasonable standards of care when dealing with the plaintiff, they may be liable for head injuries resulting from the breach. Sports injuries often involve some degree of negligence.
- Automobile Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents are a common cause of head injuries. In particular, motorcycle accidents can sometimes involve serious head injuries.
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip and fall accidents can also cause head and neck injuries. An owner of a business establishment may be held liable for head injuries if they failed to maintain their premises in a safe condition for patrons.
- Premises Liability: Dangerous conditions on the premises such as falling objects, protruding structures, or sharp objects can cause head injuries.
- Products Liability: Helmets or other protective headgear can cause injury if they reach the consumer in a defective condition.
- Assault and Battery: Intentional acts by a defendant may lead to legal liability. Punitive damages may be obtained if the act was done with malicious intent.
One of the difficulties in proving a head injury claim is that of causation. That is, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s acts actually caused the injury. This may be proved through the use of medical documents, photographs, and the testimony of an expert witness.
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What are the Legal Remedies for Head Injury Claims?
Most head injury claims will result in a monetary damages award to the victim. These allow the plaintiff to be compensated for any losses associated with the head injury.
The individual may be able to recover for the following:
- Medical Expenses and Cost of Medical Treatment: Compensatory damages usually cover the costs of hospital bills, medical treatment, prescription medicines, and other health care aspects.
- Lost Wages or Future Loss of Earnings: If the personal injury resulted in a loss of wages, these can be recovered through compensatory damages. In some cases the victim can also be compensated if the injury causes them to lose the ability to earn wages in the future.
- Cost of Living with a Disability: If the plaintiff’s head injuries lead to disability, they can sometimes receive compensation for costs associated with the disability (such as wheelchairs or assisted living arrangements). They can also be compensated for future loss of earnings if the injury reduces their amount of wages that they can earn in the future.
- Pain and Suffering: In addition to medical expenses, the victim may be compensated for severe pain and mental/emotional suffering resulting from the injury. However, they must usually prove that the pain is linked to the injury, and that the suffering is not contrived or imaginary.
- Loss of Consortium: In most head injuries, it is usually the victim who is compensated. However, a spouse can sometimes receive a damages award if the injury deprives them of the emotional elements of marriage.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Head Injuries?
If you have sustained a head injury, it may be possible for you to recover costs for your expenses or losses. You may wish to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you file your claim in the appropriate court.
Personal injury attorneys can help you organize the documents and evidence that will be used to prove your claim. The laws governing head injuries can often be complex, but an experienced lawyer can help explain the law to you.