Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Accidents Legal Advice For Head Injuries
It is easier than you may think to injure your brain. Even if you wear a helmet while taking part in an activity such as playing football or riding a bike, you could still be at risk for a concussion or other types of brain damage if you hit your head. Those who have suffered from mild or severe head or brain damage should understand their rights as they try to recover from an traumatic brain injury.
TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury is any injury that causes temporary or permanent brain damage. For example, you could fall off of your bike and hit your head on the pavement or get a concussion after being hit in the head while playing sports. Unfortunately, you can suffer a traumatic brain injury and not even know about it for months or years after the fact.
Science is just beginning to understand how a blow to the head or repeated blows to the head impact the brain in the short or long-term. In some cases, you may feel fine after hitting your head on the floor or running into a solid object. However, you should always go to a doctor whenever you hit your head because you may have suffered an injury even though your feel fine at the time.
A few of the long-term impacts of TBI include depression and paranoia. You may have thoughts of suicide, memory loss and an inability to remember your friends and family. While these issues may confront some victims quickly, the effects for some may be felt slowly over the course of several years.
Brain Injury Case Settlement
If you are in a brain injury coma, you won’t be able to fight for yourself in court. However, your family or another representative may be able to fight on your behalf. The first thing that you need to do is find an attorney who is well versed in brain injury law. He or she will be able to provide you with brain injury information that you or your representatives can use to fight for you.
Brain injury patients who are alert and able to bring the case on their own should do so as soon as possible. The longer that you wait to pursue a case, the longer it will take to settle that case. The money that you win in a settlement could help you with the brain injury recovery process. For example, any compensation that you get due to your injury could help you pay for brain injury rehabilitation specialists.
Other brain injury services may be necessary long after you suffer your injury. In a settlement, you may be able to ask for compensation for any long-term care that you need as well as for any pain medication or lost wages if you are forced to leave work either temporarily or permanently.
Brain Injury Types
There are many different types of brain injury that you can suffer from. In a mild accident, you may have a concussion that could take a few days or weeks to recover from. In a serious accident, you could have permanent brain damage that may be impossible to recover from.
It may be necessary to put a patient into a medically induced coma if there is a lot of swelling or bleeding in the brain. The coma will relax the body and help reduce the swelling or allow doctors to monitor any bleeding in the brain to determine what can or should be done about it.
Skull fractures are possible in addition to brain damage. A mild head injury could still produce hairline fractures that need to be dealt with right away. In some cases, the skull may need to be operated on right away to prevent further serious injury from occurring.
If a child is injured, it is imperative that the child see a pediatric traumatic brain injury specialist immediately. This is because a child’s skull and brain are not as developed as an adult brain or skull. Therefore, there is a higher risk of brain injury after even a simple fall.
Brain Injury Treatments / Rehab
Those who are suffering from a severe traumatic brain injury may be in rehab for weeks or years. In some cases, it is necessary to keep a patient in a nursing home or in another facility where he or she can be monitored on a 24/7 basis. Mild brain injury cases could also require a patient to stay at a hospital or within close range of a doctor for weeks or months.
Patients who suffer from a brain injury may have to learn how to live all over again. For example, it isn’t uncommon for those who have suffered brain damage to have to learn how to walk, talk and feed themselves as if they were still children. Some patients will never be able to walk, talk or remember who they are without a lot of difficulty.
Fortunately, science has come a long way in helping patients communicate with the outside world even if they are in a coma or cannot speak. Patients can be trained to use computers and other devices that allow them to type a word or words and have the computer speak them. Scientists have also developed methods of allowing those in a coma or vegetative state to answer simple yes or no questions by moving their eyes.
Brain Injury Legal Fees
Brain injury patients and their families already have enough on their plate without worrying about legal fees. The good news is that the cost of legal fees will most likely be included in any settlement with the insurance company or individual responsible for the accident.
However, it may be necessary to make a payment if services are terminated before the end of the case. Any and all applicable fees will be disclosed to the client prior to completing a contract. In some cases, a retainer fee may be requested if the case is not going to be pursued or settled in the near future.
While the exact cost of legal representation cannot be estimated without knowing the specifics of your case, longer cases tend to cost more than shorter cases. The cost of legal services also depends on the amount of time questioning witnesses as well as how many other people need to be involved in the case.
Brain Injury Compensation
Whether you are suffering from a mild head injury or a severe head injury, you are entitled to be compensated for your injuries. Although an insurance company or another responsible party may refuse to pay for your pain and suffering, most will settle or lose their case at trial.
At a minimum, you are entitled to be compensated for your medical bills and hard earned lost wages. You may also be entitled to compensation regarding any time that you will have to miss work in the future because of the injury. Daily expenses for yourself and your family may also be included.
If you were planning on paying for your child’s education or paying off your mortgage early with future earnings, a party responsible for keeping you out of work may be responsible for those costs as well. Whoever hurt you has the responsibility of keeping yourself and your family financially viable if you can no longer do so.
Brain Injury Claim Process / Case Timeline
The timeline for a TBI brain injury case depends on how fast you pursue it, how long it takes for the responsible parties to agree to a settlement and any other legal issues that are presented in your case. There may be a lengthy investigation into the case to determine the facts and circumstances leading up to the injury. This is even more true if the injury is suffered by a child.
You should expect the case to take several weeks or months at a minimum. There are a lot of claims that need to be submitted, negotiations that need to occur between all interested parties and time for the facts of the case to be discovered. The good news is that the insurance company will most likely want to settle as soon as possible to minimize the amount that is spent on legal fees and to avoid any backlash from the public.
Brain Injury Need to Know
It is important to understand that a brain injury is a serious injury that needs to be treated immediately. If it is left unchecked, the injury could lead to a serious downgrade to the quality of your life or the life of a loved one. A doctor will be able to diagnose your injury or a loved one’s injury quickly. If necessary, further tests will be run to determine the extent of the damage and what can be done to help you or your loved one get better.
Brain Injury Laws
Brain injury laws may force you to take action in your case within a certain period of time. Failure to do so could cause you to lose the right to sue and collect a financial award at trial. Your brain injury attorney will be able to advise you as to what the proper process is regarding your case.
It is important to understand that you may also forfeit your right to sue if you accept a settlement before you bring your case to trial or to the attention of an attorney.
HIPPA laws may be in effect as well in any trial regarding a traumatic brain injury. Your attorney may need to coordinate with your doctor to gain access to medical records that will help you win your case when it goes to trial or win a large settlement before the case begins.
A traumatic brain injury is not something that you want to experience. You could be left in a coma or in a vegetative state for weeks, months or years. It is important that you or your family bring the case to an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries to the full extent of the law.