The Blackman Legal Group has a wealth of experience litigating traumatic brain injuries in courts throughout the United States. From investigation of the claim through a negotiated brain injury settlement or jury verdict, our lawyers possess the knowledge, skill, and experience to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Before litigation is ever filed, we undertake a great deal of preparation with an eye toward settlement or trial. The patient will need to undergo a thorough evaluation, diagnostic studies, and extensive testing, including neuropsychological testing in most instances, to determine the extent of the injury and ensure that proper treatment is in place. Meanwhile, the head injury attorneywill be investigating the causes of the injury, researching liability issues, identifying the responsible parties, and determining the extent of insurance coverage. The attorney may also consult private investigators, accident reconstructionists, and medical experts.
The pre-litigation phase may last up to two years, keeping in mind that any lawsuit must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations. Negotiations with insurance companies and potential defendants may occur throughout this period; in fact, many claims are settled before a lawsuit is even filed.
Shortly after a lawsuit is filed, the discovery process begins. Discovery is the process by which each party has an opportunity to examine evidence related to the case which may be in the hands of the other party. This evidence may be obtained in a number of ways, such as:
- Interrogatories – written questions regarding the facts of the case that the other party must answer in writing.
- Depositions – oral testimony by a party or witness in response to questioning by the other party’s attorney. A court reporter may be present, and the deposition may be video-recorded. Attorneys for both sides are present, and any objections they make to questions will be noted on the record.
- Requests for Admissions – written requests of the party to either admit, deny the existence of, or state of certain facts in the case.
- Requests for Document Production – for instance, medical or insurance records or reports
- Independent Medical Examinations (IME) – the defense may require the plaintiff to see a defense-retained doctor who will conduct an examination into the extent of the injuries. The doctor may be looking for other factors which may have caused the plaintiff’s injuries, or signs that the plaintiff is perhaps faking or exaggerating his or her injuries.
Discovery requests may be accompanied by a subpoena requiring compliance with requests. An experienced trial attorney will object to or oppose requests that are outside the scope of discovery, often requiring court appearances to argue these important issues.
Between the discovery process and the trial itself, there will be court-ordered settlement conferences and methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation. Even if these processes do not produce a settlement, they often clarify or resolve minor issues and focus attention on the major issues in the case.
The trial itself usually lasts one to two weeks. But the period from filing the brain injury lawsuit to the conclusion of the trial may be one to two years, and even two to four years is not uncommon. The role of the plaintiff in this process is to cooperate with the attorney and prepare for trial, while also focusing on personal treatment and rehabilitation.
Our brain injury attorneys have experience litigating a myriad of traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases across the United States. We have the knowledge and experience to protect your interests, as well as the resources and connections to make sure you receive the appropriate care and treatment. If you have been injured and are contemplating legal action against the responsible party, contact the Blackman Legal Group today for a free consultation.