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Brain Injury Checklist - Protecting Your Rights After a Head Injury

Brain injuries can become progressively more dangerous if they are not treated immediately. The situations that led up to a brain injury can be important in determining the cause of the injury and any liability on the part of the people involved. If you or someone you know has experienced a brain injury of any kind, there is a checklist of procedures you should follow to help you get treatment and be certain that your rights are protected.

  • Name A Litigation Guardian – When you have experienced a brain injury, you are often unable to think or even speak for yourself, depending on the severity. Discuss this issue with family members and designate someone as a litigation guardian that can speak and act on your behalf. Your spouse will often be the default litigation guardian in most cases. If you do not have a spouse, then speak with a lawyer who specializes in brain injuries about legally assigning someone to speak on your behalf when you are unable to communicate. A litigation guardian is used to instruct counsel who is either court ordered or files the appropriate documentation to be one. After you have assigned a litigation guardian, you should review the necessary procedures to deal with a brain injury so that all of your bases are covered.
  • Get Medical Assistance – Your proxy can help collect all of the information you need to determine any kind of liability. The most important thing for you to do is to get treatment immediately to help counteract the effects of your brain injury.
  • Develop a Scene Description – You or your proxy need to create a comprehensive description of the scene where the brain injury occurred. Take pictures of the area immediately after the incident and catalog what each picture shows. Your proxy needs to write down important landmarks such as street names and buildings in the area. Other important facts such as the time of day and the date of the incident should also be noted. The names and contact information for any witnesses should be also written down and kept for later use.
  • Make a Note of the Symptoms – There will be a doctor’s report generated once you reach the hospital, but your proxy should also make note of the exact symptoms you are experiencing and in what order they appeared. Some of the more common symptoms to watch for are sensitivity to light, bleeding from the ears, severe headache, nausea, vomiting and an inability to speak. Keep an eye out for any kind of behavior that seems out of place or unusual immediately after the injury.
  • The Medical Process – Keep notes on exactly how you were transported to the hospital and who first saw you when you arrived. Get the names of the paramedics, the ambulance drivers or company, the route the ambulance took, the hospital, the nurses that first saw you and any doctors that saw you as well. When it comes to a traumatic brain injury, time is essential. The exact timeline of the treatment should be noted to help assess any liability if the injury should develop into a long-term issue.
  • Recovery Log – Keep a log of the treatment you receive and how it is affecting you. Make a note of the procedures you underwent, the medications you took and any medical professional that worked on you. A detailed log of how you feel as time goes by is also critical in cataloging your recovery. Some post-treatment symptoms you are looking for include:
    • Increased irritability
    • Short or long-term memory loss
    • Vision impairment
    • Severe mood swings
    • Problems with concentration
  • Get Legal Advice – Finding the right personal injury lawyer is vital to the success of the settlement you will soon be seeking. Despite what many will have you believe, all lawyers are not the same and therefore, searching for a lawyer that specializes in brain injuries is incredibly important. A specialist lawyer will know the important filing dates, procedures and evidence that is required to get your best settlement.

It is important to attend to your medical and legal needs when recovering from a brain injury. If the injury impedes your ability to work, then you will need to offer information that can help assess liability and get you a settlement that you deserve.

For assistance with a personal injury or insurance claim, please email David at dhimelfarb@himprolaw.com. To be contacted immediately call 1-855-446-7765 for a free case evaluation.

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