While any kind of an injury suffered in a car accident or in a workplace mishap is a serious matter, suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in severe disabilities for the injured party and for their family and can last a lifetime. While a personal injury lawyer can be of great assistance to anyone injured in an accident, working with a lawyer who specializes in head injuries often results in compensation that more accurately reflect the long-term consequences of a TBI.
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Many personal injury attorneys in Pennsylvania offer advice and representation for patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. However, not all these attorneys are head injury attorneys with a focus on brain trauma cases. It is an important distinction if you have been injured and are looking for the best legal support possible.
What Are Some of the Effects of a Suffering Traumatic Brain Injury?
Head injuries have serious medical consequences. Some of those consequences include:
- Problems with balance
- Sleeping difficulties
- Problems speaking
- Chronic pain and discomfort
- Trouble remembering recent or past events
- Losing the sense of smell
- Difficulty hearing properly
- Troubles walking or running
- Difficulties sleeping
- Problems seeing
- Decreased social skills
- Problems reading
- Intense headaches
- Mood changes
- Sexual problems
- A constant tingling feeling in the arms and legs
The effects of a head injury can last months, years or even a lifetime. They can have dramatic effects on your relationship with your family who may be required to provide long-term care. It is not unheard of for brain injuries to lead to divorce or separation as spouses are unable to deal with the demands for caring for someone with a head injury or the resulting personality changes.
Even minor brain injuries, such as a mild concussion, can result in difficulties concentrating or focusing on your work. They can lead to depression and unstable emotions.
It is not always easy to identify brain injuries immediately after an accident. They are often not visible in an x-ray or an MRI and may only manifest themselves days or weeks after an accident. That is why brain injury lawyers recommend that as soon as you are in a car accident that involves hitting your head, suffering whiplash or any other sudden jolt, seek immediate medical attention.
This is good for your long-term health, and it negates an insurance company’s ability to claim that you are not hurt badly because you did not seek medical attention immediately.
Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal injury attorneys in Pennsylvania may work on a variety of cases including truck accidents, car accidents and a variety of other cases. While some of the laws pertaining to general personal injury practice areas can apply to TBI claims, there are some unique aspects to these legal battles.
For example, TBI plaintiffs often require larger compensation packages, especially for non-economic damages. Patients who have suffered a severe brain injury have had a life-changing event, and many of these plaintiffs are unable to return to work or may suffer from memory loss, personality changes and other significant symptoms for the rest of their life. Their future wage earnings may also be affected. It is important for experienced attorneys to fight for full compensation for economic as well as non-economic damages so patients have the full support they need.
What a Head Injury Lawyer Can Do
One of the things that sets head injury attorneys apart is that they understand how little is really known about traumatic brain injuries. The reality is that research is being done continually and new treatments are developed every year. Unfortunately, many of the most cutting-edge treatments — the treatments offering patients the best chance at a normal life — are also expensive. It is important to seek fair compensation now so that if future treatment is needed, you will be able to afford that treatment and a better quality of life.
Do Head Injury Lawyers Have Special Certifications?
Good head injury lawyers have developed an expertise in dealing with TBI claims in a variety of ways.
1. Maintaining Up-to-Date Knowledge of Brain Injuries and Their Consequences.
The best head injury lawyers keep up-to-date on the many new developments that are taking place in the treatment of brain injuries and in how they manifest themselves. They are constantly learning more about the effects of TBIs. They attend legal and medical seminars that deal with the causes and the treatment of brain injuries. They also keep up-to-date on court cases that deal with head injuries and the kind of verdicts and damages that juries award to brain injury victims.
2. They Understand the Need to Provide Solid Medical Evidence to Prove Your Claim.
Winning a brain injury case can often be very difficult. Insurance companies, whether they are defending a personal injury lawsuit or a workers’ compensation claim, will try to undermine brain injury patients by saying they are not hurt as badly as they say they are.
A good brain injury lawyer knows the best medical experts to work with, like neurologists or other specialists who deal with brain injuries on a regular basis. They understand the kind of courtroom procedures that are required in a brain injury claim. They know how to explain the extent of a brain injury and how a defendant’s actions resulted in the victim suffering a brain injury.
3. They Can Explain the Financial Costs That a Brain Injury Can Create Over a Lifetime.
There can be enormous financial costs associated with TBIs. Serious head injuries can lead to long-term, life-changing requirements for treatment. It may be necessary for someone with a serious head injury to require care for the rest of their lives. Understanding how to negotiate for these costs with an insurance company or how to explain the need for this kind of compensation to a jury requires someone who understands how serious a brain injury can be and just how much it costs to care for.
