Steven A. Bagen | June 19, 2023 | Personal Injury
Brain injuries are some of the most complex and unpredictable injuries an accident victim can suffer. Any forceful accident can injure the brain.
From car accidents to slips and falls, an accident victim can develop a brain injury due to an impact directly to the head or a violent jolt to the body. After a brain injury, you may not know what to expect, and while you may feel the pressure to resolve your matter as quickly as possible, it can take time to protect your interests and rights under the law.
A brain injury accident attorney can explain how long it can take for a brain injury claim to resolve and what factors can influence how quickly the matter with an insurance company or at-fault party resolves.
What Can Affect the Timeline to Resolve a Brain Injury Claim?
An injury that affects your brain presents a challenge when seeking damages through an insurance claim or lawsuit. As a victim of injury, the law allows you to pursue compensation for your losses and impacts from a negligent accident. However, a common issue with brain injuries is that the impacts and total damages are often unclear until the ramifications of the brain injury on your health and your life are fully understood.
Determining the Extent of the Brain Injury
Brain injuries can have devastating consequences on a victim’s life. For example, a brain injury, unlike other injuries, can worsen and change over time. The symptoms that a victim experiences can begin mild only to later develop into much more intrusive and uncomfortable impacts that affect how a person feels, acts, and functions following an accident.
At the most basic level, a medical provider can categorize a brain injury as penetrating or nonpenetrating. Penetrating is when there is an intrusion into the skull. Nonpenetrating is most commonly associated with brain injuries that occur because of the impact of a force, shaking, or violent jolt that does not cause an open wound but still damages the brain. Both types of injuries can be life-threatening and lead to lifelong symptoms and disabilities.
After an accident, you may want answers about the extent of your brain injury. While your medical team may provide some insight into the type of injury sustained and what your recovery and rehabilitation may look like, they may not be able to give you a clear outcome for if and how your brain injury will fully heal. Many brain injury victims continue to feel the impacts of their injuries for a long time after an accident, and for some, the symptoms remain throughout their life.
Evaluating How a Brain Injury Will Affect Your Life
An injury to the brain can profoundly and negatively affect a person’s overall life. A brain injury victim can suffer pain and discomfort from the injury that can take time to get better.
Additionally, depending on the extent of the damage, an individual’s ability to function, independence, and mental and emotional state can also be at risk following an accident.
To pursue the appropriate compensation in an injury claim, you must have a deep understanding of the effect the brain injury will have on the totality of your life. In brain injury cases, doctors’ and experts’ testimony on an individual’s expected recovery and potential lifelong implications of their injuries play a big role in understanding the long-term costs and damages a victim may face because of the injury beyond just the short-term losses.
It can take time to identify and gather the evidence and support to prove your injuries and impacts in an accident case because healing can take time. Brain injuries can heal slowly, and the rehabilitation necessary is often long.
These factors can affect how long it takes to resolve a claim, as you want to ensure you seek the maximum damages you will incur due to the injuries.
Calculating the Damages You May Recover
A brain injury lawyer advising you in a brain injury claim will take the time to fully calculate the damages and potential damages you may incur in the future.
Filing a claim for damages from a brain injury that does not account for the full extent of your possible losses can leave you in a difficult situation in the future if you do not seek enough money to cover your continued medical expenses and impact your income.
However, your attorney can help you ensure that all of the damages you sustain are part of the brain injury claim. This can sometimes take more time because you must prove in your case not only your current impacts but also the future ones.
Your lawyer can help you gather the evidence necessary and enlist the assistance of experts, if necessary, to prove how your brain injury may continue to hamper your life moving forward.
Negotiating a Fair Settlement Can Take Time
Once you have an accurate estimate and representation of the current and future damages you will incur because of your accident brain injury, your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to try to reach a reasonable settlement.
Although a lawyer will fight for the maximum damages possible, your lawyer’s calculation of damages does not guarantee that is the amount you may finally receive as a payout on a claim. However, the lawyer’s calculations of your brain injury damages can help you decide when and if you receive a settlement offer from the insurance company.
Should You Accept an Early Settlement Offer for a Brain Injury?
When seeking compensation as part of an accident claim, most people understand that it can take some time. It can catch you by surprise if you find yourself with a settlement offer early on after an accident that causes a brain injury.
