Victims who suffer traumatic head or brain injuries in an accident may experience intense pain, along with permanent cognitive impairments that affect them for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, many of these accidents and injuries are fully preventable had someone else behaved more carefully under the circumstances.
If you or a person you love suffered a serious head injury in a recent accident, speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area right away. Your lawyer can swiftly investigate your accident and determine your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit with the at-fault individual or entity’s insurance company.
Your lawyer can also represent you during ongoing settlement negotiations in pursuit of the favorable compensation you need and deserve. Finally, if the insurance company refuses to take your case seriously or disputes fault for the occurrence, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court, seeking the monetary recovery you need through the litigation process.
The time it takes to resolve a brain injury claim depends upon numerous factors and often varies from case to case. While some brain injury cases resolve in a few months, others may last for several years.
A skilled brain injury attorney can advocate for you throughout the entire process and aggressively fight for your legal rights and interests. Your lawyer can also address all of your concerns so that you can better make important decisions throughout your case – including whether to accept or reject a pending settlement offer.
Finally, your lawyer will work hard to streamline the process so your case moves forward quickly and efficiently.
Types of Brain Injuries that an Accident Victim May Suffer
When individuals are involved in an accident and strike their head on a hard surface, they may suffer a traumatic brain injury that leads to ongoing medical complications. If an object penetrates the accident victim’s skull, the accident victim may suffer a brain bleed or hemorrhage, which leads to permanent cognitive impairments – and sometimes their untimely death.
Accident victims who strike their head on the ground may also suffer a concussion or a brain bruise. A concussion injury typically occurs when the force of an impact causes an accident victim’s brain to move around and strike the side of their skull, leading to a severe bruise.
These injuries can lead to both short-term and long-term symptoms. Some of the most common short-term symptoms of a concussion injury include nausea, dizziness, headaches, and short-term memory loss.
However, some concussions lead to far more severe and permanent symptoms, including post-concussive migraine syndrome and long-term or permanent memory losses.
Since the symptoms of a concussion may not always immediately manifest, accident victims must seek prompt medical treatment for their head injury as quickly as possible after their accident.
In addition to a blunt head injury or concussion injury, accident victims may fall into a coma or vegetative state, relying on life support to remain alive.
If you or a person you love suffered a head or brain injury in a recent accident, seek out the medical treatment that you need as quickly as possible. Sometimes, an emergency room doctor or primary care physician might refer you to a specialist doctor, such as a neurologist, for ongoing medical care and treatment.
Complete your medical treatment regimen and undergo the necessary procedures to try and make a full recovery from your injuries. Otherwise, the insurance company may refuse to pay you the fair monetary recovery you deserve.
While you receive the medical treatment that you need for your head injury, a skilled personal injury attorney can advocate for your legal interests right away. Specifically, your lawyer may investigate your accident circumstances and begin gathering your medical treatment records and bills to date. Your lawyer can assemble those documents into a settlement demand package for the insurance company to review once you complete your treatment.
If you suffered a head injury in one of these accidents, you can hold the responsible individual or entity accountable by filing a claim against their insurance policy.
Your attorney can handle every step of the claims-filing process for you by gathering the documents necessary to prove your claim, assembling a settlement demand package on your behalf, and submitting that package to the at-fault party’s insurer in a timely manner.
Your lawyer can then negotiate with the insurance company adjuster handling your case for the fair settlement compensation you need.
Factors That Affect the Length of a Brain Injury Case
Some traumatic head and brain injury cases may take a significant amount of time to settle or litigate. In part, this is often due to insurance companies and their adjusters dragging their heels when making a fair and reasonable settlement offer in a particular case.
Insurance companies are not on your side, and they will do everything they can to resolve your personal injury claim for as little money as possible. Therefore, adjusters may undervalue claims as much as possible.
