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How Long Does a Brain Injury Claim Take?

Around 2.5 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year, and someone in the U.S. suffers this injury every 15 seconds. Some brain injury victims can fully recover after a few months or years, but others may have permanent disabilities that affect the rest of their lives. A serious brain injury can affect you mentally and physically and make it impossible to care for yourself.

When another person causes a brain injury in a car accident or other type of incident, you may recover compensation in a brain injury claim or lawsuit. Victims should understand as much as possible about brain injury claims, including how long the process takes.

The best thing to do once you have received a brain injury diagnosis is to consult an experienced brain injury attorney as soon as possible. They can determine whether you can hold someone else liable for your injury and estimate the time it will take for your brain injury claim to conclude.


Traumatic Brain Injury Overview

A traumatic brain injury is damage to the brain from trauma to the head. The injury might be from a blow or jolt to the head in a motor vehicle accident or slip and fall. The brain injury also may be because of a medical mistake or job-related injury.

Some of the most common symptoms of a brain injury are:

Brain Injury
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Slurred speech
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Headache
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Mood and behavior changes
  • Depression 
  • Seizures or tremors

A serious brain injury can leave you or your loved one scared and unsure of what to do. You may have lost your ability to live independently and now require around-the-clock care. If the injury is due to another person’s or party’s negligence, you should speak to a traumatic brain injury attorney today.

How Brain Injuries Happen

Brain injuries happen every day in America in: 

  • Auto accidents: The most common cause of brain injuries are car, truck, motorcycle, and bus accidents. Many car accident head injuries occur when the head hits something in the vehicle. But a brain injury can also occur simply from a violent collision.
  • Falls: This is also one of the leading causes of brain injuries in the U.S. Falls are a particularly common reason for brain injuries for those under 17 and over 65.
  • Being hit by an object: Some brain injuries occur because of blunt force trauma, such as a construction worker being hit by debris or someone hitting their head in the bottom of a pool.
  • Medical mistakes: If you have a surgery or procedure and the doctor makes a mistake, you might have a brain injury. For example, if you lose too much blood during surgery, your brain might be starved of vital oxygen, causing a serious brain injury.
  • Sports: Engaging in contact sports such as hockey or football can also cause serious brain injuries. Other sports that may lead to blows to the head can cause head injuries, such as cycling or skateboarding.

How a Brain Injury Attorney Can Help Your Case

Seeking help of Brain Injury Lawyer

Even a mild brain injury can require you to have months or years of treatment and therapy. Some TBIs can prevent you from working or working in the same capacity you did before. Also, the cost of ongoing treatment can be very high.

Your personal health insurance will only cover so much of your medical care. Every insurance plan has a lifetime limit of care, and with a brain injury, you can hit the maximum limit after a few years.

Brain injury victims and their loved ones may face severe challenges in paying medical and living costs. You shouldn’t have to pay if you or your loved ones have difficulty paying and someone else caused the accident.

Your traumatic brain injury attorney can seek compensation for medical expenses and other losses related to the accident.

The attorney also may:

  • Go over police reports
  • Examine medical records
  • Talk to eyewitnesses
  • Collect evidence to prove liability, such as surveillance video
  • Talk to medical experts to determine what your future medical bills will be
  • Determine the full value of the claim before entering into settlement negotiations
  • Negotiate with insurance companies
  • Take the case to court if needed

Your brain injury attorney understands that your case might be worth a lot, and you’ll need as much money as possible for your recovery and life. They will aggressively negotiate for as much money as possible.

How Long Does A Brain Injury Case Take? 

If you decide to file a brain injury claim or lawsuit, you surely want to know how long it will take to resolve so you can get compensation. After all, you probably need money to pay for medical and regular expenses, plus you probably cannot work.

Every TBI case is unique, and how long it takes to settle depends on:

  • How strong the evidence is that another party was at fault. For example, if a drunk driver hit your vehicle in an intersection and injured you, there is probably strong evidence that the person was at fault. Insurance companies are less likely to contest a claim when their client is clearly at fault, which can speed up settlement talks.
  • How serious the injuries are. If you have a brain injury that requires hospital stays and multiple surgeries, it may take longer to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). This may delay the settlement process because your attorney needs to wait until you reach MMI to understand your complete medical expenses for the future.
  • How many others suffered an injury in the accident. The more complex the accident and the number of victims, the longer the case may take to resolve.

