Severe damage to the brain resulting from blunt force trauma in an accident is one of the most severe types of injuries, often resulting in permanent disability, paralysis, and loss of cognitive abilities. The average settlement in a brain injury lawsuit is dependent on several factors, including the severity of the damage, its long term impact on the individual, requirement for disabilities care, life impact, pain and suffering compensation, and the availability of punitive damages. Based on several sources of data and anecdotal evidence from our clients, the average brain injury lawsuit settlement can be anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. Below we will present you with a basic guideline as to the numerous factors which establish a rough estimate of what an average brain injury settlement amount would be.
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1. Extent of Severity of the Brain Injury
: Every year over a million individuals in the United States suffer some form of brain injury. The vast majority of brain injuries are reported as MTBI, or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, which includes concussions. More severe types of brain injury are defined as either a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, or simply a traumatic brain injury. More severe types of brain injury carry with them long term or permanent and physical and psychological damage. The most widely used method of determining the severity of the head trauma is the Glasgow Coma Scale, which assesses neurological abnormalities in the brain. The scale uses a 15-point test which measures motor response, verbal response and eye opening.
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2. Lost Wages and Loss of Income
: In many instances, victims of severe injuries are not able to return to work for extended periods of time, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in lost wages. Victims of brain injury may suffer from permanent cognitive and neurological injuries, depriving them of proper tools needed to adequately function in a workplace environment. In such cases, courts will assess the monetary value of the loss of future income due to an inability to work.
3. Life Care Costs – Disability Care
: Victims of moderate to severe traumatic brain injury often require disability care. According to estimates, the life time cost of disabled care, which may include nursing care, home care, rehabilitation expenses, and transportation costs, may run into the millions of dollars.
4. Calculating Pain and Suffering
: Under the common law system of personal injury litigation, victims of serious injuries are able to receive recovery for the pain and suffering resulting from their injuries from all at-fault parties. The exact calculation for the recovery amount differs based on the jurisdiction where the injury took place. For example, the state of California’s awards for pain and suffering are calculated on a Per Diem basis. In a Per Diem jurisdiction, the jury is charged with calculating a daily dollar amount for an injured party’s pain and suffering emanating from an accident. If the victim has pain from her injuries for 100 days and a jury places a daily (per diem) value for her pain at $800.00, then the total calculation for pain and suffering will amount to $80,000.000.
5. Availability of Punitive Damages
: In rare instances, victims of personal injury have a right to collect punitive damages from at fault parties. Punitive damages are placed on a defendant or multiple defendants when their actions display either an intent to cause harm or reckless endangerment for the lives of other because of their actions. The purpose of punitive damages is not to award a plaintiff for damages but to punish defendants so that they refrain from further negligent or intentional actions.
Types of Compensation Available for Victims of Brain Injury
: Plaintiffs who have sustained serious injuries due to the negligent or intentional conduct of others are entitled to compensation for all their damages. Common damages in personal injury cases often include
- All medical and rehabilitation costs
- Cost of future medical expense
- Cost of Disability care
- Lost Wages and loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Value of a Concussion Lawsuit
Calculating a concussion lawsuit’s value is difficult, as each case is different. However, there are factors that can be observed to determine the amount of compensation in different areas. A concussion is usually the result of some form of blunt force trauma to the head; symptoms include loss of consciousness, difficulty concentrating or remembering, loss of balance coordination, and a heightened sensitivity to light and sound. Multiple concussions, or even a severe concussion, can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. This long-lasting, life altering condition can increase the settlement value of a case, whereas a single concussion with a few days’ worth of pain will likely lead to much less compensation.
If your concussion were the result of a workplace incident, you may be entitled to disability benefits as well, but will not be able to include pain and suffering in your claim. A concussion is generally considered to be the least debilitating brain injury. The symptoms and effects tend to disappear after a few days or weeks. As a result, you will likely be able to return to work very soon. Further, there is no extensive list of treatments that are possible to help speed up the recovery process, so medical expenses being covered will be of much smaller amounts.
For these reasons, concussion lawsuits can earn much less in court or in settlements.
Free Brain Injury Settlement Value Case Review – Second Opinion
Most personal injury law firms do not have the proper training or experience to handle a brain injury claim. As a result, victims will not be able to receive full and just compensation for the injuries suffered. Our experienced brain injury lawyers are able to provide individuals who have suffered injuries with a free, no-cost case consultation where we will be able to ascertain the potential value of your claim. If you wish to receive a second opinion or would like to learn more about your legal right to compensation, feel free to contact our law offices. All legal consultations and case reviews are 100% free of charge.
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