Brain Injury Cases Are Not the Time for a Speedy Settlement
The most severe and most costly of all injuries may be traumatic brain injury or TBI. Insurance companies seek to settle traumatic brain injury claims as soon as possible to abate their financial responsibility and liability in the case. These cases can be legally tricky and difficult to win successfully. Quick settlements are not advisable for a number of reasons.
It is important to remember in the case of a traumatic brain injury to never make verbal or written statements to the insurance company. You should not sign anything from the insurance company nor accept any monetary remuneration for any reason. Before any actions are taken the victim of traumatic brain injury should speak to an attorney. If any agreements are made with the insurance company before speaking with an attorney, it could drastically effect the outcome of the settlement.
Traumatic brain injuries effect the victim long after the initial accident and prognosis. It is virtually impossible to gauge the full spectrum of injuries received immediately after the accident. The nature of these injuries is they effect various parts of the body at different times because the brain and often nervous system is injured. A quick settlement is ill advised because the full extent of the injuries may not reveal itself for months or even years after the accident.
The nature, extent and severity of the traumatic injury are all taken into consideration when deciding the amount of monetary compensation for the injury. Other factors are also considered such as, pain and suffering, medical costs, age and life expectancy, and the earning capacity of the victim. In many cases, a vocational expert or consultant will be brought on to evaluate the victim in these areas.
Personal injury claims do not have to be filed immediately upon receiving the accident because of the many mitigating circumstances they include, especially traumatic brain injuries. This allows enough time for the victim to get adequate medical attention, and have an approximate estimation of medical costs for the lifetime of the victim as well as a future treatment plan.
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in California is two years but could be as low as 6 months. If the victim fails to file a lawsuit against the negligent party within this time frame, they are legally prohibited from doing so in the future. Two years is adequate time to gather all the pertinent information needed to be rewarded monetarily for a personal injury claim.
These cases are legally complex and entering into court proceedings alone, without a competent personal injury attorney, is not recommended. The stakes are so high, and playing field so rough, it is important to be prepared. Keep all medical records pertaining to the traumatic brain injury in a safe place and make duplicates. Retain a copy of all correspondence with the insurance company and/or negligent party.
There is no quick answer when traumatic brain injury is involved. Getting a settlement takes time and patience.