The Kansas City brain injury lawyers at Dickerson Oxton, LLC understand brain and spinal cord injuries leave devastation in their wake and oftentimes impart victims with lifelong injuries and disabilities. Medical bills associated with these types of injuries can easily reach in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more. Many brain injuries lead to further complications later on in life, requiring the victims to have continuous medical care, round-the-clock supervision, and assistance with daily activities that those of us without these injuries take for granted.
- How to hire a Kansas City brain injury attorney
- Free consultation information
- How can a Kansas City brain injury attorney help?
- How much compensation can you get for your brain injury case?
- What is the statute of limitations on a brain injury?
- What are the different types of brain injuries?
- Skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries from assault
- What accidents and activities can lead to brain injuries?
- Who Can Be Held Liable for Traumatic Brain Injuries?
- Who is liable for traumatic brain injuries?
- What are traumatic brain injuries?
- Contact us
Call a Brain Injury Attorney in Kansas City Today
Presenting a case for a traumatic brain injury can be a complicated process. Medical experts are often called in to account for the extent of given injuries and report on their findings. Having an experienced Kansas City brain injury lawyer on your side is essential.
If you or someone close to you has been the victim of a TBI, contact Dickerson Oxton, LLC to speak with a seasoned personal injury attorney in Kansas City today. Our attorneys offer client-specific strategies to help make your case a success. We realize that living with these types of injuries is life-changing and often an uphill battle. Our goal is to recover financial compensation for our injured clients in order to assist them in this difficult time. You can reach one of our experienced brain injury attorneys at (816) 268-1960. Alternatively, you can fill out our free case evaluation form on our website and we will get back to you promptly.
Being a smaller law firm, we are directly available to our clients and handle all cases with the utmost compassion. Unlike our larger competitors, who route calls through paralegals and assistants, our brain and spinal cord injury attorneys in Kansas City are always directly available for questions or concerns. Adopting this client-first mentality allows us to personally connect with each victim and understand how they are suffering in order to assess their case. The Kansas City brain injury lawyers at Dickerson Oxton, LLC are dedicated to a personal approach to compassionate representation.
How Can a Kansas City Brain Injury Attorney Help?
It may seem simpler to go through a brain injury case without hiring a lawyer. Choosing to have a lawyer represent you rather than handling your claim alone, however, can significantly improve the outcome of your claim. It is especially important to hire a lawyer with an injury as serious as a traumatic brain injury. A head injury attorney can help with your claim in many different ways.
- Answering all of your legal questions and addressing your concerns
- Getting to know you as a person, as well as your goals for the case
- Investigating the cause of the accident that gave you a brain injury
- Identifying the defendant or at-fault party
- Collecting evidence of negligence or fault from the scene of the accident
- Obtaining copies of your medical records and other documents
- Hiring medical experts and accident reconstructionists
- Filing your claim and filling out confusing paperwork for you
- Keeping you updated about your case regularly
- Negotiating with an insurance company for a fair settlement
- Representing you during a brain injury trial, if necessary
- Giving you greater peace of mind during a difficult time
If you are not sure whether your brain injury case needs an attorney, consult us for free about your recent accident. Our Kansas City brain injury lawyers offer 100% free initial case reviews for your benefit. We will get to know you, listen to your story and let you know if we believe you have a case. If so, and we think we are the right fit for us, we will extend our services to you. Using the right personal injury lawyer for your claim in Kansas City can make a world of difference. From fighting for maximum compensation on your behalf to providing a helping hand when you need it the most, a lawyer can be an invaluable asset.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered in a Brain Injury Case?
Head injuries can cause catastrophic injuries. A serious traumatic brain injury could cost a patient millions of dollars over his or her lifetime and permanent impairment. Permanent brain damage could require live-in nursing care, consistent doctor’s visits, lifelong therapy or rehabilitation, and other expensive medical care. It could also cause patient significant non-economic damage, such as lost quality of life or permanent cognitive difficulties. The value of your traumatic brain injury case depends upon the severity of your injuries, as well as the damages suffered:
- Past and future medical expenses. Medical expenses are typically the greatest financial loss for traumatic brain injury victims. They can include brain surgeries, weeks or months of treatment and rehabilitation, medical equipment or devices such as wheelchairs, home or vehicle modifications, and disability costs the injured person may face over his or her lifetime.
- Lost wages and missed earning opportunities. A traumatic brain injury could put a victim out of work for weeks, months, or even permanently. Victims can seek recovery for total lost wages because of a brain injury, including lost future earning capacity if the TBI caused long-lasting brain damage. Collecting paystubs and forecasting how much the victim could have made were it not for the injury can help calculate appropriate compensation.
