Fighting the insurance company on a routine matter is complicated enough. Fighting with the insurance company after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) comes with its own challenges. Insurance-related matters are just one of the many reasons to consider partnering with an injury lawyer. A personal injury attorney can file your claim, negotiate a settlement, and pursue the damages you need.
Here, you can learn more about dealing with the insurance company following a negligence-related incident. You can also learn more about partnering with a lawyer and what this could mean for your claim’s outcome.
What You Should Know About Insurance Companies and Legal Claims
As you consider your legal options, you should know that:
You Don’t Have to Give a Recorded Statement
The insurance company may ask you to give a recorded statement in the aftermath of your accident.
This isn’t a good idea because:
- You’re not officially required to give an on-the-record statement. When filing your claim, you only have to offer the basics about what happened. You don’t have to make allegations of fault or offer your own opinions. In fact, you shouldn’t.
- You might deal with symptoms of a TBI. A TBI can affect your cognitive processing, impeding your decision-making abilities and other obligations. The insurer knows this, and it may ask questions purposefully intended to trip you up.
- You may accidentally admit fault for the accident. If you even suggest that you contributed to the accident, the insurer may deny liability. Admitting fault in the smallest capacity could mean bad things for your claim’s outcome.
If the insurer asks you to give a recorded statement, refuse. If it continues asking for one, refer it to your lawyer.
Insurance Companies Focus on Finances
Despite what the insurance adjuster says, they do not prioritize your interests. Their number one goal is to satisfy shareholders by keeping money within the company, which naturally means paying out less in insurance claims. If there’s a way for them to pay you less than you deserve, they’ll find it.
The insurer may:
- Allege that your injuries pre-exist the accident in question
- Underestimate your condition’s severity
- Twist your words and use them against you
- Delay your claim’s progression
- Deny liability for your brain injury (i.e., claiming their insurance policyholder is not responsible for the accident)
Knowing the Value of Your Case Helps You Battle the Insurance Company
The insurance adjuster knows the value of your case. They know the settlements and court awards they generally pay for such injuries. Yet, they bank on your ignorance, hoping you don’t actually know how much you need. Further, they don’t expect you to know your rights.
If you don’t know your rights, you can’t fight effectively. This makes it all the more important to understand your case’s value. A lawyer can learn the cost of your economic and non-economic damages by weighing your situation. They may also consult with field experts, such as medical professionals, to glean further insight into your anticipated care needs.
Insurance Companies Are More Responsive to Clients With Legal Representation
Insurance companies are infamously difficult for lay people to deal with. Yet, matters change when injured claimants hire lawyers. When you have representation, the claims adjuster knows they can’t make false promises or outlandish accusations. They must conduct themselves in good faith.
Your lawyer can rely on their years of experience to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. They can also explain the options you have if the insurer refuses to settle.
You Can Fight the At-Fault Party in Court
If you suffered a TBI due to another party’s negligence, you don’t have to settle with the insurance company. It doesn’t have the final say as to how much you can recover. At any point, you can file a lawsuit in court. Your lawsuit would be against the at-fault motorist, not the insurance company.
At trial, a judge or a jury of your peers will decide the outcome of your case based on the law and the facts present. If your case is strong, the insurer may offer a fair settlement to protect its claimant from litigation. Still, if the insurer doesn’t settle, you can proceed all the way to a verdict.
Most Personal Injury Settlements End Through Negotiations
You may have many concerns about filing a claim and negotiating a settlement with the insurance provider. Yet, here’s some good news, most injured claimants receive compensation through insurance claims. That means you probably won’t have to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover fair compensation.
Still, it’s important to prepare your case as though it’s going to court. This shows the insurance company that you’re serious about recovering compensation. It also prepares your lawyer to sue if negotiations fall through.
Your Lawyer Can Fight for What You’re Owed
You don’t have to fight for compensation by yourself after suffering a TBI. You can entrust your case to an injury lawyer. They can evaluate your expenses by collecting your medical bills, treatment plan details, and other documentation. They can also:
Communicate With the Involved Parties
While dealing with a TBI, you shouldn’t have to deal with sending messages back and forth or answering late-night phone calls. You deserve to focus your time and energy on rebuilding your life. When you work with a lawyer, they can field all case-related phone calls, emails, text messages, and other forms of communication.
They can also speak with:
- Claims adjusters and other insurance representatives
- Field consultants, such as accident reconstruction specialists
- The other party’s lawyers
- Government officials
Manage Your Case’s Obligations
Filing a successful claim or lawsuit comes with many obligations, some of which you don’t want to handle on your own.
