The Lifetime Costs of Traumatic Brain Injuries

There is a wide range of outcomes when talking about lifetime costs of TBIs. It all depends on the extent of your injury and your future prognosis. One study has placed the average lifetime costs of TBI treatment at between $85,000 and $3 million. This is just the cost of treatment. There are additional costs that would raise the value of your financial recovery. Before you file a claim for a TBI, it is important to understand all the ways that these injuries can cause you harm, both now and in the future. 

Medical Care for Traumatic Brain Injuries Is Very Expensive

The most obvious cost of a TBI is in the medical care that you may need. Rehabilitation is possible, depending on the extent of your treatment and how early you begin aggressive intervention. This could include neurological surgery and extensive rehabilitation. You may need an entire team of doctors to provide medical care, led by a neurologist. These costs can remain with you for a lifetime, especially when you will not be able to make a full recovery.

The rehabilitation that could be needed for years could include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy

In addition, a patient would need extensive psychological counseling because TBIs can cause emotional changes, such as depression and anxiety. Medical care costs can reach into the millions for a lifetime, and you must recover these costs now. 

Lifetime Costs of a Traumatic Brain Injury Includes Lost Wages

Studies also show that the employment prospects for someone with a TBI are far worse than they were before the injury. One study has the rate of unemployment among people with TBIs at more than five times higher than the expected rate. The overall unemployment rate for people with TBIs is over 40%.

This adds up to perhaps a lifetime of lost wages, as many TBI patients lack the capacity to work again. Even those who do may not be able to earn what they previously made because of their limitations from the injury. If someone was injured early in their professional career, the damages from lost wages could reach into the millions of dollars.

Further, the family could also suffer lost wages. If a family member must stop working to care for their injured loved one, this is also harm that the defendant must pay. Your lawyer will consult with a vocational expert to establish the exact amount of lost wages from an injury to get a starting point to negotiate with the insurance company. 

Another major part of TBI costs are the people necessary to care for a TBI patient. When someone is not able to do everything for themselves, they will need care to help with the activities of daily life. This could include home health care and other aids. This can be a major expense that the family must bear to make their life more manageable.

 

Your Lifetime of Complications Raises the Costs of Your TBI

These are just the economic costs for financial damages that have come out of your pocket. In reality, the lifetime costs of a TBI are far higher because of what you may go through from your injury. These are the non-economic costs that could be every bit as high as your lost wages and medical bills.

The main non-economic damage that will drive the lifetime costs of a TBI higher is the pain and suffering that you will endure. When you will never be the same after a TBI, there are a number of effects that stretch beyond physical pain and discomfort. Going through life limited by a TBI will also cause many emotional impacts. Having a reduced quality of life, along with the stress of a TBI, can cause the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of memory
  • Irritability 

You can also receive compensation for the emotional distress aspect of your TBI. This includes distress from both the incident that caused the injury as well as the continuing harm that you suffer.

You Need to Learn About the Extent of Your Costs After Your Traumatic Brain Injury

It is crucial that you have as much information about the lifetime costs of a TBI as possible after your injury. You will only have one chance to settle or recover compensation for your TBI. You do not want to do it before you know how you may be affected over the course of your lifetime. Accepting a settlement will require you to sign a release agreement that will keep you from coming back for more money if you do not recover enough money now. 

You may wonder how it is possible to know the lifetime costs of my TBI now. This is where your personal injury lawyer comes into the picture. It takes skill and experience to know how much a TBI is worth, especially when so much of the damage happens in the future. We will work with experts to help put a value on your case. We will consult with the following:

  • Medical experts who can help establish the degree of severity of your injury
  • Life care planning experts who could describe the amount of care that will be necessary to help the TBI victim in the future
  • Economic experts who can explain how inflation will affect the value of the claim (since you are recovering money for years into the future)
  • Vocational experts to establish how the TBI has impacted your ability to make money now and in the future

 

New Orleans Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers 

At Egenberg Trial Attorneys, we know how to value complex damages such as TBIs. We know what your claim is worth, and we do not hesitate to stand up and fight for you to get everything that you legally deserve after your TBI. Call us today at (504) 229-5700 or contact us online to arrange  a free consultation to discuss your case. You will owe us nothing out of your pocket for legal services, as we are only paid if you win.

