When you're working with a victim of a car crash, one of the most common injuries leading to a fight for compensation is a brain injury. These injuries occur because of a number of reasons, some of the most common being whiplash and impacts.
To help your client, you need to focus on getting him or her the most out of a settlement. You also need to remember that he or she may struggle with his or her memory and recognition, so you will need to have patience when working with the client. Be prepared to repeat yourself and to explain the situation carefully.
Settlements: Putting your client first
The first thing you need to do with any brain injury case is to get more information on the injury itself. Brain injuries can range in severity and in how they present outwardly. For instance, penetrative injuries occur when an object pierces the skull and impacts the brain. The victim would likely require surgery and a long hospital stay. On the other hand, a coup-contrecoup contusion might not require surgery but instead several days of monitoring in a medical setting. Understanding the pain, anxiety and medical care the victim went through will help you get a better idea of what you're fighting for and the kind of settlement you should be seeking.
While many cases will settle outside trial, if you know that your client isn't getting a good deal, you'll need to work to obtain a better settlement offer or prepare for trial. If you truly believe you can do better at trial, then put your client first and do everything you can to prepare a solid case for the court.
You need to look at all angles for the case. Is the victim able to claim from only one or multiple parties? How has the injury affected your client's life? Will your client ever really be the same after the injury, or will he or she potentially have changes that impact the remainder of his or her life? Being able to answer these questions helps you negotiate for a higher, more appropriate settlement when you speak with an insurance company or fight the case at trial.
Recognize when you don't have enough knowledge to do this on your own. Consulting about a brain injury with another attorney or medical providers can give you a better idea of what to expect and provide you with helpful, factual information for your client's case.