Truck Accident Case
We took more than 60 depositions in five different states. Because of Stephenson’s tireless advocacy, shortly before the trial was to commence, the defendants settled the case for $48.5 million.
Representing people like you who have been injured.
At Stephenson Rife, our Indianapolis brain injury lawyer represents people like you who have been injured due to another person’s negligence or careless actions. You are in the best hands possible with our skilled attorneys, regardless of whether your injury results from a motor vehicle crash, a workplace accident, or a sports mishap.
You and your family are not alone at this difficult time. An experienced Indianapolis brain injury attorney can provide guidance, compassion and the legal skills necessary to get you the financial compensation you deserve.
A person with a brain injury has their world turned upside down in an instant. Their family can experience much of the same confusion over the medical prognosis, as well as feel overwhelmed by worries because bills are mounting, and the breadwinner cannot work. Since 1982, we have stood beside accident victims in Indiana and throughout the Midwest.
Our brain injury attorneys have years of experience litigating injury claims. Call us at (317) 680-2501 to set up a free consultation to find out if you have a case.
Our Brain Injury Lawyer Has the Experience You Need
Our brain injury lawyers are personal injury experts, and they have the credentials to back up that claim. Attorney Mike Stephenson has litigated injury claims in 18 states and served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials. Mike was named an Indiana Super Lawyer from 2003 through 2013. He is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the American Association for Justice, the Litigation Counsel of America (a Trial Lawyer Honorary Society), and the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (APITLA).
Attorney Brady Rife brings a diversity of experience in personal injury litigation to the table. Brady has been an Indiana Super Lawyer from 2012 through the present and is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association and the Shelby County Bar Association.
Together, the brain injury attorneys of Stephenson Rife will strive always to meet the highest standards of client care. What is your first step toward justice? Let us put our resources to work for you, because we believe justice matters.
What Our Client Has to Say
“Mike and his team were kind and explained everything they did in terms I could understand. They are quick to respond and work incredibly hard for you. I was glad to have someone like him in my corner.” – Nancy B.
How Much Money Can I Receive in Compensation?
A financial recovery cannot heal all wounds or restore life to be exactly the way it was before. However, a financial recovery can ease the burdens caused by overwhelming medical bills, loss of income, and disability. Each case is unique, but following are some of the things you can be financially compensated for:
Medical Costs: The cost of hospital bills, as well as the cost of lifelong care, which is necessary in many head-injury cases.
Pain and Suffering: Not only the physical pain and suffering, but the emotional impact of having to deal with a life-changing injury.
Lost Wages: A brain injury can cause the individual to miss work temporarily or leave the person permanently unable to work.
Our Indianapolis brain injury attorney can talk to you personally about your case and the compensation you may be able to obtain. Call us today at 317-680-2501.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before you come to see your brain injury lawyer attorney at Stephenson Rife, you may have questions about your case. Some of the most common questions we see have to do with costs of starting and winning your case.
It doesn’t cost anything to hire a brain injury lawyer from Stephenson Rife. We charge our clients on a contingency basis, meaning we get paid only when you win. Once your case has settled or received an award from a judge or jury, attorney fees and costs will be taken from your award.
You can recover two basic types of damages in a brain injury case, economic and non-economic damages. A third type of damages, punitive damages, may be awarded by the jury after your trial.
Economic damages are those which have a direct monetary value, or which can be easily calculated. These include medical bills, lost wages and income, rehabilitation, future costs of care and treatment, and funeral costs in cases of wrongful death.
Non-economic damages are those that are less easy to calculate, but which impact your life and ability to engage in life activities. These may include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of quality of life, inability to carry out activities of daily living, and loss of consortium.
Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the defendant’s behavior was malicious, extremely egregious, or displayed wanton disregard for human safety, but did not necessarily cross into criminal behavior. Punitive damages are capped at three times the total of economic and non-economic damages, or $50,000, whichever is greater.
