If you have suffered a severe head injury, check out these 4 frequently asked TBI questions for guidance. Then, call our Gilbert lawyers now.
1) How Do I Choose the Best Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney?
The number one difference is you want to talk to the attorney or people in the law firm and find out if they really are experts at handling traumatic brain injury cases because, as the attorney explained, an overwhelming majority of so-called personal injury attorneys are not experts on traumatic brain injury. That’s just a fact. They’ll have some knowledge, of course. The difference between knowledge and expertise is almost night and day. If you talk to them very long, you can quickly tell the difference.
For instance, our website mentions many very sophisticated tests that you can ask the potential law firm or lawyer about, including DTI. Of course, what are they going to say? They’ll always say yes. They go Google it. If you talk to them very much, you can tell they’re finding out about this later than whatever. You can ask them specifically and just listen closely to the answer and see if they’re really talking from knowledge or just talking from whatever they just read on Google.
Why does that make a difference? If they don’t really understand the latest technology, who is going to suffer? You will. We’re up on the latest imaging, the latest treatment. You can read about it on our website.
What’s shocking is not just the fact that most personal injury attorneys are unaware of those things; what’s really shocking is how many physicians are unaware of those advances. One of our attorneys was talking to a doctor at lunch the other day and mentioned some of these brain scans such as the DTI, diffuse tensor imaging. It was clear the doctor didn’t have any clue. This was a doctor who takes care of personal injury patients all the time.
We had a situation once where a school teacher was injured. She had a concussion. We got the right imaging. We proved it, but she wouldn’t get any treatment for it. She said, “I’m too busy. I’m just going to suffer with my headaches or whatever.”
Most of our clients will get treatment, but she refused. She was too busy. We sent her demand into the insurance company, and she had no treatment where normally if you have no treatment, an insurance company offers you pretty close to zero. In this case, because we proved that she did have a concussion, they said okay. No treatment. We’ll still offer $32,000.
In that case our client said, “I’m still having headaches. I’m still suffering, and that’s not enough.” We said, “You could have gone to treatment.” We repeated the NeuroQuant, the test that shows whether you have a loss of volume in the brain, and it showed where she was injured she had a 10% loss. We sent that to the insurance adjuster, and they thought if in one year she lost 10%, in 10 years, she’s not going to have a brain, which is not how it works.
It scared the adjuster, and they doubled the offer. We settled the case with no treatment. That doesn’t happen very often. Of course, if you get the treatment, then we can get substantially more. That’s what most of our clients do because they want to get better. They’re not too busy to get better. This is their life.
One of the latest exams that we have found very useful is the so-called VNG testing. We found that there’s a very big difference between who does the testing. Ideally, we get it done through a board-certified neurologist who is Arizona licensed. He in his last 18 years has read 100,000 of these VNG exams. It’s more than anybody else.
When the insurance company hires somebody, they’re not going to have the same qualifications. In fact, very commonly the doctor for the insurance company will admit that there’s no way our clients can fake the results. It’s just like with a broken arm on an x-ray. We can prove that they suffer a mild traumatic brain injury and, in some cases, need vestibular rehabilitation for a lifetime. That can be millions and millions of dollars.
That often gets insurance companies to say we only have whatever we have here, $100,000 or $500,000 or $1 million. That doesn’t always work that way, but often it does. If they don’t recognize the seriousness and we need to go to arbitration to prove our clients’ case, we will. That’s what you want to find out. Is the lawyer or law firm you’re talking with familiar with these things?
If you’re more familiar with these issues than they are because you went on our website, that’s the wrong law firm. Make sure that you hire a law firm who is really going to help you both get the right diagnosis and the right treatment and the right recovery.
2) What are the Common Mistakes After a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Let’s get you checked out now by a medical expert. If it doesn’t go away in a couple days or a couple weeks, you go get medical help. The insurance company is going to say there’s nothing in any medical record before now where it mentions anything like this.
For all we know, he was playing around with his jackhammer at work or something else caused it. It certainly wasn’t our insured because there’s no mention of it for weeks or days or months. That’s a huge common mistake. That’s why if you call us and tell us I’ve got these symptoms of possible concussion, it’s like we’re going to get you help right away. There are some scenarios where you may have waited two weeks. We hope you didn’t wait two months. You’re still having those symptoms.
We’re still going to get you top medical care. Our attorneys will tell you your case is going to be tougher in that situation. Sometimes we can still prove objectively that it went back to the time of the accident. Don’t make your case harder than it has to be.
3) What is the Typical Timeline for a Traumatic Brain Injury Case?
The very first thing is getting the proper diagnosis. That’s where most doctors miss it. The statistics show that more than 50% of all concussions are missed at the emergency room. Even some of the most sophisticated tests out there will miss many concussions because the best we have available is not 100% foolproof. There are so many times that concussions are missed.