Using Thermographic Imaging/Drones to Advance Hurricane Claims

Insurance companies often face delays in getting you the money that you deserve under the terms of your policy after catastrophic events such as hurricanes. Not only do they like to put up red tape, but they are also facing scores of other claims that require their adjusters to be in many places at one time. Insurers are increasingly turning to technology to obtain quicker analysis of damages. However, this may not be the boon to you that insurance companies would lead you to believe. 

Insurance Companies Say That Technology Gets You Paid Quicker

Insurers are now relying on things such as drones and thermographic imaging to get a closer look at hurricane damages. When insurance companies received approval to fly drones from the Federal Aviation Administration, they claimed that this technology could allow them to pay claims more quickly and would reduce any danger to adjusters. Hurricane Harvey was one of the first major storms where insurance companies first began to use this tool. Some insurers have launched large fleets of drones to help them respond to large-scale events like hurricanes.

The insurers claim that drones will help them avoid large backlogs of claims after major storms. They have said that drones will help them improve customer service. In addition, adjusters will not have to climb on as many roofs to inspect damaged homes. In some cases, drones may actually replace an adjuster’s inspection entirely, or it may reduce the amount of work that the adjuster does at the home. 

Technology Cuts Insurance Companies’ Costs, But Does it Help You?

Insurance companies have claimed that they are “pretty confident” that they could make accurate estimates of damages using drones. As a claimant, when an insurance company is confident about anything, you should be worried. While adjusters climbing on roofs is dangerous and time-consuming, it also allows them to get the best look at the damage to your home. Industry publications are touting the “success” that insurance companies are having with the use of drones. 

If there are any guesstimates that happen from the use of drones, you can rest assured that it will not be in your favor. There are concerns that the use of drones could be another way to further the advantage that the insurance company may have in the claims process. To the extent that drones give insurance companies a quicker view of damage, they may use it to deny claims on the basis that damage was caused by flooding. While manual inspection may add time to your claim, it also has safeguards that could protect your own interests. 

Be Careful About Quick Settlement Offers from Insurance Companies

On the other hand, advanced technology could mean that the claims process could happen more quickly, if the real reason for using drones really is to speed up payment. This would mean that you would need to be prepared for what may be a negotiation with the insurance company. Quick settlement offers may be a way for the insurer to sneak a low payment past you in the name of efficiency that does not fully pay your damages. 

Thermographic Imaging to Detect Water Damages

Similarly, insurance companies also claim that they are using thermal imaging to get a more detailed look at hurricane damage. Specifically, insurance companies use these images to pinpoint the source of damages from leaks and floods. They use differences in temperature to spot moisture patterns. 

They say that this technology picks up damages that inspectors otherwise would miss. In our experience, insurance companies do not invest millions of dollars in new technologies to pay policyholders more money. When you are dealing with insurers, it simply does not work this way. To the extent that insurers save money through using these technologies, the money will flow straight through to their bottom line, and it will not stop them from their usual practice of trying to underpay claims. 

Note that insurance policies that pay for hurricane damage do not cover flood damages. Homeowners would need to purchase a separate policy to pay for flooding damage. The use of thermal imaging technology could be a way for an insurance company to actually deny your claim and make it the responsibility of the flood insurance company as opposed to paying your claim more precisely and quickly. 

 

You Can Use Technology to Help Your Own Claim

However, you can also use thermal imaging to your own advantage. You do not have to wait for the insurance company to deny your claim, arguing that your damage was caused by flooding. You can hire a public adjuster of your own to estimate your claim. The same way that thermal imaging technology could be used by the insurance company to deny your claim, it can also be used in support of your claim by showing that your damages were not caused by floods. Technology can also work to your advantage when the insurance company is trying to avoid paying. 

Given New Orleans’ location in the path of frequent storms, you can expect the insurance company to deploy these technologies the next time that a hurricane comes through the area and causes widespread damage. This could change the way that they handle your claim. When you have a large insurance claim after a storm, you will benefit from legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer. You do not have to be left holding the bag when an insurance company does not want to pay you for the full value of your property damage after a storm. 

New Orleans Property Damage Lawyers

Egenberg Trial Lawyers are experienced attorneys who have a track record of going after insurance companies who have either refused to pay our clients that they deserve or are offering much less than the fair value of claims. We know how to put the pressure on insurance companies when they are trying to avoid paying claims. Call us today at (504) 229-5700 or contact us online to set up a time to discuss your case.

Liability for Dog Bites in Louisiana

Louisiana’s dog bite statute is different from those that you will find in most states. Elsewhere, the law is that dog owners are strictly liable for damages when their dog bites someone. All the dog bite victim would need to prove is that they were bitten. In Louisiana, the dog bite victim would need to do more work to receive financial compensation for their injury. Essentially, they would need to prove negligence in their case, making it more necessary to have an experienced dog bite lawyer on their side.

