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.
Indianapolis Brain Injury Lawyer
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.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Brain Injury Lawyer?
Stephenson Rife charges clients on a contingency basis, meaning that we get paid only when you win monetary damages. Contingency basis is the fairest system for injured persons because it allows everyone to obtain justice without worrying about the cost of representation.Experts of all types are crucial to winning a personal injury suit, especially one involving brain injuries.
You can rest assured that we will secure the most qualified experts available to us for your case.Please keep in mind that there is a time limit for filing your case in Indiana, so it is wise not to delay. We are here to help you. Please don’t wait to pursue the compensation you deserve for the losses you’ve suffered because of another’s negligent, reckless, or deliberate actions.
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 brain injury attorneys can talk to you personally about your case and the compensation you may be able to obtain. Call us at 317-680-2501.
What Are the Steps in a Brain Injury Case?
As soon as you hire us, our brain injury attorneys go to work for you. We will visit the site of the accident with our team of investigators who will document the physical evidence with photographs. They will also record eyewitness accounts and obtain police records and safety logs—in short, all the documentation we need to move forward with your case.
Experts of all types are crucial to winning a personal injury suit, especially one involving brain injuries. You can rest assured that we will secure the most qualified experts available to use in your case. Because traumatic brain injury claims can be complex, the proficiency of your experts is crucial in both the investigation and litigation phases of your claim. We are committed to obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients, with our experts coming from around the world if necessary.
If a settlement is the most appropriate solution, we will arrange the most favorable one possible, but we are always ready to go to trial and fight for you and your rights if needed.
The Role Our Brain Injury Attorneys Play in TBI Cases
Regardless of the cause, traumatic brain injury claims can be difficult cases to litigate in Indiana. The defense may challenge the diagnosis or severity of the injury. Symptoms of brain injuries often fluctuate, and it can be challenging for a jury to immediately understand the impact of the injury if they are not familiar with a plaintiff’s normal functioning before the accident.
The right lawyer will demonstrate depth of experience and skill in handling TBI personal injury cases, but they will also show compassion for your situation.
Your attorney should act as your advocate, providing you with emotional support as well as winning financial compensation for you. The right lawyer is more than someone with legal expertise and resources.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a traumatic brain injury, it is crucial that you retain an attorney as soon as possible so that you can concentrate on your medical recovery while your TBI attorney secures your financial recovery.
What Types Of Financial Recovery Can Be Secured?
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. The direct costs you face are considered economic damages. The health care costs, lost income and any other bills stemming from your injury all fall under this category.
You also deserve compensation for what is known as non-economic damages. These costs are just as consequential as economic damages, though they are sometimes more difficult to calculate. Examples of non-economic damages include pain, suffering and losses in quality of life.
We have handled many brain injury cases, and we know how impactful these damages are for sufferers. We also know how to determine how much our clients are owed in compensation. Mike Stephenson is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney, the highest possible attorney peer rating. When you call Mike, you can have complete confidence — you are talking with an Indianapolis traumatic brain injuries lawyer who has more than 30 years’ experience offering compassionate and successful representation for his clients.
What is your next step? Contact Mike today by calling (317) 680-2501.
Any Injury to the Head Can Be Serious
Many times, the impact of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is obvious. The victim is left in a coma or otherwise permanently incapacitated. Other times, however, the impact is not quite as obvious, but it is, nevertheless, just as life changing. The person may suffer brain damage that causes memory loss, change in attitude, depression, headaches, change in performance at school or work, increased aggression and diminished functioning from a head injury.
Take the case of “J.C.”, a 34-year-old man working as a pipefitter in a factory. He was seriously injured when a lift malfunctioned, and he was pinned between the lift and ceiling, crushed, until a co-worker found him. J.C. suffered significant brain damage due to lack of oxygen to the brain.
This was a complex brain injury case that demanded an extensive, thorough investigation to identify what happened. Our legal team was able to determine that the lift had been improperly maintained and that the equipment had an inherently poor safety design. Several of the defendants settled for undisclosed sums prior to trial.
When TBIs occur because of another party’s negligence or recklessness, regardless of the situation, your best path can be seeking legal representation, such as with the head injury lawyers of Stephenson Rife.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can occur in the workplace, like J.C.’s did. 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 sensitivities 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 Lawyers
Our Indianapolis Legal Team Is Built to Handle Your Brain Injury Case
We want to build a team with you which is dedicated to justice. 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 confidential online contact form. 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.
Understanding Settlements and Trials in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases
There are two general paths your case might take to lead to compensation – a settlement and a trial. For a settlement to be reached, the other side must be willing to negotiate. If they do so, then your attorney and the legal representatives of the at-fault party will attempt to reach a compromise regarding the amount of money you are owed. If that amount meets your needs, then a settlement is reached and there will be no need for a trial.
If the other side is uncooperative or fails to make a settlement offer that you feel is satisfactory, the dispute between the two sides can proceed to trial. In a trial, the attorneys of the plaintiff (you) and the defendant (the person you believe bears responsibility for your injuries) will set forth their arguments in front of a judge and jury. The jury will decide whether the defendant is responsible for your injuries. With guidance from the judge, the jury will also determine how much you are owed in damages.
At Stephenson Rife, we approach every single case as if it is going to trial. Our goal is to get our clients the best possible result. By making cases trial-ready, we are ensuring that we are ready for any potential path your claim might take. A thoroughly prepared case is more likely to result in a favorable settlement, and the other side will know when their opposition’s case is solid. Have more questions on the seetlement process? Visit our FAQ page.
Though there are countless attorneys and insurance company representatives in the United States, the same attorneys and representatives frequently come into contact with one another. Attorneys who have a reputation for being tough legal advocates will get respect from the other side. When Mike Stephenson and Brady Rife represent a client, the other side knows that they will be in for a fight.
Put our reputation to work in your case. We know how to get results, and we have the track record to prove it. Contact the Indianapolis brain injury lawyers at Stephenson Rife today by calling (317) 680-2501 or filling our online contact form to get started.
Brain Injury Cases are Unique – You Need an Attorney Who Knows Them Well
A brain injury case is best left to an attorney with a great deal of experience. While some injuries can leave a person incapacitated for several months, brain injuries can affect a person’s wellbeing throughout the rest of their lives. A brain injury victim must deal with several changes in cognitive function and personality. Their ability to process language or retain memories might never be the same. They might even require regular personal care for years after suffering their injury.
These effects of a traumatic brain injury are expensive and debilitating. When someone is facing these types of consequences, they will need to factor many costs into the damages they seek in a claim. If an attorney is inexperienced, they could easily overlook some of the damages a more experienced advocate would be very familiar with. An experienced attorney might not have the resources to sustain a legal battle with a well-funded opponent.
When you hire the Indianapolis brain injury lawyers at Stephenson Rife, you can rest assured that our team is experienced and that we have the resources to do your claim justice. We know what it takes to get maximum compensation for our clients.
Determining Fault for Your Brain Injury
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.
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.
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