- Pain and suffering. The non-economic impact of a brain injury can be severe. Relearning how to eat, communicate, and think can change a person’s life. Victims may be eligible to recover compensation for past and future physical pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and the psychological effects of a TBI. Other forms of non-economic recovery can include diminished quality of or enjoyment of life and loss of consortium.
- Punitive damages. The seriousness of an injury to the brain could result in punitive damages to punish the defendant for his or her misconduct. If a defendant wantonly, recklessly, or intentionally caused the injury, a judge may order additional punitive damages on top of compensatory damages.
Several factors could impact how much compensation you receive for a TBI case – including the negotiating skill of your brain injury attorney. While we cannot guarantee results, we have won six- and seven-figure settlements and verdicts for clients in the past. Our aggressive negotiation tactics and commitment to client success could help you achieve maximum compensation for you or a loved one’s traumatic brain injury. Your case could be worth enough to give you and your family financial stability while you live with a traumatic brain injury.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Brain Injury?
One of the most important laws to know in Kansas City when filing a brain injury claim is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law put in place to encourage claimants to file causes of action as soon as possible. They are deadlines by which plaintiffs must file their claims or else lose the right to file, in most cases. Although there are a few exceptions, the courts in both Kansas and Missouri typically will not hear brain injury claims filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations.
It is important to know and obey your deadline, therefore, if you wish to have a valid claim. A lawyer from Dickerson Oxton can help you understand your exact deadline. The statute of limitations under Missouri Revisor of Statutes Section 516.120 is 5 years from the date of the accident in Missouri. In Kansas, the statute of limitations is only two years (Kansas Statutes Annotated Section 60-513). In both states, the countdown on the statute of limitations begins on the date of the accident or incident that caused your brain injury.
If you did not realize you had a brain injury until a few days after the accident, the clock will not start ticking until the date you discover the accident injury. This is called the discovery rule. It is the most common exception to the statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Kansas City. Another exception applies to claimants who are under the age of majority. If the accident victim with a brain injury is a minor under the age of 18, Missouri gives that claimant five years from the date of his or her 18th birthday to file. Kansas gives minors up to one year after their 18th birthdays to file.
You may have less than your state’s statute of limitations to file a brain injury claim, however, if the defendant named in your claim works for the government. A tort claim against the government must be filed within just 90 days of the harmful accident in Missouri. Speak to an attorney right away about your brain injury claim to make sure you meet your deadline to file. Otherwise, the courts may bar you from financial recovery.
What are the Different Types of Brain Injuries?
Brain injuries are relatively common, and many individuals in the United States will experience some sort of mild brain injury in their lifetimes. According to the CDC in 2014, there were approximately 2.87 million traumatic brain injuries in the United States that involved emergency departments hospitalizations or deaths.
Not all brain injuries have similar symptoms or short-term or long-term effects. However, all brain injuries and blows to the head should be examined and taken seriously. Even mild traumatic brain injuries can cause symptoms and interruption of otherwise normal cognitive and physical functions. According to the Mayo Clinic even a mild injury can require prompt medical attention to diagnose the injury suffered.
What are Symptoms of Mild Brain Injuries?
Even though these symptoms are classified as “mild”, injuries considered “mild” can accumulate to more severe symptoms over time. Some of the most common symptoms of mild brain injuries include:
- Short periods of loss of consciousness
- Nausea & vomiting
- Disruptions in sleep cycle (sleeping too much/ sleeping too little)
- Difficulty balancing
- Impact to speech
- Blurred vision
- Memory and/or concentration problems
- Mood swings or changes in mood
What are Symptoms of Moderate Brain Injuries?
Moderate TBI symptoms can occur within a couple of hours of the injury, or can take a few days before the symptoms are visible. Some of the physical symptoms of moderate brain injuries include:
- Loss of consciousness for a few minutes to hours
- Serious headache that worsens over time
- Unable to wake from sleep
- Convulsions and/or seizures
- Optic dilation
- Transparent fluid draining from ears or nose
- Loss of sensation in digits
- Coordination problems
- Serious confusion
What are Symptoms of Serious Brain Injuries?
Victims that sustain serious brain injuries can suffer from life-long symptoms that impact movement and cognitive functions. Some common complications associated with moderate and severe brain injuries include:
- Vegetative State
- Brain Death
Skull Fractures and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Many traumatic brain injuries also involve skull fractures. A skull fracture is a crack or break in the skull bone. The average skull is around just 6.5 to 7 millimeters thick. This makes it susceptible to fractures in traumatic accidents, such as if a falling object hits the skull. A severe skull fracture could have an adverse effect on the brain, such as causing the brain to bleed or leak cerebrospinal fluid. This can cause brain damage, seizures or run the risk of infection.
