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10 Strategies That Will Help You Navigate a Brain Injury Lawsuit

Feb 18, 2021 Brain Injuries
  1. 1. What to Expect During a Brain Injury Lawsuit
  2. 2. 10 Brain Injury Lawsuit Tips That Really Work
  3. 3. Crosley Law: San Antonio’s Trusted Brain Injury Lawyers

Personal injury claims can feel overwhelming, even without a traumatic brain injury. However, a TBI adds an unwanted layer of difficulty to your case: memory loss, word-finding issues, and other symptoms can make a lawsuit feel impossible. Don’t give up. Instead, start taking little steps that help you regain control.

At Crosley Law, we’ve earned a reputation for our approach to brain injury lawsuits, combining a five-star client experience with cutting-edge technology and advanced legal tactics. In this blog, we explain what you can expect during a brain injury lawsuit and detail our best tips for people who are involved in a TBI claim.

What to Expect During a Brain Injury Lawsuit

When someone else’s negligence caused your brain injury, whether it’s a reckless driver, trucking company, or a business like a trampoline park, you have legal rights. However, filing a TBI claim isn’t a simple process. Here’s what to expect as you pursue your insurance claims.

Pre-Litigation

Pre-litigation is the process that happens before you file a lawsuit. During this time, your brain injury lawyer will investigate your claims, identify all of the at-fault parties, calculate your damages, and determine how much insurance coverage applies to your claims. In short, your legal team is building the foundation for your lawsuit at this time.

It’s worth noting the differences between the insurance company’s investigation and your lawyer’s work at this time. While their activities might seem similar, they have different motives. For example, in some cases (especially those involving commercial vehicles), the insurance company will rush a team to the crash scene, hoping to influence the police investigation and weaken your claims. Your lawyer, on the other hand, will work to preserve evidence, identify the real causes of your injuries, and determine its settlement value.

Litigation

Litigation describes the formal process of filing a lawsuit and preparing your case for trial. Early on, the judge will issue a document called a “scheduling order” that will set deadlines for specific activities, like the sharing of information (a process called discovery) and the filing of motions. During this period, the lawyers will probably take your deposition (a meeting where you answer questions under oath) and you might participate in mediation (a form of dispute resolution).

Settlement negotiations will continue throughout the litigation process. If you and the insurance company can agree to a settlement, the litigation will end. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, your case will proceed to trial.

RELATED: What to Expect During Discovery in a Lawsuit

Trial and Appeals

During a trial, each side will present testimony from eyewitnesses and experts, evidence, and legal arguments to a judge and jury. The process can take days, especially if your case is complicated. At the end of the trial, the jury may either award or deny your request for compensation.

However, either side can appeal the verdict. If you are awarded compensation, the insurance company might decide to appeal the decision to a higher court. In this case, your lawyer should help you manage this process.

10 Brain Injury Lawsuit Tips That Really Work

It’s not easy to manage a personal injury lawsuit, even without a brain injury.

1. Organize Your Case Documents and Evidence

Strong evidence is essential for any successful TBI lawsuit. While you shouldn’t have to connect with expert witnesses, like neurologists and life care planners, and accident reconstruction engineers, there’s still a lot you can do to help your injury lawyer.

For example, you can keep all of your medical bills, doctor’s notes, and letters from the insurance company in a binder or folder. That way, you can easily give copies to your lawyers or refer to them when you have questions.

2. Start a TBI Journal

If you’re like many people with traumatic brain injuries, you might have a hard time describing your daily symptoms and how your life has changed after your injury. A journal can help you explain your challenges and really understand how your TBI impacts your daily routine.

In your journal, you can track your doctor’s appointments, physical and mental health concerns, pain, and other challenges. While writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you process your injury and losses, it’s also a good idea to include some structured symptom tracking as well.

For example, you might include some daily statistics, including:

  • Your emotional state (Are you feeling anxious, depressed, or socially isolated?)
  • Which doctors, therapists, or other medical providers you spoke with that day
  • Your pain levels
  • Any major changes you had to make to your daily activities, like taking unexpected breaks, canceling plans, or requiring help with previously “easy” tasks

RELATED: Living With a TBI: A Guide for Survivors and Their Loved Ones

3. Create a Calendar System and Plan in Advance

If you value consistency and routine after your TBI, a calendar and reminder system is essential. Whether you rely on a whiteboard, a mobile app, your phone’s alarms, a supportive housemate, or a combination of all the above, it’s a good idea to track your important appointments, court dates, and deadlines throughout your claim.

While you don’t want to get overwhelmed by your calendar, it’s a good idea to include the following:

  • Doctor’s and therapy appointments
  • Meetings with your personal injury lawyer
  • Depositions, hearings, and other court dates (when you need to attend)
  • Mediation and alternative dispute resolution appointments
  • Deadlines for any forms or information you need to give your lawyer

That way, you can be proactive and get the support you need.

For example, suppose you have a hard time driving, especially in unfamiliar places. If the insurance company schedules your defense medical examination (DME) in an outlying suburb of San Antonio, you might need someone to drive you to the appointment. You might also want to schedule a call or video appointment with your lawyer, who can explain the DME process. Setting up these arrangements in advance will ease your mind and help you do your best during the medical examination.

