Spokane Lawyers | Spokane Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys

Spokane Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys

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    TBI - Paukert & Troppman

    Spokane Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys

    Serving Residents in Washington and Idaho

    Do you need legal help?

    Contact us for a legal consultation.


      Helping You Through Your Legal Problems

      Our Spokane, WA attorney's are here to guide you. Reach out today if you need legal help.

      Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.
       

      - Christine Weaver

      I have worked with Paukert and Troppmann now for nearly 15 years. This is a professional and successful legal team. I highly recommend this proficient legal group and encourage you to explore how they can support you.
       

      - Herzog Family Center

      Client Testimonials

      Learn what the community has to say about our law firm and the people who are a part of it.

      Read more reviews ➜

      Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.
       

      - Christine Weaver

      I have worked with Paukert and Troppmann now for nearly 15 years. This is a professional and successful legal team. I highly recommend this proficient legal group and encourage you to explore how they can support you.
       

      - Herzog Family Center

      Read more reviews ➜

      Client Testimonials

      Learn what the community has to say about our law firm and the people who are a part of it.

      Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.
       

      - Christine Weaver

      I have worked with Paukert and Troppmann now for nearly 15 years. This is a professional and successful legal team. I highly recommend this proficient legal group and encourage you to explore how they can support you.
       

      - Herzog Family Center

      Client Testimonials

      Learn what the community has to say about our law firm and the people who are a part of it.

      Read more reviews ➜

      Download our free injury guide!

      Learn what you should and shouldn't be doing for your personal injury case. 

      Download our free injury guide!

      Learn what you should and shouldn't be doing for your personal injury case. 

      Spokane Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys

      Serious injuries are always frightening and traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often the scariest of all serious injuries, threatening our sense of who we are and how we connect with others. If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury because of the negligence of someone else, you deserve to pursue compensation.

      If you’re reading this, you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury. You’re probably scared and still trying to figure out just how much of your life your injury will impact. It’s likely you’ve lost income from having to miss a significant amount of work, causing you financial strain. You may also be searching for someone you can trust to give you guidance about a traumatic brain injury claim.

      We are here to help with free legal advice. Call our Spokane traumatic brain injury attorneys today.

      Don’t worry about whether you’ll need money up-front to pay for answers about a claim. Contact us as soon as you can to schedule a free legal consultation.

      An Overview of TBI 

      Traumatic brain injuries are caused by a blow to the head or a penetrating injury that causes damage to the brain. These injuries are loosely categorized into one of three levels:

      • Mild TBI (includes concussion)
      • Moderate TBI
      • Severe TBI

      The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates there are approximately 176 traumatic brain injury-related deaths annually. In 2020 there were over 64,000 deaths related to these injuries. They are most common among males in their mid-to-late teens and early 20s. They are also common among young children and people over the age of 60 who have had a serious fall.

      When a TBI involves a young child, the injury can interfere with long-term development such as cognition, physical health, behavior regulation (such as impulse control), and social skills.

      Older adults who suffer from a TBI are more likely to require hospitalization and therapy to recover and are more vulnerable to death because of the injury. There is also the additional diagnostic risk of a TBI being overlooked in a senior adult, due to sharing symptoms that are common to those of dementia.

      The groups of people most vulnerable to suffering long-term problems or death from a TBI include:

      • Veterans or service members
      • Racial and ethnic minorities
      • People living in rural areas
      • Victims of domestic violence
      • People incarcerated in detention or correctional facilities
      • People who are homeless
      • Professional athletes

      Long-Term Effects of a TBI

      Traumatic brain injuries are often accompanied by numerous and varied symptoms. The long-term effects of a TBI will depend on the area of the brain that was injured:

      • Frontal lobe/forehead: Injury to this region can affect problem solving, reasoning, impulse control, and behavior regulation
      • Left side of the head: Injury to this area can lead to problems with logical thought, speech, and comprehension
      • Right side of the head: Trauma to this area can affect visual processing and the ability to perform formerly familiar tasks

      Some of the long-term effects of a Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury include:

      • Memory loss
      • Seizures
      • Dizziness
      • Headaches
      • Visual changes
      • Paralysis
      • Fatigue
      • Balance issues
      • Mood swings
      • Reduction in language skills
      • Problem-solving challenges
      • Cognitive challenges
      • Physical impairment
      • Loss of Taste
      • Shallow breathing
      • Vomiting
      • Difficulty breathing
      • Seizures
      • Sleep disturbances
      • Lethargy
      • Elevated blood pressure
      • Loss of smell
      • Dilated pupils
      • Trouble swallowing
      • Weakened facial muscles

      When a traumatic brain injury is mild, recovery may be possible within a fairly short amount of time (days to weeks). The general timeline for recovery from a mild TBI is 30-90 days.