 

Proving Negligence in Louisiana Dog Bite Cases

Proving your case is based solely on the dog owner’s behavior before your injury. Conceivably, it would be possible for them to escape responsibility for some dog bites. They are not automatically responsible for everything that their dog does.

There are four parts to the test of whether a dog owner was negligent in your case. They are:

  • The dog owner owed a duty of care (they usually owe a duty of care to others around their dog)
  • The dog owner breached the duty of care by acting in a way that a reasonable dog owner would not
  • You suffered an injury
  • You would not have been injured had it not been for the actions or omissions of the dog owner

 

How a Dog Owner Can Act Unreasonably

The main focus is on the second element. There are several things that you need to prove to show that the dog owner acted unreasonably. They are:

  • The dog owner had actual knowledge (or should have known) of the dog’s danger
  • The dog owner did not do anything (beforehand or at the time) to prevent the bite or attack
  • You were bitten or attacked by the dog
  • You did not do anything to attack or provoke the dog

 

The Insurance Company May Use Provocation as an Excuse Not to Pay

Insurance companies love to try to take a bad dog attack and make it the victim’s fault to get out of paying. They like to claim that the victim provoked the dog. However, they take this much further than the law intends. Provoking a dog means deliberately agitating or causing it pain. Going over to pet a dog is not provocation. Further, as many dog bite victims are children, the law is less likely to find that children provoked dogs, since they are not held to the same legal standard. However, it is an argument that you may need to counter with evidence when you file a dog bite injury claim.

The fourth element in the negligence test is called causation, and this is much easier to meet in dog bite cases because it is clear that the dog caused the injuries. It requires more proof when someone was injured in a dog attack when they were trying to evade the dog. 

 

What Dog Owners Do Wrong that Could Be Negligence

Here, the dog owner must do something wrong for you to receive compensation. If the owner has taken precautions, and they had no idea about the dog’s dangerous tendencies, you may have a harder time recovering. This is an even higher standard than the “one free bite” rule used in many states.

Here are some examples of things that could be considered negligence on the part of the dog owner:

  • Walking the dog in public without a leash
  • Having a dog in public that has a history of attacking or biting people
  • Not fencing a dog in on their own property
  • Not posting a “beware of the dog” sign when they know their dog is dangerous
  • Allowing their dog into the path of walkers and joggers on a trail

It may be easier to prove the dog owner’s negligence when you have been bitten by a more dangerous breed of dog. This could include:

  • Pit bulls
  • German shepherds
  • Bulldogs
  • Rottweilers

In these cases, you may be able to prove that the dog owner should have known of the danger of the dog solely by virtue of their breed. For example, they should take extra steps to protect the public when they have a dog like a pit bull that has a reputation for being aggressive. Other times, the owner knows that the dog is dangerous when they have already attacked someone in the past.

This standard applies to both dog bites and other injuries caused by a dog’s behavior. For example, if a person injured themselves trying to get away from a dog, or they fell when a dog jumped on them, the same negligence test would apply. 

 

How to Prove Negligence in Dog Bite Injury Claims

Gathering proof of what happened before the incident is crucial to your case. This is why it is vital to learn more information about the dog’s prior behavior and to get contact information from witnesses who saw what happened. Here is what could be evidence to prove negligence in your dog bite case:

  • Witness testimony from people who were there
  • Physical evidence from the scene of the attack
  • The dog owner’s own version of events (including their admissions)
  • Photographs from the scene
  • The police report of the incident

An experienced lawyer can help assemble the proof that you will need, since you must meet a higher standard in Louisiana. This is not to say that you cannot receive compensation for dog bites. You just need more preparation and work to prove your claim. 

 

Experienced New Orleans Dog Bite Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog bite or attack, contact the New Orleans law firm of Egenberg Trial Attorneys right after the incident to begin work on your claim. We can help you assemble the claim that could get you paid for your injuries. Call us today at (504) 229-5700 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. We can fight for you when you are trying to receive compensation for your dog bite injuries.

The Dangers of Drunk Boaters

Driving a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only illegal, it’s inherently risky. Drunk boating accidents are especially dangerous because passengers are typically not wearing a safety belt and the boat can be traveling at high speeds. This is such a widespread issue that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has instituted a boat safety campaign to educate boaters on the importance of maintaining control of their craft. Even with a variety of safety course options available, it’s still likely that there will be accidents related to drunk boaters this summer. These accidents can be dangerous or even deadly.

