Dear Friends: Good day, stay positive and be courageous. Today’s post is the third and final installation in New York TBI Lawyer Stories in which I describe the importance of choosing the right TBI lawyer series. It explains—by way of a second example—why my advice on How to Hire the Right TBI Lawyer contained on the How We Can Help page of TBI Helpline is so critically important to follow.
A gentleman in his late thirties, who I will refer to as Mr. X, sustained a TBI in an auto accident. He came to my office not too long ago and told me he already had a lawyer, but he wasn’t sure that his attorney understood the full nature and extent of his brain injury. His lawyer said to him, “you didn’t lose consciousness, the CAT scan of your brain was negative, you were not admitted to the hospital, and … your TBI was not diagnosed until several months after the accident. Taking the factors together,” his lawyer confidently continued, “I recommend that you take the $50,000 offer of settlement.”
Mr. X knew right then that his lawyer was unfamiliar with TBI injuries. He knew that you don’t need to lose consciousness or have a positive CAT scan or even be admitted to a hospital to have sustained a serious TBI with residual functional impairment. Mr. X responded, “but I’ve seen a neurologist, who in turn referred me to a neuropsychologist who tested me and identified my brain function has been compromised in the way I think, feel and act. And, I’ve been out of work and in cognitive and vestibular therapy ever since my diagnosis. It’s been two years since my accident and it appears I may never be gainfully employed again or employed in a limited way making less money than I earned prior to the accident.”
“But still,” his lawyer responded, “This is good money. Take it.”
The first thing I did when Mr. X appeared at my office was to investigate the professional background of his lawyer. I went to his website which held him out as being a “Criminal Attorney,” and listed the following practice areas: DWI/DUI, ASSAULT, DRUG CASES, THEFT, TRAFFIC TICKETS AND SHOPLIFTING. Nowhere on his website did this attorney even suggest that he was a civil injury lawyer, much less one with deep experience in handling TBI matters of significant proportion. Unfortunately, Mr. X did not go to this lawyers website before hiring him. He simply listened to the recommendation of a friend at work.
After discussing Mr. X’s case in great detail with him and spending the time the situation required to fully understand his TBI, I agreed to take over his case. He has acquired weaknesses in cognition, emotion and behavioral issues all associated with his head trauma. Needless to say, the case of Mr. X had a compensatory money value into the millions. Had he not been advised by his family to seek a different attorney—after his lawyer recommended a $50,000 settlement — a serious miscarriage of justice would have occurred.
By this example I hope those of you visiting TBIHelpline.com will realize how important it is to choose the right TBI lawyer. The wrong choice can have devastating results in life situation already made difficult by your injury itself. It’s a mistake that may end up costing you a significant amount of money you may be entitled to.
For those of you looking to hire a lawyer to handle your traumatic brain injury case, I strongly urge that you follow the steps I’ve outlined for you on the page of this site called, How We Can Help. For those of you who already have a lawyer and are not sure you hired “the right lawyer,” meet with your attorney and ask about all the issues I’ve raised in, How to Hire the Right TBI Lawyer, to insure you have an experienced and proven attorney representing your rights. You and your family deserve the best counsel you can find in these challenging times. Worrying about the competency of your lawyer is the last thing you need to think about when it’s that person, and that person alone, you’re relying on to help effectuate justice.