How Long Does a Brain Injury Claim Take?

Posted on June 12, 2024 in Personal Injury

The brain is one of the most important organs in the human body. It is a complex organ that controls several bodily functions, including motor skills, breathing, and temperature. The brain is also in charge of thoughts, memories, and emotions. Therefore, when you suffer a brain injury, your life may seem to be turned upside down.

Suffering a brain injury is not only devastating physically, but it can also heavily impact finances. Therefore, if you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury caused by a third party, you can have a valid claim for compensation.

A brain injury claim can take some time to resolve, depending on the complexity of the situation. Nonetheless, it is well worth the patience to fight for a favorable case result and obtain the financial recovery you deserve.

You can streamline the process with representation from a skilled brain injury lawyer in Phoenix.

Traumatic Brain Injuries – An Overview

How Long Does a Brain Injury Claim Take

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are unique, complicated injuries. They can impact your life in both the short and long term, and complications from these injuries may make it difficult to live life as you once did.

What Causes Brain Injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries can result from many different types of accidents and incidents. In most cases, a brain injury results from a sudden, violent jolt or blow to the head, neck, or body. The rapid movement can cause the brain to shift around within the skull, causing injury to one or more parts of the brain. Brain injuries can also be “penetrating,” meaning an object penetrates the skull and harms the brain.

Some of the typical causes of traumatic brain injuries include:

  • Vehicular accidents, including car and truck crashes
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Falls, including slip and falls and falls from heights
  • Medical malpractice
  • Intentional acts of violence

The severity of a brain injury depends on many factors, including the cause of the injury. If someone else intentionally or negligently caused your injuries, it’s crucial to seek legal guidance, as you may have a valid claim for compensation.

Common Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

“Traumatic brain injury” does not refer to just one type of brain injury. There are many different kinds of brain injuries. Some of the common types of TBIs include:

  • Concussions: One of the most common types of brain injuries, a concussion temporarily affects how the brain functions after suffering trauma.
  • Hematomas: A hematoma is a collection of blood outside the blood vessels after the brain suffers harm.
  • Hemorrhages: A hemorrhage refers to uncontrollable bleeding that occurs in various areas of the brain and skull, including in the spaces around the brain or within the brain tissue.
  • Diffuse axonal injury: A DAI results when the nerve fibers (axons) are torn from the brain moving and rotating within the skull.
  • Coup contrecoup injury: A coup contrecoup injury refers to the brain suffering injury on one side (coup), and as the brain bounces back, it sustains an injury directly opposite the first area (contrecoup).

Brain injuries vary in severity, and the symptoms and location of the injury can also be quite different. All brain injuries require immediate attention, as these injuries can quickly worsen and result in serious complications.

Signs and Symptoms of Brain Injuries

The symptoms of a brain injury can vary greatly, as not all brain injuries exhibit the same symptoms. Additionally, the degree of the injury heavily impacts the types of symptoms a victim may experience. A TBI can cause physical, cognitive, and sensory issues.

Generally, TBI symptoms can include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to sound or light
  • Disorientation
  • Mood swings
  • Sleep changes, including difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than normal

Symptoms of more severe traumatic brain injuries often include:

  • Loss of consciousness for several minutes or even hours
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Persistent headache
  • Pupil dilation
  • Loss of coordination
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech

Additionally, with a more serious brain injury, victims fall into a coma, either naturally or medically induced, for some time.

Symptoms of a brain injury may start soon after the brain suffers trauma, but symptoms can also be delayed. When symptoms are delayed, it puts victims at risk of further complications, as it’s dangerous for a brain injury to go untreated. This is one of the primary reasons why it’s crucial to keep a close eye on trauma victims and seek medical care as quickly as possible.

Complications of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Unfortunately, because TBIs can have such a detrimental effect on the brain, these injuries can have serious, long-term complications. Based on numerous factors, including the area of the brain affected, the type of brain injury, and the delay in getting treatment, if any, a victim can experience any of the following:

  • Permanent brain damage
  • Paralysis
  • Cognitive challenges
  • Seizures
  • Infections
  • Vertigo
  • Loss of vision or double vision
  • Diminished or lost sense of smell or taste
  • Hearing loss
  • Trouble communicating
  • Behavioral changes
  • Mental health issues, including anxiety and depression
  • Issues with balance

In addition, suffering a traumatic brain injury increases the chances of a person developing a degenerative brain disease, including Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

Complications from a brain injury can require extensive medical care. This is one of the reasons it’s vital to seek fair compensation, as it can help ensure you can afford proper treatment without financial strain.

How Long Does a Brain Injury Claim Take to Resolve?

If you’re dealing with a brain injury and want to pursue financial recovery, you may have many questions and concerns. Among these questions, you may wonder how long it takes to resolve your injury claim. In reality, the answer is “it depends.”

