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Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are devastating events that can alter a person’s life forever, often leading to long-term physical, cognitive, and emotional impairments and drastically impacting an individual’s quality of life. When a TBI is caused by someone else’s careless or reckless actions, it is wise to seek out a personal injury lawyer in Cameron, TX, or Huntsville, TX, for help with determining if the victim has grounds for a legal claim. To pursue compensation, the concept of negligence must be clearly understood and proven.

: Thoughts from a Personal Injury Lawyer Serving Cameron, TX, and Huntsville, TX

Negligence is a legal principle that forms the basis of many personal injury cases. In its simplest terms, negligence exists when a person or entity fails to act with the level of care that a reasonable person would exercise under similar circumstances. When this failure of reasonable care results in harm or injury to another person, the negligent party can be held liable for damages.

Elements of Negligence

Establishing negligence in a TBI case involves proving four key elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. These four elements form the basis for a traumatic brain injury case.

Duty of Care

To prove duty of care, it must be demonstrated that the defendant (the person or entity allegedly responsible for the injury) owed the plaintiff (the injured party) a duty of care. This duty is the basis of many social situations in which one party is obligated to care for the well-being of others.

For example, all drivers have a duty to adhere to traffic laws and operate their vehicles safely. Property owners have a duty to maintain their premises to keep visitors safe. Doctors have a duty to provide their patients with competent medical care.

Breach of Duty

Once a duty of care is established, the plaintiff must then show that the defendant breached this duty. A breach occurs when the defendant’s actions (or failure to act) do not align with the standard of care that a rational person would have used in a similar situation.

Examples include a driver running a red light, a property owner disregarding a hazardous condition, or a doctor misdiagnosing a condition.


Proving causation means establishing a direct link between the defendant’s negligent actions and the plaintiff’s TBI. There are two types of causation to consider: actual cause and proximate cause.

Actual Cause (or Cause-in-fact) refers to the “but for” test: “but for the defendant’s negligence, would the injury have occurred?” Proximate Cause (Legal Cause) examines whether the defendant’s actions were a foreseeable cause of the injury.


The final element is proving that the TBI caused specific harms or losses to the plaintiff. Damages in TBI cases can be extensive and may include, for example, past, present, and future medical expenses; lost wages and reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering; emotional distress; and loss of quality of life. 

Medical expenses would encompass bills for hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor’s visits, rehabilitation therapies (physical, occupational, speech), prescriptions, assistive devices, and potential long-term care. Lost wages and reduced earning capacity may also be included, since a TBI can make it difficult or impossible to return to work.

Pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life can be more difficult to quantify, as these are more subjective, but your attorney may also include these aspects when considering how to prove damages. Pain and suffering encompasses the physical pain, discomfort, and limitations caused by the TBI, as well as the ongoing struggles of coping with the consequences of the injury.  Emotional distress is very often a direct result of brain injuries, since they often lead to anxiety, depression, mood swings, personality changes, and other emotional and psychological difficulties that severely affect well-being. A loss of quality of life refers to the many life changes after a TBI, which often rob a person of the ability to participate in activities they once enjoyed, engage in social relationships, and maintain their independence.

Challenges in TBI Negligence Cases

Proving negligence in TBI cases can be incredibly complex due to the nature of brain injuries. Your attorney will work on establishing causation, assessing long-term effect, and considering how to best to quantify or verify symptoms resulting from a TBI, which may appear somewhat subjective.

Establishing Causation

TBIs can result from various incidents, such as car accidents, falls, sports injuries, or assaults. It may be challenging to definitively prove that a specific event caused the injury, especially if the plaintiff had pre-existing medical conditions or was involved in other incidents. Medical experts play a crucial role in analyzing medical history and determining the most likely cause of the TBI.

Assessing Long-term Effects

The full impact of a TBI may not be immediately evident. Symptoms can manifest over time, and the road to recovery can be lengthy and unpredictable. Thorough medical and expert evaluation is crucial to establish the long-term consequences for assessing damages accurately. Specialists like neuropsychologists will be essential in evaluating the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional changes resulting from the TBI.

Subjectivity of Symptoms

Unlike injuries with clear physical manifestations, many TBI symptoms are subjective. Pain, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties can be difficult to quantify or verify objectively, making it harder to fully prove the extent of the suffering caused.

The Role of Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses are indispensable in overcoming the complexities of TBI cases. Your personal injury lawyer in Cameron, TX and Huntsville, TX may call on experts from various fields to provide essential testimony to support your claim.

Medical Experts

Medical experts are doctors who specialize in brain injuries. They can explain the diagnosis, the severity of the TBI, the short and long-term treatment requirements, and the overall prognosis. These experts may include neurologists, neurosurgeons, or physiatrists (specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation).


These specialists assess the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes resulting from the TBI, often administering specialized tests to evaluate these changes. These evaluations can help determine the extent of impairment in areas like memory, attention, problem-solving, and emotional regulation.

Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists

These experts can analyze how the TBI has affected the plaintiff’s ability to work and the potential impact on their future earning capacity. They may conduct assessments to identify transferable skills, potential vocational retraining opportunities, and the need for workplace accommodations.

Life Care Planners

Specialists in this field may be called upon to create a comprehensive plan outlining a TBI victim’s future needs, including medical care, rehabilitation, assistive devices, home modifications, and other forms of ongoing support. This plan can also project the estimated costs of these future needs, providing a crucial tool to ensure the plaintiff receives fair compensation.

If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI due to someone else’s carelessness, contact Brian Gutierrez, Personal Injury Trial Lawyer, today for a free consultation to discuss your options and start down the path towards securing the support you need. We serve Cameron, TX, Huntsville, TX, and ten other areas, and have the expertise and resources to handle complex TBI cases. Let us help you navigate the legal system, and get you or your loved one justice and compensation.

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“No words describe how amazing it is to work with Brian.” J.T.

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