      Some of the symptoms that arise from a mild TBI are:

      • Sensitivity to light
      • Sensitivity to noise
      • Confusion
      • Migraines
      • Balance problems
      • Dizziness
      • Concentration problems
      • Mental fatigue, especially after physical exertion

      While there are a range of potential symptoms and effects a person may experience from a TBI, the common thread through them all is doctors’ advice to seek treatment as quickly as possible. Early medical intervention is likely to speed recovery and help prevent further damage.

      In many cases, recovery is helped through continuation of a person’s former activities, though in a reduced capacity. This helps stimulate blood flow to the brain to aid recovery, while minimizing the likelihood of making headaches, nausea, and dizziness worse.

      While some brain injures can be recovered from completely after initial medical treatment and at-home rest, more severe TBIs may require a holistic approach that incorporates a variety of treatments, such as physical and occupational therapists, rehabilitative psychologists, speech therapists, and social workers.

      While severe TBIs may require some adjustment to a “new normal,” doctors emphasize that when treated promptly and given thorough rehabilitation, many patients can once again enjoy independence in their lives.

      How Can a Spokane Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Help Me?

      Many people mistakenly believe that muddling through their claim without an attorney will save money, but history does not show this to be the case. The truth, however, reveals that most people who don’t hire an attorney for their traumatic brain injury claim are awarded many times less than those with traumatic brain injury attorneys. Let’s look at the ways our Spokane traumatic brain injury attorneys can help you.

      Liability insurance exist to provide financial assistance to their clients in the event of injury and the death of a loved one. This insurance is provided by insurance companies, which are businesses. To ensure they remain in business, they must keep expenses as low as possible and make sure the claims they provide benefits for are legitimate.

      The way insurance companies achieve this is by employing tactics that help prevent fraudulent claims and keep costs as low as possible on the claims they must pay. Any one of these tactics, if successful, can damage your claim or even cause it to be dismissed. There are several ways hiring an attorney can help you with your claim. Most of them relate to retaining your claim’s value.

      Protecting the Value of Your Traumatic Brain Injury Claim

      Hiring an attorney to handle your traumatic brain injury claim protects you from accidentally damaging the value of your own claim by saying the wrong thing.

      A common tactic used by the insurance company is to request a recorded interview with the injured person. It is very important not to agree to this, because the insurance adjuster who calls is trying to catch you saying something they can use to lower the value of your claim. If you agree to a conversation, they will scour the recording for anything you say that could indicate you are somehow partially or entirely to blame for your injuries.

      Your Spokane traumatic brain injury attorneys know how to communicate with the insurance company to preserve the value of your claim, so it’s to your advantage to allow them to do so.

      Hiring an attorney to handle your traumatic brain injury claim may prompt the insurance company to offer you a fair settlement.

      When you take on an insurance company by yourself, it sends the insurance company the message that you are not a threat, because there is next-to-zero chance that you will be able to successfully sue them in court by yourself. Without the possibility of being sued, you have no leverage to get the insurance company to increase their settlement offer.

      Our skilled Spokane traumatic brain injury attorneys are trial attorneys. They aren’t intimidated by the insurance company, and they bring with them the implied threat of a lawsuit if no reasonable settlement is reached. This “legal leverage” is how lawyers are often able to increase the settlement amount their client receives. And should there be the need for a trial, our lawyers have the skills to fight for you in court.

      Hiring an attorney will provide you with invaluable professional guidance.

      Without an experienced attorney by your side, how will you know how to accurately determine the value of your claim? How will you know if the amount the insurance company is offering is worth considering or far too low? Turn to our knowledgeable traumatic brain injury attorneys and give yourself the peace of mind of knowing your claim’s value will be protected, your damages will be accurately assessed, and settlement offers will be professionally vetted.

