Lakeland Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
Whether it involves a motor vehicle accident at the notorious intersection of Griffin Road and U.S. 98 North, a boating incident on Lake Parker, or a fall at a Lake Hollingsworth home or a Lemon Street restaurant, a person can suffer a traumatic brain injury in many places in Lakeland. Unintentional injury is the third leading cause of death in Florida, and many of those tragic fatalities involve traumatic brain injuries. In addition, thousands more in the Sunshine State suffer TBIs that inflict life-long impairments.
If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury because of someone else’s careless or reckless actions, an experienced Lakeland traumatic brain injury lawyer from the Fernandez Firm can help seek compensation for the expenses and quality-of-life impacts of your injury. Contact us today for a free consultation with a member of our team.
For nearly 25 years, the award-winning attorneys of The Fernandez Firm have fought to protect the interests of individuals who have suffered personal injuries. Representing victims of traumatic brain injuries in Lakeland and throughout Florida constitutes a core focus of our practice.
Over our years of advocating for injured Floridians, we have obtained significant results for our clients. In a recent case, for example, we secured an $850,000 settlement for a client who suffered a traumatic brain injury. Of course, we cannot guarantee the same results in future TBI-related cases, but we can promise to fight tirelessly for our clients. That determination to get our clients the money they deserve, we believe, explains our strong, consistent, successful track record.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury refers to damage caused to the brain from a blow to the head or body. The force of an impact shakes, twists, or deforms the brain within the skull, leading to bleeding, swelling, and chemical changes that disrupt the brain’s normal functioning.
The brain is one of the body’s most important organs, as it controls virtually all the body’s voluntary and involuntary functions. However, despite its importance, the brain only has a limited ability to heal after injury. Injuries to the brain often result in permanent physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments, and potentially life-threatening health complications.
Common Causes of TBI
Common causes of Lakeland traumatic brain injuries include:
- Falls, either from the same level or from elevation. This is of particular concern for very young children, the elderly, and Lakeland residents working in labor-intensive industries like construction.
- Motor vehicle accidents, including those involving cars, commercial trucks, bicycles, pedestrians.
- Boating accidents on Lakeland-area lakes and other nearby water bodies.
- Violent crime, such as assaults, domestic violence, or child abuse.
- Sports and recreational activities, including diving and high-impact sports.
The Impacts of Injury to the Brain
As explained by the Brain Injury Association of America, the brain consists of several functional sections, or lobes. Each controls some of the tasks that organs perform. The specific impairments of an individual TBI depend not only on the severity of the injury but also on which lobes sustained damage or the injured side of the brain.
Here is a look at some common deficits associated with injury to specific lobes in the brain.
- Frontal lobe: Located in the front top portion of the brain, the frontal lobe’s functions include managing attention, concentration, self-monitoring, motor planning and initiation, organization, the ability to speak, awareness of abilities and limitations, personality, flexibility, problem-solving, and the ability to control one’s emotions, impulses, and behaviors. Damage to this part of the brain will often result in deficits such as the ability to control behavior, speak, or recall events.
- Temporal lobe: Located along the side, temple areas of the brain, the temporal lobes control memory, the ability to understand spoken language, sequencing, hearing, and coordination. An injury in this part of the brain makes communication more difficult and memory loss more likely.
- Parietal lobe: The top rear portion of the brain houses the parietal lobe, which is responsible for controlling functions such as the body’s sense of touch, depth perception, identification of sizes, shapes, and colors. Damage to this brain region can result in difficulty with the body’s five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.
- Occipital lobe: Located in the back of the brain, just beneath the parietal lobe, the occipital lobe’s sole function is to control vision. An injury occurring in this lobe can result in blindness or the ability to perceive the size and shape of objects.
- Cerebellum: Located in the back of the brain, just above the brainstem, the cerebellum controls skilled motor activity. An injury to the cerebellum will often cause difficulty with balanced and coordinated movement.
- Brain Stem: The brain stem is responsible for the body’s involuntary functions, such as breathing, consciousness, and heart rate. Damage to the brain stem often results in death, as the body cannot live independently without these involuntary functions.
Health Complications Resulting from TBI
Not only do traumatic brain injuries cause significant impairments, they frequently also result in potentially life-threatening health complications and/or further damage to the brain.
Those complications can include:
- Altered consciousness. An individual with a severe traumatic brain injury will often fall into a coma for a time after the injury. A coma is a condition in which the unconscious person is unaware of their surroundings and does not visibly respond to external stimuli. If the individual remains in a coma for days or weeks, the condition is generally called a vegetative state. In a vegetative state, the individual is unaware of their surroundings, but may open their eyes, move, make sounds, or respond to stimulus. The vegetative state can be permanent, or the individual can enter a minimally conscious state, in which they show some signs of self-awareness or awareness of surroundings.
