August 2017

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Traumatic Brain Injuries

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A traumatic brain injury can be anything such as a concussion during a football game, to shaken baby syndrome, which may result in loss of hearing, loss of vision, paralysis, etc. Traumatic brain injuries need to be taken very seriously since they can impact an individual for the rest of their life. Falling and hitting your head, being hit by an object, and car accidents are the most coming causes of brain injuries.

Brain injuries result in several types of injuries and losses. Some are much more traumatic than others, depending on the severity of your brain injury. They include:

  • Loss of job
  • Loss of finances
  • Paralysis
  • Vegetative state
  • Comatose
  • Stroke
  • Death

If you think you have been a victim of a potential brain injury, do not ignore it. Monitor your symptoms, and if anything changes see a doctor right away. So many brain injuries could result in less, long-term traumatic injury if people did not ignore the situation and were treated right away. Many people experience a disability an entire year after the initial injury.

Look Into Hiring an Attorney

If you were the victim of a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another person, you may want to hire an attorney and file a case against the party at fault. This could be due to a car accident as a result of a careless driver, work related injury that goes unnoticed, a slip and fall accident at a restaurant, or any other type of brain injury where someone else is at fault.

Traumatic brain injuries can result in life-ending injuries. With an injury of that nature, brings financial strain to the entire family, on top of dealing with the potential loss of a family member. An experienced attorney will know the correct step to take for you to receive full compensation for your injury. To receive compensation, you or your family members will need evidence it was the other party’s fault. You will want any notes from how/when the injury occurred, notes from any witnesses, video recordings, and medical records.

If you are unsure of how to file a lawsuit against the party at fault, or to make things easier on your end after going through this traumatic injury, hire an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer  relies on. They understand the amount of stress a legal case can bring, especially after already going through such a traumatic injury. Someone who will speak for you, fight for you, and get you the compensation you deserve.

GUARDIANSHIP AND PERSONAL INJURY CASES

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A person injured in an accident can be left unable to make their own healthcare and financial decisions due to incapacity and/or disability.  If that person is an adult, their power of attorney can makes those decisions.

What happens if the person injured had not created a power of attorney before their injuries?  

In such a circumstance, a guardianship and conservatorship action will have to be filed with the court.  A guardian is someone who can make all non-financial decisions for an incapacitated person.  A conservator can make financial decisions for the incapacitated person.  

To become a guardian, a petition must be filed with the court.  State laws vary considerably on procedures, but generally it must be proven that the person needing a guardian cannot makes decisions such that they are a danger to themselves.  Thus, a guardian / conservator must be appointed to make all decisions for them.  

The person applying for guardian and conservator must prove to the court that they are trustworthy managing the money and decisions of another person.  Someone with criminal convictions or a past history of bankruptcy may not be approved by the court.  

In Missouri, where I practice law, anyone can file such a petition.  In reality, family members are given preference.  

Once approved by the court, the guardian / conservator normally must produce an inventory of accounts and assets of the individual.  They can almost immediately step into the shoes of the injured person to discuss healthcare decisions with their doctors, including where treatment is received, what type of treatment is received and which doctors provide treatment.  They can review medical records, deal with health insurance companies and write checks from accounts to pay for services needed for the injured person.

They can arrange housing, access all funds necessary for expenses and hire assistance for the care of the person.  

Perhaps most importantly, they can hire lawyers to pursue litigation against the party that caused their injuries.  

Any settlement for the personal injury suit will be managed by the guardian / conservator, subject to certain exceptions where a special needs trust must be created.  

Because the guardianship / conservatorship process necessarily creates uncertainty (Who will file?  Who can serve as guardian?  Who will the court approve?), it is always preferable that a person creates a financial power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney soon after they become adults.  

Life is full of uncertainties and the power of attorney is a great way to bring certainty to your life if you ever become incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions.  The guardianship route, however, is still available if a power of attorney was not created.

Creating powers of attorney or applying for guardianship is something that can be done with the assistance of a lawyer like, a competent St. Charles, Missouri estate attorney.  


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Legacy Law Center for their insight into guardianship and personal injury.

 

What will car insurance cover after an accident?

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There are thousands of car accidents every day. They can happen at any time and can have life-altering effects. If you are one of the many unfortunate individuals involved in a car accident, what can you recover as a result of someone else’s negligence? What will the at-fault party’s insurance cover? Here are a few of the most common damages covered by car insurance following an automobile accident.

 

Property Damage

Thankfully, not every auto accident causes injuries. However, individuals can still suffer financially when their car is damaged. As long as you were not at fault in the accident, the other driver’s car insurance should cover the cost of getting your car repaired (or the market value of the car if it is damaged beyond repair), towing and storage expenses, as well as rental expenses while your car is being repaired.  

 

Specific Damages

Specific damages refers to damages that have a specific valued amount related to an accident-related injury. These damages include the cost of medical bills which you have incurred due to treatment related to the injuries you sustained in the accident. As long as the treatment is reasonable in scope and duration, the at-fault driver’s car insurance covers those expenses. Additionally, it should cover any wages you lost as a result of the accident and loss of earning capacity.

 

General Damages

General damages refers to damages that are not necessarily easily calculated dollar amounts. These damages most often include pain and suffering and emotional distress you have endured as a result of the other driver’s negligence. These damages are subjective and can range in value depending on the severity of the accident and each auto accident victim’s personal situation.

 

Punitive Damages

In certain circumstances, when the at-fault driver is especially negligent in causing the accident, you may also receive punitive damages. Again, these damages are not easily calculated dollar amounts and can range depending on the specific factors involved in an accident. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for the egregious behavior, which often comes into play when the person causing the accident is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is driving at a reckless speed, and/or hits your car and runs.

 

It is important to note that each state requires all drivers to have car insurance with minimum policy limits. The at-fault driver’s car insurance will only pay out up to the police limits on the at-fault driver’s policy, regardless of how much your property damage, specific damages and/or general damages may be.  

 

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should speak to a personal injury attorney Charlotte NC trusts immediately.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Harman Law for their insight into car insurance after an accident.