What Can You Do If You Have Suffered A Traumatic Brain Injury From A Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents are a major concern when it comes to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Given the exposed nature of riding a motorcycle, riders are at a significantly higher risk of injury compared to passengers in an enclosed vehicle like a car. Even minor motorcycle accidents can result in head injuries due to the lack of protection around the motorcycle rider. The Texas Department of Transportation reported that in 2022, Texas recorded 562 motorcyclist fatalities and 2,422 serious injuries involving motorcyclists. Approximately 39% of the motorcyclists killed in 2022 were not wearing helmets. Ceja Law Firm, PLLC can make sure that your interests are protected in the unfortunate event of a TBI caused by a motorcycle accident. We will provide you with legal advice specific to your situation.
The Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBIs can lead to short-term symptoms, long-term disabilities, or even death. Survivors might suffer from cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments. Depending on the severity, these can include memory problems, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, depression and physical disabilities. The costs associated with TBIs are immense, encompassing medical bills, rehabilitation services, lost wages and reduced quality of life.
Steps and Considerations When Pursuing A Legal Claim for Traumatic Brain Injuries Due To A Motorcycle Accident
If someone suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to another party’s negligence or wrongful actions in Texas, they may have grounds to take legal action. Here’s a basic overview of steps and considerations when pursuing a legal claim related to TBIs in Texas:
- Statute of Limitations: In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including TBIs, is generally two years from the date of the injury. This means you have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. There are exceptions in specific situations, such as for minors. Generally speaking, a statute of limitations for the claims of a minor does not begin to run until they turn the age of majority which is 18 in Texas. From that date of 18 years old, you have two years for the minors’ claims to be filed if a lawsuit is necessary. It is advisable to consult with an attorney to determine the exact time frame in your specific situation.
- Determine Liability: For a successful claim, you need to prove that another party was negligent or at fault for the injury. This might involve demonstrating that a driver was distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, that a product was faulty, or that a property owner failed to maintain safe conditions.
- Damages: The injured party can seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, future medical expenses, and in some cases, punitive damages.
- Comparative Negligence: Texas follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule. If you’re found to be partially at fault for the accident, your total damages will be reduced by the percentage of your fault. For instance, if you’re awarded $100,000 but found to be 20% at fault, you’ll receive $80,000. However, if you’re found to be more than 50% at fault, you won’t be able to collect any damages.
- Gather Evidence: Collecting evidence is important for proving liability and the extent of damages. This can include medical records, photographs of the scene, witness testimonies, and expert testimonies (for example, medical experts to speak about the severity of the TBI).
- Legal Representation: It is generally advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney, preferably one with experience in TBI cases. Ceja Law Firm can guide you through the complexities of the legal process, evaluate the strength of your claim, and advocate on your behalf.
- Filing a Lawsuit: If a settlement cannot be reached with the at-fault party or their insurance company, the next step is to file a lawsuit. Once filed, both sides will engage in a discovery process, exchanging evidence and taking depositions.
- Trial: If a settlement is still not reached after the discovery phase, the case will go to trial, where a jury or judge will determine liability and the amount of damages.
The Attorneys at Ceja Law Firm Help Those Who Have Suffered From TBI Due to a Motorcycle Accident
In summary, while motorcycles offer freedom and thrill, they come with a significant risk of injury, especially traumatic brain injuries. It’s crucial for riders to understand these risks and to take preventive measures to protect themselves on the road. Beyond wearing a helmet, riders should also wear other protective gear like jackets, gloves, and boots, to minimize the risk of other injuries. Defensive driving and rider training can also reduce the risk of accidents. Being visible (using reflective gear, lights) and avoiding blind spots of other vehicles is crucial.
TBI cases can be complex, especially when determining the long-term effects and necessary care. Given the seriousness of such injuries, it is essential to ensure you are adequately represented and informed. It is important to consult with a lawyer who is experienced with Texas law to discuss the specifics of a case. These laws can be complicated and their application can vary based on the unique facts of each situation. Ceja Law Firm can help you navigate the particulars of the law governing motorcycle accidents and traumatic brain injuries and help you try to recover what you are entitled to in the event of an accident. Call our office today.