A skilled personal injury attorney increases your likelihood of recovering compensable monetary damages for your head injury. Your lawyer can highlight the strengths of your claim, including favorable expert reports and medical treatment records, and downplay any weaknesses. Moreover, your lawyer may take the insurance company to court if they refuse to compensate you with the fair monetary compensation you deserve.
Besides insurance companies, other factors which may affect the length of time it takes to resolve your case include:
- The amount of time it takes for you to complete all of your accident-related medical treatment
- The time it takes for your attorney to gather medical documentation and other important documents in your case
- Whether litigation becomes necessary in your case, and if so, the court where your case is pending
- The specific insurance company adjuster with whom you are dealing and whether or not they will settle your case without litigation
How to Litigate a Brain Injury Case
One important factor that may affect the length of your brain injury case is whether or not litigation becomes necessary. In general, litigating a case takes far longer than settling a case out of court simply because a court may set settlement conferences and civil jury trial dates far out in advance, depending on the number of cases on the court’s docket.
If litigation becomes necessary in your case, your attorney can handle every step of the process for you and work to streamline the process as much as possible. During litigation, the parties will engage in written discovery by exchanging documents and answering one another’s written Interrogatories.
The defense attorney in the case may also take the accident victim’s deposition to find out more about their injuries, the accident, and their current medical complications.
Even after filing a lawsuit, a case may still resolve without requiring a civil jury trial. However, if the parties do not resolve their case, they may need to take it to trial so that a jury can decide the amount of compensation to award the accident victim.
However, your lawyer can explore various alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, such as binding arbitration or mediation, as a way of resolving your case out of court.
Proving a Brain Injury Claim or Lawsuit Successfully
To recover monetary compensation for a brain injury, accident victims must satisfy their legal burden of proof.
First, accident victims must demonstrate that the at-fault party owed a legal duty of care, which they subsequently violated. For example, if an accident victim suffers a brain injury in a slip and fall accident, they will need to show that the premises owner failed to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for the benefit of property visitors.
Next, the brain injury victim must establish that as a result of the at-fault party’s negligent breach, an accident occurred in which they suffered one or more brain injuries.
To establish the medical nexus between your brain injuries and the accident, your lawyer can retain a medical expert, such as a neurologist or other treating healthcare provider. The medical expert can physically examine you, review imaging studies, and causally relate your head or brain injuries to the accident. A medical expert might also establish that as a direct result of the accident, you suffered a permanent head injury, such as a permanent cognitive impairment.
Monetary Damages in a Brain Injury Claim or Lawsuit
Individuals who suffer brain injuries in an accident may suffer permanent impairments that affect their entire life and well-being. Many brain injury victims cannot work for a significant amount of time after their accident, or in some cases, permanently.
In this situation, accident victims might recover compensation for lost income or loss of earning capacity. They may also receive monetary damages for their accident-related medical treatment expenses, including doctor visits, medical procedures, and other treatments.
Additionally, an accident victim who suffers a head injury may recover monetary damages for all of their pain and suffering, mental distress, cognitive impairments, inconvenience, and lost quality of life as a direct result of their head injury.
A personal injury attorney in your area can explore all your legal options and determine the likely settlement or jury verdict value of your head injury case. Your lawyer will then handle every step of the process, including negotiating with insurance company adjusters, pursuing a favorable settlement offer, or taking your case to court for a fair resolution.
Call an Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer in Your Area Today
One of the best ways to streamline your head injury case is to retain an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you as soon as possible after your accident. Depending upon the jurisdiction where your accident happens, you may have a very short window to file a lawsuit seeking the monetary recovery you deserve. These time deadlines vary by state, according to the respective state’s statute of limitations.
Once you retain an attorney to represent you in your head injury case, your lawyer may start gathering documents, filing a claim, negotiating with insurance company adjusters, and pursuing the full conversation you deserve. If you need to resort to litigation, your lawyer will efficiently handle the litigation promptly and pursue the monetary recovery you deserve for your traumatic brain injury.