If you or a loved one has been involved in a devastating accident, you need an attorney who can aggressively represent your interests. People who have suffered catastrophic injuries are especially in need of a compassionate and experienced legal team that can help them seek compensation from those responsible for their harm. The Pembroke Pines brain injury lawyers at Cohn & Smith can assist people in South Florida as they go through this difficult time.
The American Medical Association defines various types of harm that can result in accident cases, with the term “catastrophic injury” including some of the most severe consequences. One of the most common examples is a brain injury. They are usually traumatic in nature, meaning that they are caused by an external force such as a strike or blow to the head.Bringing a Claim for Compensation from a Negligent Defendant
Regardless of the type of accident that led to your or your loved one’s brain injury, the case is likely to proceed under a theory of negligence. This is the most common way to pursue compensation after motor vehicle collisions, product liability cases, medical malpractice, and slip and fall accidents, among other examples.
Most negligence cases are based upon four elements:
- Duty – the legal obligation that the defendant owed to the plaintiff;
- Breach of duty – the defendant’s failure to meet the duty of care that he or she owed;
- Causation – a direct link or “but for” connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and the harm suffered by the victim; and
- Damages – the costs and losses incurred by the plaintiff as a result.
Depending upon the type of case, a plaintiff’s duty to meet all four elements of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence may involve the testimony of expert witnesses, a determination as to the plaintiff’s status as a visitor on land, or the opinion of an accident reconstructionist. Once all four elements of negligence and any sub-elements are proven, the next step is to determine the amount of compensation that it will take to fully reimburse the plaintiff for his or her injuries.
In cases involving brain injuries, some of the things taken into consideration in determining damages tend to include medical expenses, the costs of future treatment, lost wages and the loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Some family members may also be able to assert claims for loss of consortium or loss of services by the injured person.
Once the amount of damages is determined, there may in some cases be a reduction proportionate to the injured person’s fault in the accident. This is because, under Florida’s comparative fault rules, a defendant who can prove that the plaintiff was partially responsible for the accident may receive a reduction in the amount of damages. If the defendant is found liable in a car accident case, but the plaintiff is assigned 25% of the fault because he or she was exceeding the speed limit, the plaintiff’s recovery likely will amount to no more than 75% of the total costs incurred. This is just an example, since it is ultimately up to a jury to assign fault if the parties cannot reach an amicable settlement.Contact a Brain Injury Attorney in Pembroke Pines to Assert Your Rights
If you or a family member has been involved in a car accident or another preventable event, the Pembroke Pines brain injury attorneys at Cohn & Smith can discuss the details of your situation with you. The more serious your injuries, the harder the defendant’s insurance company and its lawyers will work to try to minimize your recovery. You need someone who will fight for you and your family so that you can pursue the money that you need to deal with your injuries, medical expenses, pain, and other losses. To schedule a free consultation with us, call 954-431-8100 or complete our online form. We represent individuals throughout South Florida, including in Pembroke Pines, Davie, and Hollywood.