Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can result in some of the most devastating and disabling consequences of all for their victims. According to the Centers for Disease Control, TBIs are responsible for an estimated 52,000 deaths, 275,000 hospitalizations, and 1.3 million emergency room visits every year. Victims who survive their injuries are often left with severe physical, cognitive, and emotional limitations.
If you've suffered a TBI in a car accident, a fall on someone's property, or some other way that is due to another party's negligence, you have every right to expect their insurance company to pay up -- but it is seldom that easy. Insurance companies exist to make money, so they're always looking for ways to devalue or deny a claim. Here's what you need to do to protect your legal right to compensation:
1. Follow up regularly with your doctors and pursue recommended treatment.
You may feel like your progress toward healing is frustratingly slow or even non-existent. Don't give up, however, while your claim is pending. One of the fastest ways to destroy your claim is to fail to pursue medical treatment for your conditions or to refuse to follow your doctor's advice.
While you may feel like physical or occupational therapy isn't benefiting you, going through the process shows that you not only want to get better but are also actively taking steps to do so. It's also much harder to cast the severity of your injuries in a suspicious light when you're demonstrating through your actions that your condition is distressing.
2. Avoid posting anything problematic on social media and keep your accounts locked down.
Social media accounts have become a hunting ground for insurance claim investigators -- and they're looking for anything they can twist or take out of context to "show" that your condition isn't all that serious. Even things that you think are entirely innocent can be turned against you.
For example, you may know that the photo of you enjoying a dinner out on your birthday captures a rare celebratory moment. In fact, you may have only been putting on a brave face, smiling for your family and the camera. In an insurance company adjustor's eyes, however, that photo is "proof" that you aren't as limited as you say you are and you're managing to enjoy life despite your serious injuries.
There's no magic formula when it comes to getting a fair settlement from an insurance company after a traumatic brain injury. You just have to resolve not to give the insurance adjusters any opportunity to diminish your claims. A personal injury lawyer can help you better protect your interests.