Suing someone for causing a brain injury can be complex. For starters, state law limits how long you have to file a lawsuit, putting the cutoff date anywhere from 2 to 6 years from the date you were harmed. However, even if the statute of limitations has passed, it may still be possible to sue for damages if the following conditions apply to your case.
You Didn't Discover Brain Injury until After the Incident
Although it may seem like it, the statute of limitation is not set in stone when it comes to personal injury cases. There are a couple of exceptions that will give you more time to file your case. One of those exceptions is when the discovery of the brain injury doesn't occur until months or years after the incident that caused it.
For instance, a person suffers physical abuse from an intimate partner. However, the victim isn't diagnosed with brain damage until a year after they leave the relationship. The clock for the statute of limitations wouldn't start until the day they discovered the injury, giving them an additional 2 to 6 years to seek damages from the liable party.
It's important to get help from a personal injury attorney, because there are some defenses to this the defendant can use to also reset the clock for the statute of limitations. An attorney can anticipate these legal arguments and help you formulate a strategy to overcome them and win you the right to proceed with the lawsuit.
There's Enough Evidence Connecting the Brain Injury to the Perpetrator
Being able to bring a case to court is not enough, unfortunately. You still need to prove the defendant is responsible for your traumatic brain injury. The longer the time period between the incident that caused the damage and the day you file your case, the harder it may become to connect the dots, though.
That's because a number of things can hurt the brain, such as falls or disease. The defendant will argue the damage came from other sources, which can be difficult to refute if it's been years since you last interacted with the defendant, and especially if you have experienced other incidents in the interim that could've caused the injury.
Additionally, evidence supporting your case, such as police reports and eyewitness accounts, may disappear. People move away and their memories are fallible. Paperwork can be misplaced or even accidentally destroyed. It's essential you work with an attorney who can help you overcome these challenges so you can get the legal outcome you want.
For help with your brain injury case, contact a local personal injury law firm such as Craig P. Kenny & Associates.