Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury in Personal Injury Cases

A traumatic brain injury can exert a substantial influence on an individual’s life. The bruising, tearing of tissue, and other physical damage to the brain can lead to headaches, dizziness, confusion, and memory loss. Serious injuries can cause speech difficulties, logic problems, mood and behavioral changes, seizures, and even stroke. The ability to work, perform specific tasks, and participate in your favorite activities can be significantly, if not permanently, impacted, and that’s all on top of the medical bills and other expenses that will begin piling up.

If you have been involved in an accident resulting from someone else’s negligence, which has led to a traumatic brain injury, a settlement offer from the insurance is a given. Understand, however, that you don’t need to agree to that offer. Arriving at a fair settlement from the insurance company can be somewhat complex, considering various factors.

What Factors Determine Settlement Amounts?

Settlement amounts for traumatic brain injuries are generally a combination of both economic and non-economic damages. If applicable, punitive damages may also be included in the final number. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common factors that go into the calculation:

  • Severity of the injury. The severity of brain injuries varies, ranging from mild to severe. A concussion may affect someone for a few months, whereas a severe anoxic brain injury, where the brain has been deprived of oxygen for an extended length of time, may never experience a full recovery.
  • Medical needs. Medical needs consider more than the cost of care required but its length. For example, the length of care for someone in their 50s won’t necessarily be as long as someone in their 20s.
  • Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering are just as it sounds: the physical discomfort and emotional distress associated with a traumatic brain injury. Though tied to the severity of the injury, it’s one of the “non-economic” damages, as it might include aches, temporary limitations, anxiety, depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and so on.
  • Liability. Liability relates to fault. Another party being entirely responsible for the cause of the accident is a different story than sharing partial responsibility. Though this should go without saying, a brain injury attorney can provide valuable assistance in ensuring that your rights are protected in a potential liability dispute.
  • Negligence. While liability and negligence relate to an individual’s responsibility for another individual’s injury, the latter is more about legal failure—in that the responsible party didn’t behave reasonably. If that’s the case, punitive damages may then be applicable.
  • Insurance. Insurance will inevitably be a factor in a settlement calculation. Coverage limits might apply and can become problematic when the expenses related to an injury exceed the policy limits. That’s why it’s essential to consult a traumatic brain injury attorney to gain a better understanding of the coverage and whether legal recourse will be necessary to be fairly compensated for the injury. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you discover any and all insurance available for a claim.
  • Ability to work. Again, this goes back to the severity of the brain injury. For some, the severity will significantly impact their earning potential. Even if someone can return to work, that may not mean the person is able to return to their normal job. That, too, would affect the individual’s earning potential. Also, if someone could return to work without complications but time from work or lost income due to the injury, that would be another factor in the settlement amount.

Regardless of the severity of the injury, settling right away isn’t usually the best option. As you can see, arriving at a fair settlement isn’t straightforward. Many factors are at play, which often require legal knowledge and experience to fully understand whether the number offered is appropriate for not just the severity of the injury but also the pain and suffering, long-term medical needs required, and more. The insurance company is going to look out for their bottom line and do their best to get you to settle for less than your case or claim is worth. It’s in your best interest to hire, or at the very least consult with, an experienced brain injury lawyer.

Consulting with an attorney after an injury from a fall, automobile accident, or sporting activity is just a wise choice. You want to ensure you’re covered for what might lie ahead. If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury or other injury at the fault of another’s carelessness, contact our legal team at Huffman & Huffman today. Consultations are always free, and you don’t pay a penny until we win your case. Let our family help your family.

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