Financial Compensation–Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury

According to the Mayo Clinic, traumatic brain injury occurs when an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction.

Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body, which is a common occurrence in car and truck accidents.

Mild traumatic brain injury may cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells. More serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that can result in long-term complications or death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the leading causes of TBI to be:

• falls,

• motor vehicle and pedestrian-related accidents,

• collision-related (being struck by or against) events,

• violent assaults.

• Sport-related injuries and explosive blasts/military combat injuries are other leading causes of TBI.

Acquiring a brain injury may predispose an individual to additional brain injuries before the symptoms of the first one have resolved completely.
A significant number of traumatic brain injuries are caused by the negligence of another party.

While a price can’t be put on the cost of the emotional and physical issues that arise as a result of a brain injury, a price can be put on the financial burden that results from a brain injury.  The monetary cost of brain injuries varies significantly and depends on the medical care, rehabilitation, and special services costs.

The direct and indirect costs of traumatic brain injury in the U.S. have been estimated to be $48.3 billion annually.  Lifetime costs for one person surviving a severe TBI can reach $4 million.  An estimate of medical and non-medical per TBI survivor averages $151,587.  Acute rehabilitation costs for survivors of a severe TBI have been shown to average about $1,000 a day and the average stay is about 55 days.  Medical costs are highest for those who do not survive.

Average costs rise dramatically for those individuals who undergo rehabilitation.  In one study, after a 4-year followup, average costs for medical and long-term care services averaged $196,460 for survivors receiving rehabilitation services compared to $17,893 for those receiving no rehabilitation.  One study showed that supported employment for helping TBI survivors return to work costs an average of $10,198 for the first year of service.

When a TBI happens the cost associated with the injury can cause difficulties immediately as families struggle to pay medical bills, as lost income impairs the ability to service debt and in the long term cognitive problems may affect financial management altogether.  The patient and his or her family quickly can find themselves in a financial struggle as medical expenses continue to climb and wages are drastically altered.

Work may or may not be an option post-injury, further damaging the financial outcome.  Medical expenses may be required for the duration of the person’s life post injury creating a further spiral in finances.

While costs vary from individual to individual, the cost of brain injury is, for the most part, staggering.  Because the overwhelming cost of brain injury can result in severe financial hardship for the survivor and his or her family, it is important that all sources of funding are evaluated.  Because some sources of funding, specifically negligent parties, insurance companies, and governmental benefits, can be complex and difficult to navigate, those facing long-term financial responsibilities related to brain injury will benefit by securing experienced legal counsel.

An experienced lawyer can help you maximize insurance and governmental benefits, and can also ensure that you receive any compensation due to you.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, call me today.  I will evaluate your case and help you determine the best course for seeking financial compensation from your own insurance company, and from the responsible parties.  You deserve nothing less.


Iowa’s seat belt law: protecting yourself from personal injury

Everyone knows that the use of seat belts is required under Iowa law. The Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety have both put out public information to explain the contours of Iowa’s seat belt law. The law requires drivers, passengers, and children, to be restrained in vehicles, with few exceptions, in order to prevent personal injury in motor vehicle accidents.

One interesting aspect of Iowa’s seat belt law is often referred to as the seat belt defense. If you are injured by the fault of another driver, and your failure to wear a seat belt contributes to your personal injury, the law allows a jury to reduce your damage award by up to five percent.

Under Iowa Code Section 321.445, the non-use of a seat belt by an injured party cannot generally be presented at trial as a means to try to shift responsibility for causing the injury to the injured plaintiff. However, the law does allow the jury to reduce the damage award by up to five percent, if the failure to wear a safety belt or safety harness contributed to the injury sustained.

The law reads:

  1. a. The nonuse of a safety belt or safety harness by a person is not admissible or material as evidence in a civil action brought for damages in a cause of action arising prior to July 1, 1986. In a cause of action arising on or after July 1, 1986, brought to recover damages arising out of the ownership or operation of a motor vehicle, the failure to wear a safety belt or safety harness in violation of this section shall not be considered evidence of comparative fault under section 668.3, subsection 1. However, except as provided in section 321.446, subsection 6, the failure to wear a safety belt or safety harness in violation of this section may be admitted to mitigate damages, but only under the following circumstances:

(1) Parties seeking to introduce evidence of the failure to wear a safety belt or safety harness in violation of this section must first introduce substantial evidence that the failure to wear a safety belt or safety harness contributed to the injury or injuries claimed by the plaintiff.

