Suffering a traumatic brain injury from a car accident can be a life-changing event. You need to be careful to protect yourself in case your traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects your ability to work and function in daily life. Our Washington auto accident attorney frequently receives questions like the following from TBI patients who are wondering what to do next.
Should I Accept a Settlement Right Away?
The medical bills are piling up. You likely needed to take time off work to recuperate from your injuries, or you might be unable to go back to work at all. You are feeling financial stress, wondering how you will pay all these bills and the continuing treatment you need.
If your TBI was the result of another party’s negligence, you may be able to hold that party liable for your injuries. A TBI can cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars over the course of a lifetime. The insurance company will likely make you a settlement offer as soon as possible. Should you take the quick settlement?
Absolutely not. Early on after a TBI you do not yet know the long-term impact the injuries will have on your life and your ability to earn a living. The full impact of head injuries can take time to unfold.
You need to know if you will be able to work again. If you can work again, will you be able to make as much money as you did before the injury? Will your career path be the same as it would have been before the accident, or will you have to try another line of work with a different and less lucrative career path? You need to know if you will need continuing medication, ongoing treatments, and assistance with personal care or independent living.
You need to understand your prognosis before you accept a dime. If you accept a quick settlement, not understanding the full extent of your injuries, you take a great risk of getting much less than you need for your injuries. When you reach a settlement, the insurance company will make you sign away your rights to any additional compensation. This means that even if you discover you will need round-the-clock care for the rest of your life, you will be unable to get anymore from the insurer.
Make sure you run any settlements you receive by a TBI attorney before you sign. A lawyer will be able to place a value on your case and determine whether the settlement is sufficient to cover your losses. Our team makes sure to consider every cost you might face.
How do I prove the extent of my injuries?
The only way to prove the extent of your injuries is with medical records. Work closely with your doctor to make sure your medical records are complete. Ensure that your medical records link your TBI to your car accident so the insurer cannot claim it stemmed from another incident.
Your medical history should also detail how the injury has affected your life, including whether or not your doctor thinks you are able to go back to work.
Your medical history will also help establish costs, losses, and other damages associated with your injury.
Our team will help ensure your medical records are complete and give the total picture of your injuries and how they affect you.
Can I take a break from all this medical care?
No. If you stop medical treatment before completing everything your doctor advises, you could worsen your injuries or give the insurance company the opportunity to argue that you are contributing to your injuries and you should, therefore, receive less.
Will I need occupational, physical, or vocational therapy?
Most likely, yes. The treatment you need depends on the severity of your injuries. Physical and occupational therapy will help you regain the daily life skills you lost in the accident. Both of these therapies can help you get back on your feet. Vocational therapy can help you overcome obstacles and make your way back into the workforce.
Going through these therapies will help your condition, but they will also help document the effect of your injuries and how hard you are working to regain your skills and your ability to make a living.
Should I get someone to help me?
Yes. You have a serious injury. You need to be able to focus on getting your life back. You need someone looking out for your best interests and protecting your future.
As soon as possible, you should speak with a Kirkland personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will connect all the dots between the accident, your injuries, and your damages. Working with an attorney will give you the freedom to recuperate while s/he:
- Works with your doctor to get an accurate prognosis and portrayal of your injuries
- Works with experts to determine how your accident has affected your ability to work and enjoy life
- Defends you against the insurance companies and their tactics
- Negotiates to get you the highest settlement possible
Call Max Meyers Law PLLC for a free evaluation of your claim and advice on what to do next: 425-399-7000.