      Retaining a Lawyer Will Give You the Space to Take Care of Yourself

      Our Spokane traumatic brain injury attorneys can be of great assistance to TBI patients by taking care of injury claims so patients can focus on recovery.

      As we’ve noted, it’s not uncommon for TBI patients to experience challenges with concentration, dizziness, recall, and cognition — especially in the early days of recovery — possibly making them the least likely candidates for taking on their own injury claims successfully without the help of a lawyer.

      In addition, caregivers of loved ones recovering from a TBI are especially vulnerable to anxiety, overwhelm, and burnout as they struggle to help the patient recover. Our experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys are particularly helpful in taking these often-complex claims off the shoulders of both patient and their loved ones.

      Never underestimate the importance of having the time and space you need to rest and recover. This is never truer than with a traumatic brain injury. Our attorneys will handle your claim from start to finish, conducting the accident investigation, determining your damages, dealing with the insurance agency, and if necessary, fighting for your right to compensation in front of a jury. Call us today.

      Ways to Maintain the Value of Your Traumatic Brain Injury Claim

      Let’s look at some ways you can do your part to protect the value of your traumatic brain injury claim.

      Go to the Doctor Right Away

      It’s vital to get a medical exam if you’ve suffered a blow to the head. You may not be able to tell whether your injury was just a hard knock, a concussion, or a more serious TBI. A doctor is going to know what to look for in diagnosing your injury and may want to order an MRI or CT scan to see what’s going on inside your head. It’s always best to err on the side of caution with head injuries, because time is of the essence.

      When you go to the hospital or clinic, you will also be creating an important evidence trail for a potential traumatic brain injury claim. This will show the insurance company that you did sustain injuries and provide a time and date that will coincide with the timeline of the accident. Without this medical record, you are going to have a tough time maintaining the value of your claim if the insurance company questions the legitimacy of your injuries.

      Stick to Doctor’s Orders

      Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions to help you recover as thoroughly as possible. This may involve some type of physical or psychological therapy (or both), medication, and lots of rest. Following your doctor’s recommendations will help you heal after a traumatic brain injury and again protect the value of an insurance claim. You don’t want to do anything that causes the insurance company to wonder if you are investing the necessary time and energy into your recovery. If they suspect you aren’t taking your recovery process seriously, they may try to blame you if you instead of the severity of your injuries if you are unable to recover back to the health you enjoyed before the accident.

      Don’t give a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company

      We covered this one above, but here’s the reminder. Speaking to the insurance company is at best a wash and does nothing for your claim. At worst, you can do damage by accidentally saying something they can use to lower the value of your claim. Let your Spokane traumatic brain injury attorneys take on all communications with the insurance company.

      Don’t Wait to Retain an Attorney

      It’s understandable to be overwhelmed and not up to the task of looking for an attorney after suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Even so, it’s important to get going on this as soon as possible to give your lawyer time to find as much evidence as possible to support your claim. Your lawyer will also want to contact any witnesses to the accident as soon as possible for maximum quality testimony on behalf of your claim.

      The solution to this problem is to have a trusted friend or loved one help you review lawyers online. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a friend or family member to be reading this page on behalf of an injured loved one who is not yet able to focus on reviewing law firms. These days, it’s easier than ever to find information through attorney websites, client testimonials and online reviews.

      Hire the Right Attorney

      When you go about looking for an attorney who’s the best match for your claim, search for trial lawyers with winning records not only in personal injury, but traumatic brain injury. Not all lawyers are equal across all practice areas. Like surgeons, many specialize in one area over another. You will need to find an attorney with experience helping people win TBI claims. Hiring a trial lawyer will give you the best chance for success, whether your claim is resolved via settlement or needs to go to trial.

      Spokane Traumatic Brain Injury Client Story

      We are sharing a client story below to give you an overview of a traumatic brain injury claim. We’ve changed the names and details to protect the privacy of our client, but the value of the story remains.

