My child’s brain injury from a car crash left her with special needs. Can I make the at-fault driver pay for therapy? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Children who suffer traumatic brain injuries in car crashes often need lifetimes of ongoing care. They can remain locked into the developmental stage they were in at the time of the collision, never making progress in their abilities to read, speak or care for themselves. Some children who suffer TBIs regress in their development or become paralyzed, creating even greater strains on their family’s resources.

Recognizing this, Virginia law allows insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits to include requests for money to pay for ongoing medical and personal care. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney who can put parents in touch with brain injury and occupational therapy specialists will make it possible to predict the level of services a child with a TBI will need throughout his or her life. One result from such assessments will be an estimate of the cost of lifetime care, and that dollar amount will be included with demands for compensation and monetary damages.