Sometimes accidents can be catastrophic, resulting in injuries that have life-altering consequences. One of the worst injuries in a car accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Not only is it devastating to the victim’s overall health, but it can also be costly. If you have suffered a brain injury due to the wrongdoing or negligence of someone else, you can seek compensation for your damages. Keep reading to learn more about brain injury claims and how much compensation you can recover for your losses.
What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury is any brain trauma resulting from extreme force, such as a violent jolt or blow to the head. This kind of injury can be caused by motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, sports accidents, or several other types of accidents.
Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include headache, nausea, fatigue, difficulty speaking, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light and sound. In extreme cases, the symptoms can be cognitive or behavioral, such as loss of consciousness, memory problems, convulsions, seizures, confusion, and irregular sleep schedule.
There are two kinds of traumatic brain injuries:
Closed Traumatic Brain Injuries
A closed traumatic brain injury occurs when there is a non-penetrating injury to the head. This kind of injury can lead to shearing and internal pressure on the brain. In closed TBIs, the brain can swell due to the force of impact. The symptoms of closed TBIs can be delayed several days to weeks after the accident.
Open Traumatic Brain Injuries
Open traumatic brain injuries are also known as penetrating head injuries. Any sharp object that penetrates the head can cause an open TBI. Penetrating injuries can damage the brain tissue, leading to the victim suffering physical and cognitive disabilities.
Types of Damages Due to Brain Injury
The following are the types of economic damages you can recover in a brain injury claim:
- Present and future medical expenses, including surgeries, therapy, and prescription medication
- Lost wages due to injuries
- Loss of earning potential due to disfigurement or permanent disability
- Household services and modifications to the home
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Vehicle replacement or repair
- Out-of-pocket expenses such as trips to the hospital and mobility aids
The non-economic damages in a brain injury claim include pain and suffering resulting from brain injuries. This includes emotional anguish due to physical and cognitive disability or disfigurement, reputational damage, and loss of enjoyment of life.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A head injury can lead to many consequences ranging from missing a few days of work to lifelong disability. In some cases, a traumatic brain injury can cause long-term effects, such as personality changes, social difficulties, epilepsy, motor or sensory deficits, and cognitive disabilities, making it challenging to determine an average settlement amount for brain injury claims.
Factors That Influence the Settlement
Several factors can influence your brain injury settlement amount:
- The Extent of Your Injuries: The severity of your injury and the time it takes to recover are significant factors in determining the settlement payout.
- Lost Wages: Typically, a person can take numerous months or years to fully recover from a traumatic brain injury, meaning they have to take significant time off work. This loss of income affects their settlement payout.
- Pain and Suffering: Another important factor is the victim’s non-economic damages that affect the settlement’s total value.
- Liability: Liability can also be a concern regarding brain injury settlements. If the injured individual shares fault in the accident that contributed to their injury (comparative or contributory negligence), it can cause their settlement amount to decrease by their percentage of fault in the accident. If there are multiple defendants, your case can become complex because of the issue of how much compensation each defendant pays.
- Punitive Damages: If the defendant showed egregious conduct, then you can be awarded punitive damages by the court.
- Mitigating Damages: Some things can prevent the victim from recovering the full settlement amount from the insurance company or the jury, such as their refusal to take proper medical treatment or complete all medical follow-ups.
Don’t Accept a Settlement Offer Without Consulting a Lawyer
According to Roberts Jeandron Law, you risk accepting an unreasonably low offer if you don’t consult an attorney before agreeing to a settlement. It also means you forfeit your right to seek additional compensation for your suffering, as accepting the settlement is final. In addition, calculating the damages you deserve in an accident involving brain injury can be complicated, and you may receive far less compensation than you deserve. You can hire an attorney to avoid the common pitfalls of a brain injury claim.