Common Boat Accident Injuries

When you’re out on the water, a mile away from the shore, even a minor injury can become critical. Add alcohol to the mix and the chance of incurring an injury is elevated. One of the biggest issues with a drunk boating injury is that people who are inebriated might not be able to respond correctly or might delay their response. When you’re out on the water, this can make the situation even worse. Common accidents caused by drunk boaters include:

  • Broken bones
  • Deep lacerations (these are especially common in motorboat accidents)
  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Drowning
  • A collapsed lung due to water intake

If you are injured in a boating accident, your first step should be to seek immediate medical attention. Certain injuries might not present symptoms for hours or even days after the accident. For this reason, it’s essential to visit a medical professional who can assess and properly treat your injuries.

An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

If you’ve been injured in a boat accident, you should focus on your physical recovery. Follow doctor’s orders and find the right attorney to help with recovering from the parties at fault. An attorney can bring a claim against a drunk boat operator or any other negligent parties. They can handle communications and negotiations with the insurance company so you don’t settle for less than fair compensation. A personal injury lawyer can also work to collect the necessary documentation to support your case, such as medical records, the official police report, and any applicable witness testimony. If necessary, an attorney can also bring litigation to collect compensation on your behalf.

Call a New Orleans Personal Injury Attorney Today

When you’re in a boating accident, injuries sustained might be just the start of your problems. Expensive medical bills, extended recovery time, and weeks away from your job can add to your stress. At the law office of Egenberg, APLC, our legal team is well-versed in this type of claim, and we are here to support and guide you through this difficult process. Call us today at 504-229-5700 to schedule a free initial consultation. We will review the details of your case and help you determine your best next steps. You can also contact us online.

Can Apps Help Battle Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of dangerous—and sometimes fatal—accidents on the road, both in Louisiana and nationwide. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2016, distracted drivers caused close to 3,500 traffic fatalities.

To help reduce the number of distracted drivers on the roads in Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles has enacted several regulations. For example, drivers with a learners permit (not a full driver’s license) may not use a hand-held cell phone while driving. Perhaps the most stringent law is the text message ban for all drivers. Drivers who are found guilty of sending a text message while driving face a stiff fine. However, despite these laws and continuing education, distracted driving accidents continue to increase.

Apps Designed to Help Prevent Distracted Driving

Some smartphone applications (apps) only add to the problem of distracted driving. Indeed, some apps, such as mapping software and gas price trackers, are designed to be used while driving. However, some developers have created apps designed to reduce the temptation of checking your phone on the road. Some of these apps include:

  • AT&T Drive Mode App – Silences any incoming text messages and sends an automatic response that the cell phone owner is currently driving and unavailable.
  • Android Message Loud App – This is an option designed for those who still need to stay connected while driving. Incoming texts and emails will be read out loud upon receipt.
  • Apple’s Focus App – This is a humorous option to prevent distracted driving. The app will “yell” at you whenever you touch your phone. You can also sign up to receive distraction reports that indicate how often you touched the phone’s screen while driving.

Regardless of how diligent you are about avoiding distractions while driving, other drivers might not be using the same safe-driving apps. Do your best to avoid contributing to the problem, but always assume that other drivers may not be paying attention. Watch out for anyone driving erratically or who is obviously texting or otherwise using their smartphone—stay clear and preferably behind that driver, where you can avoid an accident.

Contact a New Orleans, LA Distracted Driving Lawyer to Discuss your Case

Driving while distracted is a serious hazard and a national issue. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you have important legal rights. The attorneys at Egenberg, APLC understand how devastating this type of accident can be and we are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options and how we can fight for fair compensation for your current and potential future damages. Don’t let the insurance companies offer you a low settlement that doesn’t even cover your medical bills. Call us at 504-229-5700 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your rights and legal options.

