One of the more serious forms of injuries which can result from a motor vehicle accident is a closed head injury. Typical complications that can arise from a closed head injury include permanent personality changes, motor control deficits, short and long-term memory problems, and language problems. Due to the nature and extent of the damage to the victim of a closed head injury these motor vehicle accident cases are often complicated, requiring an understanding of the medical aspects of closed head injuries, the ability to communicate and work well with the victim of the injury and his or her family, as well as the skill to ensure that the victim is treated with respect by the defense, that the victim's rights are fully protected, and that all sources of potential recovery are fully pursued.
Examine the following lawsuits:
In this case the driver of a passenger van struck the back of an automobile that was at a complete stop. The car was waiting to turn left and had the turn signal on. The impact threw the vehicle into a nearby ditch. Police and emergency respondents took the driver of the car to a hospital closeby. The 50 year old woman was confused and disoriented. These are indicators of a potential closed head injury. In addition, the woman had intense pain in her neck, back, wrist and knee. It turned out that she suffered multiple cervical disc herniations with impingement upon the thecal sac and the proximate spinal cord, with radiculopathy, and with carpal tunnel at the wrist. In addition, she had to undergo several surgeries. One was a total knee replacement. She additionally endured infections to her wound. The woman began suffering from a deep depression and having difficulties with her memory. She incurred roughly $230,000 in medical expenses. The law firm that represented the woman published that they achieved a settlement in the amount of $1.35 Million on behalf of the victim.
In the second claim a driver drove into an intersection without obeying the stop sign and flashing lights. When he entered the intersection his van collided with a car. A woman in her early thirties was driving the automobile. She stayed in a coma for 5 months. As a result of the accident she suffered a head injury that caused her to have problems with concentration and short-term memory. She also experiences motor problems. She is now permanently disabled. As a result of her disability she needs living assistance. She could not return to work which had paid her $30,000 a year. The law firm that handled this case intiated claims against not only the driver but also the driver's employer (as the driver was acting within the scope of his employment when the accident happened). The firm documented that the matter settled for $7.0 million present value. The first $3,000,000 was to be paid out in cash.
As the lawsuits above show head injuries from car accidents can leave the victim with substantial and even devastating irreversible impairments. Beyond any physical injuries from the accident the person can experience memory problems and incapacitating depression (Case 1), as well as concentration, short-term memory loss and motor control deficits (Case 2). A head injury can forever change a person's life.
Imagine going through the rest of your life without the ability to create any new short term memories. Picture not not knowing your spouse, your children, your parents. Picture your personality being altered so much that your own family is not able to relate to you. Envision becoming seriously depressed or violent toward the people you've always loved. Picture losing the ability to remember words, to name objects, or even to have an engaging discussion with someone. Envision not being able to plan for the future. Envision not being able to do your job. Envision losing full control of your body. For most of us such a world is unimaginable. For victims of closed head injuries from motor vehicle living with these sorts of impairments turns into their reality.
In cases like this the family of the victim should request the help of a highly skilled motor vehicle accident attorney experienced in litigating cases regarding head injuries. The lawyer will be able to guide the victim and the family in obtaining comprehensive neuropsychological testing in order to completely understand the nature and extent of the injury. Also, if it is necessary to that he matter to trial the attorney will see to it that the matter is handled professionally and that the victim and his or her family are treated with dignity and respect by the defense. Finally, these claims may involve complex medical, liability, insurance, and even asset protection issues. The attorney will use his or her skill and experience to traverse these difficult issues and to explore all possible sources of recovery, thus doing hsi or her best to reach the maximum sum can and will be recovered to protect the future for the victim and his or her family. Like the matters above illustrate, the amount of settlement or award may be substantial.