Proving Negligence In a TBI Case
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) on an annual basis. Many of these TBI victims received their injuries in an accident that occurred due to the negligence of another person, company, or another entity. In such situations, the injured victim has the legal right to hold the negligent party liable for all of their losses. This is important because losses related to a traumatic brain injury can be extensive and may include ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, income lost from the inability to work, lost earning power, mental distress, and much more.
If order to recover, a victim must do more than simply point fingers at the negligent party. Instead, they are required to prove that party’s negligence by a legal standard called the “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that they must prove it was more likely than not that the party’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident and resulting brain injury.
Evidence that can prove negligence
Proving negligence in any type of personal injury case requires a significant amount of evidence, which must be presented in accordance with strict guidelines set out by the Florida Rules of Evidence. It is important to have an attorney on your side who thoroughly understands these rules and how to apply them to your case. The stronger your evidence of negligence, the greater chance you have of recovery.
The type of evidence that will be used in your case will depend on the type of negligence that occurred. Some examples of negligence that commonly leads to traumatic brain injuries and evidence that may support your claims include the following:
- Distracted driving – You may be able to use cell phone records to demonstrate that a driver was texting or talking on their phone at the time of the accident. Witness testimony is also helpful if they saw the driver engaging in any type of distracting behavior.
- Impaired driving – Police reports are very important if your TBI occurred in a drunk driving accident. Law enforcement officers on the scene will likely make observations about the drunk driver, including the odor alcohol, watery eyes, slurred speech, and more. They can also perform field sobriety tests, breath tests, and/or blood tests to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver. All of this information should be in the police report. In addition, if the driver is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI),1 that conviction can be submitted as proof of negligence.
- Dangerous conditions on premises – Many TBIs occur because of fall accidents, which often occur due to hazardous conditions on another’s property. In such situations, you must present evidence that the property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and failed to rectify the situation or properly warn of the danger. Evidence in this type of case can include inspection and maintenance reports for the business or property, photos of the scene of the fall, surveillance video footage, witness reports, and more.
- Defective products – Victims can suffer traumatic brain injuries due to a wide variety of products that are defective, that malfunction, or that are simply unreasonably dangerous. To recover, you must prove that the manufacturer either designed a defective product, assembled a product incorrectly, or failed to warn consumers of the risks of the product. Evidence in these cases can include analysis and testimony from industry specialists, the product itself, records from the manufacturer, findings from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC),2 and more.
An highly experienced Tampa Bay brain injury attorney can stand up for your rights
TBI victims face a long and costly road to recovery. If you have sustained a brain injury, you should always consult with a qualified brain injury lawyer who can evaluate your case and identify any negligent party or parties that caused your injury. If you have a valid legal claim, an experienced TBI attorney will investigate your case and gather the evidence necessary to prove negligence so that you receive the full amount of financial recovery for your losses. Call the Dolman Law Group in Tampa at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756