Suffering a traumatic brain injury can completely change your life. You may be facing enormous medical bills, unable to work, and struggling to cope with cognitive and physical challenges. On top of that, you have to deal with insurance companies and navigate complex legal issues.
That’s why partnering with the right brain injury lawyer is crucial. At Hasbrook Law, our attorneys have over a decade of experience representing brain injury victims in Oklahoma City. We are dedicated advocates, guiding you through every step of the legal process to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Immediate Steps to Protect Your Rights After an Accident
If you or a loved one suffers a brain injury in an accident, taking quick action is essential to preserving your legal rights:
- Seek medical attention immediately – Early diagnosis and treatment lead to the best outcomes.
- Report the accident – File a report with the police and appropriate authorities. Secure copies.
- Document the scene – Take photos and videos depicting what happened.
- Keep detailed records – Maintain notes about symptoms, treatments, and expenses.
- Consult a lawyer – Speaking with an attorney ensures you take the proper steps and understand your rights.
Understanding Different Types of Brain Injuries
Not all brain injuries are the same. Knowing the various types can help you understand your injury and strengthen your case. Here are some of the most common classifications:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Caused by an external physical impact, like a car accident, fall, or blow to the head. It can range from mild concussions to severe, disabling brain damage.
- Acquired Brain Injuries: Not caused by trauma but by internal factors like strokes, tumors, lack of oxygen, or infections.
- Open Head Injuries: When the skull is penetrated or fractured, exposing the brain. This includes skull fractures.
- Closed Head Injuries: There is no opening in the skull, but the brain is still impacted. Examples are concussions and bruising.
- Diffuse Axonal Injuries (DAIs): Widespread damage to nerve fibers throughout the brain due to violent shaking or rotation of the head. Common in car accidents.
- Anoxic/Hypoxic Brain Injuries: Lack of adequate oxygen supply to the brain damages brain cells. It can occur during cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, or near drowning.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Brain Injuries
Detecting potential brain injury symptoms early is crucial. Some signs to look out for:
- Headaches or dizziness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech or confusion
- Memory loss and difficulty concentrating
- Changes in sleep patterns or mood swings
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Light or noise sensitivity
Seeking prompt medical treatment can make a big difference in health recovery. Schedule an evaluation immediately if you notice any unusual symptoms after an accident or head trauma. Timely diagnosis and treatment lead to the best outcomes.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries frequently stem from:
- Car, motorcycle, and truck accidents – Impacts to the head from collisions or trauma as the brain jolts violently against the inside of the skull. Airbag deployments can also cause acquired brain injuries.
- Slips, trips, and falls – Striking objects like furniture or pavement when falling can lead to traumatic brain injuries. Seniors are particularly susceptible.
- Sports accidents – Especially high-impact sports like football, boxing, hockey, and cheerleading. Concussions are common.
- Acts of violence and assaults – Violent events like shaking or blows to the head. Domestic violence survivors often sustain repeated brain trauma.
- Workplace accidents – Falls from ladders, scaffolding collapses, and dangerous machinery accidents resulting in head injuries.
- Medical negligence – Doctor errors during surgery or medication mistakes leading to oxygen deprivation or brain bleeds.
- Explosions and blasts – The intense shock waves and pressure changes from bombs, grenades, and IEDs damage brain tissue. Common in combat veterans.
Identifying what caused your brain injury is crucial when filing an injury claim or lawsuit. Your attorney must prove the negligent actions or dangerous conditions that led to your harm.
Understanding the Symptoms and Necessary Treatments
Depending on the severity of your brain injury, a variety of treatments may be recommended:
- Observation and monitoring – For mild concussions and contusions, rest and avoiding strenuous activities help the brain heal. Doctors monitor symptoms to ensure no complications arise.
- Medications – Drugs to reduce brain swelling, control seizures, manage pain and headaches, or stabilize mood and thinking issues.
- Surgery – To repair skull fractures or severe hematomas that put pressure on the brain. Minimally invasive or craniotomy procedures may be required.
- Rehabilitation – Physical, speech, cognitive, and occupational therapy helps rebuild neurological pathways and regain function. This may involve assistive devices as well.
- Home & lifestyle modifications – Adapting your living environment for safety and accessibility. Making adjustments at work may also be necessary.
Document all treatments related to your brain injury. Your lawyer will need this information to seek compensation for medical costs and long-term care needs.
Pursuing a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit is often necessary to recover damages after a severe brain injury. Our attorneys can help prove negligence and hold the responsible parties accountable. Key steps include:
- Conducting a thorough investigation – We obtain police reports, speak to witnesses, collect medical records, consult with experts, and gather evidence to build a strong case proving liability.
- Determining all liable parties – Multiple parties, like a reckless driver and a faulty auto manufacturer, may share the blame. We identify everyone responsible.
- Calculating damages – Documenting all your losses is vital. This includes medical bills, lost income, reduced future earning capacity, therapy costs, and pain and suffering.
- Negotiating with insurance companies – We aggressively negotiate fair settlements from insurers. Many initially offer lowball amounts, hoping victims will accept less.
