Did you suffer a serious injury to the head in Florida and have questions? Check out these traumatic brain injury tips, then give us a call.
There are several elements that go into evaluating your traumatic injury claim.
First, we look at the value of the past medical expenses, if your health insurance has paid for those past medical expenses. When we say past, we mean past: before the time of settlement. We have to pay those health insurance bills back. You can’t settle any case without paying back the insurance company who pays your bills, especially in a traumatic brain injury case.
Then we consider the bills – your future medical expenses. Those are not at a health insurance rate. Those expenses will be testified to by your traumatic brain injury victims treating physicians, so neurologists, neuropsychologists. Those are called the economics: the past bills, the future bills, and if you were in your earnings years, what are your earnings losses?
An economist looks at those things for us because it is not only your past earnings but the value of the benefits. If you lose a job and you lose your health insurance, those are benefits. Did you lose a pension? We look at those things and we evaluate those. Those are all economic damages.
Then there’s the non-economic damages to consider: pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. That all has a non-economic value. When we ask a jury to evaluate non-economic damages, they often look to the economic damages. The economics, the out-of-pocket expenses, the past, the future, the earnings losses, they drive the non-economic damages as well.
If a patient is lying in a bed and has no quality of life whatsoever but is on a ventilator and not conscious, that is an easier thing to evaluate than the subtle losses that a mild traumatic brain injury may cause. All of those factors, we have jury verdict reporters where we know what juries have done.
The difficult part of answering 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.
What You Should Know
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 about traumatic brain injury tips? Contact experienced Tampa Bay Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers at Morgenstern & Herd today for a free legal consultation and case evaluation.
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