One of the most important steps to take after any type of personal injury accident is to seek prompt medical attention. Documenting your injuries after an accident is a key element required to prove damages in a personal injury case. Your doctor needs to evaluate your injuries, develop a treatment plan, and keep detailed medical records. The defense will require medical proof before agreeing to accept liability for a claim. However, do not be surprised if the defense also requests an independent medical exam before it makes a final determination of payment, even if it accepts liability for the accident.
Liability vs. Payment of Damages After an Accident
Accepting liability for the cause of an injury is only one half of a personal injury claim. Even though an insurance provider may acknowledge that its insured caused the accident that resulted in your injury, that does not necessarily mean that the insurance provider is willing to pay the amount of compensation you demand to settle the claim.
The insurance provider wants to minimize the amount of money it must pay to settle your claim. Therefore, it may carefully analyze each medical record and other evidence you submit to search for weaknesses and defenses that can lower the value of your personal injury claim. One way to accomplish this goal is to argue that your injuries are not as substantial as you claim. One way to refute the severity of your injuries is to request an independent medical exam.
What is an Independent Medical Exam?
An independent medical examination (IME) is commonly used in workers’ compensation cases, but IMEs may also be requested in other personal injury cases. An IME is conducted by a physician who is alleged to be neutral in the matter to ensure that the physician’s findings are not influenced by any loyalty to either party or the party who is paying the doctor’s fees. In other words, the IME should result in an unbiased medical opinion of the person’s injuries, treatment, medical condition, impairment rating, and prognosis.
The insurance company hopes to receive a report that refutes some of the medical evidence provided by your doctors. If the IME supports a different finding, the insurance company may use the finding to attempt to lower the value of the claim.
If an insurance provider requests an IME, you should contact a Sacramento personal injury attorney immediately. The process for requesting and obtaining an IME must be followed. Furthermore, if an IME is requested, there is a dispute related to your injuries. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to evaluate your claim and advise you of the steps you should take to protect your legal rights.
Contact a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Case Review
Our attorneys offer free consultations so that you can get answers to your questions about personal injury claims and personal injury laws in California. You do not need to rely on the information given to you by insurance adjusters or parties representing the person who caused your injury. You can obtain a no-obligation, case review from an experienced personal injury attorney in Sacramento.
Schedule your free case review by calling The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in life-altering conditions. However, some TBIs are mild and may go unnoticed until the person begins experiencing symptoms of a brain injury. Even at that time, the person may not immediately equate the symptoms of a TBI with a head injury. One of the reasons some individuals may not realize a TBI is causing their symptoms is because some TBI patients have not sustained a blow to the head or display any other outward sign of head trauma.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a TBI may temporarily impact the brain cells, or it can cause severe damage to the brain from bruising, bleeding, tearing, and other physical damage. A TBI can occur from a violent blow to the head or from the head striking another object. However, brain damage may also occur from a strong jolt to the head or the body. Therefore, you could experience a TBI even though your head does not strike an object.
For instance, a closed head injury may occur in a car crash when your head is whipped around because of the sudden jolt to the body at the time of the impact. When your head is thrown backward and forward or side-to-side, your brain can move violently within the skull striking the bony structure in one or more places. Each time the fragile brain tissue strikes a part of the skull, the tissue can sustain damage.
In some cases, a closed head injury caused by a strong jolt can cause more damage than a penetrating head injury. A penetrating head injury occurs when an object enters the brain through the skull. Damage is typically localized to the area where the object enters the brain. However, with a closed brain injury from a jolt, numerous parts of the brain may be injured as it “bounces” around within the skull.
TBI Symptoms and Signs
Symptoms and signs of a brain injury vary depending on the severity of the brain injury. Children can also display different signs of brain trauma because of their age.
It is helpful to know the symptoms of TBI, so that you can seek immediate medical attention for a brain injury. The Mayo Clinic provides an exhaustive list of symptoms divided into categories, including physical symptoms, sensory symptoms, and cognitive symptoms. It also provides symptoms of mild traumatic brain injuries and moderate to severe TBIs. You can also review a list of children’s symptoms of TBI on the website.
It is important to remember that you do not need to lose consciousness after sustaining a TBI. Also, symptoms may not be present for several hours or days after a brain injury. You should also seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms of a brain injury after an accident. However, it never hurts to be evaluated by a medical professional after any accident to rule out a TBI or other head injury.
Contact a Sacramento Brain Injury Attorney for More Information
Several situations can result in a TBI including:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slips and falls
- Sports and recreational activities
- Work-related accidents
- Accidents involving defective products
If you are injured in an accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact our Sacramento brain injury attorneys for a free consultation by calling The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or by visiting our website.
You were injured in a personal injury accident, and you are ready to discuss filing an injury claim against the party or parties responsible for your injuries. We encourage you to contact our office to schedule a free consultation with a Sacramento personal injury attorney if you have not already done so. Below is a checklist that you can use as you prepare for your first meeting with our attorney.
However, we want to be very clear. We care more about you, your recovery, and your story. While it is very helpful to have the information and documentation below, it is not necessary. We want to talk to you about your accident and your current situation. Our focus is on helping you understand your legal rights and your options for obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses.
Therefore, if you have the information or documentation below, please bring it with you to the first appointment, but do not let a lack of anything on the checklist keep you from speaking to an attorney.
Checklist for Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney
- Copy of police report and accident report
- Copies of insurance policies related to the accident (i.e. homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, disability insurance, medical pay, etc.)
