Settling a Brain Injury Lawsuit
UPDATED: July 30, 2013
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Any lawsuit has the potential to drag out for a long time before, and lawsuits to recover damages caused by a brain injury are no different. In fact, because of the serious nature of the injury, and the amount of medical treatment involved, a brain injury lawsuit can take longer than other cases. A lawyer with experience in traumatic brain injury cases will probably be able to estimate how long a particular case will take, but do not expect one to be able to give you an exact timeframe.
Why a Lawsuit is Delayed
Every brain injury lawsuit faces a number of factors that could lead to delays. Some of these delays can be anticipated at the start of the lawsuit, while others will come up without notice and drag things out even more. While it is possible your case experiences no delays, you should be prepared for a lengthy process of recovery. In some cases, a victim is not compensated for years after the even that caused the injury. A few common factors that can delay a brain injury lawsuit include:
(1) Crowded courts
(2) Difficulty in obtaining medical records
(3) Busy lawyers, witnesses and medical experts
(4) Changes in the injured individual’s medical condition
Speeding the Process Up
Although you cannot necessarily make a lawsuit go faster, you can take steps to minimize the delays. Make sure you stay in regular communication with your attorney, and get the information that they need as quickly as possible. You may need to track down medical records, set up additional doctor's appointments, or get your attorney in touch with the medical professionals who you have visited. Be sure to take any of the steps that your attorney asks you to take as quickly as possible, and keep your lawyer accountable for getting your case resolved in a timely fashion.
It is also important to keep accurate track of all of your medical treatments and diagnosis after the injury. Make sure you keep records of every document you receive, and forward them to your attorney so they have the best information about the case. Do not be disorganized! Keep accurate and neat records, and help your legal case avoid delays.
As you go through a brain injury lawsuit, there will be a number of things you can't control that can delay your case. You can do your best to minimize the delays by being active in your lawsuit and making sure you do not cause extra work for the professionals trying to assist you.
Negotiating a Settlement
One way to get compensated more quickly is to negotiate a settlement offer. In general, if negotiations result in settlement, the time involved will be significantly shorter than taking the case to trial. A negotiated settlement avoids all the delays associated with a lawsuit such as time to prepare a case, and the crowded court room schedule. Be wary of accepting settlements simply because you think you need the money, particularly if you are suing a large company or an insurance agency. Defendants in a brain injury lawsuit may try to lowball you, and count on your desire to close the case to settle. Make sure you are agreeing to a fair settlement, and always involve an attorney. Even if you decide to negotiate a settlement, an attorney can help you make sure you get the recovery you deserve.
If you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of an accident, seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney right away. An attorney can give you an idea about how long a legal case will take, give you the pros and cons of accepting a settlement, and work to get you the compensation you deserve.