How Can I Maximize My Compensation After A Brain Injury Accident In California?

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Matthew D. Easton - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Matthew D. Easton

Located in Costa Mesa, CAEaston & Easton, LLP

Phone: 714-850-4590
Fax: 714-850-1978

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Get Appropriate Medical Treatment

The first important step after a serious head injury is to get prompt and appropriate medical treatment – not only because brain injuries are serious and you need medical treatment for them, but also because seeing a doctor or going to the emergency room starts the documentation of your injury. This medical documentation is crucial in building a personal injury claim that maximizes your compensation.

Sometimes traumatic brain injuries are more difficult to detect than you might assume, so if you suspect that an accident – whether it’s a car accident, slip-and-fall, or other incident – has resulted in a concussion or brain injury, it’s important that you seek medical treatment right away. Go to a hospital that is equipped with a good neurosurgical and neurological care unit, and be sure to fully explain your symptoms to the treating physician. In particular, note any symptoms of concussion, confusion, dizziness, nausea, persistent headache, blurred vision, or memory loss.  A proper diagnosis is the first step on the path to recovery.

Report The Accident And Document The Scene

Whether you were involved in a car crash or a slip-and-fall accident, it’s important to report the accident to the appropriate party – usually to police or a property owner or manager, depending on the type of accident.

Try to take pictures of the accident scene and any injuries that you suffered. If there are witnesses, get their names and contact information. All of this can be used as evidence of how your injury occurred and who might be liable. In order to maximize your compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other costs, it will be necessary to prove the other party’s liability, so evidence is very important.

Head injuries can be extremely painful and disorienting.  If your injury prevents you from documenting the scene, have someone nearby – maybe your friends, family, or police – take pictures and gather information for you.

Speak With A Personal Injury Lawyer As Soon As Possible

After a serious head injury, your focus should be on your recovery. It can become stressful, though, when you start seeing medical bills, you find that you can’t return to work, and insurance companies start contacting you. A personal injury lawyer can take care of all the legal legwork while you focus on what is most important – your recovery.

Your personal injury attorney can handle all communications with the insurance company and start working right away on building a strong case for the maximum available compensation. A brain injury could affect your life for many years to come, so it is important to account for current and future costs when determining the amount of compensation to seek. It is the job of a personal injury attorney to account for these things and work toward maximizing the client’s compensation.

Do Not Accept The Insurance Company’s Initial Offer Before Speaking With An Attorney

Insurance companies are for-profit companies, so you can’t rely on them to offer you the full amount of compensation you need or are entitled to. Do not give a written or recorded statement to the insurance company before talking with an experienced lawyer. The insurance adjuster’s questions are designed to minimize the amount of compensation you receive – not to maximize it.

You might receive a settlement offer soon after your accident, but be wary. Talk to an attorney first. Insurance companies routinely offer lowball settlements that are sorely inadequate, especially if the injury has long-term costs that are not obvious in the immediate aftermath of a crash or a fall. Your lawyer can handle all negotiations with the insurance company to ensure that it pays out all you are entitled to.

Do Not Stop Medical Treatment Prematurely

It is very important that you go to your medical appointments and do not stop medical treatment prematurely. After a serious head injury, going to the doctor can become tedious, but a break in medical treatment can be very bad for your case.  “Gaps” in medical treatment are one of the most common tools used by insurance companies to devalue injury cases, even brain injury cases. If you stop treatment before achieving maximum expected recovery, the insurance company might claim that your injury isn’t as bad as it really is. Stopping treatment too soon can also cause your health to worsen.

If you are unsure of where to go to get the best possible medical care, your personal injury attorney can help you find a medical provider. Your attorney can also work to ensure that all your medical costs, your lost work time, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages resulting from the injury are accounted for in your personal injury claim.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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