How a Lawyer Can Help in the Aftermath of Traumatic Brain Injury

  • By:David Bate

Brain damage is irreversible. Immediate medical treatment can stop the damage from progressing, and therapy can often help rebuild neural pathways to minimize the effects; however, the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have complications that last a lifetime. In many cases, these complications also continue to evolve as situations and environments change, and building a structure of legal support at the beginning could help victims and families deal with new hurdles as they arise.

Family Medical & Leave Act

The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal workplace law that outlines the rights of employees who need to miss work to care for family members who are sick or injured. The FMLA allows employees up to 12 weeks per year to care for a parent, son or daughter, and sometimes other close family members who need assistance with basic medical or living needs, caretaking, even psychological support when facing a life-changing medical situation. An employer doesn’t have to pay wages during an FMLA leave of absence; however, they must continue providing benefits, including health insurance premiums, without adjustments. If an employee feels that rights under the FMLA are not being met, an attorney could help address any potential mishandling.

Guardianship

Victims of traumatic brain injury are presumed competent and retain control over any assets and living arrangements until it has been decided otherwise in court. The deciding factor is not whether or not a medical or mental condition exists, but how that condition affects a victim’s ability to care for him or herself. In the question of guardianship, the victim and the guardian are entitled to legal representation. Guardianship Laws work to find the solution that allows the victim to keep control over self-determination and live as independently as possible.

Evolving Complications

Mild traumatic brain injuries may not show signs for weeks or months, and some complications may not arise until years later. A victim might perform exceedingly well during the initial recovery stages, and then experience new difficulties as the return to school or work adds new stresses and real-time exertion on the brain. If the victim has a personal injury case regarding the cause of the TBI, an attorney with brain injury experience should be able to address these new issues as they arise and determine if a legal response is needed.

Damage to the brain often causes complex and unpredictable outcomes. Special consideration should be given to finding an brain injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, MD experienced in traumatic brain injuries to help the victim and family negotiate the legal issues that evolve alongside in the years following the onset.

Thanks to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into personal injury claims and how a lawyer can help with a traumatic brain injury.

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