A brain injury, whether caused by a traumatic vehicle accident, a blow to the head, or a serious fall, can change your life. After such an event, many injured people and their families deserve compensation to cover medical expenses, lost income, and other losses associated with the injury.
The pursuit of justice and financial relief often involves filing a brain injury claim against the person or company responsible for your condition. Unfortunately, a personal injury claim or civil lawsuit can take some time to resolve.
So, just how long does a brain injury claim typically take to resolve?
In this article, we'll explore the general factors that influence the duration of brain injury claims, including:
- Common causes of brain injuries
- Who can be held responsible
- How insurance companies handle brain injury claims
- Whether you need to file a lawsuit
- Other factors that influence how long it takes to finalize a brain injury case.
For more specific information about your unique circumstances and to help you better understand what to expect during this challenging journey, reach out to an experienced Wisconsin traumatic brain injury lawyer for a free consultation.
Understanding the Complex Nature of Brain Injury Claims
Before delving into the timeline of brain injury claims, it helps to recognize the intricate and often complex nature of these cases.
What is A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is caused by damage to the brain that affects how the brain works. A sudden blow or impact to the skull can lead to a TBI that disrupts normal brain functioning.
The CDC estimates that 190 Americans die from brain injury-related injuries every day. Also, more than 214,000 people are hospitalized every year due to brain injuries. The Midwest has the second-highest number of TBI-related deaths every year, averaging 18 brain injury deaths for every 100,000 people.
What Are the Common Causes of Brain Injuries?
Brain injuries can result from various incidents, including:
- Car Accidents: Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common in car accidents, particularly when there is a head impact or whiplash motion.
- Motorcycle crashes: Without a vehicle frame, seatbelts, or airbags, a motorcycle rider is more likely to sustain serious bodily injuries in a crash with a larger vehicle. Riders can sustain severe brain injuries even when they wear a helmet.
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Falls can lead to head injuries and brain trauma, especially among the elderly.
- Sports Injuries: Concussions and other head injuries in sports can also give rise to claims.
Given the diversity of incidents and the varying degrees of damage inflicted, brain injury claims differ greatly from case to case. The uniqueness of each claim means that the time required to resolve each claim can also vary significantly.
What Factors Influence the Duration of Brain Injury Claims?
Several factors can affect the length of time it takes to resolve a brain injury claim.
These factors will vary depending on your unique situation and:
- The severity of your Injury: The extent of your brain injury significantly affects the claim process timeline. Severe injuries may necessitate more extensive medical treatment and result in a longer claim process.
- Your treatment and recovery: The duration of necessary medical treatment, therapy, and rehabilitation can extend the overall timeline. Waiting until you reach maximum medical improvement is often advisable before pursuing a claim.
- The liability and dispute resolution process: Determining liability and resolving disputes with insurance companies or at-fault parties can be a time-consuming process. Complex cases may require negotiation, mediation, or even a lawsuit, which can extend the duration of the claim.
- The documentation and evidence needed to support your claim: Collecting and presenting all necessary medical records, expert opinions, and other evidence is a critical aspect of a successful brain injury claim. Delays in obtaining and organizing this information can affect the timeline.
- The quality of your legal team: Your choice of legal representation can affect the entire claim timeline. Experienced attorneys can expedite the process by handling legal matters efficiently.
Insurance Companies Can Dictate How Long a Brain Injury Claim May Last
When someone else injures you through their negligent behavior, you don’t get to choose which insurance company you must deal with to resolve your brain injury claim. All insurance companies will perform a separate investigation into the circumstances surrounding your injuries.
Some insurers will negotiate fairly and try to resolve your claim in a reasonable amount of time. Others will do whatever it takes to reduce the amount they offer or deny your claim altogether. Either of the latter situations can lead to a full-blown trial.
Be sure to choose a legal team that understands the games insurers play and how to fight back on your behalf. Don’t face the insurance company on your own. Let our tenacious legal team use our resources to resolve your brain injury claim.
We know how to assess whether your offer is fair and reasonable. We’ll make sure it covers your medical expenses, lost income, and other damages related to your brain injury. You have already endured so much. Let a dedicated brain injury attorney fight for you when insurance adjusters minimize your claim.
If You Suffered a Brain Injury in Minnesota, You Must Start With Your Own PIP Insurance Coverage
Minnesota is a no-fault insurance state. This means when someone is injured in a car accident, drivers must first bring an insurance claim against their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance provider, regardless of who may be at fault.
If you suffered a traumatic brain injury after a vehicle crash in Minnesota, your PIP coverage typically provides payment up to a certain amount regardless of accident fault. If you exceed your PIP coverage, you file a claim for additional financial losses through a personal injury claim.
Talk with an experienced TBI lawyer to help you navigate this claims process.
Typical Steps Your Injury Lawyer Will Take During Your Brain Injury Claim
While every brain injury claim is unique, there are several common stages in the timeline:
- Initial Consultation: When you meet with an attorney to discuss your case, they can determine if you have a valid claim and answer all your questions.
- Medical Assessment: You should undergo a thorough evaluation of your brain injury, including medical tests and consultations with specialists to determine the extent of your injury.
- Settlement Negotiations: Your attorney must communicate with the at-fault party's insurance company to negotiate a settlement. This stage may take weeks or months, depending on the details of your case and how fair the insurance company acts during negotiations.
- Filing a Lawsuit: If negotiations fail, filing a civil personal injury lawsuit may be necessary. The litigation process is controlled by court requirements and can take significantly longer to reach a resolution.
- Discovery: This is the process of collecting evidence, taking depositions, and preparing for trial if the case proceeds to this stage.
- Mediation or Settlement Conference: Some courts send injury cases to alternative dispute resolution to try to settle the case. Many factors control how these methods work, and they can vary greatly in duration.
- Trial: If you cannot reach a fair settlement, the case may go to trial. Trial preparation and presentation will extend the timeline by several months at least.
- Resolution: Successful negotiation, mediation, or a favorable trial verdict leads to the resolution of the claim. At this point, you receive compensation. Your lawyer will prepare the final documents for your signature.
A Dedicated Personal Injury Lawyer Can Explain How Long Your Brain Injury Claim Might Take
How long it takes to resolve a brain injury claim successfully is influenced by a multitude of factors. While it's difficult to predict precisely how long any specific case will take, understanding the general process helps. Also, when you partner with an experienced legal team that focuses on advocating for personal injury clients, they can streamline the journey in ways you never expected.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident or fall and you want to pursue a brain injury claim, exercise patience and persistence, as the ultimate goal is to secure the compensation needed for recovery and rehabilitation. You should not prioritize how quickly you can reach a resolution. It’s more important that you receive a fair and just outcome to ensure you receive the care you need and a solid financial future.
Contact an Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer Today
Reach out to a skilled Wisconsin personal injury lawyer if you suffered a traumatic brain injury. We serve the entire state of Wisconsin with offices in several different cities.
The team at Nicolet Law Accident and Injury Lawyers is proud to serve injured clients throughout the Midwest, with more than 20 offices in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota. We understand the different laws that apply to these claims and how they differ from state to state.
Contact us today for a free consultation in any of our convenient locations.