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How Long Does a Brain Injury Claim Take?

Many brain injuries are life-altering experiences, impacting not only the victim’s physical health but also their emotional well-being and financial stability. If you or someone you love has experienced a brain injury due to the negligence of another party, it helps to understand the process and timeline involved in filing a personal injury claim.

Below is some brief information about the stages of a brain injury claim and factors determining how long a claim might take. When facing such a complicated case, never wait to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable brain injury lawyer who can guide you through the process.

Factors Affecting the Duration of a Brain Injury Claim

When pursuing a brain injury claim, the time it takes to resolve it can vary widely. Several factors can affect the duration of a brain injury claim, including:

The Complexity of the Case

The complexity of the brain injury case plays a significant role in how long it will take to resolve. Each brain injury is unique, and the circumstances surrounding the accident can vary greatly. Some cases involve multiple parties, while others require extensive medical evidence and professional opinions. The more complex the case, the longer it may take to gather evidence and build a strong argument.

Severity of the Injury

The severity of the brain injury can also impact the duration of the claim. Severe brain injuries often require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, which can prolong the claim process. Additionally, the long-term effects of a brain injury may not be immediately apparent, and it may take time to assess the full extent of the damage.

Availability of Medical Records and Evidence

The availability of medical records and other evidence can significantly affect the timeline of a brain injury claim. Obtaining medical records, accident reports, and other supporting documentation can take time, especially if multiple healthcare providers or institutions are involved. Insurance companies and legal teams rely heavily on medical evidence to evaluate the claim, so delays in obtaining these records can prolong the process.

Cooperation from the Insurance Company

The level of cooperation from the insurance company can also impact the duration of a brain injury claim. If the insurance company is uncooperative or disputes liability, the claim may go into negotiations or even litigation. This can significantly delay the process as both parties seek a fair settlement or await a court date.

Legal Process and Court Timelines

The legal process and court timelines can also influence the duration of a brain injury claim. Crowded court dockets can result in delays when scheduling hearings or trials. Additionally, some jurisdictions may have longer wait times for their legal processes. Understanding the local legal system and its specific timelines can give you a better idea of how long the claim may take. You should work closely with your attorney to navigate these aspects efficiently and to anticipate and address any potential delays in the legal proceedings.

Gathering Evidence for a Brain Injury Claim

Brain Injury ClaimYou and your attorney will gather as much evidence as possible to build a solid brain injury claim. This evidence will help establish liability and prove the extent of damages. For a successful brain injury claim, you may need to provide key pieces of evidence, including:

Medical Records and Reports

Medical records and reports are essential in documenting the brain injury, its causes, and the resulting impact on the victim’s life. These records may include diagnostic tests, medical evaluations, treatment plans, and prognosis reports. Gathering comprehensive medical records is crucial to establishing the severity and long-term effects of the brain injury. Your attorney will use this detailed documentation to build a strong case, illustrating the full scope of the injury’s impact and aiding in the pursuit of fair compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and other damages incurred due to the injury.

Witness Statements

Witness statements can provide crucial testimony regarding the accident and the events leading up to it. Statements from individuals who witnessed the accident or were present immediately before or after it can provide additional evidence to support the victim’s claim. Identifying and interviewing witnesses early in the claims process can help strengthen the case.

Professional Opinions

Professional opinions can significantly bolster a brain injury claim. Medical professionals specializing in brain injuries, accident reconstructionists, and vocationalists can provide their experience in assessing the impact of the injury on the victim’s life. These professionals can provide valuable testimony to support the claim and help determine the appropriate compensation.

Accident Reports

Obtaining accident reports from law enforcement agencies or other investigative entities is crucial in establishing liability. These reports often contain essential information about the accident, including any contributing factors or potential negligence on the part of the responsible party. Accident reports can serve as vital evidence in a brain injury claim.

Financial Records

Financial records are necessary for documenting the economic damages resulting from a brain injury. This may include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost income, and other expenses directly resulting from the injury. Comprehensive financial records can help calculate the full extent of the damages and support the compensation claim.

Statute of Limitations

Each state has a statute of limitations, which sets a time limit on how long you have to file a personal injury claim, which also includes those arising from brain injuries. You should be aware of this deadline and take prompt action to protect your rights. Failing to file within the prescribed time limit can result in the dismissal of your case. When you hire a personal injury attorney, they will be familiar with the statute of limitations that applies to your case. Some situations can toll or pause this timeline, such as if the victim is a minor child. Other situations can speed it up, for instance, if your claim is against a government entity. With so many variables and much at stake, it’s best to have an attorney well-versed in your state’s personal injury laws.

Initiating a Brain Injury Claim

Hiring a Lawyer

When pursuing a brain injury claim, it is in your best interest to seek the assistance of an experienced brain injury lawyer. A lawyer specializing in brain injury cases can navigate the complexities of the legal process, gather the necessary evidence, and advocate for fair compensation on behalf of the victim. Hiring a lawyer early on ensures the professional handling of the claim.

Filing a Claim with the Insurance Company

After hiring a lawyer, the next step is to file a claim with the insurance company. The lawyer will communicate with the insurance company on behalf of the victim, outlining the details of the accident, the injuries sustained, and the damages incurred. The insurance company will investigate and assess the claim before making a settlement offer.

