Unfortunately, many people suffer from a traumatic brain injury after an auto or workplace accident.You are, at a minimum, dealing with pain and discomfort after an accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In some cases, you might deal with lost time, intimidating medical bills, and stacks of paperwork from insurance companies and a variety of agencies. Compounding the problem is that the TBI can leave you confused, foggy and unclear, or even depressed, at the same time you are trying to deal with everything that comes with your auto accident.
Navigating the aftermath of a TBI is something you should not do alone. TBI attorneys are a valuable resource to have in your corner as you work with insurance companies, your employer, and your medical provider to resolve all of the issues that arise after a brain injury. But what exactly can an attorney do, and why should you work with one?
What to do after a traumatic brain injury
There are a variety of head and brain injuries that you might suffer, ranging from minor bumps and bruises to more major, permanent damage. Even seemingly minor brain injuries, such as concussions, require ongoing attention. The brain is a complex organ, and many symptoms might not be immediately evident after a traumatic event but will present over time.
When you sustain a traumatic brain injury, you should immediately seek medical attention and follow all recommendations from doctors for follow-up appointments and ongoing care. Once you have received medical attention, you should contact a TBI lawyer to assess whether or not your case has the potential for a settlement.
Why TBI attorneys are essential
When you are involved in an accident that results in a brain injury, you will likely end up dealing with one or more insurance companies to get a payout for the damages. Insurance companies do not aim for a settlement that protects victims, but rather aim to settle for the smallest amount possible.
Unlike insurance companies, TBI attorneys are invested in you and your health, and their goal is to provide the best possible outcome for you. Rather than taking a quick settlement based on an insurance company’s initial assessment, TBI attorneys can calculate all the possible damages you may be entitled to as part of your case.
Chances are, you’ve never had a TBI before, and will hopefully never have one again. There are complicated factors to consider and many possible outcomes. TBI attorneys have experience working with insurance companies, workers comp, hospitals, and all the other players involved in settling TBI cases. Without the assistance of a TBI attorney, you could be leaving money on the table.
Damages TBI attorneys can help with
There are two primary categories that TBI damages fall under: special damages and general damages.
Special damages are specific, calculable financial losses. These damages include medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, property damage, and (in the case of wrongful death) any funerary or burial expenses.
General damages are those that can’t be mapped back to a specific dollar amount, but warrant an attempt to mitigate some loss. These damages include emotional distress, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.
Calculating Damages for Traumatic Brain Injuries
Experienced TBI attorneys will be able to assess not only the immediate special damages, but also estimate the general damages that you’re likely owed. Even special damages are often more complex than simply paying a medical bill or offering compensation for lost wages—the long-term impact of ongoing care and lost earning potential need to be factored in.
In addition to special and general damages, there’s a chance that you may be able to pursue punitive damages against the perpetrator of the accident. These damages can only be awarded by a judge or jury, and are meant to both punish this incident and prevent future incidents from occurring. These damages are most common in instances where unsafe conditions contributing to an injury were neglected or willfully ignored.
Choosing a TBI attorney
The process of interviewing TBI attorneys can be daunting, but it helps to know that your chosen law firm is specifically experienced in litigating cases like yours. Be sure to ask your prospective attorney how many cases like yours they’ve handled, how many have gone to trial, and what verdicts or settlements they typically yield. Also, ask about their relationship with medical practitioners and insurance industry subject matter experts who can help when it comes to representing your interests in court and with insurance companies.
At Matthews Injury Law, we have litigated traumatic brain injury cases throughout Florida. We pride ourselves on our ability to guide clients and their families through medical treatment and legal battles following a traumatic brain injury. We handle these cases with sensitivity and care, but will not hesitate to take traumatic brain injury cases to trial when necessary. Reach out for a case evaluation to see how we can help you.