A Caregiver’s Guide: After a Brain Injury

June 6, 2024 | Gary Annes
A Caregiver’s Guide: After a Brain Injury

Brain injuries can have a profound, devastating effect on the victim. From changes in personality to lost physical abilities and great pain and suffering, injuries affecting the brain inflict a broad range of life-changing symptoms. However, the injured person is not the only one who suffers.

Loved ones must often care for brain injury victims, either in part- or full-time capacity. Such caregiving can be emotionally taxing, time-consuming, and financially taxing. You must receive fair compensation for the financial and non-economic cost of the brain injury, as well as the challenges of being a caregiver. Consider hiring a brain injury attorney to secure the compensation you need and deserve.

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First, Know That Brain Injury Treatment and Care Is Costly

Brain Injury caregiver guide

In the wake of a serious injury, many victims and their loved ones are most concerned with the physical, psychological, and emotional cost that the injury imposes. This is natural, and you should be rightfully concerned with these substantial challenges.

That said, you must also be realistic about the financial cost of a brain injury, as well as the cost of caregiving. The lifetime cost of caring for someone with a brain injury ranges from $85,000 to $3 million and may be even greater in some circumstances.

 Caregivers must:

  • Understand that both immediate and long-term costs from the brain injury may be far more than they can afford
  • Recognize that liable parties should pay for these costs
  • Hire an attorney with a proven record of securing fair compensation for brain injury victims

It is also important to not subscribe to the mentality of “toughing it out” as a caregiver. Your day-to-day challenges will likely be psychologically and emotionally draining. You deserve compensation for your challenges, just as the injured party does.

Hire a Brain Injury Lawyer to Fight for the Funding You Deserve

Regardless of the details of your loved one's brain injury or your personal circumstances, hiring a lawyer will:

  • Allow you to continue focusing on your caregiver responsibilities (and other responsibilities) instead of worrying about an insurance claim or lawsuit
  • Ensure that you have done everything in your power to pursue a fair financial recovery
  • Provide you a much-needed support system, as a compassionate lawyer may provide guidance and resources specific to your circumstances
  • Provide financial support for your case, as a law firm will cover all upfront costs

Nobody can afford to forego compensation for the harm that results from a brain injury. This includes both the harm the injured party experiences and the substantial challenge of being a caregiver.

Common Brain Injury Symptoms Caregivers Must Be Aware Of

You are likely familiar with the symptoms your injured loved one is experiencing, or you will become familiar soon. To briefly touch on the topic, know that some common brain injury symptoms include:

  • Memory deficits
  • Coordination problems
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Mood and personality changes
  • Inability to care for oneself
  • Permanent brain damage

These are just a few of the many challenges someone with a brain injury may face. These challenges extend to the caregiver, who may be just as affected by brain injury symptoms as the injured party.

Caregivers Often Face a Great Burden, Just as the Injured Person Does

One study revealed that caregivers for brain injury victims have a heightened need for emotional and professional support. This indicates the stress and difficulty that can arise from caring for someone with a serious injury.

A brain injury lawyer will factor such difficulty in their settlement demands, as caregivers may need:

  • Training to learn how to care for the injured individual
  • Mental health treatment to address the stress and emotional strain of being a caregiver
  • Financial support to reflect lost income (many caregivers must leave their careers or reduce their hours to care for an injured loved one)
  • Compensation for the other economic and non-economic damages affecting caregivers

Your brain injury attorney will work to ensure you receive fair compensation for all of your hardships and needs.

Resources for Caregivers of Brain Injury Victims

Caregivers deserve all the assistance they can get. As difficult as caring for an injured loved one is, many resources are available, including those listed by the National Council on Aging (NCOA).

These resources include:

  • Information about the technical aspects of caring for someone with a brain injury
  • Details about brain injuries that may be relevant to caregivers
  • Support groups for caregivers
  • Advocacy groups
  • Information about depression and other mental health challenges caregivers often experience
  • Various other resources that may be beneficial to you

Even with these resources at your disposal, there is no getting around the hardship of caring for an injured loved one. The financial relief a lawyer may provide through a settlement or judgment may be the most beneficial resource of all.

Why Should I Hire a Brain Injury Lawyer?

Those still uncertain about the need for a brain injury lawyer must consider why brain injury and caregivers hire attorneys. This includes the benefits that come with retaining a capable brain injury attorney, which are:

  • Complete financial support for your case: Personal injury lawyers almost always use contingency fees. This fee requires the law firm to pay for case-related costs, including the cost of their own time and effort. Your brain injury lawyer will only receive a fee if they recover compensation for you.
  • Avoiding the added stress of a lawsuit or brain injury claim: Leading a claim or lawsuit is stressful for several reasons. For one, the case may involve intimate details about the injury. Secondly, liable parties may make securing the compensation you deserve as difficult as possible. The very responsibility of completing a case can also be stressful. Let a lawyer shoulder these challenges for you.
  • The value of a lawyer’s experience and legal knowledge: A lawyer offers experience with brain injury insurance claims and lawsuits. Their training as attorneys also familiarizes them with the requirements and challenges that will come with your case. Rely on this experience, as there is too much at stake not to.

A lawyer is a form of protection. They will protect you from anyone who wants to pay you less than you deserve. They will protect you from suffering added distress due to your case. They will also work to protect you from the possibility of paying out of pocket for the cost of the brain injury.

