Brain injuries can range from a relatively minor concussion to a traumatic brain injury that could affect you for the rest of your life. Depending on the severity of the injury, recovery time for a traumatic brain injury can take from a few weeks to months, or years. In many brain injury accidents, the victim may never fully recover. When your brain isn’t working as it normally does, it can be overwhelming to think about attempting to negotiate a settlement for your injuries with an insurance company. Since the goal of all insurance companies is to pay out as little as possible on every single claim, it is important that you have an experienced St. Charles traumatic brain injury attorney from Finney Injury Law by your side. Attorneys Chris Finney and Alex Ledbetter have dealt with many individuals with traumatic brain injuries and other catastrophic injuries. At Finney Injury Law, we understand that not only do you need to get a full settlement for your injuries, but you also need assistance getting the medical help you need to reach your maximum recovery. Our vast network of resources benefits you greatly as we help you put your life back together, one piece at a time.
Overview of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury affects how the brain works and can result from a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating injury from something like a gunshot wound. A traumatic brain injury can be mild, moderate, or severe. The level of traumatic brain injury is often determined by the amount of time the victim is unconscious. A mild concussion rarely involves unconsciousness, while a person with a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury may be unconscious for six hours or more or experience post-traumatic amnesia for 24 hours or longer.
According to the CDC, there were more than 64,000 TBI-related deaths in the U.S. in 2020 (about 176 TBI-related deaths every day). While TBIs often occur from falls, both from a height and slip-and-falls, they are also the result of auto accidents. In particular, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents can cause serious traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to short-term health problems or longer-term health problems.
While those with a mild concussion are likely to recover safely at home following a medical checkup, those with moderate or severe TBIs may require ongoing care for life. When a TBI occurs during childhood, the child’s brain development can be affected. This can limit the child’s ability to participate in normal childhood activities and bring changes in thinking and behavior that affect their ability to learn and participate socially.
The CDC also found that even those who survive a moderate or severe TBI could have a shorter life expectancy. Compared to those who do not have a traumatic brain injury, those with TBI are more likely to die from seizures, drug poisoning, infection, and pneumonia. Those with moderate to severe TBI may face various chronic health problems that can add both cost and emotional burden to their family members. About 55 percent of those with a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury are never able to return to their previous job—or any job at all. Others may be able to work part-time or at a less demanding job than the one they had before their accident.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Traumatic Brain Injury in Missouri?
The statute of limitations is essentially a “window of time” in which an injured person has to file a claim against the negligent person or entity that caused their accident. Each state sets its statute of limitations, ranging from one year to ten years or more. In the state of Missouri, the victim of an accident has five years from the date of the injury to pursue damages. In the case of medical malpractice, the statute in Missouri is two years from the date of the medical error, and for wrongful death, the statute is three years from the date of the death. Errors in calculating the statute of limitations can lead to the permanent dismissal of your claim if it is filed too late. The statute of limitations exists to preserve the integrity of evidence which can decay or disappear over time.
How Can a St. Charles Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Help with a Traumatic Brain Injury Caused by Negligence?
While it is rarely advisable to handle your own personal injury claim, a traumatic brain injury is more complex than a standard injury claim and requires the services of a St. Charles traumatic brain injury attorney. Your attorney from Finney Injury Law can do the following on your behalf:
- Accurately determine the compensation you are owed. This compensation may include medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, future lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you cannot return to work for weeks or months, your lost wages are easy to compute. If you are never able to return to work, they can be more complicated. Your attorney will look at your age, type of employment, education, and the likelihood that you would have advanced in your career. By talking to your physicians, your attorney can calculate what types of future medical services you will require and how much those treatments will cost. Any rehabilitative services and assistive devices required will also go into the mix.
- If liability is unclear, your attorney will investigate your to prove liability definitively. It is important that who is liable for the accident be determined before a claim is filed on your behalf. Most personal injury lawyers are not likely to take a claim that they don’t believe will be successful, and a claim without clear liability is one of those.
- All evidence will be gathered by your attorney, including the police report, witness statements, and video evidence. When necessary, your attorney may hire an accident reconstructionist who will show how the accident occurred—and whose fault it was.
- Once your attorney has clearly established liability and the worth of your claim, a demand letter will be sent to the insurance company. Your attorney will then negotiate with the insurer to ensure you receive the best settlement possible.
- If the insurer fails to agree to a full and fair settlement, your attorney may file a lawsuit against the insurance company. Until the jury returns a verdict, the claim can still be settled. The discovery process will take place (where both sides exchange information about the case), then if your claim has not been settled, your attorney will argue your case in court. Whether your case settles before trial or as a result of a trial, you should receive your settlement check about six weeks from the date the case is resolved.
Why You Should Contact a St. Charles Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Near You
Choosing an experienced St. Charles traumatic brain injury attorney is an extremely important step you need to take following your accident and resulting brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries can be more difficult than other personal injury claims, requiring expert witnesses and investigators to get a full picture of the damages and liability. When you’ve sustained a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another, Finney Injury Law is here to help. We know that your life is so much more than medical bills and lost wages. We will aggressively fight on your behalf to recover what’s been taken from you. Contact Finney Injury Law today.