If you have been diagnosed with a brain injury as a result of a traumatic accident, ensuring that you have the financial resources you need for the future is key. If negligence was a factor in your brain injury case, an experienced lawyer can pursue a personal injury claim on your behalf.
Multiple steps are involved in a brain injury claim. While the process requires time and effort, the outcome will be well worth the investment if it means securing the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, your other expenses, and your non-financial losses (i.e., pain and suffering).
The 7 Major Steps Involved in Pursuing a Brain Injury Claim
Although each case is different, personal injury claims (including those involving brain damage) typically involve the following major steps:
1. Determining Who Was At Fault for the Accident
In order to seek financial compensation for your brain injury, you first need to know who was at fault for the accident in which you were injured. Determining fault is not always as straightforward as it may initially seem. Even if it is clear what party or parties caused your injury, you still need objective proof in order to pursue a claim for damages.
In order to prove fault, it will be necessary to gather evidence in support of your claim. Your attorney will conduct an exhaustive investigation to collect the available evidence and examine it thoroughly to determine who was at fault.
2. Determining Liability
Once you determine who was at fault, the next step is to determine who is liable. In many cases, this will be the at-fault party’s insurance company.
For example, if you suffered head trauma in a car accident caused by a reckless driver, the driver’s insurance company may be liable. Likewise, if you slipped and fell on a commercial property, the business’s liability insurer will most likely have to pay for your financial and non-financial losses.
3. Calculating Your Losses To Date
After determining fault and liability, the focus then shifts to determining how much you are entitled to recover. This starts with calculating your losses to date.
In addition to your medical expenses and loss of income (if you have been unable to work due to your brain injury), you may be entitled to compensation for non-financial losses such as pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of consortium.
4. Assessing Your Long-Term Medical Needs
Brain injuries can have long-term effects. Under New York law, you can also seek compensation for anticipated medical expenses.
Your brain injury lawyer will work with your doctor and other members of your medical team to gain a clear understanding of the extent of your injury, the treatment options you have available, and the risk of any future complications. You only get one opportunity to file a claim, so it is extremely important to ensure that you have an accurate understanding of the treatment you may need in the future – and what it will cost.
5. Assessing the Long-Term Effects of Your Brain Injury
In addition to assessing your future treatment needs, building your brain injury claim will involve assessing the other long-term effects of your injury as well. This includes examining your potential loss of lifetime income, the likelihood that you will experience chronic pain and suffering, and the risk that you will experience long-term psychological and emotional effects as a result of your injury.
6. Determining an Appropriate Calculation of Your Non-Financial Losses
When seeking financial compensation for your non-financial losses, there are two primary methods of calculation. One method involves establishing a “per diem” rate, and then multiplying this rate by the number of days that you are expected to experience the adverse effects. The other method involves applying a multiplier to your financial losses.
Both methods can result in a wide range of calculations. It is important for you to work closely with your attorney to account for all of your non-economic damages.
7. Filing Your Brain Injury Claim
Finally, once you know who is liable and how much you are entitled to recover, it is time to pursue the compensation you deserve. While this may involve negotiating an insurance settlement, it may also involve taking your claim to trial.
If you receive a fair settlement offer, you can accept and your case will come to its conclusion. If you do not, you can assert your legal rights in court.
A head injury can result in significant expenses and permanently alter your life. If your injury is the result of someone else’s negligence, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can pursue the compensation you deserve.
Please call O’Connor & Partners, PLLC at (845) 303-8777 today for a free consultation. Our brain injury lawyers serve clients in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, and other areas of New York.