- Brain death. Brain death occurs when there is no measurable activity in either the brain or the brain stem. Brain death is irreversible, and usually, when doctors declare a person brain-dead, they will remove the patient from all mechanical assistance that sustains breathing and other functions.
- Seizures. This is a common complication from TBI, most often in the early hours or days after the injury. However, seizures can recur at any point after the injury. Recurrent seizures following a brain injury are called post-traumatic epilepsy.
- Hydrocephalus, which is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid on the brain. This buildup can result in increased brain pressure and result in further damage. Often, doctors treat hydrocephalus with the surgical placement of a shunt that drains the fluid from the brain, sending it to other body parts.
- Infections. Injuries that involve penetration of an object through the skull can introduce bacteria into the meninges, which are the protective tissues around the skull. This can result in a life-threatening infection.
- Damage to the blood vessels in the brain, which can result in serious conditions such as a stroke or a blood clot that could travel through the bloodstream to the lungs and produce an often fatal pulmonary embolism.
- Chronic headaches, fatigue, or vertigo.
- An increased risk of degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
How a Lakeland Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help You
If you or a loved one suffered a TBI because of someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, you likely have the right to seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. In Florida, injured individuals generally have four years from their injury to file a claim.
Common TBI-related Legal Services
A Lakeland traumatic brain injury lawyer represents TBI victims and their families in this process, which may involve the lawyer:
- Identifying all parties who may have the legal obligation to pay damages and all potential sources of payment (such as insurance) of those damages.
- Evaluating the past and future damages for which a victim deserves compensation, and the appropriate amount of that compensation, which may include working closely with medical and financial experts to determine a client’s current and future needs.
- Engaging in negotiations with the at-fault party’s defense attorney and/or insurance provider to secure a fair settlement whenever possible.
- Preparing and filing a personal injury lawsuit in Lakeland-area courts.
- Gathering and organizing witness testimony and evidence needed to prove liability and damages.
- Arguing a client’s case in court in front of a judge and jury.
- Collecting money due to a TBI victim under a settlement, judgment, or jury award.
We pride ourselves at The Fernandez Firm in our ability to provide the full range of legal services TBI victims and their families need to give themselves the best possible chance of securing the compensation they deserve. Our clients and colleagues praise our willingness to go the extra mile to get results and to see justice done for injured Floridians.
In Florida, traumatic brain injury victims can typically seek economic damages—which are compensation for the financial impact associated with a TBI—as well as non-economic damages, which involve compensation for the extraordinary impacts that a brain injury can cause.
Damages commonly sought in Lakeland traumatic brain injury lawsuits include:
- Medical expenses, such as the cost of emergency treatment, hospitalization, diagnostic and laboratory testing, surgical and physician services, prescription medication, and physical therapy and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages, resulting from being too injured to work.
- Loss of future earning capacity, if the injured person is can’t earn as much as they did before the injury.
- Property damage incurred in the accident such as the cost of repairing or replacing a vehicle the victim drove in the accident.
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of the enjoyment of life. Brain injured individuals often cannot participate in community activities, social events, or hobbies they previously enjoyed due to mobility or behavioral issues caused by the TBI.
- Loss of consortium, which is a damage collected on behalf of the injured person and that person’s spouse for the loss of physical intimacy and companionship that often accompanies a serious injury.
The potential amount that a lawsuit may recover depends on the strength of the evidence, the skill of the TBI victim’s lawyer, the degree of dispute over core questions like liability and damages, and the amount of money the party facing legal liability has available (usually through insurance) to pay as compensation.
At The Fernandez Firm, we work diligently to identify the full range of damages our clients have suffered, and we aim to pursue maximum compensation from all available sources.
Experienced Lakeland Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
Brain injuries are among the most significant and challenging injuries a Lakeland resident, worker, or visitor can suffer. Recovery from a TBI is an ongoing process that often requires patience, perseverance, and adequate financial resources to pay for support and services.
At The Fernandez Firm, we know from years of experience just how difficult life can feel after a TBI. We have the know-how, resources, and experience to fight to make sure Lakeland TBI victims receive the full measure of compensation they need and deserve.
To speak with a skilled member of our team free of charge about your or a loved one’s traumatic brain injury in Lakeland, contacting us online or calling us at (863) 230-8361.
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I had an extraordinary experience at The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys. They were so professional and kept me well informed about my case. I would highly recommend them.
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The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys
2503 W Swann Ave #100
Tampa, FL 33609