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How Long Do You Have to File a Brain Injury Lawsuit?


The effects of a brain injury can range from mild, temporary symptoms to severe, long-term disabilities. Individuals may experience various challenges, including physical symptoms like headaches and dizziness, cognitive impairments such as memory loss, and emotional difficulties, including changes in personality and mood swings. These challenges affect the injured party and place a significant emotional and financial burden on their families, who may need to adapt to new roles in providing care and support.

Understanding the statute of limitations for filing a brain injury case is crucial. This legal timeframe dictates how long you have to initiate a lawsuit to seek compensation for injuries sustained. This period starts from the date of the injury or, in some instances, from the date the injury was discovered. Failing to file within this window can result in losing the right to seek compensation, regardless of the injury's severity or the clear evidence of negligence.

Given these complexities and the critical nature of timing in brain injury cases, securing knowledgeable legal representation is paramount. Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. helps individuals in Norman navigate the intricacies of the law.

Contact us today at (866) 590-8173 to schedule a consultation.

What Is a Brain Injury?

A brain injury occurs when an external force causes damage to the brain, affecting its normal function. This damage can result from either a violent blow or jolt to the head, known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or from an object penetrating the skull, causing a breach in the protective tissue surrounding the brain.

These injuries can vary significantly in severity, from mild concussions that may result in temporary dysfunction of brain cells to severe, life-altering damages that can lead to permanent impairment or death.

The causes of brain injuries are diverse, with some of the most common including:

It is important to recognize that while many brain injuries are the result of accidents where no one else is at fault, others stem from someone's negligence, recklessness, or even intentional harm. In situations where another party is responsible, they may be legally liable for the consequences of the injury.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations sets the maximum time after an incident within which legal proceedings may be initiated. In other words, it dictates how long an injured party has to file a lawsuit against the party at fault.

This statute aims to facilitate fairness and efficiency in the legal process. As time passes, evidence may degrade, witnesses' memories may fade, and documents can be lost, making presenting a clear and fair case challenging. Therefore, the statute of limitations protects individuals from the stress and uncertainty of potential legal action based on events in the distant past, allowing cases to be brought to attention while evidence is still relatively fresh.

The Time Limit for Brain Injury Cases

In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for brain injury cases, as with most personal injury matters, is governed by specific laws. Under Oklahoma Statutes Title 12, § 95(A)(3), individuals who have suffered a personal injury, including brain injury, have two years from the cause of the injury to initiate legal proceedings.

Factors Affecting the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations can vary based on the specifics of the injury and how it occurred. For instance, if a brain injury results from intentional acts of harm by another, Oklahoma Statutes Title 12, § 95(A)(4) dictates that the injured party has only one year to file a civil lawsuit.

Furthermore, in cases of brain injuries arising from medical malpractice, the timeline is adjusted to accommodate the often-delayed discovery of such injuries. According to Oklahoma Statutes Title 76, § 18, victims of medical malpractice have two years from the date the injury was discovered or should have been discovered with reasonable diligence, to file a lawsuit.

The Importance of Acting Quickly

The aftermath of a brain injury can be a tumultuous time for victims and their families, filled with medical appointments, recovery, and adjustment to changes in daily life. Missing the statutory deadline to file a lawsuit not only forfeits the right to seek justice and compensation but may also render the case invalid, leaving individuals to face medical bills, lost wages, and other damages on their own.

Consulting with a lawyer immediately after sustaining a brain injury is crucial. They can provide a clear understanding of the legal process, including the critical timelines that must be adhered to. They can assess the case's specifics, advise on a practical course of action, and begin the necessary legal proceedings before the statute of limitations expires.

If you or a loved one has been injured in Norman, contact Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. at (866) 590-8173 to discuss your case.

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