4. Build Up Your Support Network

Living with a traumatic brain injury isn’t easy. You might need help with daily tasks, like cooking, cleaning, running errands, and remembering to take your medication. However, you don’t have to struggle alone.

It’s essential that you lean on your network after a brain injury—whether it’s your spouse, family, friends, or a community support group. Asking for help is a sign of strength, and it can help ease your transition back into “normal” life.

Most people have a lot of questions after a motor vehicle accident, fall, or another incident. However, you shouldn’t rely on the insurance company for your answers. Its representatives’ top priority is to get rid of your case as quickly and cheaply as possible, not to empower and educate you.

For example, the insurance company might try to pressure you into making a statement if you’re not represented by a lawyer. During this meeting, its representatives might ask you vague or misleading questions, hoping that you’ll damage your case. However, even if the claims adjuster keeps pushing this statement, you can politely decline the opportunity.

When you’re ready to hire a lawyer, you don’t want someone who dabbles in head injuries. Instead, you and your family deserve first-class representation from a personal injury lawyer who understands the unique challenges you face and has a proven track record of handling complex TBI claims.

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) Preferred Lawyer program can help you find the right attorney. To be a BIAA Preferred Lawyer, attorneys must show that they understand the profound emotional and financial toll of a brain injury and have the experience needed to help survivors and their families. Crosley Law is one of only two firms in Texas that is BIAA Preferred.

When you’re ready to hire a lawyer, you don’t want someone who dabbles in head injuries. Instead, you and your family deserve first-class representation from a personal injury lawyer who understands the unique challenges you face and has a proven track record of handling complex TBI claims.

When you need to meet with a lawyer, doctor, or another professional, you might find yourself struggling to voice your concerns or ask the right questions. That’s why we encourage our clients to write down their questions and key talking points in advance. That way, you can refer to your notes and ensure that you give your team the information they need.

For example, before you meet with your lawyer, you might want to write down the following information:

  • The names of any doctors or medical providers you’ve seen recently
  • Any important upcoming appointments that your legal team should know about
  • Whether your symptoms or treatment plan have changed
  • Questions you have about your case, its settlement value, and your law firm’s strategies

You can also bring in your TBI journal.

It’s also a good idea to bring a trusted family member or friend with you to important appointments. That way, they can support you, provide additional insight, and help you express your questions and concerns.

7. Get Your Questions Answered in Writing

If you have a hard time remembering details, ask your lawyer for a written confirmation of your discussions. That way, you’ll have clear documentation of what you discussed and their advice. For example, some of our clients who live with head injuries prefer email over phone calls or in-person meetings.

First, they can take the time they need to write out their exact questions, and they’re less likely to get tripped up by anxiety, memory issues, or word-finding problems. Second, they receive clear, plain English responses from our team that they can refer to at any time.

8. Don’t Ignore Your Self-Care

Healing after a traumatic brain injury is a tough process that can leave you physically and emotionally exhausted. Add in the stress of a personal injury lawsuit, and it’s easy to feel as if you do nothing but focus on your injuries and their causes.

If you’re feeling this way, stop and breathe. Whether it’s talking a quiet walk, getting a full eight hours of sleep, or taking an hour each day to journal, exercise, or do an activity you love, give yourself the time you need to recharge.

9. Assume That the Insurance Company Is Undervaluing Your Case

As we mentioned above, you should always assume that they insurance company wants to settle your brain injury claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. If they offer you a settlement (especially if you don’t have a lawyer), you can almost always assume that it’s too low. When lawyers calculate the value of a traumatic brain injury claim, they consider many factors:

  • The amount of insurance coverage that applies to your claims
  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost income and wage-earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Inability to do hobbies and activities you love
  • Replacement services if you cannot perform chores and other daily tasks
  • Costs associated with your long-term needs, including medical equipment and nursing care
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Punitive damages

If you’re not weighing all of these factors (and more), then you don’t have a clear picture of your case’s settlement value.

Before you accept the insurance company’s settlement offer, it’s a good idea to schedule a free consultation with an experienced brain injury lawyer. Our team will give you honest advice in a no-pressure environment. And, unlike the insurance company, we’re on your side.

10. Get the Medical and Mental Health Care You Need

Research shows that early and consistent medical care and mental health treatment can significantly improve your recovery after brain trauma. However, there’s another reason that it’s important to go to all your medical and therapy appointments; it can strengthen your brain injury lawsuit.

Medical records that show consistent symptoms, document your day-to-day challenges, and show that you’ve taken your recovery seriously are powerful evidence that convince the insurance company that settling is its best option. It can also help a jury understand the severity of your injuries and the scope of your damages.  

If you’re struggling with medical expenses or are having a problem finding the right specialist, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced brain injury lawyer who can help you connect with respected medical providers and get fair compensation for your losses.

Crosley Law: San Antonio’s Trusted Brain Injury Lawyers

At Crosley Law, we use cutting-edge methods to investigate brain trauma cases. We act quickly, preserving evidence and consulting with experts to identify the precise cause of our clients’ injuries. Then, we aggressively pursue their legal claims, demanding fair compensation for their injuries.

If you or someone else’s negligence caused you or your loved one’s brain injury, reach out to Crosley Law. To schedule your free consultation, call 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or fill in our website’s easy contact form. Let us put our experience to work for you! 

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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