Fort Myers Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer

Fort Myers Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer

Fort Myers Brain Injury Lawyer

 

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage, resulting in complications and limitations in life which require continuous care and treatment.  Suffering a catastrophic brain injury brings immense amounts of mental anguish to victims and their families. In addition, the aftermath of a severe injury can also lead to financial difficulties. 

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury as a result of another party’s actions or negligence, Florida law often permits you to seek compensation for damages in civil court. Our Fort Myers traumatic brain injury attorneys at Viles & Beckman can help you file a claim and fight for the compensation that you deserve.

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

The complete medical definition of a traumatic brain injury, according to a CDC facts report, is “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” 

Meanwhile a concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that often heals within a few weeks. Unfortunately, TBIs can be much worse, and they can even be fatal in the most severe cases.

CDC data shows that more than 2.5 million people visit emergency rooms across the country each year for traumatic brain injuries. Almost 300,000 visits result in hospitalization, and more than 55,000 lead to death. These numbers also include almost 25,000 children hospitalized for TBI and more than 2,500 child fatalities.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Many different types of accidents and situations might result in a traumatic brain injury. Specific causes vary greatly among age groups. Generally, older adults over age 75 face the most risk for TBIs, which often occur when these adults slip and fall. The most common causes of traumatic brain injuries include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents including car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Scooter accidents
  • Unintentional falls
  • Childbirth
  • Defective products
  • Full-contact sports
  • Abuse and assault

If you don’t see your injury listed above, don’t worry; most injuries that result in a TBI qualify. A traumatic brain injury attorney in Fort Myers can help verify that you can file a claim for your injury. 

Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries

When someone has an accident or incident which results in a traumatic brain injury, they might not experience symptoms for hours, days, or weeks. Children whose brains are still developing are especially vulnerable to delayed brain injury symptoms. 

Immediately after head trauma and for the weeks and months following, victims and family members need to pay special attention to symptoms that might indicate a brain injury.Concussions might present the following symptoms:

  • Feeling nauseous
  • Frequent headaches, especially those which increase in severity
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Neck pain
  • Frequent or continuous ringing in the ears

Severe traumatic brain injuries, which account for about 25% of TBIs each year, can result in a variety of symptoms. The most common symptoms are: 

  • A constant headache or migraine, or one which increases in severity
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Speech impediments, especially slurring
  • Loss of feeling or numbness in the limbs
  • Unevenly dilated pupils
  • Cannot wake up from sleep or fall asleep
  • Trouble with writing or speaking
  • Difficulty regulating emotions
  • Memory problems
  • Issues with retaining attention
  • Loss of sensory perception
  • Cognitive processing difficulties

These symptoms potentially indicate a severe and life-threatening TBI. If you or one you love experiences any of these symptoms, you need to call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room for treatment. Your life may depend on it.

How Long do I Have to File a Claim for My Traumatic Brain Injury?

According to Fla. Stat. § 95.11, you have four years from the date of the injury to file a claim against the negligent party. For example, if your injury occurred on April 10th of, 2022, you would be able to file a claim until April 10th, 2026. If you file a claim after the four years pass, you risk losing the ability to get the maximum settlement or any settlement at all. 

However, the statute of limitations for an act of negligence can vary depending on the injury and the details of your case. One of our traumatic brain injury attorneys in Fort Myers can tell you the exact amount of time you have to file a claim.

Filing a claim early is beneficial to you and your lawyer. You have a higher chance of getting the maximum settlement, and your lawyer can gather the evidence that will build a strong case. 

What Qualifies as Evidence for a Traumatic Brain Injury Case?

Evidence is one of the most important parts of a strong case. After you prove that someone else’s negligence led to your accident, we will gather evidence of your TBI to strengthen your case. We may gather the following pieces of evidence if we decide they will be helpful to your case: 

  • Witnesses: People who saw the accident happen can provide different perspectives via statements or photos. Witnesses can confirm that you were injured and provide any additional information they have which can be beneficial to your case.  
  • Photos: Photos are a valuable piece of evidence. They provide visible proof of your injury and show the conditions that led to your TBI. For example, if you took photos of your injuries, they can be a testament to the severity of your pain, even if your wounds have healed.
  • Police report: Reports from police officers provide another perspective on the accident with their expert knowledge.
  • Videos: If your TBI occurred in a public place with security cameras or surveillance, the footage could show exactly what happened.
  • Results of a brain scan: Brain scans can alert you to any further conditions you may have, and they can also show the severity of your injury, which may result in more damages that you can recover. If a brain scan shows that a part of your brain is severely injured, you may be eligible for damages to pay future medical expenses. 
  • Medical diagnosis: A medical diagnosis can show your injury in-depth and help your lawyer negotiate a settlement that will help you pay for the medical care you may need.