- The name and contact information of each insurance adjuster or other party who you have talked to about the accident or your injuries
- Copies of any medical records and statements from physicians or medical providers
- Copies of any correspondence from attorneys or insurance providers
- Information obtained from the accident scene, such as photographs and names of eyewitnesses
- Medical bills and other evidence of expenses and costs related to the accident, your injuries, and your recovery
- Proof of income and the dates you have missed work because of the accident
- A list of all medical providers who treated you after the accident
It can also be very helpful to make notes about what you remember about the accident. Small details could be very important. Your notes do not need to be full sentences or paragraphs. The information is to help you relate to your personal injury attorney what happened before and after the accident.
You may also want to include a list of questions you want to ask the personal injury attorney. We want to learn about you during the appointment, but we also want you to leave with answers to the questions you have about accident claims.
Get Peace of Mind and Learn About Your Legal Rights by Calling a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney
Being injured in an accident can turn your life upside down. If you are unsure about what you need to do to protect your rights, contact our office for a free case review. You do not need to handle an insurance claim alone.
For a free consultation with one of our Sacramento accident lawyers, call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000. We are here for you to listen to what happened to you and provide you with the legal advice, guidance, and support you need as you continue to recover from a tragic accident.
You may sustain a variety of injuries from an auto accident in Sacramento. Some common auto accident injuries include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, whiplash, fractures, back injuries, and head injuries. Second Impact Syndrome or SIS is a serious injury that may develop after an auto accident. In many cases, SIS is life-threatening. Victims who survive SIS typically have severe impairments.
What is Second Impact Syndrome?
SIS occurs when an individual suffers two concussions in a row with the second concussion occurring before the brain has completely healed from the first concussion. For instance, your daughter falls during a gymnastics competition and suffers a concussion. The following week, a speeding driver hits your car, causing your daughter to suffer severe whiplash. With the whiplash, she suffers a closed head injury that results in a concussion.
The second concussion may result in SIS, which should always be treated as a medical emergency. A person with SIS may or may not lose consciousness at the time of the second concussion. However, they often look confused or stunned and typically collapse within minutes. The person’s condition quickly worsens ultimately resulting in respiratory failure. Within minutes, a person could die from SIS.
Taking Precautions After a Concussion
SIS is rare, but it can take your life or the life of a loved one. Therefore, you need to be very cautious after a head injury. If you or your loved one suffers a concussion in a car accident, following the doctor’s orders is very important. Patients should not return to work, play sports, or engage in other activities until the concussion has healed completely. Any activity that could result in a second head injury could be deadly.
If you notice signs that might indicate a head injury, such as headaches, disorientation, fatigue, vomiting, nausea, or a general feeling of being “run-down” or “in a fog,” you should seek emergency medical treatment immediately. You could be suffering from SIS. The second impact does not need to be severe to cause SIS. A light impact can cause a concussion that leads to Secondary Impact Syndrome.
Seeking Medical Care for Brain Injuries After a Traffic Accident
Head injuries range from minor to severe. It is important to keep in mind that even a minor head injury or concussion is a serious health concern. Accident victims need to review the signs and symptoms of a brain injury so that they can seek medical care if they begin experiencing any of the symptoms of brain injury.
Common symptoms of a brain injury include:
- Losing consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Blurred vision
- Changes in personality
Filing an Accident Claim for a Brain Injury
If you sustain a brain injury in a traffic accident, you might be entitled to substantial compensation from the person who caused the crash. The Sacramento accident attorneys of The Tiemann Law Firm can help you file an insurance claim seeking full compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages.
Call our office at (916) 999-9000 for a free consultation.
A common myth associated with accident cases in California is the existence of a personal injury settlement calculator. The calculator is used to determine the value of your claim. Some websites offer “free settlement calculators” for accident victims who want to know the value of the case. The myth may be common because many people believe there is a formula for calculating damages in a personal injury case. However, there is not a set formula for calculating the value of a claim.
Using a Personal Injury Settlement Calculator
Some websites try to lure you into hiring a firm by offering you use of their free calculator. You insert the total of your medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses to calculate the value of your claim. Some websites go even further and tell you that by multiplying your financial losses by a certain number, you can calculate the value of your pain and suffering damages. However, these so-called “calculators” do not consider all factors used in valuing a personal injury claim.
There is not a magic number or formula prescribed by law that attorneys, insurance companies, or the courts use to calculate the value of a personal injury claim. In other words, there is no such thing as a personal injury settlement calculator.
Factors Used to Calculate the Value of a Personal Injury Claim?
Each case is unique. Therefore, the factors used to calculate the value of your claim may be slightly different from the factors used in another case. However, some of the common factors that impact the value of a personal injury claim include:
- The type and severity of your injuries;
- The total financial losses associated with the accident, your injuries, and your recovery;
- The location of your accident;
- The available insurance coverage;
- The length of your recovery; and,
- Whether or not you suffered permanent impairment or disabilities.
Liability is an Important Factor
To recover compensation for a personal injury claim, you must prove that the other party was responsible for causing the accident that resulted in your injury. However, if you are partially responsible, you may not receive full compensation for your injuries.
California uses a pure comparative negligence standard for personal injury claims. If you have any fault for causing the accident that resulted in your injuries, your compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for the accident.
For example, if you were speeding at the time of a crash and the jury finds you were 30 percent at fault for causing the accident, your compensation is reduced by 30 percent. If your total damages equal $100,000, the most you can receive for your claim is $70,000.
Contact a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Case Review
Calculating the value of a personal injury claim is a complex process. Don’t fall for a firm or website that offers a personal injury settlement calculator. Our legal team works closely with you throughout your case to ensure that we account for each expense and damage that we can include in the value of your claim. We use a variety of strategies to maximize the compensation you may receive for your claim.
Call The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 to schedule your free legal consultation.