This is the next post in a series of articles discussing common issues that may arise in Fort Worth, Texas personal injury cases resulting in traumatic brain injuries. The previous post discussed the possibility of pursuing multiple defendants who may bear some responsibility for the accident. Identifying all responsible defendants can help ensure the recovery of damages, which are often significant in cases involving catastrophic head trauma. Personal injury cases can be complicated from a legal and factual perspective. These complexities can, at times, impact the timing and progression of a case during the legal process. In this post, we will explain why matters involving significant injuries to the brain can be lengthy. If you or a loved one has been in an accident, we recommend that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Those who suffer serious injuries caused by the actions of third parties are entitled to recover damages from those responsible. When a victim suffers a head injury, the personal and financial consequences can be devastating. As a result, damages are often significant and may include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The process of estimating potential damages and proving which defendants are responsible can take a significant period of time. In most cases, a law firm will engage multiple experts to help establish the liability of defendants, determine the medical prognosis, and estimate economic damages. This process is time-consuming and can delay settlement negotiations and litigation.
Soon after an accident, your attorney will begin settlement discussions with the defendants’ insurance companies. To adequately estimate a plaintiff’s damages, the lawyer will need to understand their long-term medical prognosis. When a traumatic head injury occurs, the prognosis may not be quickly ascertainable. For example, it may take a neurologist several months before he knows if his patient’s brain damage will be permanent. This will impact an expert’s estimate of future medical costs, ongoing treatment, etc. Other experts will also rely on the physician’s opinion about recovery in making their damage estimates. Vocational specialists or economists, for instance, will review the victim’s ability to be employed in any capacity or earn wages in the future as a result of the prognosis. For example, if a rocket scientist suffers a brain hemorrhage after a bicycle crash, his physician will need to understand the extent to which his brain will function in the future before understanding what type of ongoing therapy or treatment may be required. An economist would be engaged to estimate potential lost income as a result of the paralysis. Until these damage estimates are available, the attorney will not have sufficient information to negotiate a reasonable settlement with the insurance company.
Insurance companies want to settle their cases quickly and are motivated to negotiate the least amount of damages as possible. Given the financial stress on a family after a significant brain injury accident, accepting a quick settlement may seem attractive. For the reasons stated in this article, it is important not to negotiate with the insurance company before having all of the facts. Doing so can result in receiving much lower damages than may have otherwise been possible. We recommend hiring a law firm with the resources to commit to your case for as long as necessary to obtain the best result. These recommendations apply regardless of whether the incident took place in Fort Worth, Dallas, or another Texas area.