COMMON INSURANCE DEFENSE TACTICS IN HANDLING TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY CASESSeptember 29, 2016
In traumatic brain injury cases, insurance companies often employ the same defense tactics. We all know that insurance companies are in the business of making money. As such, they usually face a tremendous amount of pressure from their shareholders and board of directors to cut expenses and increase their profit margins. To that end, insurance companies will resort to all types of strategies in defending traumatic brain injury cases aimed at decreasing their exposure by denying, delaying, or underpaying as many claims possible.
In litigation, insurance companies will hire a defense law firm that either works directly for the insurance company to save costs or hire true independent counsel that specializes in defending serious cases like traumatic brain injuries. The defenses will often include denying the injury exists, denying the subject incident caused the injury, claiming the injured person had pre-existing issues, claiming the injured person is faking, or disputing the severity of the injuries. In support of their arguments, they will hire their “go to” neurologists and neuropsychologists to issue results-oriented reports.
Litigating a traumatic brain injury case presents several challenges. If you are the injured person and you decide to file lawsuit against the person responsible for your injuries, you have the obligation to prove that the other person’s negligence was the actual and proximate cause of your injuries and other damages. You will also need to overcome the opposing party’s defenses, which is the most challenging aspect of traumatic brain injury litigation. The following are the most common insurance companies’ defense tactics in handling traumatic brain injury cases in trial:
- They can simply deny their insured was at fault or that insured contributed to the wreck or incident that led to the injuries.
- They may conduct a background check on plaintiff from criminal background checks, family history, employment verification and motor vehicle report, to education verification and drug screening. They will try to use all that information against the injured victim. For example, if the insurance company discovers that the injured person had prior spout of depression, they may try to link that with the injured person’s depression, which is one of the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. Similarly, insurance companies may try to claim that the symptoms are influenced by other demographic, situational, and/or preexisting conditions aimed at denying or underpaying the claim.
- The defense may controvert the fact that the plaintiff sustained a traumatic brain injury. This tactic is very common in mild traumatic brain injury cases. Even though the injured person may have the most common symptoms associated with a brain injury (e.g. loss of consciousness, loss of memory, and/or a Glasgow Coma Scale of 13 or less, nausea, depression, etc.), there may not be any abnormalities or objective findings that can be seen on conventional tests, such as scans of the brain. In such cases, some insurance companies may try to argue with the support of paid experts that absent objective findings, there is simply no brain compromise or traumatic brain injury.
If you believe you or a loved one has sustained a traumatic brain injury, and you are currently dealing with this type of tactics either from your or from a third party’s insurance company, we recommend that you contact an attorney specialized in traumatic brain injuries. These type of cases are extremely complex as they involve a substantial overlap between science and law, especially with cases involving mild traumatic brain injury where there are either no objective signs or limited signs of injury. Please contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.