Visitor Question

Traumatic Brain Injury in Vehicle Collision Case from 1983…

Submitted By: Susan (Rome, NY)

On February 27, 1983, my husband was involved in a terrible vehicle accident in Oneida, NY. He was 18 years old at the time. The driver of the other vehicle was ticketed for Excessive Speed and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated).

My husband suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and was in a coma for approximately 1 month. His mother settled the claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company located in San Antonio, Texas.

My husband is now 46 years old and disabled. His diagnosis is TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), severe brain tissue damage and loss of memory. An old school friend stopped by our home and told him that his mother took all the money from this claim. I have called the attorney that handled his case but he is now deceased. His office sent us a one-page summary No-fault Verification with the information I have provided.

Is there a possibility that we can discover the truth concerning the original claim and settlement?

My husband has suffered for 29 years. He has left side tremors and short and long term memory loss. We need to help him to know the truth of what happened when he was in rehabilitation for the year after this accident.

Thank you in advance.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Susan,

There are a couple of ways you can get a hold of the information you require. It seems you tried at least one avenue, and that is by contacting your husband’s attorney’s office. You might contact the attorney’s estate, or whoever sent to you the one page summary and firmly, but nicely ask for a copy of your husband’s entire file.

Your husband has an absolute right to copies of many of the documents in his attorney’s file. There may be some exceptions for the attorney’s “work product,” but in all you should be able to get copies of all the correspondence, legal pleading, etc.

The second manner will be to contact the clerk of the court in which your husband’s case was filed, if a lawsuit was ever filed. If one was you should be able to get copies of every legal pleading ever filed in his case.

Often times serious personal injury cases aren’t actually tried. Many attorneys, though, upon accepting a serious case will automatically file a lawsuit. They do that for several reasons, most important of which is to be sure the Statute of Limitations, or “time period” doesn’t run out before the case is settled.

Finally, you might contact the insurance company which handled the case. Although they don’t have to give you copies of the documents in their possession, they may.

Be sure though you have power of attorney for your husband. Without it you may have difficulty securing some of the documents.

Learn more here: Concussions and Other Head Injuries

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,


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