An Injury Can Disrupt Your Cruise

 

New Orleans is a popular cruise port, especially for cruises exploring the Caribbean. Many people fly into The Big Easy to meet their cruise ships and perhaps even spend some time exploring the city. While these trips are fun for the entire family, many things can happen on a cruise that can disrupt your vacation. Accidents and injuries are more common than you may think aboard cruise ships, and may be serious. Statistics on cruise ship injuries include:

  • 448 “major” cruise ship accidents reported from 2005 to 2013
  • 101 fires occurred onboard cruise ships from 2005 to 2013
  • 79 cruise ships were involved in collisions from 2005 to 2013
  • 66 cruise ships ran aground from 2005 to 2013
  • 15 cruise ships sank from 2010 to 2013
  • An average of 19.3 people per year fell overboard from 2005 to 2014
  • About 50 crimes are reported on cruise ships per year

Those statistics involve serious accidents and do not include more minor accidents that may nonetheless cause serious injuries. Common cruise ship accidents also include:

  • Slip and falls
  • Swimming pool or hot tub accidents
  • Food poisoning
  • Staircase accidents
  • Elevator or escalator accidents
  • Accidents embarking or disembarking
  • Fitness center accidents
  • Recreational accidents (climbing walls, water slides, etc.)
  • Alcohol-related injuries
  • Accidents on cruise-owned properties

These accidents often result in injuries including broken bones, concussions, spinal cord injuries, soft tissue injuries, and more. Such injuries may require immediate medical attention and a long recovery time. You may not be able to participate in any additional activities on vacation and you may have to miss work for a period of time when you get home. Serious cruise ship accidents may even result in permanent injuries that change your life.

If you suffered injuries in an accident on a cruise, the cruise ship company may be legally responsible for your injuries and losses. The best course of action is to discuss what happened with an experienced cruise accident attorney. Cases involving accidents on the water may be governed by different laws than those involving accidents on land and you need a law firm that regularly handles these types of cases. Cruise ship companies may be liable for accidents caused by:

  • Negligence
  • Inadequate security
  • Malpractice by cruise medical staff
  • Dram shop liability
  • Premises liability
  • Products liability

You should always have a skilled lawyer fully evaluate your legal options after an injury on a cruise ship.

Discuss Your Injuries with a New Orleans Cruise Accident Law Firm

Cruise ship cases can be complicated and cruise lines typically have attorneys working to limit liability for passenger accidents. If you were injured on a cruise, you should consult with an experienced cruise accident attorney about whether you may be entitled to recover compensation from the cruise line for your injuries. The law office of Egenberg, APLC knows how to handle cruise ship accident cases and we can advise you of your rights. Contact us online or call 504-229-5700 today to schedule your free consultation.

Safety Discussions to Have With Your Children

Children often engage in activities involving high risks of injury, without appreciating those risks like adults. Parents can help reduce accidents and injuries by discussing simple safety practices with their children. However, many parents are not fully aware of ways to improve their children’s safety.

Here are a few safety tips you can share with your children to help keep them safe and prevent common accidents:

Bicycle safety – Biking is fun for kids and a great outlet for energy. However, biking is also dangerous. Kids should be aware of the risks of getting hit by cars or falling and hitting the sidewalk, pavement, or curb. They should know to always wear a helmet that properly fits their head, as well as brightly colored clothing and other safety equipment.

Pedestrian safety – Many kids walk to school or a neighbor’s house to play on a regular basis. You should explain the dangers of getting hit by a car to your child and talk about using crosswalks, waiting for walk signals, and avoiding crossing the street as much as possible. Set boundaries for your kids when they are walking, especially anywhere near busy streets. Also, discuss never getting into a car with anyone, as well as how to handle strangers who try to approach them.

Burns and scalds prevention – Children can incur serious burns from everyday activities like cooking, grilling, and even excessively hot baths. Turn your water heater down and teach children that stoves, ovens, pots and pans, grills, and any form of flame—even just candles—can seriously hurt them. Remind children to always ask for help or permission before going near anything hot or using the microwave. Don’t let children run and play in the kitchen while you are cooking, and don’t leave a skillet or pan on the front of the stove where a child can reach the handle.

School bus safety – Riding the bus poses another set of potential dangers for your child. First, teach your child to stand back from the curb when the bus approaches or drives away. Your child should wait until the bus stops completely and the driver opens the door before stepping off the curb. Second, teach your child how to cross in front of the bus, if necessary, by leaving plenty of space between themselves and the front of the bus, making eye contact with the driver, and looking both ways before crossing the street.

Call a Trusted New Orleans Personal Injury Attorney Today

We hope these suggestions on safety conversations to have with your child help prevent accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, children sometimes get hurt in accidents that could have been prevented, or because someone else acted negligently. If your child has been hurt in an accident because of another person’s negligence, you should not wait to call a New Orleans personal injury lawyer at Egenberg, APLC. Contact our office online or call us at 504-229-5700 to learn more about how we can help you and your children today.

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