1. Get the proper medical care, and keep track of all relevant documents. The first and most important thing you should do after an accident involving a possible brain injury is to get medical attention. Just make sure you are documenting everything — pictures of the scene, copies of the police report, copies of medical records and bills, etc. It may also be a good idea to start keeping a journal noting the effects of the injury on your behavior or physical capabilities.

Also, pay attention to who might be held responsible for your injury. Did you sustain your brain injury in a car crash? Get the insurance information of the other driver. Did you hit your head in a slip-and-fall accident? Learn who is the owner of the property where you slipped.

It should be noted that, depending on the nature of the injury, you may not have the presence of mind to do all these things. If that’s the case, a family member or loved one should take care of gathering all this information. It’s absolutely necessary if you want to file a lawsuit.

2. Find a personal injury attorney who specializes or has experience in traumatic brain injury cases. It’s crucial that you find someone you trust who has handled similar cases before. A lawyer with a different specialty will likely have less knowledge of the field, and brain injury litigation can get quite complex. You should do this as soon as possible, so the statute of limitations does not run out. The good thing is that in most states, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the moment you discover that you have a brain injury. So you’ll have options even if there is a delay in the manifestation of symptoms.

3. Work with your lawyer to build a case and learn your legal options. Your lawyer will take care of the procedural aspects of filing a case, ensuring that you file before the deadline set by the statute of limitations, calculating the special and general damages you can seek to recover, and negotiating a possible settlement with the responsible party. Your role is to pay attention and get involved in the process. Many cases are settled before trial. Some may even be resolved without the need to file a lawsuit. But only a lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.

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