Brain injuries often occur when an external force exerts pressure or violence on the head or body, causing brain dysfunction. In some cases, they may occur due to the penetration of an object, either a piece of the skull or part of a car or building. While a mild brain injury might cause temporary dysfunction, there are also catastrophic brain injuries that result in long-term complications or death. At Neumann Law Group, our principal, Kelly Neumann, is an award-winning catastrophic injury attorney with experience in a broad range of cases that have resulted in brain trauma. Our Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids brain injury lawyers can advise you on whether you may have a case against an at-fault party.Establishing Liability for Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can have both physical and psychological symptoms, including loss of consciousness, weakness or numbness, seizures, inability to wake up, headache, nausea, loss of coordination, confusion, slurred speech, coma, agitation, and odd behavior. In serious cases, it may be necessary for someone suffering from brain injuries to obtain household services and long-term care. They may no longer be able to work, or they may not be able to work in the same job, and they may require vocational rehabilitation services. All of these additional services can get expensive.
One way that people who suffer catastrophic brain injuries can pay for the increased medical care and offset the loss of income is to hold those responsible for their harm accountable through a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, personal injury lawsuits are brought under a theory of negligence. The plaintiff will need to prove the defendant's duty of care, a breach of duty, actual and proximate (legal) causation, and actual damages.
In some situations, the duty is clearer than in others. For example, a truck driver owes a duty to follow the federal and state safety regulations that apply to commercial driving. In many cases, a plaintiff can argue that a truck driver's violation of a safety regulation is negligence per se (negligence as a matter of law).
However, it may be less clear whether a duty has been breached in the case of a large pothole in a parking lot, into which someone trips and falls. On the one hand, under premises liability law, the parking lot owner owes a duty of reasonable care to all people invited onto the premises. On the other hand, a landowner cannot be held liable for an "open and obvious" danger.
Special rules apply in certain contexts, such as car accidents. With respect to car accidents, an injury must be a "threshold injury" in order for a plaintiff to go beyond his or her own PIP benefits to recover pain and suffering damages in Michigan. A catastrophic brain injury that causes a serious impairment is likely to meet the threshold requirement for a plaintiff, but in some cases, an insurer may fight that, or try to show how the plaintiff was comparatively negligent in order to reduce the defendant’s exposure to a damages award.Contact a Brain Injury Lawyer in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit
Brain injuries can take huge emotional and financial tolls. If you or a loved one is in this challenging situation, the Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City brain injury attorneys at Neumann Law Group may be able to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve. We represent people in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free consultation with a personal injury and wrongful death attorney. We also represent victims and their families in Massachusetts and California.