(2) If the evidence supports such a finding, the trier of fact may find that the plaintiff’s failure to wear a safety belt or safety harness in violation of this section contributed to the plaintiff’s claimed injury or injuries, and may reduce the amount of plaintiff’s recovery by an amount not to exceed five percent of the damages awarded after any reductions for comparative fault.

Iowa Code Section 321.445.

The law requires you to buckle up. And it requires you to buckle up your kids. And since 2010, even back seat passengers must wear their seat belts.

Stay safe and buckle up–it’s the law, and it might protect you or your loved ones from serious injury.

If you or a family member is injured in a car wreck, call me for a free consultation. I work with injured clients to recover the full measure of the damages suffered. A fair settlement is no accident.  See what my clients have to say about me.

George B. Jones, Personal Injury and Car Wreck Attorney. Serving clients across Southern Iowa. Call me today. (641) 784-6970.

Medical Malpractice–litigating medical errors

If you or a loved one is permanently injured or killed by a medical error, you may have a medical malpractice claim.  These claims are difficult and expensive to litigate and must be evaluated by a medical expert and an attorney.  Call me today for a review of your claim.

Medical malpractice cases require the use of medical experts to give testimony in court.  Recent changes in Iowa law have made it even more difficult to bring a successful medical malpractice claim.  There generally must have been a deviation from an accepted standard of care before negligence can be proved.  Because of the need for medical experts, medical malpractice litigation is expensive.

A viable medical error claim will generally require:

  1.  Death or permanent injury occurring during a medical procedure or shortly after;
  2. Evidence of a preventable medical error;
  3. Absence of other likely causes or explanation for the patient’s death or permanent injury.

In medical malpractice actions, I often partner with a medical/legal consultant who will work with me on the claim to help determine whether we can be successful and recover the damages you or your loved ones need to compensate them for the medical negligence of a doctor or medical provider.

Call me today.  I will be glad to evaluate your medical claim.

Siri is your new BFF: “Siri–read my new text messages”

Attorney George B. Jones

Texting while driving in Iowa is now a primary offense.  That means you can be stopped for sending or receiving a text message even if the officer has no other reason to stop you.  “Siri–send a text message to my wife,” and “Siri–read my new text messages,” are still permitted, as Iowa’s new law (effective on July 1st) makes an exception for “voice-operated or hands-free devices” which allow the user to write, send, or view an electronic message “without the use of either hand except to activate or deactivate a feature or function.”  Iowa’s tougher new laws go one step further to keep the roadways safe, making use of a cell phone to text while driving “prima facie evidence that the person was driving the motor vehicle in a reckless manner with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”  What does this mean for Iowa drivers?  You better make Siri your BFF–if you injure or kill another person due to texting while driving, it will be much easier for prosecutors to send you to prison!  For more information, click here.

Personal injury damages–impact of pre-existing conditions


In personal injury cases, there are times where an injured party had a pre-existing condition that was made worse by a new accident. Because of the prior condition, the plaintiff’s injuries are more severe than they would have been had the plaintiff not had the pre-existing condition.

Suppose that you are rear-ended in a car wreck a week after neck surgery. You would likely suffer more severe damages that a person whose neck was perfectly healthy before the crash.

So, does this mean that the at-fault party is responsible for your additional damages? Under the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, yes, the at-fault party would be responsible for your additional damages.  This is true, even though your damages were made worse by your prior medical condition and surgery.

Under the eggshell plaintiff doctrine, an at-fault party must take the victim as they find them. An injured party’s damages are not reduced because he or she is more susceptible to an injury than most people. Essentially, the eggshell plaintiff rule holds the defendant financially responsible for all damages that his or her negligence caused, regardless of the plaintiff’s frail or delicate condition or preexisting injuries.

