In 2014, our client sustained a mild traumatic brain injury, along with whiplash injuries to her neck as a result of being rear-ended in a car accident. She had already received the at-fault driver’s $25,000 liability limits, but was pursuing the $100,000 uninsured motorist coverage limits through her policy with Liberty Mutual. After going through six prior lawyers, the client reached out to us two years ago for representation. By this time, a lawsuit had already been filed and dismissed by a prior lawyer, and then re-filed by another lawyer.
The pending case was removed to federal court by Liberty Mutual and was pending before a Judge. Unfortunately for our client, none of her prior lawyers were able to get more than a nominal offer from Liberty Mutual, and when the insurer wouldn’t budge, they would give up and withdraw. One of the challenges she faced was getting people, including her insurance company and past attorneys, to believe that she actually had a mild traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) and also to do the necessary work to prove it in a case with a limited amount of insurance available.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury is an injury to the brain that usually occurs as a result of a sudden trauma. Examples of incidents that may cause TBI include piercing of the skull and brain tissue or sudden impact to the skull. These incidents may occur during a car accident, while playing a sport or because of a slip and fall, or structural collapse. In many cases, traumatic brain injuries lead to significant disabilities that may be temporary or permanent. One of the challenges with TBIs is that they are often referred to as invisible injuries. Liberty Mutual did not believe our client actually had suffered a TBI. While many attorneys would not consider a client that had six prior lawyers, we listened to her story and felt compelled to help.
Darl Champion, Morgyn Graber and The Champion Firm team immediately accepted the case and entered an appearance. First, we were able to get Liberty Mutual’s expert witness struck. Then, we took depositions for use at trial of several of our client’s treating medical providers, including her concussion doctor at The Shepherd’s Center, a neuropsychologist, an orthopedic doctor who treated her neck injury, and a physical therapist. The case was scheduled for trial in federal court in early August of 2021. In July 2021, Liberty Mutual went from offering nothing to agreeing to pay the full $100,000 policy limits. This case was extremely rewarding for us because not only is our client getting the maximum amount of money available, but she’s also receiving validation for her injuries after not being believed for seven years. Helping our clients through difficult times by providing the best legal representation and top-rated client care is at the core of who we are at The Champion Firm.
Signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury:
All TBIs are different and may present a range of different symptoms. These symptoms vary according to the severity of the individual’s brain damage. Some of the symptoms of mild TBI may include:
- Loss of consciousness for no more than a few minutes
- Blurred vision
- Mood or behavioral disturbances
- Sleep disturbances
- Ringing in the ears
- Problems with concentration, attention and/or memory
The symptoms of a moderate to severe TBI may include:
- Any or all of the symptoms of mild TBI.
- Persistent headache.
- Loss of coordination.
- Numbness and/or weakness in the extremities.
- Slurred speech.
- Pupil dilation.
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
- Difficulty awakening from sleep.
If you have been involved in an accident that led to traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to damages in some cases. If another person or a company was responsible for the accident, this party should be held responsible for your medical bills, any wages you lost at work and the cost of any rehabilitation you need. If your traumatic brain injury will make it impossible for you to return to work and/or provide for yourself in the future, the damages owed may be even higher.
The state of Georgia requires all personal injury lawsuits, including those that involve traumatic brain injury, to be filed within a certain amount of time after the accident. Call us today or fill out our online consultation form.