Common Brain Injuries
It’s a common misconception that brain injuries only happen when you hit your head. Although a TBI is often the result of a violent blow to the head, it can also occur after a car accident in which the driver or passenger is the victim of whiplash. This motion causes the brain to move suddenly inside the skull and can cause bruising, internal bleeding, and torn tissues. Common injuries include concussions, edema, hematomas, or skull fractures.
If you’ve been in an accident, it’s extremely important that you seek medical attention immediately—even if you don’t feel that you’ve been hurt or that your injuries are only minor. Only a trained medical professional can properly diagnose you. Furthermore, brain injuries like this can sometimes be hard to notice at first and the symptoms may be subtle or come about several days after the accident. Symptoms like headache, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, or problems with speech can all indicate a mild brain injury from accidents. It’s also important to receive a medical diagnosis so you have adequate documentation for filing a settlement or personal injury claim.
Legal Challenges Of Claiming Compensation For TBI
TBI cases can be challenging to get adequate compensation for because it’s often hard to prove just how much your injury is affecting your life. Other injuries caused by accidents may be easier to pinpoint with diagnostic tests like MRIs, but brain injuries are harder to show. Many people find that they have to work with a team of medical providers like a neuropsychologist, neurologist, or cognitive rehabilitation expert in addition to seeking help from an experienced accident lawyer. You’ll need a lot of documentation when filing an insurance claim, and this can be an uphill battle if the adjuster doesn't believe your injury is “real.”
Filing a Claim When a Loved One is Incapacitated
In some cases, a victim will suffer from incapacitation from brain injury or has passed away because of their injuries. Because these victims cannot file a claim on their own, a judge can appoint a close friend or family member as their conservator to file for them. This would allow you to file a wrongful death claim or file a personal injury claim on their behalf as their conservator.
While the specifics of your situation will inform what kind of compensation you’re due, you can generally seek damages for medical bills, physical therapy, pain and suffering, lost income, lost earning capacity, or property damage. All damages must be related to the injury, and you should never accept the first settlement an insurance adjuster offers you. They will likely try to get you to settle for an amount that doesn’t cover all your expenses. With a TBI, it can take months to truly know the financial impact of the injury.