About Pre-Existing Injuries

Even though the eggshell plaintiff rule is well-understood in Iowa and throughout the nation, that doesn’t stop insurance companies from trying to claim that a plaintiff’s injuries were pre-existing and not caused by the accident – this is a dirty trick played by insurance companies.

If you had a pre-existing injury, don’t let that stop you from filing a personal injury claim. Even if your pre-existing injuries made the claim more expensive, you still have every right to file a claim against the at-fault party. All law students learn about the eggshell plaintiff rule and how a victim with pre-existing injuries is entitled to damages, even if they were in a minor fender-bender. However, not all plaintiffs know that their pre-existing injuries cannot be used to reduce their claim.

If you were injured in an accident and you would be deemed an eggshell plaintiff, don’t let that stop you from filing a claim for compensation. Contact me today to schedule a free consultation to review your personal injury case.

Let me help with that accident injury case: now accepting new clients

Accident injury alert! Hey folks! I’m hoping to keep you better apprised of the happenings in my office by integrating my website blog posts with my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ sites. Stay tuned for more information about my practice, including how I can help you obtain just compensation for your personal injuries from car wrecks, truck collisions, motorcycle accidents, and more. I represent clients across Iowa, and am especially seeking new clients in Clarke County, Polk County, Warren County, and Madison County, as I expand my practice northward. Visit my website at https:// , like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, check out my LinkedIn profile, post a review on my AVVO site, or visit me on Google+. I’m looking forward to continuing to be the first choice for all your legal needs. Now accepting new clients for all personal injury, criminal defense, and family law cases. Call me today at 641-784-6970 for your free consultation.

Wrongful Conviction–seeking volunteer

I’m looking for a volunteer to help review a wrongful conviction case. The work would involve a commitment of a year or more, reviewing court records and investigative files, and contacting old and new witnesses. If you are interested, email me with a statement of your interest and your background. You do not need to be from Iowa. [email protected] George B Jones-Facebook

Breathalyzer Test Results Flawed

datamasterAn unknown number of drunken driving convictions across Massachusetts could be in jeopardy following the discovery of a problem with the calibration of Breathalyzer machines.

Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett has instructed all of his prosecutors to stop using the results of the tests in pending cases, until further notice, after he and other district attorneys from around the state were notified of the situation last week, said Carrie Kimball Monahan, Blodgett’s spokeswoman.

To read the article click here: Breath results questioned

If you took and failed a breath test, you may have a defense based on these newly discovered flaws in the calibration of the machine.  Call me today for experienced legal representation of your OWI charge.

Do I need a lawyer for my car wreck case?

Attorney George B. Jones


Do I have a case for a lawsuit?: My family and I got into a vehicle accident just over a month ago and I have been in pain every since then!! I have been going through physical therapy but it is not helping.
Everyone is saying to contact a lawyer?

George’s answer: Generally, if the other party is at fault, their insurance company will try to get you to settle quickly, before you get a lawyer. They offer you quick money before you even know the full extent of your injury. A good personal injury lawyer will help you reach a proper evaluation of the value of your case, which will include many things the insurance company is not likely to include in their initial offer to you–things like future medical bills, pain, lost wages, future lost wages, temporary and permanent disability. If you are not well, you need to be seeking appropriate medical treatment and you need to wait until you have fully recovered before you accept any settlement from an insurance company. Your claim may exceed the value of the other party’s insurance, in which case you may have a claim under your own policy for underinsured coverage. Sometimes your policy allows you to “stack” uninsured coverage so that you can double the value of your UM coverage if you have two vehicles. Navigating the legal and medical issues surrounding a personal injury claim is not easy. You need someone on your side who knows the rules and knows how to get the insurance company to pay what you deserve. You definitely need a personal injury lawyer working for you. Good luck.

Accepting New Car Wreck Cases


Car wreck $If you or a family member has been injured in a car wreck, call me. I have an excellent litigation support team. We provide first-rate personal injury representation, thoroughly preparing each case to maximize financial recovery–and you don’t pay until we win! Call me first for all of your legal needs, and suggest me to your family and friends when they need any kind of legal services.