One area that can affect client-attorney relationships occurs when the client has suffered a head injury. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can affect communication, memory, personality, cognitive function and decision-making. This can affect a client’s ability to pursue a claim or their ability to understand and communicate effectively about legal matters. When this happens, what are the obligations that a head injury attorney has towards their client?
In Pennsylvania, lawyers are expected to abide by ethics rules and laws. Attorneys are expected to not make false promises, to explain legal processes to clients and to act in the client’s best interests. If a client or client’s family feels an attorney is acting against the client’s interests, they can terminate the client-attorney relationship and in some cases even pursue a claim against the attorney.
In cases where a client has sustained a head injury and can no longer make decisions for themselves, family members can seek to have someone given the power of attorney. That named person can then act on behalf of the injured person and can meet with legal counsel. In cases where someone has sustained a head injury and clearly cannot make decisions for themselves, but is not willing to admit to it, a family can go to court and ask that the person be declared incapable of making their own decisions. In these cases, a court will usually appoint a legal guardian. This is a more difficult process, and often a more traumatic one, for the family.
Protecting Head Injury Patients
There are ways to make sure that an attorney meets their obligations when it comes to a TBI plaintiff:
- Choose an attorney with a good reputation.
- Look for an attorney with experience in similar cases. Attorneys with experience in similar types of TBI cases, and a proven track record of winning cases, are more likely to know the ethical rules and other regulations regarding these types of claims.
- Have someone from the family attend appointments with the attorney and client. If the client agrees, it can be a simple way to assuage any fears about the client-attorney relationship.
If you are looking for a Pennsylvania attorney with experience in head injury claims, contact KBG Injury Law for a consultation. Our team has a proven track record of securing court wins and settlements on behalf of patients with various types of traumatic brain injuries. Contact us today for an honest appraisal of your situation.