Do not take on any sort of additional stress after suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a serious accident. If someone else’s negligence or intentional misconduct caused your brain injury, hire a TBI lawyer to fight the insurance company for the compensation you deserve. That way you can spend your time recovering physically and emotionally.
Even with a traumatic brain injury lawyer in your corner, knowing what to expect during the claims process can alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty you may feel as you navigate this unfamiliar territory.
Why You May Have to Fight the Insurance Company After a TBI?
Insurance agencies want to keep money in their shareholders’ pockets. The more they pay out in claims to injury victims, the less they can do that.
To protect their profits, the claims adjuster may:
- Provide a low estimate of the damages you’ve suffered
- Deny liability in whole or in part to mitigate the amount of money they owe
- Attempt to absolve themselves of financial responsibility
- Claim you have pre-existing injuries and don’t deserve damages
- Prolong your payout to force you into taking less money out of desperation
How to Fight Back When the Insurance Company Won’t Play Fair?
Even though the insurance representative may offer a low settlement, they are well aware of what you actually deserve. They have handled thousands of cases like yours, and they have access to industry data on what brain injuries cost victims.
Your insurance adjuster hopes that you don’t have the same information. In fact, they are banking on it. Here are some considerations that could offer peace of mind during the claims process:
Know What Your Claim Is Worth
Armed with the knowledge of what your traumatic brain injury has cost you, you can demand what you deserve. Without this knowledge, you are more apt to accept any offer the insurer makes. For instance, $10,000 sounds good when you don’t know you deserve $100,000.
Your claim for compensation could include reimbursement for:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Lost income and benefits
- Reduced earning ability
- Property damage (if you were hurt in a collision, for instance)
- Travel costs resulting from or related to your brain injury
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Long-term care
- Pain and suffering
You’ll need to gather documentation to prove the losses you’ve suffered. For financial losses, you can gather bills, receipts, estimates, and bank statements.
Your Non-Economic Damages Need Evidence, Too
To recover non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, diminished quality of life, and physical trauma, you’ll need proof. That’s because pain and suffering don’t have an intrinsic monetary value. For instance, there isn’t any financial documentation for the loss of your cognitive function. How much is your memory worth? It’s priceless, to be honest.
Yet, to arrive at a financial value, you need testimony from healthcare providers, experts in your employment field, and witnesses. Additionally, factors such as your age, the severity of your injuries, and quality of life affect how much you can recover. Calculating the cost of pain and suffering is tricky, which leads to the next thing you can do when fighting the insurance company after a TBI: consider hiring a lawyer.
You Can Hire a Lawyer to Fight the Insurance Company
Many insurance companies take advantage of claimants who do not have legal representation. They know the average person doesn’t have the legal knowledge or insider information on how insurers operate. Hiring a personal injury lawyer to take on the duties of filing your claim can significantly reduce your stress and protect you from the insurance company’s tactics.
Attorneys who have experience handling brain injury cases can identify the applicable losses you’ve suffered and retrieve the documentation necessary to prove them. You don’t have to navigate the claims process alone. You can entrust your case to a legal professional who has your best interest in mind.
Watch What You Say to Insurance Adjusters Regarding Your TBI Claim
The insurance adjuster may ask for a recorded statement, claiming they just want to hear your side of the story. Decline to give this statement. The whole point is to get you to talk about your accident and injuries so they can find something to use against you.
Never give a recorded statement without consulting an injury lawyer. They can advise you on whether giving a statement could benefit your case. If so, they can share what information you should give. They may also step in and answer the claims adjuster’s questions, so you don’t jeopardize your case’s outcome.
Your TBI Claim Must Meet Many Hidden Deadlines
During your research, you might have encountered the term statute of limitations. This is a law that outlines how long you have to file a civil lawsuit. Generally, you have about two years to file, and if you don’t, you could lose the right to sue.
The liable insurance company has deadlines for reviewing your claim, too. Yet, the adjuster might not explicitly share this deadline, hoping that you’ll miss the filing period and free it from liability. This is yet another reason to consider entrusting your case to an injury lawyer. They can evaluate how long you have to file your case and act accordingly.
You Can File a Lawsuit and Seek the Money You Deserve
You have options outside of endlessly negotiating with the liable insurance company. If a settlement isn’t forthcoming, you can file a lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries.
At this point, you and the opposing party will prepare for a trial. This involves gathering evidence, understanding your accident, and preparing for cross-examinations. These tasks can prove tiring, especially if you’re still undergoing treatment. Yet, a lawyer can manage your case’s many obligations and fight for a just outcome.
