Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can impact all aspects of a person’s life. They can also be incredibly expensive. According to data from Northwestern University, “[t]he lifetime costs of a patient’s treatment for a traumatic brain injury are estimated to run from $85,000 to $3 million.”
That was in 2015. In 2022 dollars, this translates to between $102,000 and $3.6 million in terms of the total costs of lifetime care.
Due to the financial and non-financial costs of traumatic brain injuries, it is important for individuals and families who are coping with these injuries to assert their legal rights. If you or your family has a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover just compensation from the party that is responsible for the accident.
At the Law Offices of Mickey Fine, our Bakersfield traumatic brain injury attorneys understand the medicine and law surrounding these devastating injuries. If you or a loved one experienced TBI due to someone’s negligence, our experienced team can help you pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.
7 Steps to Take After a Traumatic Brain Injury in California
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury in California, consider taking the following steps:
1. Hire a Lawyer to Investigate All Possible Claims
Vehicle collisions and falls are among the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries. They are also causes for which victims and families will frequently have claims for financial compensation. In fact, these causes can potentially give rise to multiple claims against drivers, employers, property owners, insurance companies, and other entities.
You will want to hire a lawyer to investigate all possible claims as soon as possible. In many cases, it will be necessary to collect evidence of liability before it disappears. Based on the available evidence, your lawyer can assess liability, and then your lawyer can help you decide whether to move forward.
2. Work with Your Lawyer to Decide Whether to Take Legal Action
There are several factors to consider when deciding whether to pursue a personal injury claim for a TBI. Working with your TBI lawyer, you will want to carefully consider these factors and arrive at an informed decision. If you decide that it makes sense to file a claim (or claims), your lawyer will then start taking the necessary steps to seek just compensation on your (or your family’s) behalf.
3. Keep Up with Your (or Your Loved One’s) Medical Care
Regardless of whether you decide to take legal action, you will need to keep up with your (or your loved one’s) medical care. Consistent treatment can be essential for recovery and mitigation. If you decide to seek just compensation, then following through with all recommended treatment will be important for establishing your (or your family’s) legal rights as well.
4. Make Sure You Understand Your (or Your Loved One’s) Long-Term Treatment Needs
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 26% of TBI patients see their conditions improve after five years. The CDC’s data indicate that 22% of TBI patients’ conditions stay the same, 30% become worse, and 22% result in fatality within the initial five years after diagnosis.
When coping with a traumatic brain injury—and when seeking financial compensation for a TBI—it is important to make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of your (or your loved one’s) long-term treatment needs. You generally only get one chance to file a claim, so it is critical to ensure that you are seeking just compensation for the current and future costs you and your family will likely incur.
5. Make Sure You Understand the Potential Non-Financial Costs of a TBI
In addition to understanding the financial costs of your (or your loved one’s) injury, you will want to ensure that you have an understanding of the potential non-financial costs as well. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium and companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life are all recoverable losses under California law.
6. Seek Additional Professional Help if Necessary
Beyond medical and legal help, many TBI patients and their loved ones will need other forms of professional help as well. If you feel like you need to speak with a therapist, if you need help managing the costs of treatment, or if you need any other type of advice, you should not hesitate to seek guidance from an appropriate professional.
7. Work with Your Lawyer to Pursue a Financial Recovery
Finally, if you decide to move forward with pursuing legal action, you will need to work closely with your TBI lawyer throughout the process. The more involved clients are, the better their cases typically go. By working with your lawyer to consider your options, calculate your long-term costs, and prove the non-financial effects of your (or your loved one’s) TBI, you will maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.
If you need to know more about what you should do after a traumatic brain injury, we encourage you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at The Law Offices of Mickey Fine. Please call (661) 333-3333 or contact us online to speak with an experienced Bakersfield traumatic brain injury attorney in confidence.