Negotiating a Settlement

If the insurance company accepts liability for the accident, negotiations will begin to determine a fair settlement amount. The lawyer will work with the insurance company’s representatives to negotiate the settlement terms, considering the victim’s current and future needs. This negotiation process can take time as both parties aim to reach a mutually agreeable outcome.

Filing a Lawsuit if Necessary

The lawyer may advise filing a lawsuit if negotiations fail to reach a fair settlement. This formal legal action initiates the court process and takes the claim into litigation. Filing a lawsuit can extend the duration of the claim, as both parties must adhere to court procedures and timelines.

The Investigation Phase of a Brain Injury Claim

Brain Injury Claim SettlementUpon filing a lawsuit, the claim enters the investigation phase. This phase involves gathering additional evidence, consulting with professionals, conducting interviews and depositions, and evaluating liability and damages. The investigation phase is crucial in building a solid case and preparing for trial if necessary. This phase can vary in duration depending on the complexity of the case and the availability of evidence and witnesses.

Preparing for Trial in a Brain Injury Claim

If a brain injury claim does not settle during the negotiation phase, it may proceed to trial. Preparing for trial involves extensive work, including:

Building a strong case: The legal team will work diligently to compile all necessary evidence, including medical records, professional opinions, witness statements, and accident reports. They will construct a persuasive argument that demonstrates the at-fault party’s negligence or liability and the impact of the brain injury on the victim’s life.

Documenting damages: This includes gathering financial records, medical bills, and other evidence demonstrating the injury’s economic impact. Additionally, establishing the emotional and non-economic damages may require professional opinions or psychological evaluations.

Preparing witnesses: The legal team will prepare witnesses, including medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, and individuals familiar with the victim’s condition and its impact on their life. Witness preparation ensures they can provide reliable and compelling testimony during the trial.

Meeting court deadlines: This includes submitting required documentation, responding to motions, and adhering to any pre-trial procedures set by the court. Failure to meet these deadlines can result in delays or other negative consequences for the case.

Settlement Negotiations in a Brain Injury Claim

Calculating damages: Your attorney will calculate the full extent of damages resulting from the brain injury. This includes economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost income, as well as non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Accurately calculating damages is crucial in determining a fair and reasonable settlement amount.

Negotiating with the insurance company: Ongoing communication and negotiation with the insurance company is necessary. The legal team will present the evidence and arguments supporting the victim’s claim, while the insurance company may counter with their assessment of liability and damages. Negotiations can be lengthy as both parties strive to reach a resolution that adequately compensates the victim.

Evaluating settlement offers: Throughout the negotiation process, the legal team and the victim must carefully evaluate any settlement offers presented by the insurance company. They will consider the adequacy of the compensation, the strength of the evidence supporting the claim, and the potential risks and costs of proceeding to trial.

Mediation or alternative dispute resolution: In some cases, mediation or alternative dispute resolution methods may facilitate settlement negotiations. These processes involve a neutral third party who assists in reaching a settlement agreement. Mediation or alternative dispute resolution can help streamline the negotiation process and potentially lead to a quicker resolution.

Bringing a Brain Injury Claim to Trial

Presenting evidence and arguments: During the trial, both parties will have the opportunity to present their evidence, arguments, and witness testimony. The legal team representing the brain injury victim will work diligently to present a compelling case that establishes the defendant’s negligence and the extent of the damages suffered by the victim. This trial phase can take several days or even weeks, depending on the case’s complexity.

Cross-examining witnesses: Cross-examination is a critical aspect of a brain injury trial. The legal team will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses presented by the opposing party, challenging their credibility and probing for inconsistencies or weaknesses in their testimony. Cross-examination can be a lengthy process, especially if multiple witnesses are involved.

Jury deliberations and verdict: The jury will deliberate on the case after presenting all evidence and arguments. The jury will review the evidence, consider the statements made by both parties, and come to a verdict. The duration of jury deliberations can vary significantly, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of issues that need addressing.

Countless factors, including the complexity of the case, the severity of the injury, the availability of evidence, the cooperation from the insurance company, and the involved legal process, can influence the duration of a brain injury claim. Gathering evidence, initiating the claim, conducting investigations, negotiating settlements, going to trial, and potential appeals or post-trial motions are all stages that can affect the overall timeline of a brain injury claim. Be sure to work with experienced brain injury lawyers who can navigate the process effectively and advocate for fair compensation on your behalf.

The sooner you start consulting personal injury lawyers, the sooner your claim might resolve.

Lauren Varner, Personal Injury Attorney

Lauren is a Personal Injury Attorney. She is Colorado native who became involved with the field of personal injury long before she became an attorney. Lauren’s professional philosophy centers around good old fashioned hard work, producing quality work product, and treating others professionally, with dignity and respect at all times.

Awards and as featured on

National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 Included in TOP 40 Under 40 by The National TRIAL Lawyers in Centennial CO Varner Faddis Top Lawyers Denver Badge – 5280 Magazine American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorney Top 40 Under 40 5280 Denver Top Lawyers