There is no “average” timeline for handling brain injury cases. Because every victim and situation is different, no two cases are alike. While some cases can be resolved in a few weeks, others may take months or years.

Once you consult your brain injury attorney and they become more familiar with your case, they can give you a better idea of timelines. Still, it’s not uncommon to encounter obstacles and curveballs that prolong your case, so your lawyer can’t control everything.

Regardless of the time it takes to handle your claim, when you have a skilled brain injury attorney on your side, you can trust your case is in the right hands. Your lawyer can guide you from beginning to end and fight for your right to favorable compensation.

Factors Impacting Your Brain Injury Case Timeline

Factors Impacting Your Brain Injury Case Timeline

Many details go into a brain injury case and how long you can expect your case to take. When evaluating a claim timeline, it’s important to consider the following, as some or all can impact your case.

The Event(s) That Lead to the Injury

First and foremost, your attorney will consider the events that caused your brain injury. Not every type of case is handled the same, and some cases are more complicated than others.

For example, if your brain injury resulted from a car accident, you may have the chance to prove fault rather quickly, and the case may be fairly uncomplicated. On the other hand, if your TBI was the result of medical malpractice, it may be a bit more challenging to pinpoint the exact instance that caused your injury and who may be at fault.

Your brain injury lawyer will investigate your case as quickly as possible, but the intricacies of the events leading to your injury may present some hindrances.

The Severity of Your Brain Injury

The more severe your brain injury, the more time your claim may take. To ensure your attorney is pursuing full compensation for your injuries, they must take the time to fully understand your injury, the medical treatment you’ll require, and how your injury will affect your life moving forward.

Your lawyer may need time to evaluate medical costs for past and future needs. Rushing through your case may result in collecting too little compensation, so brain injury attorneys usually prefer to take their time to provide more accurate calculations.

Determining Liability

Sometimes, determining liability isn’t easy. If your situation is complex, more than one party may have played a role in the incident that caused your brain injury. Determining fault may take some time as your brain injury attorney thoroughly investigates your case to uncover answers.

Accurately Calculating Your Damages

The main goal of filing a brain injury claim is to acquire compensation that fairly represents your injuries and losses. Depending on the complexity of your case, it may take some time to determine what damages you’re entitled to pursue and calculate your damages.

You won’t get an accurate picture of what your monetary and non-monetary losses look like immediately after your accident or incident that causes your brain injury. Many factors impact your damages, including:

  • The total cost of your medical expenses
  • Whether you’ll require medical care in the future
  • Whether you’re required to take time off work
  • The total of your lost earnings
  • How your brain injury has and will affect you physically and mentally
  • Whether you’ll be able to return to the same occupation as before

These and other details have one thing in common: they take time to figure out. Patience pays off in brain injury cases, allowing you time to fully evaluate your losses and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Cooperation from Liable Parties

Unfortunately, the timeline of your case is not entirely up to your attorney. Your case timeline also relies on the opposing party’s cooperation and willingness to move the case along.

It’s not uncommon for opposing parties, like insurance companies, to delay cases on purpose. By delaying your case, they hope you’ll become desperate to settle and agree to resolve your case for any amount, even if it doesn’t fully cover your economic and non-economic damages.

In a perfect world, the opposing party will work timely, and you’ll get your case resolved right away. While you can trust your attorney to promptly handle case-related tasks, the same can’t be said for other case participants.

Settlement Negotiations

At some point or another, your case will reach negotiations. During this time, your lawyer works with the opposing party to devise a settlement that works well for everyone. Even if everyone is amenable and your attorney secures an advantageous settlement, it can take some time.

Whether Trial is Necessary

Not all brain injury cases go to trial, as a majority settle outside of the courtroom. However, when settlement isn’t possible for whatever reason, you can take your case before a judge to continue your pursuit of compensation.

Taking your case to trial can be time-consuming. Your attorney will prepare your case for trial and the trial can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the circumstances.

Although going to trial can be stressful, your attorney will continue to represent your best interests and fight for just financial recovery.

Time is of the Essence – When Should You Initiate Your Brain Injury Claim?

The thought of taking legal action can be daunting, which is why so many injured victims put it off. However, it’s important to note you only have a short time to file a lawsuit and pursue monetary recovery for your injuries.

Depending on your state’s statute of limitations, you may only have about one to six years to file your claim in court. While this may seem like plenty of time, many steps come before filing a lawsuit. Failing to file your claim on time can result in forfeiting your right to compensation.

For this reason, it’s essential to seek legal assistance from a brain injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can begin working on your case immediately and avoid missing the allotted time to file your claim.

Discuss Your Case with a Brain Injury Lawyer Right Away

After suffering a brain injury at the hands of another, you may have the right to pursue fair compensation. Speak with a local personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options. The sooner you begin working on your case, the closer you’ll be to reaching a favorable case result.