      On a sunny August day in Spokane not so long ago, Dennis Granger had an idea. His son Alex was leaving for college in two weeks, driving out to Seattle to meet his roommate, settle into his dorm, and soak up orientation. It would be a big change for Alex, and he couldn’t wait to go. And while Dennis and his wife Sue were excited for their son, they struggled with their sadness at his imminent departure. They knew he’d be back, but this was one of those bittersweet milestones, after which you just weren’t a kid anymore.

      To help them process the transition, Alex’s parents threw themselves into planning a surprise birthday/going away party for Alex. It was set for a week before his departure in the family barn-turned-workshop.

      After building a new pole barn almost a decade before, Dennis had converted the old barn into a workshop for his hobby of rebuilding classic cars. Alex joined his dad in the hobby when he was thirteen, and the two had spent long evenings working projects out in that barn. They had plenty of great memories to show for it, and Alex had the 1978 Volkswagen Bus to prove it. Cargo space for driving off to college: check.

      Coordinating the details of a surprise sending off party was a welcome distraction. Dennis just needed that perfect feature to make it memorable. Something to decorate the barn that Alex could also take with him to decorate his dorm room and remind him of his friends and family back home.

      After much brainstorming, online surfing, and window shopping, Dennis had gotten his big idea: Road signs.

      He planned to have friends and family write messages on the back of the signs, which they could hang around the barn for party decorations. Alex could then hang them in his dorm room at college. As soon as he thought of it, he knew it was a winner. Alex already had a “35 MPH” sign in his room that he’d mentioned taking with him. They’d decided not to ask where that sign had come from, choosing to believe their son had dutifully scoured antique shops. Either way, the rest of the signs would be on the “up and up.”

      Dennis called around, locating half a dozen original road signs in several Antiques shops conveniently clustered on North Monroe. With everything else planned and coordinated, he was looking forward to the fulfillment of his big idea. He hopped in the 1970 Ford F-150 pickup he and Alex had rebuilt three years before and headed out to the antique stores to retrieve the road signs.

      Dennis crossed the river heading north on North Maple with the windows down and the wind in his hair. What a beautiful day. A lot of people were out, and he hoped he wouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to park. He’d be stopping at four different stores. He turned up the radio as he turned right on West Indiana Avenue, making a mental note to check in with Alex’s sixteen-year-old sister Beth about the music for the party. Handing that task to her was a much safer bet than he and Sue trying to guess what would be best.

      Traffic was growing denser but moving swiftly as he approached Monroe. He caught the green arrow and was in the middle of his turn when a south-bound Jeep slipped the light and collided with him almost head-on.

      Dennis woke up in the hospital with a moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury. His kids and wife were there, and to this day, she’ll tell you his first words gave her hope for his full recovery.

      “Is the truck okay?”

      The next two weeks were a blur. Alex offered to put off school for a semester to stay home and be there for his dad, but his parents insisted he be at school on time as planned. He reluctantly left, but would call every day to check in.

      Dennis’s brain injury was a tricky thing. There were good days and tough days. Some days he’d seem almost fine, but then he’d forget things. He’d struggle to recall what common things around him were called, or he’d have trouble speaking. He also suffered from balance problems and vertigo so bad it often made him nauseous. The frequent blanks in his memory filled him with anxiety, and depression quickly began to fray the edges of his nerves.

      And then there were the migraines.

      The doctors were hopeful but cautioned Dennis to expect a lengthy recovery. They also warned him to pace himself, as he was prone to pushing too hard. It wasn’t long before he learned his lesson during a physical therapy session, when he took on too much, too fast and was quickly overcome by a migraine so intense he vomited. His recovery was a “one step forward, two steps back” process, requiring the stamina of Usain Bolt and the patience St. Monica. Thought it all, Sue remained by his side, dutifully sharing his anxiety and exhaustion.

      At the beginning of the third week of her husband’s recovery, one of Sue’s friends texted her to check out the law firm of Paukert and Troppmann for a traumatic brain injury claim. She reached out to them for help that day.

      Spokane traumatic brain injury attorney Kathleen H. Paukert arrived at Dennis’s hospital room two days later.

      How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?

      As Kathleen sat down with the couple, Dennis looked at her curiously and said, “Lawyers are expensive. We’ve got a kid in college and one on deck. How much will this meeting cost?”

      Sue apologized, blushing from her hairline to the neckline of her sweatshirt. “I’m sorry, Ms. Paukert. He’s a bit direct on the approach since the accident. The doctors said that may go away as the swelling subsides.”