- Taking your case to trial – If a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, we take your case to court and argue for maximum compensation before a jury.
With an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer on your side, you can feel confident you will get the best possible outcome. We level the playing field against powerful insurance companies.
Traits and Success Factors for Brain Injury Lawyers
So, how can you identify the most qualified lawyer for your brain injury case? Look for these key characteristics:
- Specialization – Search for attorneys who devote their practice to assisting brain injury victims, not general practice lawyers.
- Resources – Brain injury cases often boil down to a battle of experts. Is the law firm you’re considering hiring willing to spend the time and resources to get your case to trial if necessary?
- Reputation – Choose an attorney with a strong reputation built on past successful results, positive client reviews, peer recognition, and legal awards.
- Compassion – The best lawyers have genuine compassion and treat clients like family. They understand the emotional trauma accompanying brain injuries—kindness and care matter.
- Accessibility – You need a lawyer who is always available to answer questions and address concerns.
Building a Strong Brain Injury Case
Key evidence-gathering steps include:
- Obtaining police reports & accident records – Unbiased documentation of what happened strengthens your case.
- Speaking with eyewitnesses – First-hand witness accounts help prove circumstances and liability. Written and recorded statements are best.
- Reviewing medical documentation – All diagnostic tests, doctor reports, treatment notes, and prognosis assessments help quantify damages.
- Using medical experts – Neurologists or specialists can explain the extent of your brain injury.
- Assembling work records – Documents showing lost income or reduced occupational abilities help secure compensation for these losses.
- Gathering receipts – Keeping receipts for every medical cost, assistive device, therapy session, accessibility modification, or other brain injury-related expense.
Understanding Special and General Damages
To secure the total compensation you deserve, it’s crucial to understand the different types of damages that can be claimed:
- Special damages – Out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills, lost wages, therapy costs, and medication bills. These are calculable losses.
- General damages – Subjective quality of life losses like pain, discomfort, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and reduced enjoyment of life. These can be harder to quantify.
- Punitive damages – Additional amounts awarded to punish defendants for extreme negligence or reckless conduct.
- Future damages – Covers projected costs for ongoing medical care, assistive technologies, home healthcare, and potential lost earnings due to disability.
Oklahoma’s Statute of Limitations Deadlines
- Two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury claim.
- Two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death suit.
Navigating the Litigation Process
Understanding what to expect from the litigation process can help you feel fully prepared if negotiations fail and your case goes to trial. Key phases include:
- Complaint filing – This initial document outlines your allegations of negligence against the defendants and specifies the damages incurred.
- Discovery – Extensive information exchange where we request relevant documents from the defense and take depositions. This is where both sides “build their case.”
- Expert testimony – Technical experts are deposed to solicit their opinions on liability and damages.
- Trial – If no settlement is reached, the case goes to trial.
- Settlement – Many cases settle soon before trial. The defense usually wishes to avoid an unpredictable jury result.
Questions to Ask When Assessing Attorneys
Speaking with prospective lawyers for a free case assessment allows you to screen them. Key questions to ask include:
- How much experience do you have with my specific type of brain injury case?
- What are some of your past successful case results?
- How do you gather evidence and work with experts to prove damages?
- If my case goes to trial, how often do you take cases before a jury rather than settle?
- What distinguishes you from competitors?
- Are you available to answer my questions anytime?
Oklahoma City’s Statute of Limitations
- Two years from the date of injury to file a personal injury claim
- Two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death suit
Letting the deadline pass precludes getting compensation, so act quickly.
What are the most common types of brain injuries?
The most frequent brain injuries are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) caused by external force, like hits to the head. There are also acquired brain injuries stemming from internal factors like strokes. Open head injuries involve skull penetration. Closed head injuries don't fracture the skull but still damage the brain.
What are the typical symptoms of a brain injury?
Common symptoms include headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory problems, mood changes, coordination issues, and seizure. Symptoms can appear right away or take time to manifest.
What causes most brain injuries?
Car accidents, falls, sports impacts, workplace accidents, and explosive blasts are common causes. Assaults and medical errors also sometimes lead to brain trauma.
How are brain injuries diagnosed?
Doctors use neurological exams, CT scans, MRIs, and cognitive tests to diagnose brain injuries. These tools help identify the location, type, and extent of damage.
How are brain injuries treated?
Treatment depends on severity but may involve medication, surgery, rehabilitation therapy, cognitive therapy, and lifestyle modifications. Mild cases may just require rest and monitoring.
Hasbrook Law – Your Trusted Oklahoma City Brain Injury Attorneys
At Hasbrook Law, our sole focus is helping injury victims like you.
We offer injured clients and families in Oklahoma City:
- Free consultations – No-cost assessments of your potential case and legal options.
- Contingency fee plans – We collect no fee unless you recover compensation.
- Clear communication – We translate complex legal concepts into understandable terms.
- Compassionate counsel – We listen carefully and treat you like family.
- Aggressive advocacy – Our record of large settlements and verdicts shows we fight relentlessly for maximum compensation.
Let our dedicated team stand up for you. Contact Hasbrook Law to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.