These are only a few pieces of evidence we use to prove your case. When you meet with one of our traumatic brain injury attorneys at Viles & Beckman, we will go over any additional evidence we think will be helpful to your case.

Potential Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury

In many cases, those who suffer a moderate to severe TBI will face lifelong challenges as a result of their injury. This is especially true of children and of babies who suffer a TBI during childbirth. 

Sometimes, parents don’t know their child has suffered a TBI until they miss one or more major developmental milestones. The CDC describes broad potential short-term and long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries, such as:

  • Challenges with thinking, which can include memory issues such as amnesia and struggles with logical reasoning
  • Challenges with sensation, which include problems with sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste
  • Challenges with balance, including vertigo and other internal equilibrium issues
  • Challenges with communication, such as difficulty putting together sounds and sentences to speak
  • Challenges with expression and comprehension
  • Challenges with emotions, including personality changes, aggression, anxiety, depression, and social inappropriateness
  • Potential permanent vegetative state (PVS) or coma

Depending on the severity of your injury, there may be other ways your TBI affects you. A Fort Myers traumatic brain injury attorney can help you fight for compensation for any further health effects you discover. 

Seeking Compensation for a TBI in Florida

If a car crash caused your TBI, the process for recovering damages related to your injury might include filing a claim under your mandatory Florida personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means when a motor vehicle accident occurs, drivers file a claim with their own carrier regardless of fault. 

It’s not uncommon for TBI victims to quickly meet or exceed their PIP policy limits. Once this occurs, a skilled traumatic brain injury lawyer can advise victims whether the law allows them to seek further compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier by filing a personal injury lawsuit in Florida court. 

If the lawyer reaches a settlement agreement or a court rules in the victim’s favor, the award may include compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses, such as ambulance ride, emergency room visit, hospital stay, surgery, diagnostic imaging, and medication
  • Future medical costs when a severe or catastrophic traumatic brain injury leads to permanent disability, PVS, a coma, or any other condition which requires extensive recovery or lifelong care or treatment
  • Rehabilitative service costs for specialists who help TBI victims recover and repair brain function e.g., physical therapists, speech therapists, and occupational therapists
  • Assistive device costs for items such as wheelchairs, canes, walkers, and technology to help victims function and communicate
  • Lost wages for time away from work due to the traumatic brain injury, treatment, hospitalization, and recovery
  • Future lost wages when a traumatic brain injury causes a permanent disability that prevents a victim from returning to their job.
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium with spouse and other non-economic costs related to family relationships
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Mental anguish

If a child, spouse, or other loved one lost their life as a result of traumatic brain injury, you might be eligible for compensation depending on your relationship to them. One of our compassionate lawyers can discuss the possibility of filing a wrongful death claim. 

You might recover some of the damages mentioned above, as well as funeral expenses, burial costs, and non-economic losses specific to surviving family members.

Comparative Negligence in Florida Traumatic Brain Injury Cases

Florida courts apply a pure comparative negligence rule to personal injury cases to assess the extent to which a plaintiff might be responsible for his or her own injuries. If the court finds the defendant is negligent, it assigns a percentage portion of fault to each party in a lawsuit.

Many parties named in a personal injury lawsuit will go the extra mile to avoid financial liability. Florida’s pure comparative negligence rule provides an avenue for the defense to do just that. 

One common defense tactic is to argue the plaintiff was negligent as a way to devalue the claim. For example: 

  • In motor vehicle accidents, the defense might claim you were breaking traffic laws
  • In slip and fall accidents leading to a TBI, the defense might argue you ignored warnings of a hazard
  • In defective product claims, the defense might argue you ignored product instructions which caused a traumatic brain injury

To maximize your chances of the best outcome for your case, you need a Fort Myers traumatic brain injury attorney. We understand how Florida’s comparative negligence rule applies to your case, anticipate defense strategies to devalue your claim, and can protect you against defense tactics intended to undermine your claim.

Brain Injury FAQ

When you suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), you may quickly discover that it changes every aspect of your life. A TBI often leaves you with more questions than answers. Fortunately, you can find some of those answers here.

How Long Do the Effects of a TBI Last?

Many people who suffer a traumatic brain injury want to know one thing: how long it will take them to start thinking and acting normally again. Unfortunately, the recovery timeline for victims with a TBI can vary. 

