Traumatic brain injuries can have severe consequences. More often than not, they cause lasting effects. It’s not just the victim who suffers in such cases. Even their families are affected by this. Often life doesn’t remain the same for a victim of traumatic brain injury. Depending on the seriousness of the injury, the survivor may be unable to earn a livelihood, interact appropriately with family and friends, or carry out normal body functions and skills.
Sometimes the consequences of the injury do not surface immediately but occur decades later. In many cases, victims require constant care for the rest of their life. Since traumatic brain injury can have a profound effect on the quality of life, one has to know the legal route through which one can seek compensation for the medical expenses and injuries. If you or your loved one sustains a traumatic brain injury, you need to be aware of the following legal issues.
Do you need to consult someone?
Of the few things that are a must-do following a traumatic brain injury, consulting a brain injury attorney is of utmost importance. Even if the head injury is not of a severe nature, you need to get in touch with a proficient lawyer to understand whether any legal action may be necessary to protect the victim or to improve his/her quality of life post-recovery. A good lawyer will be able to guide you regarding the legal route you may need to adopt under the circumstances.
If the injury was caused due to the negligence or action of another individual, that person may be held liable to compensate the survivor. If you avoid consulting a lawyer, crucial evidence may be lost and the case may become prejudiced. To ensure that nothing of this sort happens and the victim’s options are not compromised, it’s important to get in touch with a lawyer.
What will be the nature of the process?
In most juridical systems, the victim or a representative needs to initiate a claim for compensation and follow it through. But filing a claim is not the ultimate point. You need to follow the filed claim with determined advocacy. There is a time limit within which your claim must be filed. The legal procedure begins with the filling of the claim. Several exchanges of documents and information follow until a resolution is attained. If the resolution fails to satisfy you, an opportunity to appeal may also exist. In the case the litigation process fails to bring out a settlement, it will proceed to trial. The trial involves witnesses and examination of evidence. If the case involves serious traumatic brain injury, which is often determined using the Glasgow Coma Scale, the court may even seek expert opinions regarding the injury and its consequences. Depending on the evidence, witness, and arguments presented, the court provides its judgment. Regardless of the severity of the injury, it is advisable for victims to opt for a competent lawyer for advocacy in such cases.
How soon do you need to initiate legal action?
For a victim of traumatic brain injury, time is a crucial factor. Be it diagnosis and treatment of the injury or seeking legal help, there must be no delay at all. You need to consult a lawyer right after the injury. This will ensure that no time is lost before key evidence is gathered. Delay in seeking legal help may cause evidence to disappear or get destroyed. The loss of evidence can mean the loss of claim. Another point to note is that initiating a claim can be a complex procedure. A lawyer can decide who can be held responsible for the claim as well as the steps needed to see it through. There will be deadlines involved in filing claims and documents, which may not be easy for a victim to deal with even as he/she is dealing with recovery. So, you need to consult a lawyer for initiating legal action immediately after the injury.
How to pay for the case?
Making a claim for damages involves certain expenses. There will be legal costs to bring your case to trial. You need to pay the legal fee as well. Generally, victims or their families pay for such fees in two ways: either they opt for a pay-as-you-go option or decide to pay a percentage of the claim if and when the case succeeds. The latter option is known as a contingent fee. Such payment method is advantageous for economically weak or seriously injured victims. This method helps victims to make a claim without having to worry about the burden of expenses they have to bear even as they try to limp back towards normalcy in their lives. It also ensures that lawyers will be motivated to give their best while fighting the case.