Stockton Brain Injury Attorneys
Stockton Brain Injury Attorneys
Millions of people in the United States visit emergency rooms because of a traumatic brain injury each year. The cost of medical care can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars, and if the patient needs ongoing treatment, the lifetime expense could surpass $1 million. If you were diagnosed with a TBI after a preventable accident, our Stockton brain injury attorneys may be able to get you fairly compensated for healthcare costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost enjoyment in life, and other damages. These cases often involve contentious legal disputes. Insurance companies want to protect their bottom line, so they will go to great lengths to fight any claim brought against them—especially when significant damages are involved. With many decades in legal practice, our attorneys know how to anticipate and overcome disputes, and they’re not afraid to go to trial if the defense refuses to settle. Contact us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.
What Happens During the Discovery Phase of Litigation?
Sometimes it is possible to reach a fair settlement before a lawsuit is even filed. This is the ideal outcome of any personal injury case since litigation can take well over a year and comes with added costs. There are, however, many circumstances when filing a lawsuit and proceeding to litigation is the best course of action. At the end of the day, if the opposing party refuses to cooperate despite being presented with strong evidence, it will likely be in your best interests to sue. The first stage of litigation is called the “discovery phase,” during which the legal team of the plaintiff and that of the defense will exchange evidence and assess each side’s claims and defenses. Depositions may also be taken from percipient witnesses and expert witnesses. The discovery phase serves many purposes. First, it is often possible to reach a settlement after evidence and documents have been exchanged, questions have been answered, and witnesses have been deposed. Even if a settlement is not reached, discovery can help streamline the proceedings by establishing which issues are under dispute and which are not.
What Role Do Expert Witnesses Play in Brain Injury Lawsuits?
Expert witnesses can play an important role in just about any personal injury case when pertinent issues are under dispute. But it is especially common for expert witnesses to be deposed in brain injury cases. Even if the defense concedes liability, a dispute may still arise regarding the types of damages incurred and their value. Traumatic brain injuries are complicated since two patients with the same diagnosis could have very different symptoms. Also, some patients make a full recovery within a matter of months while others suffer permanent cognitive and physical disabilities that require ongoing care, affect their ability to earn an income, and greatly diminish their quality of life. Your Stockton brain injury attorney may depose the following experts to prove damages:
- Your Treating Physician: Your doctor might be deposed regarding your diagnosis, symptoms, and how your condition has progressed. His or her deposition may also be necessary to establish causation if you had a pre-existing head injury that was aggravated by the accident.
- Medical Experts: A neurologist, life care planner, and many other medical experts may be brought in to provide deposition in a traumatic brain injury case.
- A Vocational Expert: Brain trauma can diminish a person’s ability to earn an income. If you are unable to return to your profession, a vocational expert may be deposed regarding how your diagnosis has affected your job prospects.
- An Economist: The deposition of an economist may be necessary to prove the value of future damages such as loss of future earnings.
Of course, the list above does not include all of the witnesses who might be deposed during the discovery phase. Your attorney might also depose percipient witnesses—i.e. people who saw what happened—as well as your close family, friends, and caregivers. At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we have extensive litigation experience and understand how to get the most value out of expert and percipient witness deposition.
What Does “Maximum Medical Improvement” Mean?
Maximum medical improvement is a point in a patient’s recovery where doctors do not expect the patient’s condition to improve any further. Brain injury attorneys often advise their clients to wait until they have reached MMI before entering settlement negotiations just in case their medical care and other losses turn out to be more extensive than anticipated.
Discuss Your Case with a Brain Injury Lawyer in Stockton
Our attorneys understand the emotional, physical, and financial adversity that a traumatic brain injury can cause. We are here to help you fight for the compensation you need to get your life back. Set up a free case assessment by sending us a message or calling 1-800-GO-HARRIS.