Question

What Should I Look For In A California Brain Injury Attorney?

Jeffrey R. Smith - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Jeffrey R. Smith

Abramson Smith Waldsmith, LLP
San Francisco, CA
Phone: 415-325-2535
Fax: 415-421-0912

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Answer

First And Foremost, Experience

Brain injuries are uniquely traumatic and often “invisible.” On the outside, an individual may appear just fine, able to walk and speak without issue. But, because these injuries can have hidden, lasting consequences, those with a loved one who has suffered brain trauma should hire an attorney who has experience in this specific area.

An effective lawyer will recognize the seriousness of a brain injury. If they have an extensive background in these types of cases, they will understand the different sections of the brain and the functions that they serve. They will also have knowledge of what effects these injuries can have on both an individual and their family members.

The Resources To Go To Trial

To seek maximum compensation for a loved one’s brain injury, it’s often necessary to go to trial. Because these injuries can be complicated afflictions, a lawyer should have a pool of experts to draw upon. A neuroradiologist, for instance, can assess a victim’s injuries, while a neuropsychologist can explain how these injuries will manifest in an individual’s behavior.

Lifecare planners and vocational rehab experts may also be able to provide an idea of what a victim can expect going forward. If they are facing a lengthy rehab process and are unable to work, those factors will be important to their case.

Because of the hidden nature of brain injuries, it can take a considerable effort to make an effective case before a jury. Beyond bringing in expert testimony, an attorney should be capable of making a visual presentation. Graphics, animations and even videos that illustrate a victim’s daily life can be useful tools to demonstrate that an injury is not always obvious.

Respect From Their Peers

It is also important to consider how an attorney is viewed within their field. In California, many high-profile brain injury lawyers belong to peer-nominated organizations such as the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

An organization like ABOTA affords an attorney access to a network of other legal professionals. These relationships can be helpful in the courtroom, as they can facilitate more amicable pathways to resolution.

Peer recognition is often a sign that a lawyer is good at what they do. An individual would be wise to take note of a prospective attorney’s accolades.

An Empathetic Approach

A brain injury doesn’t only affect the victim — it can have an impact on their family as well. These injuries can impair an individual’s executive functions, rendering them reliant on others for daily tasks. Damage to the brain may also make someone more prone to emotional outbursts.

Family members can face challenging burdens in these situations. An attorney will understand that compensation can not only help the victim, but it can also lift those burdens from their loved ones as well.

Empathy often is the result of experience. An attorney who has seen a great deal of brain injury cases will recognize the gravity of the situation. Your attorney should have a sense of what a victim and your family is going through. This approach will help you move forward with your life.  

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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