Even when they’re diagnosed, most doctors have no treatment. They say what’s the point of diagnosing it if you can’t offer any treatment? You just make the patient depressed. The most important thing, as the attorney explained, is to get the proper diagnosis done by the top experts. Then it switches over to what’s the most effective treatment.
That’s an area that our attorneys, because we understand this area so well, can tell you that there’s not one silver bullet, not one magic answer for everybody. If there was, we would just give it to you right now. We’re aware of the options. We’re aware of what’s worked best for our clients in the past in this situation, when there’s a different diagnosis than this one. Quite frankly, we work with our clients and have them try everything that’s been proven to help.
Sometimes it might be hyperbaric oxygen therapy. That’s where you get in a tank and you have oxygen that’s pressurized. Another one, which is related to that, is exercise with oxygen therapy. They hook you up to a big bag of oxygen, you’ve got a mask on, and they put you on a treadmill or an exercise bike and you do that for 20 minutes.
There are all kinds of stress testing where they stress the brain. It’s kind of like exercising an arm, increase the blood flow. Then it promotes healing. People, of course, have heard of other things like biofeedback. They do a good job, but they don’t do a great job. They can diagnose and give a few treatments. Then they say you’re done. No, they’re not done. They’re just starting.
What’s the most important if you’ve suffered a concussion or a traumatic brain injury? Is it get a check for $10,000 tomorrow and live a life of hell for the rest of your life or get the best treatment available, which ends up getting you a lot more money than trying to just grab a check and run and suffer the rest of your life? We focus on getting you better with the best treatments available. We’re talking about cutting edge interventions. Then after that we get you the most money that you deserve.
4) What is the Case Value for a Traumatic Brain Injury?
With insurance companies, no matter how your heart may be affected by seeing the change in your loved one or in yourself, that’s where it’s really difficult. If you were a high-functioning person before the accident and then because of concussions, headaches and all the associated problems with concussions, let’s say you’re just average functioning. The insurance company can hire somebody and they’ll say this person is average. They’re doing fine. There’s nothing wrong here.
You used to be up here and now you’re average. Every day that you can’t remember things has a huge impact on your life. To an insurance company, if you can still add two plus two, you’re fine.
We get experts that show which part of the brain has been affected and how that affects the person’s daily life. You have to have very special expertise. You’re not just going to go out there and find that on any street corner. We have the experts and the knowledge to put that together so insurance companies go oh. There are brain scans that are objective and show objectively that someone suffered a concussion.
Neuropsychologists used to be what everyone used to prove a brain injury. The problem was that we could hire a neuropsychologist who would give a test to our clients and say yes, here’s the part where we’re documenting the brain injury. The insurance company could hire one of their neuropsychologists who, of course, is bought and paid for by them. That neuropsychologist would administer the exact same test and come to a very different conclusion. Either there’s no brain injury or yes, there is and it happened when they were six years old or whatever it was before the accident.
This test and the things we do now offer much stronger proof. We typically can get insurance companies to recognize the seriousness of even so-called mild brain injuries. Don’t be put off by the terminology here because a mild brain injury for you and me is not mild. We would call it pretty serious. Here’s the gray; moderate is very serious. Then the level beyond is you don’t ever want to be there. You might be close to unconscious or something.
We can show the technology and the testing to show that so that insurance companies pay the maximum value. One of those tests, the VNG test, you can read about it on our website. It’s read typically by a board-certified Arizona licensed neurologist who has in 18 years read 100,000 of those reports, more than anybody else.
Typically, that report will recommend long-term, even lifetime vestibular therapy, running into the millions of dollars. Insurance companies do understand dollars and cents, even if they don’t care about you as a person. They may realize they need to pay out the whole policy. Depending on what that is, that can be very big. That’s a reason to call us. We can help you.
One of our attorneys will help analyze your individual case and give you an idea with the proper diagnosis and treatment what your case may be worth and certainly guide you through that process. Remember, if you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury, most of our potential clients who call us don’t even realize that. We ask them are you suffering headaches that you didn’t have before the accident? Yeah and it’s really bad, migraines and stuff. I thought I just didn’t get enough sleep or stress or something. You say no, stop.
This started right after the accident or the day after, it’s not stress. It’s not you didn’t eat breakfast. We’re going to get you to a medical professional who is trained to diagnose concussions. Guess what? They find out that something very long-term and serious, but we prove it. That’s how we get maximum value for our clients.
Remember, if you’re suffering from headaches, short-term memory loss, any of those kind of associated symptoms, posttraumatic stress disorder can be caused by concussion, driving anxiety, depression, just a big list.
Did you or a loved one experience a serious injury to the head in Arizona and have questions? After reading these 4 frequently asked TBI questions, contact our experienced Gilbert Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers at Free Injury Advice today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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