How Filing a Lawsuit Could Yield Financial Recovery?
Lawsuits based on breach of contract sometimes incentivize insurance companies to pay the money they owe. Why? As previously mentioned, insurance companies are all about their bottom lines, and lawsuits are expensive. They require a lot of time and preparation.
An insurer has to pay its high-priced lawyers for every hour they spend on the case. On top of that, there are court costs, deposition fees, the costs of paying for expert witnesses, and much more. The trial could drag out, meaning the insurer will have to pay more money. After all, is said and done, it could lose the trial anyway.
At that point, it’d still have to pay for your TBI. Many insurance companies want to avoid that costly fate, so after filing your lawsuit, the insurance adjuster may return with a more favorable settlement offer. The involved parties can settle the case at any point before the judge renders a verdict, so you might not have to complete a trial.
You Can Fight for the Compensation You Deserve After a Brain Injury
If you haven’t considered pursuing damages for your traumatic brain injury, there are several reasons why you should. While you might have concerns about the legal process, without compensation, you could have financial hardships for years to come.
Here’s what you should know about seeking damages after suffering a brain injury:
Compensation Should Account for Your Condition’s Effect on Your Life
You shouldn’t accept a settlement offer just for the sake of resolving your case. Instead, you should refer all offers to your lawyer. They can review a settlement’s details and tips and explain whether it meets your needs.
Your settlement could reflect the symptoms you experience, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sound sensitivity or ringing in the ears
- Blurry vision
- Trouble sleeping or being aroused from sleep
- Loss of coordination
- Numb limbs
- Slurred speech or other difficulties speaking
Non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, account for the injury’s effect on your life. Many states do not cap how much you can seek for this expense, so it could comprise a generous portion of your claim’s value.
Most Cases Resolve Through Insurance Settlements
You may have concerns about going to court and arguing your case before a judge and jury. Yet, it may comfort you to know that most personal injury cases get settled through insurance negotiations. So, while going to court is a possibility, it’s not an inevitability.
More Than One Insurer Could Hold Liability
At first glance, it may seem as though one party is responsible for your injury-related losses. Yet, an investigation may reveal that more than one party owes you damages.
Here’s a scenario to illustrate the concept:
- You suffered injuries after a driver rear-ended you.
- The driver was texting when the accident happened. Their admission and phone records reflect that.
- Yet, the brakes didn’t function correctly because of an installation error, impeding the driver’s stopping ability.
- You could seek damages from the at-fault motorist and the manufacturer of the faulty car brakes.
Fighting multiple insurance companies may seem daunting. However, you don’t have to worry about seeking damages alone when you have a traumatic brain injury lawyer. They can field all communications with the relevant parties and fight for what you deserve: fair compensation.
There Isn’t an Average Settlement Value for TBI Accident Cases
The outcomes of many TBI accident cases are confidential, only between the injured party and the liable insurer. So, there isn’t a centralized database that keeps track of how much the average TBI settlement is.
How much you can recover depends on many aspects of your situation, some of which you might not have considered.
Your settlement’s value ultimately depends on:
- Your estimated recovery period
- The severity of your TBI
- The accident’s effects on your life
- Whether you can live independently
- The cost of your financial losses
- Whether you can continue working
A lawyer considers each of these things when evaluating what constitutes a fair settlement offer. That way, you can walk away from the claims process with the money you need to move on.
What Should I Do After a TBI?
Partnering with an injury lawyer is just one of the many things you should consider following a TBI.
You should also:
- Limit your social media use. The claims adjuster could see your posts and discredit the severity of your condition. Even uploading old photos could complicate your claim.
- Seek medical attention. A TBI can worsen with time. You want to do everything you can to preserve your health. So, you should see a healthcare provider and follow their treatment plan.
- Keep all information related to your case. Receipts, bills, and invoices can support the value of your claim. They can also serve as important evidence when negotiating with the insurer.
- Limit your physical activity. Pushing yourself beyond your body’s limits could make your condition worse. If your doctor recommends light physical activity and taking time off work, you should heed their instructions.
When you partner with a lawyer, they can offer other post-accident considerations throughout your relationship. They share your goal of recovering maximum compensation for your losses.
Fighting for Compensation After a TBI Costs Nothing Upfront
Every traumatic brain injury case plays out differently, so it’s impossible to predict the trajectory of your case. The good news is that if you work with a brain injury lawyer, you get a legal advocate who can help you make decisions.
Fighting the insurance company is no easy feat, but those who have legal counsel don’t have to face it alone. The sooner you connect with a personal injury attorney in Atlanta, the better your case’s possible outcome.