Fast action is crucial when a loved one has suffered traumatic brain injury as the result of an accident. There are steps that can protect both the victim’s health and rights to fair financial recovery. Victims may have grounds for a tort claim if someone else’s negligence caused the injury. This money can help defray the costs of long-term therapeutic care.
Below are five steps to take to help a loved one who has suffered a traumatic brain injury.
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1. Help the Victim Seek Appropriate Medical Care
First and foremost, ensure the victim has received appropriate emergency medical care. Consult a physician to rule out head trauma after an accident; some injuries will not be immediately apparent. The doctor may need to conduct tests such as a CT scan or MRI to determine the existence and extent of a traumatic brain injury.
Help the victim receive appropriate follow-up care in the days, weeks and months following the accident. Short-term care may include medication and surgery. Long-term treatment depends on the effects of the injury but may include rehabilitation and occupational therapy, as well as speech therapy.
2. Act Quickly to Protect the Victim’s Rights
The victim has only seven days to notify his or her insurance company if the brain injury occurred as the result of an automotive or pedestrian accident. If the victim is incapacitated or undergoing treatment, he or she likely will need assistance with this task. Ontario law requires an Application for Accident Benefits to be filed within 30 days of receipt. These steps also protect the victim’s right to later bring a tort claim in cases involving negligence.
3. Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer can help answer any questions about time restrictions, requirements for filing for benefits and how best to protect the victim’s right to compensation. A lawyer also can help pursue a tort claim if there is proof someone else’s negligence caused the accident and brain injury.
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4. Consider all Options for Compensation
Accident benefits – otherwise known as “no-fault benefits” – provide compensation to all accident victims regardless of liability. These benefits include up to $400 per week for lost income, up to $3,000 a month for attendant care and up to $50,000 total for medical and rehabilitation costs. There may be additional benefits in the case of a severe brain injury.
A tort claim may recover compensation for pain and suffering, additional medical expenses, past and future lost income, and other out-of-pocket costs.
A lawyer can examine the facts of the victim’s case to offer an educated evaluation of the types of compensation that may be available.
5. Explore Options for TBI Treatment and Support
A person who has suffered traumatic brain injury likely will benefit from emotional support or counseling. Likewise, a caregiver may consider seeking support from a professional or others who have experienced similar situations.
The lawyers at Preszler Law Firm have helped numerous victims of traumatic brain injury. Call 1-800-JUSTICE® or complete this confidential online form. We do not charge any fees unless we collect for you.