Insurance claims are probably the last thing on your mind in the event of a traumatic brain injury caused by another party. The uncertainty and stress can be overwhelming. You want to get better as soon as possible and put all the worry and pain behind you.
A TBI can be expensive, depending on the level of care you need. You can quickly find yourself drowning in debt with ER visits, imaging, medical intervention, and physical therapy.
The at-fault party is responsible for extra expenses you incur while you recover, but you’ll need to follow some important guidelines to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Take these eight actions to increase your chances of winning your TBI lawsuit.
1. Seek Immediate Medical Care
If you suspect a brain injury, immediately go to the ER. It will improve your chances of a positive outcome and document your injury for the insurance company. You need proof that the TBI directly resulted from the at-fault party’s actions.
2. Get a Police Report
If the injury happens on the road, report it to the police immediately and get a copy of the report. You will need driver information, an insurance card, license plate numbers, VIN numbers, and pictures of damaged vehicles, injuries, and the scene.
If they take you to the hospital in an ambulance, the police generally give the police report number to you or the hospital. Request a full copy of your claim.
3. Be Wary of Big Insurance
Insurance is a profit-driven process. Not to be callous, but it’s “all about the money.” Their goal is to pay out less in claims and operation costs than they take in with premiums. However, their function is to protect their client and limit costs.
If their client t-boned you in an intersection after running a red light, for example, the insurance company legally must pay you a settlement to compensate you for the loss. How much they pay you depends on how well you document the incident and the unusual expenses that arise from the accident. They will use any excuse to shrink the settlement because their first duty is to their shareholders and client.
The only information you should give them is the contact information for your attorney. Don’t give them an opening to take what you say out of context or twist your words. Do not give them a recorded statement. Forward any mail they send you to the lawyer’s office. This brings us to our next step.
4. Work with a Personal Injury Attorney
Your Las Vegas TBI attorney is there to protect your rights while you deal with the more immediate details of recovery. This includes working with the opposing party’s insurance and filing your paperwork on time. There is a statute of limitations on how long you can wait before seeking a settlement. If you don’t file your claim in time, you could end up paying all of your bills out of pocket, so contact your lawyer immediately. They can guide you through the process and help you make every important deadline.
They will also help you collect the most important evidence to build a watertight case. It doesn’t matter how emotionally compelling your case is. If you can’t support it with the appropriate evidence, you risk losing your case. A good attorney will know exactly what evidence is needed to support your claim.
5. Avoid Social Media
Stay off of social media until the claim is settled. If you go to a friend’s pickleball party and post a photo on the court, the insurance company can claim you aren’t as injured as they say (even if you aren’t actively playing). The photo doesn’t show you leaving after 20 minutes because you’re dizzy or how the party noise set off a migraine that lasted for two days. The judge will only get that one frozen second in time to decide whether you’re lying about your injuries.
6. Follow ALL Medical Instructions
It’s good practice to follow your doctor’s advice to reach the best possible outcome. Not following directions, on the other hand, will give the insurance company ammunition against you. They can say the extent of your injuries is a direct result of your neglecting medical advice. You must prove your due diligence if you want a favorable ruling.
7. Maintain Contact With Your Attorney
Ensure your lawyer is informed of any changes in your condition, treatment, or prognosis. They are your advocates but can only do their job if they have all the information in a timely manner.
8. Don’t Sign Anything Without Your Attorney’s Approval
If the insurance company offers you a check and a form to sign, run it by your attorney. Chances are the form is a release of liability, meaning you are signing away your right to seek further compensation if your condition worsens or continues longer than expected.
Since TBI symptoms can begin days or weeks later and continue for months and even years, settling without getting the opinion of a seasoned TBI lawyer could prove detrimental to your health and financial well-being.
To Sum Up
Whether on the road, at work, or in the course of everyday activities, TBIs happen too often. Understanding how to handle them will allow you to recover more quickly from financial strain. A knowledgeable TBI attorney can handle the legal wranglings for you while you focus on your health and future.