If you have suffered a brain injury from a car accident, you may have to deal with long-term, even lifelong consequences. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are serious medical events that can affect your ability to complete daily activities and to work. You may need ongoing medical treatment, medication, and assistance with daily self-care and independent living. These new expenses will be difficult to pay for if you are unable to work because of your injuries.
Brain injuries are especially damaging because they can take many months or longer to heal. If you suffered a TBI, you may not know the full extent of your injuries or how they will impact your life and your job until you have had the time to fully recuperate. For many people, full recuperation does not mean they will be completely back to normal. Many people face years or a lifetime of lingering problems after a brain injury from a car accident.
It is important to document everything from the moment of the car accident in order to best protect yourself and your claim. At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we have experience handling TBI car accident cases. Our Chattanooga brain injury lawyers will guide you through the process of documenting and filing your claim.
How does the brain get injured in a car accident?
TBI happens when there is a violent impact or jolt to the body. In mild cases, there is temporary brain cell dysfunction. More serious cases can result in long-term complications or death from damage to the brain in the form of bruising, bleeding, torn tissue, or other physical damage. Car accidents are a common cause of brain injury.
How common is TBI?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that in 2010 2.5 million people received emergency room treatment for TBI. These injuries also have a high rate of resultant disability. Between 3 and 5 million people in America are disabled as a result of TBI.
The National Highway Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls TBI “the silent epidemic,” and notes that it can take time for many of the long-term consequences of brain injury, such as changes in cognitive ability, emotional status, and language ability, to become fully apparent. According to the NHTSA, motor vehicle traffic is the second-leading cause of TBI and accounts for more than 30% of deaths from the condition.
When should I settle my brain injury claim?
It is important not to accept a settlement offer on your brain injury claim too early on in the process. Since brain injuries can take time to fully reveal their impact on your life, you should seek the guidance of a brain injury attorney before accepting a settlement.
You need to know what your life will be like after you complete your medical treatment and rehabilitation. Will you be able to work again? Will you make as much money as you did before the accident? If headaches and difficulty concentrating make it necessary for you to cut back on your hours, you will not earn as much income and your career path may stall.
You should also not settle until you know what your medical future will be like. Will you need ongoing medical treatments, therapy or medication? Will you need daily or regular assistance with your personal care, handling your finances, or living independently?
When you settle your injury claim, you will have to sign documents from the insurance company. These documents will include a waiver, which will prevent you from requesting more compensation for the harm done to you in the car accident. If you settle too quickly and later discover that you are disabled and unable to work as a result of your injuries, the insurance company will not pay you any further damages.
That is why you need to speak to our brain injury lawyers before you file a claim. We can help you determine the value of your current and future damages to ensure that you receive the right amount of compensation.
How do I prove my brain injury was from the car accident?
Car accidents that cause TBI are usually significant crashes. To prove that your brain injury occurred as a result of the car accident, you will need to provide evidence, such as the police report, emergency room and hospital records, and subsequent medical care records. You should make sure to inform law enforcement officials at the scene of the accident that you hit your head. Also make sure to notify your medical treatment providers that your brain injury was the result of the car accident.
Tell your medical care providers of all the problems you are experiencing, including headaches, difficulty thinking and concentrating, personality changes, memory issues, pain, and any other symptoms. You will not be able to collect damages for problems that you deny having.
Talk to your health care providers about how the brain injury has affected your life at home, your ability to work, and your ability to interact socially. Make sure they memorialize this in their medical record notes.
Our attorneys can help you gather relevant evidence proving that your brain injury occurred as a result of your accident.
What medical care does TBI require?
You should always have a head injury evaluated immediately by a medical professional. There may be bleeding, bruising, torn tissue, or ruptured blood vessels inside the brain that will be impossible to detect without the help of a doctor. The only way to know definitively is to get professional medical care.
Follow your doctor’s orders on therapies and evaluations you need. Also, if your doctor puts you on activity or work restrictions, follow his or her advice. It is difficult to win a claim for disabling injuries if you worked even when your doctor told you not to.
The brain controls many functions throughout the body. You may need to have physical therapy or occupational therapy after a TBI to regain the skills and functions you had before your car accident. Physical and occupational therapy records are extremely valuable to your claim, as they will include detailed assessments of any changes in range of motion, strength, function, balance and other abilities.
How can I get help with my brain injury claim?
The Chattanooga attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC have many years of experience handling brain injury claims. We will evaluate your claim and gather the evidence to prove your damages. If your TBI results in a disability, our lawyers can also help you with the disability claims process. Call us today at 865-546-1111 for your free, no-obligation consultation.