Indiana has a two-year statute of limitations for all personal injury cases, no matter what type of injury you have suffered. The statute begins to run on the date you suffered the injury, not when you file your insurance claim. If you have suffered a brain injury, two years may go by before you realize it, so it is important to have an attorney who can keep your case on track and meet all the deadlines and time limits.
Indiana courts follow a modified comparative fault rule when granting awards in a personal injury case. That means you can still recover damages even if you are partially responsible for the accident. In Indiana, you must be less than 51% responsible for the accident. Then your recovery will be limited to the percentage of fault for the accident.
For instance, if you were 25% responsible for your accident, and the jury awarded $100,000 in damages, you could only recover $75,000 in damages. However, if you were found to be 55% responsible, you would recover nothing.
For this reason, it is essential you have a skilled brain injury attorney determining fault in your accident when your case comes to court.
How We Can Help You
One of the most important decisions you and your attorney will make is determining who to name in your brain injury claim. In some cases, the decision is obvious. If a negligent driver caused your injury in a vehicle accident, then they will be the one named in your claim. However, an experienced attorney knows never to take a case at face value. An investigation might reveal that there were actually several parties whose actions contributed to your injury.
Determining Fault for Your Brain Injury
It’s very important that your attorney do their due diligence when investigating the causes of your injury, so they can be sure they are naming all the responsible parties in your claim. We believe that this is one of the most critical aspects of building a strong case, and we devote a great deal of time, effort and resources into the fact-finding processes of your case. We will find out who is responsible for your brain injury, so we can be sure we hold them accountable for the costs you face.
When Brain Injuries Are Invisible, an Experienced Attorney Makes a Difference
Many brain injury victims look exactly like they did before suffering an injury. Brain injuries aren’t visible like so many other injury types, and it is often the case that a brain injury victim will suffer silently, sometimes unaware of the extent of their injuries. In our experience, it is often the family and loved ones of a client that are best positioned to articulate the changes and challenges the victim is dealing with.
When we handle your case, we get to know you and your loved ones. We listen to the people in your life, so we can be sure we understand the full extent of your suffering. These injuries might be invisible to some people, but they are very real for victims and their families. An experienced brain injury attorney will know the importance of assessing the damages their client has encountered in a brain injury case.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can occur in the workplace. They are also commonly sustained in many other types of injury situations:
- Motor vehicle crashes. Certain types of brain injuries are most likely to occur in car wrecks: concussions from striking part of the vehicle, diffuse axonal injury from shearing forces that tear brain tissue, and contusions (bruising of the brain), which can cause brain bleeds and clots.
- Construction accidents. Accidents at construction sites are common workplace tragedies. Falls are especially problematic, causing more than half of all occupationally related TBI fatalities. A lack of fall protection perennially takes the top spot-on OSHA’s Top Ten list of workplace violations.
- Sports injuries. Injuries to the brain can happen as a result of playing any number of team sports and are especially common among young people. Recent studies reflect the risks of traumatic brain injuries in sports, especially football.
- Personal violence. Head injuries can be a sad outcome to cases of assault, domestic violence, or child abuse.
Brain Injury Symptoms
Many brain injury symptoms occur quickly after injury, but sometimes it can take days or even weeks for the full extent of harm to make itself known. Remember that any head injury can be serious and deserves to be investigated.
Symptoms of a mild TBI include no loss or a short loss of consciousness, headache, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness or difficulty sleeping, and sensitivity to sound or light.
Symptoms of a moderate to severe TBI include a loss of consciousness that can last for hours, a worsening headache, nausea and vomiting that does not go away, seizures or convulsions, physical weakness or numbness, dilated eye pupil(s), severe confusion, slurred speech, difficulty waking someone up, and clear fluid trickling from the ears or nose.
