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Scottsdale Brain Injury Lawyer

Brain injuries are common in the United States and Arizona. Their effects can be devastating, sometimes fatal, and they affect not only the victim but those close to that person as well.

It is possible to recover compensation if someone else is responsible for causing you or someone you love a brain injury. If you have suffered a brain injury in Scottsdale or anywhere else in Arizona, then a Stone Rose Law firm personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and assist in filing appropriate legal claims against those responsible.

Call us today at (480) 498-8998  to schedule a free consultation with one of our Scottsdale brain injury lawyers so we can help you.

Types of Brain Injury Claims

Brain injury attorneys deal with two main types of brain injuries: traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and acquired brain injuries (ABI).

An infographic breaking down the three types of brain injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury comes from a blow or some other external force applied to your head.

Common causes of traumatic brain injury cases include car accidents, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, falls, sports injuries, being struck by equipment or falling objects, physical assault, and shaken baby syndrome.

Each year in the United States, about 3 million people will suffer from a TBI. At any given time in Arizona, more than 45,000 people are experiencing the ongoing effects of having experienced a traumatic brain injury.

Depending on the severity of the injury, TBI symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe.

  • Mild TBI: One example of a mild traumatic brain injury is a concussion. Mild traumatic brain injuries usually come from a bump or blow to the head that can cause your brain to bounce around inside your skull, thereby damaging brain cells. Still, it is not life-threatening and complete recovery is often possible.
  • Moderate TBI. A moderate TBI is often the result of a fall and can lead to long-term health problems, but is not itself life-threatening. Multiple concussions can develop into a more serious condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which can lead to aggression, depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, and eventually dementia.
  • Severe TBI. A severe traumatic brain injury comes from a significant blow to the head. Examples include motor vehicle accidents, blunt force trauma from an assault, or gunshot wounds. Severe TBI can cause brain damage like a diffuse axonal injury and in some cases, lead to death.

Acquired Brain Injuries

An acquired brain injury is a brain injury that does not result from the application of trauma or other physical force. And although they are more common than traumatic brain injuries, they can still cause discomfort.

ABIs can come from sources like electric shock, swimming pool accidents and other near-drowning incidents, substance abuse or drug overdoses, strokes and seizures, defective products, and hospital negligence or medical malpractice events.

Other Kinds of Head Injuries

The following head and brain injuries often result from accidents:

Closed Head Injury

Closed head injuries are severe blows to the head that do not crack open the skull or pierce brain tissue. They can cause swelling and bruising.

Open Head Injury

An open head injury is one that penetrates the skull. This could result in skull fractures or bleeding from the brain.

Scalp Wounds

Cuts, scrapes, or piercing of the skin that surrounds the skull. This can cause brain bleed or tissue damage.

Brain Injury Symptoms

No matter the cause, damage to the brain can be a serious injury. Any harm to your brain tissue can negatively impact your life in many ways, including permanent brain damage. 

It is almost impossible not to be affected by the symptoms of a brain injury. They can interfere with your senses, change your emotions and thought patterns, depress your energy levels, and reduce your communication ability.

Here are some of the difficulties you might encounter with a severe brain injury:

  • Pain: Headaches, neck, and shoulder pain are common traumatic brain injury symptoms. They can be related to a cerebral contusion or to neck and spine injuries you receive at the same time as the traumatic brain injury.
  • Sensory degradation: This can affect your vision, hearing, and ability to taste and smell. Sometimes you can also experience heightened sensitivity to light and to noise.
  • Difficulty concentrating: These symptoms include trouble thinking through problems, memory loss, inability to focus on topics of conversation, difficulty in organizing and planning, difficulty with learning, and a general feeling of being in a “mental fog.”
  • Trouble communicating: Seemingly being unable to “find the right words” to express thoughts, difficulty paying attention while listening to others, or even talking too much are all symptoms of a brain injury.
  • Lack of energy: Symptoms include sleep loss and a persistent sense of listlessness or fatigue.
  • Emotional difficulties: People who suffer from a brain injury often report having trouble with mood swings, anxiety, depression, a sense of isolation, and becoming easily agitated. At least one study suggests a link between brain injuries and suicidal thoughts, attempted and actual suicides.
  • Physical disorders: Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, difficulty maintaining your balance, a feeling of numbness in your limbs, and changes in sexual behaviors are problems frequently connected with having a brain injury.