Settlement negotiations for brain injury claims can take longer than other less serious injury cases. In many situations, a brain injury case can take between 18 months and three years to settle. A brain injury attorney may work with your healthcare providers to take payment from your settlement check. This will allow you to get the care you need today without paying significant upfront costs.

Why Does It Take Longer to Settle a Brain Injury Case? 

The biggest reason that it takes longer to settle a brain injury case is that it’s a serious injury. Understanding the effects of a brain injury can take many months or even years.

Your brain injury might improve after a few weeks or months but can also stay the same or worsen. It is difficult to know how much compensation to negotiate if your prognosis is uncertain.

It may be best to wait to settle the case until you better understand how the injury will affect your quality of life. Remember, a serious brain injury can affect mental and physical functions and can impact your ability to live independently.

If the brain injury has a long-term or permanent impact on your life, your attorney needs to ensure that your compensation fully covers your losses. Doing that may require a delay in settlement negotiations so your medical and financial needs are better understood.

Once you reach MMI, your attorney can aggressively negotiate for full compensation, including:

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • At-home care
  • Modifications to your car and vehicle
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Career training

Your attorney will likely try to settle the brain injury case as quickly as possible. But negotiations take time, and the insurance company may dig in and offer much less than they should.

Who Might Pay You After a Brain Injury?

Many brain injury victims and their families may know that another party is probably liable for the injury. But they may not know who that person or entity is or who will pay. You might sue many potential people and entities for a brain injury, depending on the case.

Some possibilities are:

Drunk Driving Accident
  • The person who caused the injury: If another person’s hazardous decisions or actions caused the injury, they should have to pay for your losses. For example, if a drunk driver hits you in a crosswalk and you suffer a brain injury, their insurance company may have to pay your damages. If the insurance is insufficient, your attorney can go after the individual for the rest if they have other assets.
  • Workers’ comp: If you suffer a brain injury at work, you may collect benefits from workers’ compensation. Generally, you cannot sue your employer for a job-related injury. However, a personal injury lawsuit is possible if a third party at work, such as an equipment manufacturer, was negligent.
  • An employer: Suppose a delivery driver hits your car, and you suffer a brain injury. If they were working at the time, their employer may be required to pay for your damages. This also may happen if a semi-truck driver hits and injures you; their employer may have to pay for your losses.

Your brain injury attorney will review your case and determine the potentially liable parties. They also will find potential sources of compensation, such as any insurance policies in effect. Some cases can have multiple liable parties, depending on the type and severity of the accident.

What if You “Only” Have a Concussion? 

Some brain injuries are worse than others. But you don’t necessarily have to have a brain injury diagnosis as “severe” to receive compensation.

You can have a concussion and still suffer cognitive and physical consequences, such as difficulty with memory, balance, and coordination.

You can get compensation if your attorney can prove that another party’s wrongful actions injured you and caused damages.

Your concussion symptoms might decrease after a few days or weeks. But you also might have problems from the concussion for months or even years. You can suffer post-concussion syndrome, making it difficult to go to work, school, or enjoy life until the injury heals.

Suffering a concussion also makes it more likely you might have another later. If you have several concussions over the years, you also can develop various degenerative brain diseases. So, a concussion is a serious injury that you must take seriously and can result in compensation for your losses.

What Is A Brain Injury Case Worth? 

All injury cases are different. The nature of the brain injury and its degree of impact on your life will largely determine how much you can receive in a claim or lawsuit.

The more severe the brain injury and its impact on you, the greater your damages will be – medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, etc. Also, the amount of money you receive in the claim depends on the strength of evidence of liability and the skill of your attorney.

The value of your case also hinges on the defendant’s ability to pay. If the defendant’s auto insurance policy only covers $250,000 of bodily injuries, it can be challenging to receive more than that unless the person has considerable assets.

You can rest assured that your brain injury attorney is highly motivated to fight for the most compensation in your claim. The attorney gets paid by contingency fee agreement. This means they receive a portion of your settlement or jury award at the end of the case. The more money they get for you, the more they also receive, aligning your interests.

Speak to a Brain Injury Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury because of someone’s negligence, there is no reason that you should have to pay out of pocket for your expenses. You might be eligible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the liable person or entity.

Talk to a brain injury personal injury attorney today to find out if your case qualifies. If another party is liable for your injury, you should receive compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, rehabilitation, and more.

Brain injuries are often misunderstood and underestimated conditions, and insurance companies might not recognize all your losses. Always have legal representation from a brain injury lawyer from the start of the process.

Michael J. Sabbeth, Brain Injury Lawyer
Michael J. Sabbeth,
Brain Injury Lawyer