Understanding the Complexities of a TBI Case
A traumatic brain injury or TBI is often a life-changing event. When your injury is caused by another person’s negligence or wrongdoing, you might be entitled to compensation.
Compensation in a TBI claim can help you pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. The best way to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve is by hiring a TBI injury lawyer. However, it is important to know how a lawyer will gather evidence and prove your case.
At Siegel & Coonerty, we represent people who have sustained traumatic brain injuries due to another person’s carelessness. Our award-winning legal team has secured many multi-million recoveries including $43 million for a traumatic brain injury survivor. Contact our office today at (212) 532-0532 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your TBI claim.
Hiring the Right TBI Lawyer
When it comes to TBI claims, not all lawyers are created equal. You need an attorney who is well-versed in these complex matters. It is of critical importance that your TBI lawyer understand the nature, extent, degree, quality, and residual of your brain injury.
Furthermore, no two brain injuries are ever the same. Brain injuries may be physical and readily apparent, or they may be less obvious. For example, in each TBI circumstance there are acquired weaknesses and preserved strengths concerning the way you think, feel and act (cognitive, emotional, and behavioral).
An attorney who is unfamiliar with these terms or who does not fully understand traumatic brain injuries may not be able to get you the recovery you deserve. The right TBI lawyer will know how to establish or prove the extent of your injuries.
Types of Injuries Related to Brain Trauma
An acquired weakness is a deficiency from your pre-accident functioning that you’ve “acquired” as a result of your brain trauma.
A preserved strength means that there has been little or no change in a particular area from your pre-accident condition.
Please note: This blog does not address physical injuries you may have sustained resulting from your brain injury. For instance, compromises in motor skills such as an altered gait pattern, loss of balance, dizziness, and other physical deficits, may be more readily apparent.
Establishing Your Pre-Accident Level of Functioning
During one of the first meetings with your TBI lawyer, they will need to complete a detailed inventory of your pre-accident level of functioning and existence. It is helpful for friends and family who can contribute useful information about your pre-accident life to be present at the conference.
First, you must share with your lawyer what you perceived to be different concerning the way you think, feel or act. For example, you may have noticed you can’t remember things, you feel depressed, or you get frustrated quickly and act out (acquired weaknesses); but balancing the checkbook poses no problem (preserved strength).
Sometimes TBI survivors are unaware of their changed condition, which is why the contribution of friends and family can prove vital when meeting with your TBI lawyer.
Reviewing Past Performance
After discussing with you and your loved ones what changes have occurred since the accident, your TBI lawyer will want to review outside information to further establish your pre-accident level of functioning.
Information that may help determine your pre-accident level of functioning:
- Level of education
- Performance in school
- Work history including promotions and supervisory positions held
- Non-work activities such as hobbies and volunteer work
The lawyer will determine any intellectual challenges associated with your career and the demands and complexities associated with your non-work activities.
Examining Medical Records
Once your TBI lawyer has a good handle on your pre-accident level of functioning, they will then want to comb through your medical records. The TBI lawyer must identify the complaints made and observations documented by your medical professionals. They will then correlate those with your pre-accident condition and their present sense impression of you.
Finally, the most important thing your attorney will evaluate is the findings of your neuropsychological testing. Neuropsychological testing is a series of tests developed to objectively ascertain acquired weaknesses and preserved strengths.
Evaluating Your Neurological Testing
Neuropsychological testing is critical in a TBI claim. If neuropsychological testing has not been done, a qualified TBI lawyer will advise you to have it done. If you’re unable to have it done, your TBI lawyer should refer you to a neuropsychologist and pay for it to be completed. This neuropsychologist now becomes a “medical expert,” in your case, rather than a “treating physician.” They may be able to provide an essential opinion as to the severity of your injury.
Contact Our Office to Speak Directly with a TBI Lawyer
The ability of your TBI lawyer to properly represent you in an accident or medical malpractice case is dependent upon their full understanding of the nature of your particular TBI.
At Siegel & Coonerty, our lawyers have extensive experience in TBI claims. We have proven case results for TBI survivors and are dedicated advocates for the TBI community. If you have sustained a TBI, contact our office at (212) 532-0532 to schedule a free consultation.