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Dearborn Brain Injury Lawyers

The human brain is an astonishing organ for weighing only approximately three pounds. Running thousands of body functions each second, the brain controls thought, mood, memory, and many other elements that effectively make us who we are in each moment. As such, serious injury to the brain can significantly alter the course of a person’s life.

Brain injuries can occur for various reasons, from infection to high-impact sports. Whether a brain injury is caused by an auto accident, medical negligence, or another event, it can cause permanent and devastating damage.

If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury due to the negligence of another, talk to an experienced Dearborn brain injury lawyer today. The attorneys at Sommers Schwartz, P.C. can help you understand your legal rights and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Brain Injury Rates in Michigan

The rate of fatal brain injuries has increased in Michigan in recent years. In 2021, deaths involving a traumatic brain injury (TBI) exceeded 2,000 for the first time this century.

Accidental falls were the number-one cause of fatal brain injuries in Michigan in 2022, with 704 people succumbing to fall-related brain injuries. Transportation accidents came in second, accounting for 228 fatal brain injuries.

As sobering as these numbers are, they don’t paint a complete picture of the high incidence of traumatic brain injuries in Michigan. While some brain injuries are deadly, most are not. Rather, the injured person must carry on with lingering or even permanent symptoms related to brain injury damage.

Causes of Brain Injuries

A brain injury may be caused by any number of events in which the head, brain, skull, or body encounters some force or trauma. The most common causes of brain injuries include car accidents, falls, sports injuries, and birth injuries.

Car Accidents

About 30 percent of all traumatic brain injuries in Michigan are caused by vehicle accidents, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Car accidents can cause brain injuries if the head strikes any part of the vehicle during a crash. Persons outside the vehicle, like pedestrians, may be injured if their head strikes the vehicle or any other object nearby. Broken glass, twisted metal, or other debris may penetrate the skull, injuring brain tissues.

Sometimes, a brain injury may occur even if the head hits nothing outside the body. Severe whiplash, for instance, can shake the brain violently inside the skull. This force can damage brain tissues, resulting in brain injury.

Falls

Ten percent of adults in the United States report a fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Falls are the second leading cause of TBI-related deaths, and they also cause thousands of non-fatal brain injuries each year.

Between 2008 and 2017, the CDC estimates that the rate of brain injuries suffered in falling accidents increased by 17 percent nationwide. Falls may occur at home, work, school, or recreational activities. Many falls can be prevented by taking due care, but serious injury or even death may occur when this care isn’t taken.

Sports Injuries

In 2013, Michigan became the 39th US state to pass a law that sets rules for sports concussions, including guidelines for when participants can return to play. These rules are particularly important for young athletes, whose growing brains can experience long-term or even permanent effects from concussions.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) provides rules for high school sports teams around concussions. These rules help protect athletes. When they aren’t followed, lingering symptoms and complications can result.

Birth Injuries

The labor and delivery process poses several risks for both parent and child. For the baby, many types of birth injuries can permanently damage the brain. For instance, when an infant is deprived of oxygen during birth, injury to the brain may occur. These types of brain injuries often have lifelong consequences.

The Elements of a Michigan Brain Injury Lawsuit

Most brain injury claims are based on one or more theories of negligence. To succeed in a negligence claim, an injured person must typically prove four things:

  • The other party had a duty to use reasonable care to prevent harm.
  • The other party breached that duty.
  • The other party’s breach was the actual and foreseeable cause of the injuries.
  • The injuries resulted in damages that can be addressed via a negligence claim.

For some brain injury cases, demonstrating a duty to use reasonable care is simple. Drivers on the road, for example, have a duty to use reasonable care to avoid causing crashes. Manufacturers of household products must make those products reasonably safe for their intended use and warn users about risks they can’t completely avoid.

Sometimes, it’s clear that a duty was breached. In other cases, however, proving a breach can be difficult. For this reason, no two Michigan brain injury claims are exactly alike.

Causation is often a large part of a brain injury claim. Courts typically ask two questions related to causation. First, did the breach of duty cause the brain injury? Second, was the causal connection foreseeable?

Many connections between negligent behavior and brain injury are foreseeable. For example, an ordinary driver can predict that if they do not keep an eye out for bicyclists, they may hit someone and that a brain injury is one type of injury that bicyclists may suffer. Other connections are less easy to predict.

Finally, a brain injury case will explore the question of damages, also known as compensation. Damages seek to restore losses that the injured person wouldn’t have if the injury hadn’t happened. Damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering are common parts of brain injury claims. However, the specific damages that apply to your case will depend on what and how much you have lost due to your brain injury.

Some brain injury cases must meet more specific standards or separate standards. For example, in a medical malpractice or birth injury claim involving a brain injury, the injured person must prove that medical providers failed to meet the standard of care for similar patients and situations and that this failure caused brain injuries that wouldn’t have occurred if the standard of care was met. An experienced Dearborn brain injury lawyer can help you understand which rules apply to your situation and fight to prove your claim.

Damages in Brain Injury Claims

Brain injuries can cause devastating losses for Michigan residents and their families – and financial losses are only the first step.

In a brain injury case, Michigan courts typically categorize losses in two ways. A loss may be “economic” or “non-economic” in nature.

Economic losses typically have paperwork to back them up. For instance, you can show you spent $10,000 on medical care for a brain injury by providing a medical bill or a receipt. Pay stubs provide evidence of the wages you would have earned if the brain injury hadn’t prevented you from working.

Economic losses may also include future losses. For example, if a brain injury prevents you from working for the rest of your life, the value of wages you would have otherwise earned may be included in the economic damages total. The cost of ongoing medical care for permanent injuries may also be included.

Non-economic losses are harder to prove with paperwork, but they are no less real. One common type of non-economic loss in a brain injury case is pain and suffering resulting from the injury. The loss of enjoyment of life, such as the inability to participate in hobbies you once enjoyed, is another common type of non-economic loss.

How these losses are calculated depends on the type and severity of your claim. If a brain injury resulted from medical negligence, for instance, non-economic damages may be limited according to guidelines set by state law. An experienced attorney can help you understand which damages are available in your case and fight for the full compensation you deserve.

Talk to an Experienced Dearborn Brain Injury Lawyer Today

After a brain injury, an injured person and their family may find their lives turned upside-down. Seeking compensation can seem overwhelming in the face of medical needs and adjustments to daily life. During this difficult time, an experienced Dearborn brain injury lawyer can alleviate your stress and help you get the compensation and justice you deserve. At Sommers Schwartz, P.C., we will ensure you fully understand your rights and legal options and position you for the maximum settlement possible. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

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A Client With a Wrongful Death Case

My family and I would like to thank Matt Turner, Mickey McCullough, Janice Koehler, and your entire law firm for your dedication to my wife’s wrongful death case. We realize that we had the best law firm to successfully help us. We appreciate the obviously hard work and the efforts…

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Alana Karbal and Jesse Young did an excellent job fighting a giant for my wages. They pushed me to get what they needed from me and were amazing at communicating with me at all times. I won my arbitration and was so excited when I got more than what I…

Praise for Wage & Overtime Pay Attorney Jesse Young

Jesse Young worked an employment case for me that ended with almost 700 people getting their unpaid wages back. He and his team are incredible. From the first communication to the last, they never missed a single beat – consistent and clear communication, quickly replying to my communication, and always making…

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Tad, I want to express my sincere gratitude for your unrelenting advocacy on my behalf throughout this process. It’s a shame that this sort of thing is still happening to new moms in 2023 and at an institution that prides itself on diversity, equity, and inclusion, no less. Knowing there…

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