A good head injury lawyer will use the services of a medical financial expert and a life care planner to help lay out their case for why long-term medical needs deserve appropriate compensation.
4. Knowing About Brain Injury Leads to Compassion.
This is not something for which you necessarily need “special certification.” Due to do their constant education on the subject and the number of cases they have handled, the best head injury lawyers are more than aware of how much a person with a head injury suffers and how it affects their families emotionally and financially.
Once a good head injury lawyer takes your case, they will help you get the best treatment and make sure you see the right doctors who can help you the most. Excellent head injury lawyers will show compassion and caring for their clients and their families and work hard to ensure they receive the appropriate compensation which they deserve.
What Are Some Questions I Should Ask When Choosing a Head Injury Lawyer?
Whenever you are looking for a lawyer to handle any kind of a case for you, you should never be afraid to ask questions and to shop around a bit before you decide on the right lawyer.
It is much the same idea when you are looking for a qualified head injury lawyer to handle your TBI case. Again, do not be afraid to ask questions. Some of the questions to ask a head injury lawyer are:
1. How Long Have You Been a Lawyer?
Due to the complicated nature of presenting a head injury case to a jury, or even negotiating a settlement with an insurance company, you do not want a “new” lawyer. While it is true that enthusiasm can go a long way toward winning a case, an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer offers you a much greater chance of making a successful claim.
2. How Often Do You Represent People With TBIs?
Personal injury lawyers work in a variety of settings. Do not choose the first lawyer who you see advertising on television to represent you. You are looking for a lawyer who specializes in head injury cases. While a lawyer who handles head injury cases now and then could be helpful, they may lack the necessary education and understanding about head injury cases that will help you receive appropriate compensation for your claim.
3. How Successful Have You Been in Representing Clients With TBIs?
A lawyer who can present you with detailed results about the awards they achieved for previous clients is a good choice. A lawyer should also be able to refer you to previous clients for whom they have successfully argued cases or negotiated settlements.
4. Will You Be Handling My Case From Beginning to End?
You want to work with a lawyer who will be with you every step of the way. While some smaller tasks may be handled by interns or junior members of their firm, you want to know that you are dealing with the same lawyer throughout your claim.
5. Will You Be Honest With Me?
Sometimes the best head injury lawyers will give you advice that you may not want to hear. If an insurance company makes you an offer that you believe is adequate, but your lawyer recommends you reject it because they do not believe it will provide you for the compensation you will need over a lifetime, listen to them. They are basing that judgment on their understanding of the effects of traumatic brain injuries and the knowledge they have gained from working on previous cases.
You might even want to ask the lawyer what was the largest amount of money that they recommended a client decline and what the sum was that they ultimately received.
6. Have You Kept Up-to-Date on the Latest Developments in TBIs?
As we noted above, you want to work with a lawyer who is up-to-date on the latest developments concerning treatments and the latest jury verdicts that concern cases similar to yours.
What Are the Characteristics I Should Look for in a Head Injury Lawyer?
Think of yourself as a consumer who is looking for just the right fit. You want to find the right qualities that suit you in a head injury lawyer and even the law firm for which they work. Some of those qualities you might want to look for include:
- Their enthusiasm for your case.
- How they approach the case. Are they willing to go to trial if you cannot reach a settlement?
- Someone who will explain to you the strengths and the weaknesses of your case fairly and honestly.
- Someone who is responsive.
- Someone who contacts you regularly to update you on what is happening in your case.
- Someone who pays attention to you while you are explaining your case, not someone who seems to only be listening with one ear while they are constantly checking their phone for messages.
- Someone who is open to your input and suggestions when appropriate.
- Most lawyers work on contingency fees in TBI cases, so you want to find someone who will explain to you what other costs may be involved, such as the hiring of medical experts to solidify your case, and how much the contingency fee will be.
- Someone who will thoroughly explain to you their plan of action and how they intend to go about winning your case.
- Someone who will be honest with you about just how long it may take for your case to be settled. The reality is TBI cases can sometimes stretch on for months if not years.
If you find a lawyer who personifies all these qualities and with whom you feel personally comfortable, then it is a good match.
If You Have Suffered a Head Injury, Contact KBG Injury Law
If you need to speak to a head injury lawyer who understands brain injury claims, contact KBG Injury Law for a consultation. Our legal team understands head injuries and works with medical consultants and other professionals to help our plaintiffs and our clients get a reasonable chance at a brighter future.
You can request a free consultation or visit our contact us page, where you can leave us your personal information as well as a few details about your case. A member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.