This is the next post in my series on handling brain injury cases in Peoria, Illinois. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one have experienced a brain injury as a result of an accident. These types of cases are incredibly complex and involve the consideration of a multitude of factors. An experienced attorney can help ensure that you understand the process as it moves forward. In this article I will address why it can take a long time to resolve such a matter. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria brain injury lawyer.
Typically, when an injury victim’s damages are reasonably ascertainable, their attorney can send a settlement demand to the insurance carrier. Resolving the case through settlement is often much quicker than litigation so, depending on the circumstances, it may be a more favorable option. The settlement demand will outline the amount of damages which the victim is requesting and include documentation supporting the request. The amount of damages may be based on compensation for past and future lost wages, past and future medical expenses, as well as “pain and suffering.” They can also include other past and future expenses necessitated by the accident. If a settlement cannot be reached, however, then the case must proceed to litigation which can be a very long and drawn out process. It is also important that the settlement demand not be sent before the victim’s long-term chances of recovery are reasonably known.
If the victim settles before knowing their long-term prognosis, they will not be able to settle again if they think they should have been entitled to more compensation. For example, consider a man involved in an accident that caused him to suffer a brain injury. The man works in construction for a living. He agrees to a settlement amount because he has to pay his hospital bills soon, but he later learns that his injuries are more severe than he thought. In fact, his doctors explain that as a result of his brain trauma, his equilibrium will be damaged forever. Due to these injuries, he will experience balance problems which will hinder his ability to work in construction. He should be entitled to compensation for his loss of future wages, but since he already settled, he will not be able to seek further settlement funds from the defendant. Thus, while reaching a settlement is the quickest option to recover the damages you are owed, you should not settle prematurely.
The best way for a victim to ensure that they do not settle prematurely is to retain an experienced personal injury attorney who devotes his or her practice to such matters. Such counsel will have experience in dealing with medical professionals and will be able to offer informed guidance on whether or not settlement should be postponed. While inconvenient in the immediate sense, this gives a victim the highest possibility of ensuring that they receive the compensation they need to cover future medical and financial needs. Retaining a lesser experienced lawyer, by contrast, can sometimes lead to the acceptance of a “quick” settlement which can be damaging to the victim’s future. When selecting counsel to handle your case, we suggest you select a firm which heavily practices in personal injury law and which has the resources necessary to handle such matters.
My office is dedicated to standing up for the rights of people, as opposed to corporations, and we devote substantial resources to assisting those who have been injured. We pride ourselves on providing a high level of service and will stay in regular contact with you as your case moves forward. We understand that this is a serious time and we look forward to being of assistance. Contact us online or by telephone to speak with a Peoria brain injury lawyer. My office also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.