An Unexpected Chapter
The human body was not built for auto accidents. When a person’s back and neck go literally from stop to 20 miles per hour in an instant, permanent damage can happen. And even though we all think that we know what a whiplash injury can do, or even what a traumatic brain injury can do, there’s evidence that people understate the duration and the potential suffering that can occur, especially when undertreated.
We not only tend to downplay the severity of injuries caused by auto accidents, we understate the duration–the permanence–that can happen when it comes to the neck and brain. For example, if you’ve watched college football recently, you’ve probably noticed over the past few years that there has been increased emphasis on ejecting players who ram their helmets into the neck or head of opponents. Fortunately, there has been increased public awareness that there’s a far greater scientific basis for taking neck, head, and brain injuries seriously.
At the Packard Law Firm, we understand how essential it is to get in and see a Doctor for crucial evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment options to minimize the pain and duration of accident-related head, neck, and back juries.
Why is treatment early and often crucial? Not only is science revealing how head and neck trauma can cause debilitating and long-lasting pain, but it’s also telling us that it’s imperative to get swift intervention and medical attention early on. Time is of the essence. Especially with head trauma, early intervention provides options that could slip away if not taken seriously. This is potentially good news for folks who are able to get in to see an appropriate medical professional where they can get diagnosed early and treatment underway quickly. The Packard Law firm will work with your physician and, if necessary, help find a specialist in order to achieve the desired goal of minimizing pain and maximizing swift recovery.
The rest of your life may have changed if you or a loved one has suffered a permanent injury. Permanent damage can inhibit your ability to work or experience life as you once knew it to be.
Hopefully, we will see you recover, but either way, we respect how scary this time may be for you and your family. We are here to help you determine your options and how we can best assist you moving forward.
What is a Permanent Injury?
A permanent injury refers to trauma, tissue damage, or other damage to your body that doesn’t fully recover. Medical staff will sometimes refer to a point of recovery as your maximum medical improvement, meaning further improvement surrounding the specific injury isn’t likely or expected. Sometimes, any permanent damage is mild, of course, and this is what you pray for.
However, some injuries, even though you believe that you have recovered significantly, stick around. You discover this when reinjury doesn’t merely cause a new injury, but rather it exacerbates the original, plus causes new damage. Put another way, the body has a way of masking tissue damage and brain damage sometimes by enabling you to return to your previous subjective experience in your life while at the same time being extremely susceptible to aggravation upon re-injury. It’s as if your brain puts you on “probation,” giving you an opportunity to feel mostly comfortable, even though recovery has not been at all complete. This is a blessing in a way, but it requires one to be wise and alert to the reality of what’s happening, literally under the skin. For this reason, early detection and treatment are essential, even if you don’t believe you’ve suffered any harm.
It’s very important that when you suspect a possible permanent injury, you work with your medical and legal teams to not only obtain as robust a recovery as possible but also you can prove that your injury is permanent and, by so doing, obtain just compensation from the insurance company that covers the injury.
Examples of Permanent Injury
The kind of permanent injury you should look out for is the one that often goes underdiagnosed or under-treated. At the same time, Lost limbs or amputations are perhaps the most obvious forms of permanent injuries, as are things like blindness and paralysis. The more common ones are permanent injuries that are more challenging to establish and prove in a personal injury or disability case.
Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, caused by a violent jarring of the head or a significant blow to the skull, is an injury that may need to be tested, especially when symptoms are suspected early on.
TBIs are common in car accidents and even slips and falls. Conditions such as frequent headaches, depression, or other disabilities are common with TBI. Because these conditions often exist in folks without TBI, establishing causation becomes one of the most important parts of the job of any qualified attorney. That is, one of the legal burdens that a TBI sufferer is charged with is to show that the mental, emotional, or physical symptoms are a result of the auto accident and not something else. There are numerous ways a skilled attorney can help you understand whether this is likely, whether and why it’s just and fair to establish it, and how to do it.
Spinal cord injuries are also notably hard to detect and diagnose because they affect everyone differently. For similar reasons, establishing causation –that the damage to the spine — was brought about by the negligence of the other driver. And because spinal cord injuries can cause chronic pain in the back and neck and permanent loss of range of motion, these often fall in the permanent injury category, and establishing causation will often make a huge difference in what you will typically recover monetarily. If you do have injuries caused by the negligence of another driver, the Packard Law firm has attorneys who understand and fight to establish clear causation.
What are other symptoms of TBI?
Symptoms of damage to the brain can take on forms common to mental illness, which is why establishing the connection between the auto accident and the condition is so paramount. For example, PTSD symptoms can be attributed to injuries, including TBI. Also conditions such as Paranoia, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and self-isolation, have been known to follow TBI caused by auto accidents.
Establishing Permanent Injury in Court
Most of the time, establishing proof of the permanent condition, including the measure of financial damages you have and will have to incur, is a matter of convincing the insurance company, which is achieved informally. However, we know that often, a fair result cannot be achieved without filing suit and if necessary, taking the case to a jury verdict. This is what we do, and we take pride in our willingness to try cases. In fact, a jury trial, or prospective jury trial, is the fulcrum upon which you can achieve balanced justice. It works if you have an attorney, like Packard Law Firm, ready to represent you all the way through appeal.
So, what happens in front of a jury? You demonstrate with testimony and documentation the extent, the cost, and the permanence of the injury. You establish and show how it was caused by the negligence of the other driver. Your attorney makes the demand of just compensation for past, present, and future injuries, including pain and suffering, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, and similarly difficult-to-measure (but nevertheless real) general loss. All of this starts with an experienced legal team that works with medical professionals for an accurate and persuasive diagnosis, effective treatment plans, and evaluations from vocational and other experts. Jury trials are only a small percentage of cases, but it is what we do when a just settlement is not being offered, and it’s the service the Packard Law Firm takes pride in delivering.
If you suspect your injuries may be permanent, we are happy to evaluate your case. There’s no fee for the evaluation, and the visit is confidential. If you have been unable to obtain a satisfactory medical evaluation, time may be of the essence, so call us, and we will be happy to discuss options.
A Tireless Advocate for You and Your Loved Ones
Remember, permanent injuries don’t just affect you; they affect your loved ones–those in your home. If you feel like your condition is being dismissed by the insurance company, if you suspect you may have TBI or another condition arising out of an auto accident, please know that there are people you can talk to at Packard Law Firm.
Financial recovery is part of achieving fairness. Based on your different capabilities, for example, since your injury, you may now require less strenuous work activity, which may then limit your potential income. You should recover damages that can be traced to the negligence of the other driver, and usually, the insurance company of such other driver is the party that actually pays. In addition, when the other party’s negligence causes the damages, your own UIM policy may kick in and pay any portion (up to the applicable limit) of any provable damages in excess of the policy limits of the other driver’s liability insurance. This can get complicated quickly when there are multiple vehicles, especially when there are numerous policies. For this reason, you should not go at this alone; we are determined to make sure you are better off at every turn when you have a team of legal professionals, like the Packard Law Firm, by your side.
Don’t settle for anything less than what is rightfully yours. Call us today at (210) 899-6142 to get started. We offer free case evaluations to discuss your options. We look forward to serving you.