Some victims with a mild TBI may still have symptoms more than a year after the accident. Victims with a severe TBI, on the other hand, may have symptoms that last the rest of their lives.

TBIs tend to take quite some time to heal. Even with a mild TBI, it may take a long time for the victim to feel normal again. Victims with more severe injuries may find it takes them years to recover even a fraction of their former capacity.

How Do TBIs Impact a Victim’s Life?

Victims of more severe TBIs may suffer from lifelong struggles with emotional regulation, memory loss, and cognitive processing. After someone sustains a traumatic brain injury, they may have trouble regulating their emotions.

This can lead to extreme mood swings ranging from euphoriously happy to devastatingly sad. A lack of emotional regulation can lead to outbursts in public, resulting in difficulty of socializing and even finding or sustaining employment. 

Another impact of sustaining a TBI is significant short-term and long-term memory loss. Some people may regain their memories but others may not, which can present challenges in everyday life. Some of the problems TBI victims may face include remembering names, where objects are in their home, and maintaining an independent life.

Traumatic brain injuries also effect people’s cognitive processing abilities. This can be very upsetting if a person leads a creative life or career. They may not be able to think clearly or express themselves as they once did. Other challenges include thinking of things on the spot, maintaining conversations with others, and performing tasks at work.

Who Bears Responsibility for Paying My Medical Bills if I Suffered a TBI in a Car Accident?

If you have suffered a TBI in a car accident, ultimately, you bear responsibility for paying for your own medical bills. By filing a personal injury claim, however, you can seek compensation for the bills you face after a traumatic brain injury. Typically, you will file a personal injury claim against the party responsible for the accident. This might include:

  • The responsible driver. Whether the driver of a passenger vehicle or a commercial vehicle caused your accident, you can pursue compensation from that driver.
  • The manufacturer of a failed part that caused an accident. When a mechanical failure causes an accident, even the best driver might not be able to prevent it. If manufacturers put out flawed parts that cause an auto accident, leading to your TBI, you can file for compensation from the manufacturer of the faulty part.
  • The bar or restaurant that over-served an inebriated driver. If the driver who caused your accident overindulged in alcohol, the bar or restaurant that continued to serve them with knowledge that they planned to drive could share liability for the accident.
  • The company that employs a driver on the clock at the time of the accident. Was the other driver on the clock when they caused the accident? If their company required them to work in unsafe conditions, including driving in bad weather or spending too much time on the road, the company may share responsibility for the accident. The company that loaded a big truck with unstable cargo may also share liability for an accident caused by that instability.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive for a TBI?

A TBI can leave you with substantial expenses. The compensation you can receive for those expenses, however, varies. In Florida, drivers must carry a minimum of only $10,000 of insurance coverage for bodily injury in a car accident. 

While many drivers, including commercial drivers, typically carry more coverage than the minimum, if the driver who caused your accident carries only minimal coverage, that coverage may limit the compensation you can receive.

Because Florida is a no-fault state, you will first use your own personal injury protection insurance to provide coverage for your injuries. The cost of traumatic brain injury, however, may quickly exceed your own policy’s limits. 

Most policies start with a minimum of $10,000 of coverage, but a TBI can cost between $85,000 and $3 million during your lifetime. As a result, you may need to turn to a personal injury claim to seek the compensation you need for your injuries. Most people include the following categories of expenses in their personal injury claim:

  • The cost of medical bills
  • The cost of lost wages at work
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost earning potential, when injuries prevent you from returning to work in your former capacity
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Compensation After a TBI?

You have plenty of other expenses associated with your accident, and many TBI victims wonder if they really have to add the cost of a lawyer to those other expenses. You do not have to hire a lawyer to file a personal injury claim.

A lawyer, however, can often increase the compensation you receive. You may also find that hiring a lawyer helps alleviate some of the stress you feel when dealing with insurance companies. A Fort Myers traumatic brain injury attorney can also answer many of the questions you have about filing a personal injury claim after your TBI.

Can Doctors Predict Whether Someone With a TBI Will Make a Full Recovery?

One of the most frequently asked questions is if doctors can predict the recovery process for an individual with a TBI. However, TBI symptoms and recovery can vary based on the individual and the part of the brain impacted by the accident.

Other injuries sustained during the accident can also increase recovery time, which may make symptoms last longer than they would under other circumstances. The brain has many complex and interdependent parts, and doctors cannot predict how an individual will recover with complete accuracy.

As a result, when doctors talk about your future prognosis after a severe TBI, they may give only their best guess as to the outcome. You may recover more of your former abilities than your doctor anticipated, or, in some cases, you may recover less than your doctors predict.