If a brain injury has an accompanying skull fracture, it is referred to as an open head injury. Examples include breaks in a skull bone, damage from explosive blasts and puncture wounds. A closed head injury is a brain injury that does not involve damage to the skull. An example is when the brain bounces around the inside of the skull in a car accident. Skull fractures can complicate brain injuries and require additional care and treatment.
Traumatic Brain Injuries From Assault
Every year, hospitals and emergency rooms in Kansas City treat thousands of patients with head and brain injuries caused by assaults and criminal activity. Criminals can cause devastating traumatic brain injuries through crimes such as striking or kicking someone in the head, hitting them with an object or weapon, stabbing them in the face or head, shooting them in the skull, or shaking an infant (Shaken Baby Syndrome).
It is possible to hold a criminal or perpetrator personally accountable for brain injuries caused by violence. The injured assault victim can pursue a civil lawsuit against the attacker to demand justice and financial compensation, as well as press criminal charges for the crime committed. A successful civil lawsuit against the criminal can result in payment not only for medical bills and lost wages but for the emotional trauma caused by the assault or attack, as well.
In addition to holding the criminal responsible, you may also have grounds to file a premises liability claim for a brain injury caused by assault. This could be an available remedy if the owner of the property was negligent in keeping the area safe and secure (negligent security). For example, if you were attacked at a gas station in Kansas City that had a high rate of crime, but the owner had done nothing to prevent the foreseeable attack (such as hire security guards), you may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against the owner of the premises.
What Accidents and Activities Can Lead to Brain Injuries?
Criminal assaults are not the only possible cause of brain injuries in Kansas City. The head and brain can sustain an injury in many different accidents, incidents and everyday activities in Missouri. What may seem like a harmless activity or sport could put you at risk of a deadly brain injury. Even if you’re careful, another person’s negligence could put you in danger. If you were diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury after any of the following circumstances, you may be entitled to financial compensation:
- Motor vehicle accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Bicycle or scooter accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Diving accident
- Horseback riding
- Rock climbing
- Extreme sports
- Falling or flying object
- Explosion (debris and shrapnel)
Certain people in Missouri are at an increased risk of suffering brain injuries based on their hobbies and occupations. They include athletes, construction workers, members of the Armed Forces and law enforcement officers. Even if someone in a dangerous occupation or sport wears a helmet, this does not guarantee their protection from a serious brain injury. TBIs are still a leading cause of disability and death among accident victims who were wearing approved safety helmets.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Traumatic Brain Injuries?
During a traumatic brain injury case, you will seek financial recovery from the party you believe is most responsible for causing your injury (the defendant). Identifying the proper defendant(s) is one of the first steps toward achieving a compensation award for your damages. Determining who is at fault for your accident and injury may take multiple investigations and assistance from a personal injury law firm. A lawyer can interview eyewitnesses, hire experts, re-create the accident, and take other steps toward finding out who caused the injury. The liable party could be a number of people, or a combination of parties:
- A negligent automobile driver.
- A careless employer.
- A healthcare provider.
- The manufacturer or distributor of a defective product.
- A negligent property owner.
- An inattentive teacher or supervisor.
- A dangerous sports coach.
- A criminal.
To prove that someone should be liable for your damages, your brain damage attorney will need to demonstrate that the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached a duty of care, caused your accident and that you suffered compensable damages as a result. This burden of proof requires a preponderance of evidence against the defendant. An attorney can help you with this burden, taking over complex legal processes such as filing a claim against the appropriate defendant, while you focus on physical recovery.
Traumatic Brain Injuries Statistics
Nationwide, the Center for Disease Control reports that TBI is a contributor in about 34% of all injury-related deaths. A blow, jolt, or strike to the head is often enough to cause a TBI. Piercing injuries are also commonly associated with TBI. Foreign objects, or even the victim’s own skull, can enter the cavity which the brain rests and cause tremendous irreversible damage. Sadly, when the brain is damaged in such a way, the victim is often left with a lifelong injury or disability. Many of the same causes of spinal cord injuries can also be linked to TBI.
- Concussive blasts (as from explosions)
- Automobile and truck accidents
While not all head injuries result in a TBI, the ones that do generally present with common brain injury symptoms. Victims may experience a loss of consciousness, memory lapse, personality change, or lack of motor function. Tragically, in some cases, spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries accompany each other. The end result of this can be a lifetime of physical and emotional challenges for the victim and family members involved. Here is an infographic we created to describe the seriousness of a brain injury. Contact our brain injury attorneys for a free consultation for a case evaluation.
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At Dickerson Oxton, LLC, your initial consultation is always free of charge. When we do accept cases, we operate on a contingent fee basis. We choose to operate this way for the sole benefit of our clients; if we don’t win your case, you won’t pay anything. With over a decade of combined litigation experience, the brain injury attorneys at our Kansas City law firm have the knowledge needed to help you with your case. If you have any questions, please call our office or contact us online.