When the insurance company moves this quickly, it is most likely because they foresee the potential of your claim and the high costs they may face as the consequences of your injuries and impacts become more apparent. Never accept a first settlement offer for a brain injury claim without first talking to a lawyer experienced in brain injury claims and cases.
Accepting an offer too soon before you have had the chance to grasp the extent of your injuries can leave you facing hardship later.
What Are the Reasons an Insurance Company May Fail to Offer a Reasonable Settlement?
While in some rare instances, an insurance company might make an offer too quickly, there are also instances in which you may find yourself dealing with an insurer that fails to make any settlement offer or does not make a reasonable settlement offer that fully considers the extent of your losses.
Insurance companies have tactics and strategies that they apply to every claim they face. There are several reasons why an insurer may not try to settle a case, such as a dispute as to who is liable, a dispute as to the value of the damages, or if the damages are beyond the policy limits.
Fortunately, an insurance settlement is not the only option for a brain injury victim to pursue compensation. Your lawyer can advise you on steps to take in your brain injury case and whether a lawsuit may be necessary.
Should You Hire a Lawyer to Help You if You Are a Brain Injury Victim?
A brain injury can turn your life upside down. You may not have clear answers on what to expect regarding your recovery, making it much more challenging to fight for the compensation the law entitles you to. There is too much at stake when you are a brain injury victim to attempt to go it alone through an insurance claim.
Contact an experienced and knowledgeable brain injury attorney that understands how to fight for a successful outcome for victims of brain injuries through an insurance claim.
A brain injury lawyer has the know-how and resources to properly prepare your claim and represent your interests against the interests of the insurer and the parties responsible. Focus on healing and recovery, and let your lawyer focus on fighting for your compensation in a claim.
How Can a Lawyer Assist With a Brain Injury Claim or Case?
A brain injury lawyer can make a difference not only in how your case progresses but also in the outcome of the case. By hiring a lawyer at the outset of a claim, you can avoid some of the most common obstacles, errors, and complications likely to occur when a claimant files a claim without an attorney.
Your lawyer can provide insight into your brain injury claim and what you can expect as you enter each stage of the claims process.
Maximize Your Potential Compensation
A lawyer that works for you in a brain injury claim wants you to get justice for the harm you have suffered at the hands of another. They will work hard to fight for you and discover all compensation you may be eligible for based on the law in your jurisdiction and the facts of your case.
Asking for compensation is not a generalized request to cover your losses but is a complex and intricate demand of the specific damages you have incurred and the damages you expect to incur due to your brain injury. Your attorney can help you accurately and meticulously prepare a claim and gather the evidence necessary to support your brain injury claim and case.
Fight on Your Behalf
Insurers and liable parties can have their team of attorneys to defend their interests and help protect their bottom line. A claimant going up against big corporate insurance companies and lawyers can be at a disadvantage when fighting for their rights.
A lawyer representing you in a brain injury claim will have no problem standing up to these interests and fighting for your rights every step of the way. You can expect that your lawyer will fervently fight for you through negotiations and attempt to reach the best resolution possible in light of your case.
Persist Until Reaching a Resolution
Although the goal in many cases is that a brain injury victim can get the compensation they need by negotiating a successful settlement agreement, there are times when it is not possible for any combination of reasons. However, that does not mean that a lawyer can not continue to help fight for you.
Throughout the claims process and negotiations, a brain injury lawyer is also preparing for the possibility that pushing forward with a lawsuit may become necessary. An attorney can represent you throughout a trial until the court reaches a verdict that resolves the matter.
How Quickly Should You Act After a Brain Injury?
Brain injury claims may take time to resolve, with some cases taking months to a few years to reach a resolution. However, this does not mean you can or should wait to act. The sooner you begin contacting a brain injury accident lawyer, the sooner you can begin the long process of fighting for your compensation.
The statute of limitations in each jurisdiction limits the time you have as a victim to file a claim for damages in court and sue the insurer or parties responsible. Acting after the statute of limitations precludes you from seeking the money you need after an accident causing a brain injury.
Contact an accident injury attorney in Gainesville as soon as possible after an accident to protect your right to demand compensation under the statute of limitations.