Yet, when you entrust your case to a lawyer, they can:
- File your claim with the liable insurer
- Investigate your accident
- Estimate your damages’ value
- Review the liable insurance policy
- Explain your options
- Offer case updates
Adhere to All Case-Related Deadlines
How long you have to sue the negligent party depends on many factors, including where you live. Each state has its own filing period. Some give a few months, while others give a few years. For instance, if you live in Georgia, you generally have two years to file your lawsuit, with the deadline starting from the date of the accident.
Adhering to the statute of limitations is crucial. Missing the deadline could prohibit you from seeking damages in civil court, leaving the insurer with little reason to settle. A lawyer can manage all filing deadlines and protect your right to damages.
Offer Help on a Contingency-Fee Basis
Many personal injury claimants pay nothing out of pocket to hire legal professionals. That’s because many personal injury lawyers work for a contingent fee. They do not collect any money from their clients unless they win their cases. Law firms that operate on this type of agreement pay for the costs of litigation and forgo their attorneys’ fees until the case concludes.
If you’re interested in hiring a lawyer but worried about the financial implications, working with a lawyer on a contingency-fee basis could benefit you. You could learn more about this arrangement during a free case review, which many law firms offer at no obligation.
Handle Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
Trials are generally lengthy affairs. Both parties need time to engage in discovery and exchange evidence and information. They may also have to prepare witnesses, hire experts, work through arbitration, and schedule meetings.
Thankfully, you don’t have to deal with the headaches of a legal case when you have a lawyer. If your case makes it to trial, they can manage everything that process entails from beginning to end.
TBIs Can Result in Long-Term Challenges
Suffering a TBI leaves you with more than headaches and fatigue. It also leaves you with symptoms that could affect the rest of your life, including how you make decisions. As you consider hiring a lawyer, you should fully understand the implications of a TBI on your life. Here’s what to know:
TBIs Can Affect Your Entire Life
People who suffer from traumatic brain injuries may experience psychological, emotional, and cognitive disruptions. It can also leave them with physical ramifications. For instance, did you know the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that having a TBI reduces your life expectancy by nine years?
Your brain trauma also makes you more susceptible to other health complications, as well as death from seizures, pneumonia, infections, and drug poisoning.
You Could Face Harm to Your Daily Life
Data from the CDC indicates that TBI patients’ lives don’t improve much with time. More than half of TBI victims are unemployed five years after the injury.
There are other challenges as well.
After suffering a TBI:
- 50 percent of patients return to the hospital multiple times
- More than 30 percent of patients cannot complete everyday tasks on their own
- Nearly 30 percent of survivors misuse drugs and alcohol
- Nearly 30 percent of survivors feel unsatisfied in life
- Over 10 percent of patients reside in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
Your insurance settlement or court award should account for each way your injury has affected your life, both now and in the future. A lawyer can use their network of resources to assess your accident, injuries, and losses to determine what you need.
You Could Recover These Damages After Suffering a TBI
There is no average settlement value for TBI claims and lawsuits. How much you can seek largely depends on the severity of your condition and the damages you incurred.
Compensable losses in your case may comprise:
- Medical bills, including surgeries and doctors’ co-pays
- Physical rehabilitation, such as occupational therapy
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Lost income
- Diminished earning ability
- Medical equipment and assistive devices, such as wheelchairs
- In-home care or nursing
- Residency in a long-term care facility
- Reduced quality of life
- Lost enjoyment
- Permanent or temporary disability
- Emotional distress
- Cognitive impairment
You could also recover property damage costs if you suffered injuries in a collision. Those funds could cover the repair or replacement of your vehicle.
You Can Seek Damages if a Loved One Suffered a TBI
Unfortunately, some TBIs can have fatal outcomes. If you lost a loved one to such an injury, you could have financial recovery options. A settlement may offer reimbursement for the decedent’s funeral and cremation/burial. You could also seek the cost of their pain and suffering, lost income, and household contributions.
How Much Can I Recover After Suffering a TBI?
Without having a lawyer assess your case, there’s no way to know how much you deserve. Yet, by consulting one, they can weigh various aspects of your situation to learn more about what constitutes a fair settlement offer.
According to a report on TBI treatment costs , the lifetime cost of a brain injury ranges from $85,000 to $3 million dollars. That’s not to include the other costs of a brain injury, such as lost income or pain and suffering. Your losses could reach well into the seven-figure range. Yet, the insurer may do everything possible to deny what you need.
This is yet another reason to consider partnering with an injury lawyer. They’re on your side, not the insurer’s.
Don’t Fight the Insurance Company Alone After Suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury
Fighting the insurance company after a traumatic brain injury is not a task you want to take on alone. The stress of trying to file a claim for compensation, communicating with the insurance adjuster, and gathering evidence may only exacerbate the physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges you face.
Partner with a personal injury lawyer. They can battle the insurance company, so you don’t have to. Additionally, because many offer their help on a contingency-fee basis, there is no financial risk in getting representation.