Traumatic brain injuries take place as a result of force fracturing or penetrating the skull, leaving the brain open to injury. Brain injuries can stem from many things.
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Over half of brain injuries, are caused by car accidents. When the skull impacts an object like a windshield or steering wheel, it can cause a brain injury. With car accidents, even the force of the crash can cause the brain to hit the inside of the skull, which can result in bruising or bleeding, referred to medically as contusions or hemorrhage. These injuries, unlike lacerations, are not necessarily visible at the time of the accident. With car accidents, brain injuries might take place because of outside factors. These factors could include an automotive defect that was pre-existing such as defective airbags, defective seat belts, tire failure, or faulty tires.
Slip and fall accidents are the second most common cause of brain injuries. Such injuries can take place at a neighbor’s home or on commercial property. Things like parking lots, curbs, or lawns can cause serious injuries. Understand that slipping and falling, and as a result receiving a brain injury, is not grounds for a lawsuit or insurance claim. You have to prove, with the help of a San Antonio brain injury attorney, that the situation could have been avoided that the property owner should have taken necessary and legal precautions.
For example, if you fail to watch where you are walking while you use your phone and trip over uneven pavement or loose gravel in a parking lot, that is not grounds alone. If instead, there are large chunks of loose gravel, and the parking lot owner knows about it but fails to clean it or put up a sign, then it might be grounds for a case.
Another potential source of brain injuries is a defective product. Dangerous or defective products can cause injuries, be it an industrial machine, a car part, or a consumer product. If you were injured because of a product malfunction or unsafe design and the manufacturer was aware of the malfunction or design flaw but did nothing about it, you might have grounds to sue the product manufacturer. Even if you think that you should have known better, manufacturers are responsible for proper instructions and warning labels so if they did not include these; you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Injuries can be sustained in the workplace too. These types of brain injuries can be from a slip and fall accident, a defective product or equipment used on the job, etc. Industrial products can result in serious accidents. According to the National Safety Council, 10-15% of industrial accidents are the result of improperly designed equipment.
No matter where the accident took place, you should contact the San Antonio Police Department so that they can send an officer to the scene of the incident and file a report. Having a report from a third party will help you establish negligence if you pursue a claim down the line.
Immediately after that, you need to be examined by a medical professional at St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital, Northeast Baptist Hospital, San Antonio State Hospital, Methodist Texan Hospital, or Southwest General Hospital. Brain injuries are not something you can see clearly like broken bones or cuts. So you might feel fine, but if you don’t get examined and your brain injury gets worse, you might void any legal grounds you have for a case down the line.
In some situations, the brain injury could be the result of a workplace accident. If so, then you would file a claim for workers’ compensation with your employer instead of a personal injury lawsuit. If you sustain your brain injury while fulfilling your duties, your employer’s insurance should pay for your medical bills through a workers’ comp claim.
If you sustained the injury in any other capacity, you should work with a San Antonio brain injury lawyer to gather the necessary evidence to substantiate your claim. Your claim would be filed with the insurance company of the responsible party. For example, this would be homeowner’s insurance if you slipped and fell at a neighbor’s house or business insurance if you had an accident in a store or car insurance if you were in an auto accident.
To pursue compensation for damages, you have to be able to prove negligence. This means showing that, for example, the other driver was running through a red light or texting and therefore not following their reasonable expectation of following driving laws. Then you must prove that this deliberate disregard for driving laws led to the accident and had the driver obeyed the law and stopped at a red light or put their phone down, the accident would not have happened. From there, you have to prove that your brain injury is a result of the crash. For workers’ compensation claims, you need only prove that you were injured while on the job.