With nearly 2 million people affected and 52,000 deaths each year, brain injuries from a trauma -- more commonly referred to as traumatic brain injuries (see below) -- remain an incredibly serious problem. Sadly, such a condition drastically impacts an individual’s functionality and quality of life. Moreover, the undeniable severity of a brain injury accordingly demands that a certain level of care is taken if a lawsuit is pursued to offset the considerable medical expenses involved.
In many cases, a quality brain injury lawyer will be able to successfully secure funds to assist with the aftermath of such damage. In fact, the legal representation a patient has on hand to handle his or her particular case can often make all the difference in how much of a settlement is reached in the proceeding. However, it’s a tricky proposition to find just the right attorney to suit your needs and some necessary steps should be taken before a final decision is reached.
When to File a Brain Injury Lawsuit
In the medical community, traumatic brain injuries are deemed as such when an external force or incident results in damage to the brain and its tissue. While the complications that may arise and the long-term effects vary greatly depending on the severity of the injury as well as the duration of time between the inciting incident and medical attention, traumatic brain injuries typically fall into one of three categories:
- Closed head, the most common brain injury resulting in no external bleeding
- Open-wound, an injury in which some penetration of the skull has occurred
- Crushing, in which the brain undergoes compression between two forces
Of course, a viable brain injury lawsuit based on any of the above types hinges on the details of your particular case. You must establish both responsibility on the part of an individual or organization based on either negligence or faulty products, and then your case must illustrate a connection between the responsible party and your specific incident, resulting in tangible harm in the form of medical and other costs, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages.
What to Look for in a Brain Injury Lawyer
Once you’ve established whether you may have a compelling case, the next step (predictably) is to find the right attorney for the job. Considering the often-lucrative nature of personal injury lawsuits, it’s little surprise that so many legal professionals specialize in this particular niche. Luckily, there are some clear signs you should look for to guide your decision-making process when searching for a quality brain injury lawyer.
- Demonstrated results: Perhaps the most obvious indication that an attorney may be the one you need is his or her experience. However, this data isn’t limited strictly to a blanket statement regarding how many years of practice a lawyer has under his or her belt. Rather, take a close look at the specific kinds of personal injury cases they’ve handled in the past. Representative cases should hew closely to the circumstances -- including the nature and severity of the injuries suffered -- surrounding your condition, and a good mix of settlement and trial experience can reinforce faith that the attorney in question is well-equipped to pursue your case regardless of what direction it takes.
- Stellar reviews: Considering how much more savvy the average consumer is nowadays, customer satisfaction has become even more of a concern within the legal community. We live in an age when Yelp is the most trusted source of lawyer reviews, and reviews are firmly among the most influential factors in leading prospective clients to a particular attorney. So there’s no excuse not to take a deeper look into the first-hand accounts of people who have dealt directly with the lawyers you’re considering. In particular, keep an eye out for client reviews, as they will be the most telling of the experience you may be in for. Many sites simply feature reviews among attorneys.
- Compassionate attention: The best attorneys understand that the key to success with clients lies in the compassion with which they approach each case. Never is this truer than in brain injury cases, as the suffering clients have already endured often leaves them in a vulnerable state. Quality brain injury lawyers know this and act accordingly when meeting with clients. After all, the forthcoming lawsuit essentially marks a partnership between the two to acquire the funds the client deserves in light of their situation. So while a lawyer’s legal expertise and courtroom prowess are invaluable tools in earning you that hefty settlement you deserve, don’t forget this critical element.
- Medical knowledge: Law school is tough enough. Clients can’t expect lawyers to have a medical degree as well. Yet, a quality brain injury lawyer should have a passing knowledge of the scientific side of things to complement his or her legal expertise. In most cases, this insight results from dealing with similar cases in the past, but nevertheless, a lawyer’s ability to interpret scientific evidence in your case could provide that essential edge you need. Moreover, attorneys who are more entrenched in the medical community likely have stronger relationships with authority figures within that world who could serve as expert witnesses. Be sure to ask if this is the case, however.
The Bottom Line
Although there are a number of strong indicators you can refer to when deciding on a quality brain injury lawyer, ultimately the most important part of the selection process is to follow your instincts. With a situation as delicate as a brain injury, it’s essential to find a qualified attorney you can trust to fight for you.
No matter what an individual’s credentials may be, the peace of mind in having a quality brain injury lawyer leading your case cannot be underestimated. Be sure to take all angles in account before making your decision, as the outcome has the potential to greatly alleviate the burden of medical expenses your condition has brought upon you. With the right attorney on your side, you’re one step closer to the settlement you need to begin to reclaim your life.
Written by Robert Yaniz Jr.Robert Yaniz Jr. has been a professional writer for more than a decade, including print and online publishing. His experience includes writing various materials for the marketing communications department of a global law firm.
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