A changed medical outcome or recovery after filing a personal injury claim does not change the compensation you will receive, and you cannot go back and ask for more compensation if you do not make as full a recovery as anticipated.

What Treatment Follows a TBI?

TBIs can require extensive rehabilitation. Immediately after the injury, patients may need to stay in a treatment facility to help with rehabilitation. Others may return home, but require frequent visits to the hospital or to an occupational therapist to receive therapy that helps them cope with the challenges and changes that come with their TBI.

Some patients may need to relearn how to do activities they did with ease before the accident, while others may need help coping with changes to vision or hearing after the accident. In addition, some patients may need long-term care at home.

Can People With TBIs Resume Their Former Jobs?

Some people with TBIs can return to their former professions within a few weeks or months of the injury. Others may return to work, but need some assistance completing their job responsibilities while they heal. In some cases, however, a TBI may prevent a person from returning to their former profession ever again. 

In a creative profession, for example, TBI victims may struggle to regain the creative problem solving capacity they had before the accident. Victims who suffer cognitive and processing difficulties may struggle to return to jobs that require a great deal of math or other cognitive skills.

While some TBI victims may struggle to return to their former professions, they do have options for seeking employment. Often, TBI victims can go through job training to help them acquire a new profession or new skills. In some cases, they can also go through special training to help them regain capability in their former professions.

If I Have a TBI, How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?

Florida has a four-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims. However, if your TBI occurred as a result of medical malpractice, you only have two years to file a claim against the negligent party. Cases of TBIs that result from medical malpractice are typically caused by: 

  • Surgical errors 
  • Forgotten tools during surgery
  • Lack of oxygen during procedures

If the TBI injury is to a minor, the statute of limitations can be tolled until their 18th birthday. Time limits may also be shortened if you intend to file a claim against a government or local municipality. Your lawyer can explain in more detail what might affect your filing deadline.

How Long Does It Take to Get Compensation After a TBI?

The amount of time it takes for you to receive compensation for your injuries will vary. Some insurance companies will negotiate the claim quickly, helping get the funds you need in your hands faster. Others may take longer to reach an agreement.

If your claim must go to court, it can take much longer to get the funds you deserve. The sooner you file your personal injury claim, the sooner you can start the process and, therefore, the sooner you will likely recover any compensation for your injuries.

Advocating for Traumatic Brain Injury Victims Since 1995

Viles and Beckman Lawyers

Our skilled and award-winning lawyers have more than 40 years of experience in the negotiation, settlement, and litigation of personal injury claims, including those involving traumatic brain injuries. Our firm’s relentless dedication to advocating for injured victims has resulted in millions of dollars in damages from settlements and verdicts in favor of clients.

We cannot guarantee results for any particular traumatic brain injury claim; each case has distinct characteristics which contribute to potential settlement or verdict amounts. We can, however, promise that we will diligently pursue the best outcome for your case and aggressively litigate your case in court when necessary. 

We are committed to obtaining the best results possible for your circumstances.

Your Rights. Your Recovery. Our Responsibility.

If you or a loved one experienced a traumatic brain injury, let us handle your case while you focus on healing and rehabilitation. One of our skilled traumatic brain injury attorneys in Fort Myers can guide you through the judicial process, investigate the circumstances which led to your injury and gather relevant documentation to support your case. 

If you live in Fort Myers, contact Viles & Beckman online for a free consultation and learn how we can assist you in the wake of a severe TBI. You deserve full and fair compensation for your losses and suffering. We will pursue the best outcome for your particular situation.


Viles & Beckman, LLC
6350 Presidential Court
Fort Myers, FL 33919
T: (239) 334-3933 

Why Hire Us

Over 40 Years of Experience

Over 40 Years of Experience

We have championed injury victims' best interests since 1995, and we wouldn't use or legal abilities any other way.

Board Certified by the Florida Bar

Board Certified by the Florida Bar

Florida recognizes Attorney Marcus W. Viles's reputation for legal excellence. As a result, he upholds this prestigious title.

Free & Confidential Case Reviews

Free & Confidential Case Reviews

A successful case outcome starts with preparation. We sit with every client to grasp the personal injury matters they are dealing with.

You Pay Nothing Unless We Win

You Pay Nothing Unless We Win

Because of the fact that our firm works on a contingency fee basis, our clients don't owe us a dime until we win their case.

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Helping those Injured in Accidents Across Florida

While we are proud to call Fort Myers home, we are also more than happy to help injured people living anywhere in the Sunshine State. In fact, we’ve even been known to travel all around the country just to meet our clients’ needs.

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