A brain injury is a devastating result of a serious accident. Nearly any type of incident, from slip and falls to car crashes, can result in critical damage to the most important part of your body. A brain injury can range in severity from a mild concussion that heals in a few weeks, to a traumatic brain injury (TBI) with long-term repercussions. If you are pursuing legal action, make sure you account for them all to ensure full recovery of damages.
Account for the Long-term Effects of the Brain Injury
Brain injuries are among the most costly types of injuries. Unlike most injuries that typically heal in a few weeks or months, brain injuries often result in life-long damages. These damages can include cognitive and/or physical impairments that prevent the injured person from working and caring for himself.
An insurance company might only consider the current scope of damages. It may offer a settlement to cover current medical costs, wage losses, and not much more.
But a full and fair settlement should cover:
- Future medical expenses
- Professional nursing assistance
- Special equipment
- Lost wages or loss of earning capacity
- Lost earning capacity of caretaker
Further, do not overlook the victim’s pain and suffering. Your loved one is suddenly not who he was before the accident. He may lose the ability to communicate; he may become completely dependent on others for care; and he may be unable to engage in hobbies and other things he enjoyed. These are real losses for which the settlement should account.
Understand the Scope of the Brain Injury’s Effects
The victim is probably already seeing doctors and receiving follow-up care and therapy. Continue with it per the doctor’s instructions. Follow any treatment guidelines you receive from the doctor and attend all scheduled appointments.
Obtaining full medical care is important not only for the patient’s health, but to build a case that demonstrates the full effects and prognosis of the injury.
The insurance company may try to get you to settle your accident claim as quickly as possible. But do not settle until you understand all of the effects – physical, emotional, and financial – of the injury. If you settle too early, you cannot reopen the case and negotiate a higher settlement amount.
Complete medical care can also produce evidence that you can use to negotiate your claim or litigate in court. This includes:
- Expert medical testimony
- Brain imaging scans and other test results
- Medical records
- And more
Keep a journal of the effects the brain injury has on your loved one. Note limitations in his ability to work, attend school, engage in daily activities, maintain relationships, and more. Also note the emotional effects of the injury, such as depression or anxiety that your loved one experiences.
Work with a Brain Injury Attorney to Settle Your Claim
Before you accept a settlement, run it by your attorney. To find a lawyer in your area who handles serious brain injury cases like yours, use the Primerus Find a Lawyer feature.