Everything You Need to Know About Brain Injury Laws in South Carolina

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Living with a concussion or brain damage can pose many challenges in your life. And, if someone else’s actions are the reason you are in this position, it can feel disempowering and frustrating. South Carolina’s laws for traumatic brain injury may give you a way forward so you can secure the compensation you need to rebuild. These laws may allow you to sue the person or agency that caused you harm.

Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm has helped dozens of individuals and families navigate the legal process after a debilitating accident. We understand the challenges that people face when they sustain brain damage. If you are in this position, we can help you by investigating your claim and discovering possible avenues we can pursue to seek a fair settlement on your behalf.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

As defined by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a head injury that disturbs someone’s normal brain functioning. Someone can get a TBI from getting hit in the head or through the forceful movement of someone’s body — such as being jostled in a car accident.

Open vs. closed head injury

People can have a closed or open head injury. As the name suggests, a closed head injury is where someone has an internal injury but there is no external hole or puncture. For example, someone may hit their head on the pavement, resulting in a concussion and a bruise.

In contrast, someone with an open head injury may have an object pierce their skull. For instance, a stray bullet may hit them, or a piece of rebar may penetrate their brain.

Different types of TBIs

People can also have varying types of TBIs based on the severity of the damage to their neural tissue. A mild TBI may cause a concussion, which could involve feeling dizzy, nauseous, or out of sorts. Additionally, the person may have difficulty sleeping or concentrating.

Severe forms of TBIs — like a hematoma, intracranial hemorrhage, and contusion — can cause lifelong limitations and changes. For example, someone who is normally outgoing and calm may suffer from unexpected fits of anger.

TBIs can also prevent someone from being able to function fully, even months or years after the event. The person may struggle with comprehension, fine motor skills, emotion regulation, sleep, and speech.

Common Causes of TBIs

Anytime something makes forceful contact with someone’s head or causes it to jostle, the potential for a TBI is there. Examples of situations that may cause a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Car accidents
  • Collisions with a commercial truck
  • Slip and falls
  • Dog attacks
  • Defective products
  • Construction defects (like a balcony that collapses)

Additionally, someone may get a concussion from a workplace accident. They might fall off a ladder or topple down from a roof while doing construction work. Or, malfunctioning equipment may strike them or cause them to get caught in between things and hit their head.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of TBIs on Victims

While severe TBIs often cause the most amount of long-term damage, any kind of traumatic brain injury can have lasting impacts on the casualty’s ability to function. As discussed by the Mayo Clinic, short-term effects of a mild TBI can include sensory disturbances — e.g., blurred vision and light or sound sensitivity — and headaches. Moderate to severe injuries might cause a prolonged loss of consciousness, seizures, numbness or weakness, and nausea.

Some of the symptoms of a concussion may get better over time; however, it is also possible for the person to have lifelong challenges associated with the brain damage. For example, they may have permanent, erratic mood swings, be in a coma for days, weeks, or months, or lose the ability to speak or understand words. Additionally, they may have physical limitations, such as an inability to walk or use fine motor skills — like those required to write or tie your shoes.

Overview of South Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Law

South Carolina’s traumatic brain injury laws provide a way forward for those who are hurt in a car accident, bike collision, slip and fall, or other type of accident. The statute of limitations gives each casualty a time limit for when they can file a claim against those responsible for their condition. Rules on compensation say what people can receive in benefits and what they have to do to qualify for those payments.

Statute of limitations for filing TBI claims in South Carolina

South Carolina law gives injured persons a specific amount of time to sue those responsible for their injuries. How long the person has depends on the unique facts of their situation, including the type of legal claim they want to bring. For example, those who wish to file a personal injury claim may have three years to initiate a lawsuit unless an exception applies that shortens or lengthens this deadline.

Compensation for TBI victims

For those who have a TBI because of a thoughtless individual’s or business’s behavior, receiving compensation can be a lifeline. Some of what a casualty may receive includes payment for all accident-related medical expenses incurred as of the date of the lawsuit.

Likewise, they may be eligible to receive money to cover their future healthcare costs. As the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs discusses, the casualty may also qualify for government-provided disability benefits if the TBI substantially impairs their ability to function.

Immediate Actions Following a TBI Incident

If someone is in an accident that causes a traumatic brain injury, it is important to take swift and appropriate action to protect them from further harm. Limiting the person’s movement may be best to avoid damaging their brain or nerves even more. It may be best to call an ambulance so emergency technicians can examine the casualty and, if necessary, transport them safely to another location.

The person should follow all treatment recommendations given to them by their team, including instructions to stay in bed, limit their activity, and take prescribed medications. If someone else’s conduct caused the traumatic brain injury, it is a good idea to reach out to an attorney to learn about whether the casualty qualifies for compensation.

Importance of Getting Legal Support for TBI Victims

Experiencing a traumatic brain injury can present unique and persistent challenges. For example, people may have to undergo surgery or occupational therapy, which can be costly and require them to take time off work. They may also have to learn how to move through life with new limitations — such as problems with coordination, balance, or memory — that make it difficult for them to do things they could do before the accident.

By working with a seasoned TBI lawyer, you can begin to develop a legal strategy to seek compensation for your losses. If someone else’s behavior — like drunk driving — caused your condition, you — or your attorney — may be able to sue them in court. Taking this step allows you to access a platform to tell your story and maybe even help to protect others. If you win your lawsuit, you may recover a settlement to cover your past and future medical expenses as well as lost wages associated with the injury.

Contact Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm for Help Understanding South Carolina’s Laws for Traumatic Brain Injury

Reach out to a South Carolina brain injury lawyer today by calling (864) 280-7660 to schedule an initial consultation. For over 30 years, Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm has stood with parents, children, grandparents, and others as they picked up the pieces after a terrible accident uprooted their lives. Because we understand that life does not stop after a traumatic brain injury, our team provides flexible meeting platforms and times.

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