Did you experience a serious head injury in Florida? Read the answers to our commonly asked TBI questions, then give us a call to get started.
In Tampa Bay, how long will my TBI case take to complete?
Here at Morgenstern & Herd, we handle traumatic brain injury cases. Just last week, one of our clients asked how long it would take to resolve her husband’s traumatic brain injury case. The difficult part of answering that question is it depends on the seriousness of the injury itself. Traditionally, mild traumatic brain injury cases are more difficult to resolve without going all the way to a trial because insurance companies don’t appreciate them.
The worst thing about a traumatic brain injury is that the injured victim himself knows he’s different, but from the outside, he doesn’t look different. Expectations socially, work-related, workwise, aren’t all the same because you don’t look injured. When you have somebody in a wheelchair, we have a certain level of expectation for that, but when you have somebody who’s injured inside their head, that’s hard for somebody to deal with.
There’s not any specific or average amount of time for a traumatic brain injury case to take. Some of them take longer than others, but generally, you’re going to need to file suit in a traumatic brain injury case. That’s not one that’s going to be resolved without filing a lawsuit.
Once the lawsuit begins, 30 days to answer the complaint. Then you go into the discovery phase that takes at least three months, maybe four months paper discovery. Then you have dispositions. That takes usually another three to four months. Now we’re up to nine months, ten months.
We should be able to mediate within the first year or so, but if we’re not resolved at mediation, and the patient isn’t far enough along to know the extent of the traumatic brain injury, that case may go into the next cue for preparation of a trial. Because of COVID right now, we’re not trying civil cases. There is an order out to streamline litigation cases to try to deal with that, but only a certain amount of juror pools are even showing up when we’ve tried to go back to trying cases.
The Supreme Court guideline used to be two years from the filing of the lawsuit to get you to a trial. Before COVID, we weren’t needing that because dockets were backed up. You’re looking at least three, five years, three to five years if you have a serious brain injury and the insurance company isn’t being fair with you, the insurance company of the at-fault party. If the insurance company of the at-fault party fairly evaluates the case, it can be done in a much shorter period of time.
What you need is you need a lawyer who’s familiar with traumatic brain injury cases and the insurance company respects. Your case can be done within that first year, two-year period, but it depends. It depends on the facts of your particular case.
How do I select the best traumatic brain injury attorney in Tampa Bay?
Here at Morgenstern & Herd we handle traumatic brain injury case, and when you’re selecting a traumatic brain injury lawyer, you want to make sure that you have a lawyer who has handled that type of case before. The reason for that is that traumatic brain injuries are very specialized. Sometimes, when a client sustains a head injury, they don’t always get sent to the right kind of doctors for evaluation, so the appropriate traumatic brain injury lawyers talk to their clients. Talk to their clients about what they’re feeling, how they’re progressing. You had a concussion. Did that resolve? What kind of symptoms are you still feeling? Are you having trouble focusing? Are you able to read again? In your job, when you’re sitting in front of the computer, do you get dizzy? What’s going on in your life? How are you doing?
There are certain symptoms that your lawyer, if your doctors don’t realize them, should recognize. It may require the lawyer to talk to family members to see how you’re doing, but you want a lawyer who’s aware of that who can make sure that you get to the right providers, and if you have a primary care physician, for example, who has sent your loved one or you to a provider who’s just drumming up bills but you’re loved one or you are not getting better, that the lawyer steps in and gets you sent to somebody else who will get you cognitive therapy, neuropsychiatric evaluation. The kinds of providers who will not only evaluate your damagers but make sure that we get you the best care so that we can have as many components of the traumatic brain injury as possible resolve to get you back without sequelae to your normal state of good health. It is so important to choose the right traumatic brain injury attorney.
How much does a TBI case cost in Tampa Bay?
Here at Morgenstern & Herd, we handle traumatic brain injury cases. One of the questions that comes up repeatedly with our clients is how much it is going to cost to litigate my traumatic brain injury case. In traumatic brain injuries, we have specialized areas, so we need certain kinds of experts to make sure that the – if we need to, we can have a neurologist, a neuropsychologist, depending on the extent of the brain injury, explain those damages to a jury, so they do cost more. Even when you have treating physicians who are on your health insurance, the medical bills may be covered by health insurance, and that will reduce the repayment of those bills, but in order to take the specialist, neurologist, neuropsychologist, out of their practice and into the courtroom or into a deposition to establish your damages, we have to pay them hourly for their time.
Neurologists and neuropsychologists charge anywhere from $400 per hour for preparation and deposition, upwards of $1000 an hour, so it depends on your particular case. If on the liability side you’ve got a car accident, we need an accident reconstructionist. We may need engineers as well to establish the causal link between the incident and your traumatic brain injury. Yes, they cost more, but, under the bar rules, we’re able to front the expenses for those things. If we don’t make a recovery against the at-fault party, we don’t get the money that we paid to the experts back.
We write it off, and that’s why we take a contingency fee, and the contingency fees, as laid out by Florida law, are the extent that they are, between 33.3% and 40%. We would like to be able to tell you we’ve never lost any cases ever in our lives, but that’s just not true, so we have written off hundreds of thousands of dollars in cases where the jury didn’t agree with us. It’s fortunately not a frequent event, but ever trial lawyer has lost a case or they’re not a trial lawyer. At Morgenstern & Herd, we’ll do the best to minimize the expense in your traumatic brain injury case.
What is important to know about a traumatic brain injury?
Here at Morgenstern & Herd, we handle traumatic brain injury claims. The most important thing for injured victims and family members to know is that traumatic brain injury cases are specialized, specialized area of medicine, specialized are of the law. They require special experts, special treating physicians, to evaluate your client. All of those things mean that sometimes a traumatic brain injury can go undetected so you want a lawyer who’s handled those kinds of claims before. There are certain kinds of diagnostic studies that need to be done, scans that must be performed because they can be missed on general MRIs of the brain that are done. You want a lawyer that’s aware of those areas in medicine, that’s aware of the symptoms and the signs so that your claim, or your loved one’s claim isn’t compromised in any way, shape, or form. Find a lawyer who’s handled traumatic brain injuries and knows how to deal with the specialized areas of damages, recovery, and litigation.
Did you or a loved one experience a serious injury to the head in Florida and have questions? After reading the answers to some commonly asked TBI questions, contact experienced Tampa Bay Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers at Morgenstern & Herd today for a free legal consultation and case evaluation.
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