Recovery After a Brain Injury in Arizona

Under Arizona law, you have multiple ways to make a legal claim when someone else’s negligence caused you to suffer a head injury. Below we cover some of the most common legal remedies that our brain injury claim attorneys can seek on your behalf.

Personal Injury Lawsuits

In a personal injury lawsuit, you are seeking compensation not from a government agency or your employer’s insurance company, as you would do if you were seeking Social Security disability benefits or Arizona workers’ compensation, but rather directly from those responsible for your injury.

A brain injury lawsuit can arise from behavior that is negligent, reckless, or intentional. An important distinction among these behaviors is that the more intentional the conduct that led to your injury was, the more likely you can seek additional compensation in the form of punitive damages.

A Scottsdale head injury attorney, like one of ours at Stone Rose Law, can tell you which of these behaviors might apply to your brain injury. 

Elements of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In Arizona, to prove negligence in a brain injury lawsuit, you must convince a jury, or the judge if there is no jury, that it is more likely than not that all of the following happened:

  1. Someone else had a duty to exercise reasonable care toward you. For example, when you are driving or riding in a car, other drivers owe you a duty of care not to drive while intoxicated.
  2. That person breached the duty of care owed you. In our motor vehicle accident example above, this could mean that the other person was intoxicated while driving on the same road as you.
  3. The other person’s breach of duty caused the harm you suffered. Continuing with our example, being intoxicated caused the other driver to swerve into your lane and collide with the vehicle you were in.

Product Liability Lawsuits

Sometimes the behavior of another person is not the only reason why you receive a brain injury. A third party might be partly or wholly responsible in some brain injury lawsuits. This can be the case with product liability.

Under Arizona law, when a product is unreasonably dangerous in its design or original construction, the manufacturer and everyone else involved in distributing and selling the unreasonably defective product is subject to a product liability lawsuit.

For example, let’s assume you buy a vehicle built with a defectively designed fuel tank that is prone to exploding in a car accident. You are injured when you get into a collision and the fuel tank explodes, causing you a traumatic brain injury. In this case, everyone involved in making and selling the defective vehicle, from the car manufacturer down to the dealership where you bought the car, is potentially liable to you.

A product liability lawsuit is similar to a personal injury lawsuit, except that defendants in a product liability case are subject to strict liability. This means that if you can prove that the product was unreasonably unsafe as designed or built, you do not have to prove negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior by anyone else to prevail in the lawsuit.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Arizona Statutory Survival Actions

When a family member of yours passes because of catastrophic injuries that are the fault of someone else, there are two kinds of recovery you can seek for the untimely death of a loved one under Arizona law.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

A wrongful death lawsuit is a personal injury lawsuit, except that instead of the deceased brain injury victim being the plaintiff, you and other surviving relatives are.

The recovery you seek in a wrongful death lawsuit relates to the loss you have suffered because of the death of a family member. This can mean, for example, that if the deceased person was an income earner for the household, then the loss of that person’s economic contributions is a form of harm to you.

Arizona Statutory Survival Actions

A survival action in Arizona is similar to a wrongful death lawsuit in that both causes of action come from the death of a family member. But there are some important differences between the two:

  • A wrongful death lawsuit is based in virtue of ARS (§) 12-611.
  • A survival action is codified in an Arizona statute.
  • In a wrongful death action, the compensation you seek is for the harm done to you because of the death of the family member.
  • In a survival action, the estate of the deceased is the plaintiff, and the recovery is for the economic harm the deceased person experienced before dying because of the brain injury.

Money Damages for Brain Injuries

No matter what cause of action you may have, what you can recover if you win in a lawsuit comes down to the following categories of monetary damages.

An infographic listing out the different types of compensatory damages an accident victim may be rewarded after a brain injury.

Economic Damages

These are also known as direct damages. These cover the costs you incur because of a brain injury. Examples include medical bills, including anticipated future medical treatment expenses, physical therapy, lost income and expected future lost wages, and property damage.

There is no limit on what you can recover in economic damages other than what you can prove to the court.

Non-Economic Damages

Also known as indirect damages, a non-economic injury is not something you can establish the value of with receipts for treatment costs or property replacement. Still, the harm you have suffered is still real to you and compensable. 

Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and loss of companionship or consortium. It is up to the court to decide how much to award damages if you prevail on a non-economic damages claim in a lawsuit.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages––also known as exemplary damages––are not usually allowed in cases that involve simple negligence, like accidental behaviors. Not every brain injury case will result in an award of punitive damages.

Instead, a court will award punitive damages to you for a brain injury only if the behavior of the defendant or defendants was more than just negligent but rather “grossly negligent” or “willful and wanton” instead.

  • Gross negligence is a gross deviation from the standard of reasonable care. This differs from reckless because the actor is not aware of the risk they are creating. 
  • Willful and wanton conduct is a way to describe reckless conduct (also known as a conscious disregard of a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm).

Factors That Can Affect Your Damages Award or Settlement

Any court decision or settlement amount is subject to increased or decreased adjustments based on the facts of your injury and how it happened.

Some of the factors that a court or insurance adjuster will look at when calculating an award or negotiating settlements of brain injury claims include:

  • How much evidence you have proving your direct damages and the quality of that evidence
  • What medical care you need now and in the future, and what your medical expenses will be
  • How long your expected recovery will be
  • Whether your recovery will be complete or only partial
  • The effect your brain injury has on your quality of life
  • The effect your brain injury has on those close to you (in certain circumstances)
  • Whether you are able to receive compensation from other sources, like disability income.

Comparative Fault in Arizona

Another factor that can affect how much you receive in a damages award is if the court concludes that you were partially at fault for the injury event that caused your brain injury.

Sometimes you can be what personal injury and insurance lawyers call a “blameless plaintiff.” For example, if you are a passenger in a car and suffer a brain injury, chances are good that unless you were doing something to distract the driver, you probably did nothing to cause the accident.

But what if you were doing something that contributed to the accident? What if you were partially at fault?

The rule in Arizona is that if you contributed to the harm done to you in a brain injury case, then the court will reduce your initial damages award by your percentage share of the blame.

This can be any percentage, up to 99% your fault. If that were to happen, your damages award would be reduced to just one percent, but you would still at least theoretically be entitled to recover that last percentage point from the defendant.

Talk With an Experienced Scottsdale Brain Injury Attorney Today

Suffering a head injury can be devastating to your wellbeing and livelihood. Any loss of function in your brain can lead to severe impairment, disability, and a dramatic reduction of your physical and cognitive ability. 

Let a skilled Scottsdale traumatic brain injury lawyer at Stone Rose Law help you fight for the compensation you deserve and help you seek the support and medical treatment you need.

Call our Scottsdale law office today at (480) 498-8998 to schedule a free consultation.

Why Work With Our Brain Injury Law Firm?

We are a team of highly experienced Scottsdale traumatic injury attorneys and head injury lawyers who are well acquainted with Arizona brain injury law and are committed to recovering compensation for our clients.

We offer aggressive and compassionate legal representation at reasonable fees. We are prepared to take your brain injury claim to court to help you get the compensation you are entitled to and need for your recovery.

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers

A traumatic brain injury lawsuit can be complex to prove and to prepare for trial. Gathering the necessary evidence can be an exhaustive, painstaking process.

Also, you can be certain that if you seek to recover compensation for a traumatic brain injury, you’ll likely need to interact with other insurance personal injury attorneys and personal injury defense lawyers.

You can also expect those attorneys to vigorously defend their clients’ interests. That means you will need a brain injury lawyer to vigorously represent your interests.

That is what we do at Stone Rose Law.

We are highly experienced personal injury settlement negotiators and traumatic brain injury lawyers. We deeply understand what financial compensation you can seek, how to gather evidence to support it, and how to maximize your recovery as an injured party.

  • We will not be intimidated by insurance companies or other lawyers.
  • We will not leave any recovery amounts you are entitled to on the negotiating table.
  • And we will not quit until we either win your traumatic brain injury case or you receive a full and fair settlement because we provide legal services to brain injury clients on a contingency fee basis.  

Call our Scottsdale traumatic brain injury attorneys today, and be confident that you have the best brain injury lawyer available on your side. Or reach us online if you prefer.

Either way, remember that in Arizona personal injury cases, you usually have only two years from the day of your brain injury to seek justice through a personal injury claim. Don’t wait now, only to be sorry later. Let us help you, starting with a free case evaluation with an experienced brain injury lawyer in our Scottsdale offices.