       Kathleen smiled. “No worries; we’re familiar with the kaleidoscope of brain injury symptoms.” She turned to Dennis, “That’s a perfectly legitimate question, Mr. Granger, and one we get regularly.”

      “Denny. Call me Denny,” Dennis interjected abruptly.”

      “Sure, Denny,” Attorney Paukert answered. “Our law practice is based on a contingency model, which means we’ll cover the cost of your claim from start to finish. We start with a thorough accident investigation, conduct any necessary research, build your case, and when it’s time, negotiate for full and fair compensation. Our firm covers all of that, and if necessary, any expenses related to a trial.”

      “You don’t work for free,” Denis stated matter-of-factly, blinking at her expectantly. “How do you get paid?”

      “Our firm only receives compensation when we successfully resolve your claim,” Kathleen responded.

      What is my traumatic brain injury claim worth?

      Apparently satisfied with the answer, Dennis plunged ahead. “What do you think, is my case worth making a fuss about?”

      “That’s also a question we get all the time,” said Kathleen. “But your claim’s value is something we can’t reliably guess at here at the very start of this process. The value of your claim will depend on both the details of the accident investigation and on you reaching what is called ‘maximum medical improvement.’

      “The term means you recovering back to the level of health you enjoyed pre-accident. Your doctors will help us determine when you’ve gotten to this place, as you won’t reach it until you’ve finished with any surgeries you may need.

      We’ll also need a very clear idea of how your future is going to be impacted by your injuries, such as limitations, ongoing medical expenses, or the loss of any activities you previously enjoyed. Once we have the whole picture, we’ll understand your damages, both economic and non-economic. That’s when we’ll be able to tell you the value of your claim.”

      “Sue, you got all this?” Dennis asked. “I can’t promise to remember it all,” he added, his face taking on a faraway look that told his wife he’d begun to drift.

      “I’ve got you covered, Denny,” she answered scribbling notes on a yellow legal pad in her lap.

      How long does a traumatic brain injury claim take?

      “How long do you expect a case like Denny’s to take?” Sue asked as her husband’s eyelids began to droop. He’d be asleep before Attorney Paukert was finished with her answer.

      “That’s going to depend. First, we need your husband to reach maximum medical improvement, since we can’t be sure of his damages until that point. When he gets there, we’ll know the value of his claim and we’ll send a demand letter to the insurance company. From that point forward, the claim timeline will depend on how they respond.

      “If the insurance company works with us on arriving at full and fair compensation, we’ll be able to wrap up Denny’s claim without further ‘fuss,’ to use your husband’s word,” Paukert said. They both looked over at Denny sleeping soundly in the hospital bed.

      “If however, the insurance company fights us and refuses to offer a reasonable and fair settlement, we go to court. Naturally, the timeline will be longer if a trial is necessary, but it’s no cause for worry. Our firm has a long and successful history with personal injury claims, including those involving traumatic brain injury. We’ll be ready to go in either case,” Paukert assured Sue.

      She added, “It’s likely the insurance company has heard about us; they may decide to settle to avoid facing us in front of a jury. There are no guarantees, of course, but it’s happened before. That’s why we always recommend that you retain a personal injury trial lawyer, no matter who you choose.”

       Later that day, Sue and Dennis went over her notes from the conversation with Attorney Paukert. They were satisfied with the answers they received in their free legal consultation. They retained Paukert and Troppmann, and Attorney Paukert got Dennis over six times the amount the insurance company initially offered.

      Call Our Spokane Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys Today

      We hope the information on this page has helped you better understand what to expect in a traumatic brain injury claim. As no two claims are alike, we urge you to contact our Spokane Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys as soon as possible to discuss your claim. Let us stand up for your right to compensation so you can focus on healing.

      Client Reviews

      Attorney Kathy Paukert is one of the most knowledgeable trial attorneys in Eastern Washington in the a area of personal injury law. She is thoughtful and helpful even when she tells you exactly how the law views your situation and it isn’t what you wanted to hear. Oftentimes, that is what you need. Also, Kathy fights hard for all her clients regardless of the size of the case.

      Christine Weaver

      Read More Reviews