Damages from a Brain Injury (Which a Lawyer Will Seek Compensation For)

Brain injuries tend to be complicated injuries and can have exceedingly long recovery periods. Some brain injuries never heal or never heal fully. This means that brain injury victims often suffer expensive, wide-ranging damages that include:

  • Medical expenses: These are a given in brain injury cases. Your loved one may need emergency treatment (which they may have already received), brain scans, multiple evaluations by specialists, and many other medical services. They may also need medical equipment related to their injury.
  • Rehabilitation expenses: Some brain injuries may improve with rehabilitation. These services, while undoubtedly essential, come at a cost. Your lawyer will work to ensure your loved one receives all needed rehabilitation without bearing the cost.
  • Caregiver costs: Your loved one may need the help of a professional caregiver, which adds to the cost of their injuries. Hiring a professional caregiver does not negate the day-to-day challenges that loved ones face when someone suffers a brain injury.
  • Pain and suffering: Another certain outcome of a brain injury, pain and suffering can include physical pain, emotional anguish, psychological distress, scarring and disfigurement, lost quality of life, and a host of other challenges.
  • Professional damages: Those who suffer injuries (and those who care for them) may suffer lost income, diminished earning power, lost chances for bonuses and other performance incentives, and other professional damages.

Your lawyer can arrange for doctors and mental health professionals to evaluate everyone affected by the injury, including the injured party and loved ones who are now caregivers. These experts will provide concrete evidence of damages and help your attorney value the full cost of the injury.

A Lawyer Will Consider Your Damages as a Caregiver

As discussed, your brain injury attorney will include the cost of being a caregiver in your case. This cost is:

  • Financial
  • Emotional
  • Psychological
  • Time-consuming

Attorneys understand how to calculate the cost of damages even when they don’t have a clear financial value. Let a lawyer identify your damages and pursue fair compensation for them.

How a Brain Injury Lawyer Will Serve You and Your Injured Loved One

Getting help from a TBI lawyer

Your attorney will accept the challenge of securing the compensation you and your injured loved one deserve. Fulfilling this challenge will require several steps, which include:

Handling the Daily Duties of the Case

Brain injury cases require a lot of work, and a lawyer will handle the small and large details of your claim or lawsuit. This includes:

  • Dealing with any insurers involved in the case
  • Communicating with any defense lawyers involved in the case
  • Drafting and filing paperwork
  • Ensuring the claims and legal processes advance as quickly as possible

Countless unexpected challenges arise during brain injury cases. Your attorney will handle each of these challenges in stride so you can care for your loved one.

Securing Evidence of How the Brain Injury Happened

The cause of the brain injury will be central to your case. Your lawyer will obtain any witness accounts, photographs, expert testimony, video, and other evidence suggesting:

  • Who caused the injury
  • How the injury happened
  • Who has financial liability for the injury

Lawyers know what kinds of evidence can contribute to a successful outcome in brain injury cases. This knowledge may be immensely beneficial to your case.

Detailing the Brain Injury Victims’ Damages

Your personal injury lawyer will seek documentation for all of your recoverable damages, and valuable documentation may include:

  • All medical bills related to the brain injury
  • All doctor's records and notes related to the injury
  • Any medical images, including CT scans, of the injury
  • Expert testimony about injuries, symptoms, treatment needs, professional damages, pain and suffering, and other damages
  • Past income statements that help prove the professional cost of the injury
  • Any other documentation that sheds light on your recoverable damages

Your lawyer will work to prove precisely how the brain injury has affected the victim.

Detailing the Caregiver’s Damages

Your attorney will also document the needs of the caregiver. This will include any financial harm or sacrifices a loved one has made to care for their injured loved one.

Calculating the Case Value

Your lawyer will establish an exact value for the damages both the injured party and the caregiver have experienced. This value will reflect both present and future damages.

Negotiating a Settlement

Personal injury lawyers negotiate in every case they handle. This lends them experience that will undoubtedly be useful to your case.

During negotiations, your lawyer will likely:

  • Present all evidence related to how the brain injury happened
  • Present documentation of the victim and caregiver’s damages
  • Explain how they calculated their settlement demands
  • Respond to any arguments or lowball settlement offers from the defense

Your attorney will contact you when they receive a settlement offer. They may receive multiple offers over the course of negotiations. As the client, you will have final say over whether to accept a settlement offer, though your lawyer may help you make this decision.

Filing a Lawsuit (and Going to Court If the Plaintiff Chooses)

Effective personal injury lawyers prepare every case as if it will go to trial. This way, should the defense fail to offer a fair settlement, your attorney will be ready to take your case to court.

Do Not Wait to Hire Your Brain Injury Lawyer

Brain injury cases are time sensitive, and often have deadlines for filing. Do not wait to review attorneys serving your area and find the personal injury attorney most suited to lead your case.

Missing the filing deadline can prevent you from pursuing fair compensation for yourself and the injured party. Don’t wait to hire your lawyer. Consultations are free, so schedule yours today.

Gary Annes Author Image

Gary Annes

Partner

Personal Injury Lawyer With Over Twenty Years Of Experience

Gary Annes, a partner at Abels & Annes, P.C., has dedicated over two decades to practicing personal injury law, specializing in auto accidents, premises liability, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and sexual abuse. Since earning his law degree in 1995, Gary has led numerous jury trials, and adeptly resolved cases through arbitration and mediation, securing millions in compensation for his clients.

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