While any accident has the potential to seriously change your life, few types of accidents are as serious as those involving brain injuries. However, brain injuries are unusual in that accident victims may not immediately realize they’ve suffered a serious injury.
Often, traumatic brain injury symptoms take weeks, months, or even longer to develop.
Complicating this delayed manifestation of the traumatic brain injury symptoms, accident victims must file a personal injury claim within the applicable statute of limitations for the court to hear the case.
Thus, to protect their rights, accident victims suffering from brain injuries should reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss their case.
Types of Brain Injuries
While there are various types of brain injuries, many brain injuries stemming from accidents are traumatic brain injuries. The traumatic brain injury definition is simply a sudden injury that causes damage to the brain.
Traumatic brain injuries can be “open” or “closed.” An open brain injury is one in which something penetrates the skull.
On the other hand, a closed brain injury occurs as a result of a bump, blow, or jolt to the head—more along the lines of what we think of as concussion. Closed brain injuries are the type that tends to go unnoticed for obvious reasons.
The most common traumatic brain injury symptoms include:
- Agitation or combativeness;
- Loss of coordination;
- Memory loss;
- Repeated nausea or vomiting;
- Ringing in the ears;
- Slurred speech; and
- Trouble sleeping, including being unable to wake up.
However, it is common for those suffering from a TBI to experience only mild symptoms at first. This can make it challenging to know the severity of a head injury following an accident.
How Long Do You Have to Bring a Personal Injury Case After Suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The statute of limitations for brain injury cases, including traumatic brain injury claims, is two years. However, brain injuries resulting from medical malpractice have a one-year statute of limitations.
Thus, in most cases, an accident victim has one or two years from the date of the accident to file a case. However, there is an important exception that applies in many brain injury cases.
If your case is against any government entity like a city, a county, a school, or a water district, then you only have 6 months from the date of the injury to file a claim with that agency. Once they deny that claim, you will only have 6 months to file a lawsuit.
Under California law, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin until an accident victim “discovers” that they were injured or may have a claim. Thus, an accident victim who does not learn that they suffered a TBI until years later may still be able to bring a claim.
f course, the at-fault party will likely argue that, given the circumstances, a diligent accident victim would have learned of their injuries.
There are often many pitfalls for the unwary when it comes to the statute of limitations. This is where the assistance of an experienced California personal injury attorney can help.
Are You Experiencing Brain Injury Symptoms?
If you were involved in an accident—even if it was years ago—and are experiencing traumatic brain injury symptoms, reach out to Wells Call Injury Lawyers.
Our California personal injury law firm can help you pursue compensation for your injuries. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation, give us a call at 707-264-1102 today. You can also reach us through our online contact form.