The Glasgow Coma Scale and a TBI
The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is used to determine the level of consciousness following a TBI. The scale runs from 3 to 15. Generally, a score of 3 to 8 means the person is in a coma. The higher the number, the better the prognosis generally is. GCS classifications are:
Mild TBIs are characterized by a 13 to 15 on the GCS and usually have normal brain imaging results. (Note that “mild” does not necessarily mean that the brain injury is of no consequence. All brain injuries are significant.)
Moderate TBIs are characterized by an 8 to 12 on the GCS. Cognitive impairment can last for weeks, and sometimes brain damage is permanent.
Severe TBIs involve a GCS of lower than 8. Comas and various vegetative states are the norm for a severe TBI.
Vehicular Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, can have many causes: accidents, falls, sports, and violent assaults. A little more than 50,000 people die each year in the U.S. from all causes of TBI. It is the leading cause of death and disability of those under 45. Over 1.5 percent of all U.S. residents—5.3 million people—are living with disabilities that resulted from a TBI. That’s about one in every 66 people.
A large number of TBIs arise from motor vehicle accidents, the second or third most common cause of brain injury, depending on the source of the statistics. Among those aged 5 to 24 (the data is from years 2006-2010), TBIs from auto accidents were the leading cause of death. When it came to hospitalizations for the same time span, TBIs were the leading reason for admission for those aged 15 to 44.
Brain Injury Complications and Prognosis
The initial diagnosis of a mild, moderate, or severe injury to the brain does little to inform us about the residual, permanent outcome of the injury suffered. Some of the longer-term complications of TBIs can be:
- States of altered consciousness, meaning a coma or other vegetative state. Sometimes a patient who initially seemed to have a mild TBI will slip into a coma.
- Blood vessel damage, resulting in bleeding inside the brain, blood clots, and even strokes.
- Damage to the five senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste).
- Intellectual cognitive problems, meaning difficulties learning, remembering, reasoning, paying attention, or demonstrating good judgment.
- Life-functioning problems, such as planning, organizing, problem solving, performing tasks, and decision making.
- Communication problems like understanding speech or writing, difficulty speaking, and difficulty following conversations.
- Emotional problems such as interacting socially with others, behaving appropriately, and maintaining a stable emotional state.
- Degenerative brain diseases. Any TBI, but especially the more serious ones, can trigger a number of diseases that develop years in the future. The same result can occur if you experience several TBIs, even if they are mild ones. One such disease is post-traumatic epilepsy. Other degenerative brain diseases include Alzheimer’s, dementia diseases such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), and Parkinson’s disease.
Because many of these problems and diseases cannot be predicted, it is imperative that you seek medical help after a head injury. If you believe negligence was involved in your TBI, we also recommend you pursue legal representation from a skilled brain injury attorney.
Contact Our Brain Injury Law Firm
Our Indianapolis Brain Injury Attorney is Built to Handle Your Brain Injury Case
We want to build a team with you which is dedicated to justice. Let our Indianapolis brain injury lawyers take the burden off you and your loved ones. Please don’t wait another day to move toward the compensation you deserve.
Call Stephenson Rife today at (317) 680-2501 to talk with Mike or Brady about their trial experience and how it can benefit your case. If you prefer, you can use our online contact form.
Table Of Contents
- Our Brain Injury Lawyer Has the Experience You Need
- What Does It Cost to Hire a Brain Injury Lawyer?
- How Much Money Can I Receive in Compensation?
- What Are the Steps in a Brain Injury Case?
- The Role Our Brain Injury Attorneys Play in TBI Cases
- What Types Of Financial Recovery Can Be Secured?
- Any Injury to the Head Can Be Serious
- Common Causes of Brain Injuries
- Brain Injury Symptoms
- The Glasgow Coma Scale and a TBI
- Vehicular Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Brain Injury Complications and Prognosis
- Understanding Settlements and Trials in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases
- Brain Injury Cases are Unique – You Need an Attorney Who Knows Them Well
- Determining Fault for Your Brain Injury
- When Brain Injuries are Invisible, an Experienced Attorney Makes a Difference