If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) because of another’s negligence, there’s a fair chance you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim. But just how much money can you expect to receive in a traumatic brain injury settlement?
According to a 2010 article published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, insurance companies commonly see traumatic brain injuries as a singular event: someone sustains a head injury, receives treatment, and eventually recovers with time and perhaps rehabilitation. But as anyone who has suffered serious head trauma knows, TBIs are often a chronic disease process—not just a one-time injury. Because brain injuries don’t always have a short, linear path to recovery, they are often worth more than other personal injuries.
Factors That Influence Traumatic Brain Injury Settlements
How much compensation you receive for a TBI will depend on the severity of the injury and its long-term impacts on your life. For example, even a TBI diagnosed as “mild” may result in a large settlement if the effects of the injury are significant and expected to last a long time.
That’s not all, though—there are additional factors that can influence the outcome of TBI settlements. Below, the Southern Nevada personal injury lawyers at ER Injury Attorneys break down each of these factors, plus what you can do to maximize your compensation.
Even with health insurance, medical treatment for a brain injury can be extremely costly. A 2019 study examining data from dozens of medical databases found that in-hospital TBI costs alone ranged anywhere from $2,130 to $401,808.
Whether you’re filing a claim with a car insurance company or taking the responsible party to court, recouping your medical expenses will likely be a significant portion of your settlement. It’s crucial to remember here that compensation may include more than just the cost of your initial hospitalization. It could also include things like time spent in rehabilitation centers or skilled nursing facilities, ongoing physical therapy, follow-up appointments, prescription medications, in-home medical care, and adaptive devices.
If you suffered from emotional or psychological problems after your injury, compensation for medical expenses could also include psychiatric care, including inpatient hospitalizations and regular therapy.
Needless to say, this is a lot of information to keep track of. But by keeping meticulous records of all your related medical expenses, you can more accurately calculate the true value of your brain injury case
Lost wages can be another major economic loss for injured victims and are a consideration in virtually all TBI settlements considering how debilitating these injuries can be. You should consider how much work you missed during your initial hospitalization and recovery in addition to your future lost wages if you are still unable to go back to work by the time you file a claim.
If you will be unable to return to your previous job or line of work due to TBI-related disability, you may also be able to secure financial compensation for your reduced earning capacity (especially if you were previously the breadwinner in your family). Depending on your work history and salary, this could easily add hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to your settlement.
Pain and Suffering
There is a lot of emphasis in personal injury cases on what’s called economic losses. These are direct financial losses like those mentioned above that can be calculated in a fairly straightforward manner. But another key factor TBI settlements is compensation for both physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering can include a range of symptoms and changes in quality of life, such as:
- Chronic pain
- Nerve damage and/or paralysis
- Impaired coordination and speech
- Frequent headaches or migraines
- Post-traumatic seizures
- Reduced cognitive function
- Personality changes
- Mood disorders
- Sleep disorders
In cases of wrongful death, family members of the decedent may also be eligible for compensation for things like loss of society, companionship, or guidance from their loved one.
Personal injury attorneys generally use one of two methods to calculate the value of an individual’s pain and suffering: the multiplier method or the per diem method. In the multiplier method, you multiply the value of your economic damages by a number between one and five (the more severe the injuries, the higher the number). The resulting number is a ballpark assessment for your pain and suffering.
An alternative way to estimate pain and suffering is the per diem method. Using this method, your attorney assigns a specific dollar amount to each day between the injury and when you made (or are expected to make) a full recovery.
Full or Partial Liability
Unlike the previous factors, liability itself isn’t a type of compensation, but it will greatly impact whether you’ll see a settlement and how much that settlement is worth. Obviously if you’ve made it this far, you have a strong reason to believe that your traumatic brain injury was caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person. Perhaps you were injured in a car accident with a drunk driver or slipped and fell in a poorly-maintained business. Whatever the case, someone else may be responsible for your injury.
Sometimes, however, liability isn’t so clear cut. If an insurance company or another defendant argues that you were partially to blame for your injuries, your ability to collect compensation may be limited under Nevada’s comparative negligence standard. The good news? Even if this is the case, you will likely be able to recover some damages as long as you were 50% or less at fault for the accident or injury. Your settlement would be reduced by the percentage to which you were deemed at fault.
How A Brain Injury Attorney Can Help You Win Your Case
If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury, don’t leave your case up to chance. If you want to secure the full amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries, inability to work, and pain and suffering, having your claim evaluated by an experienced brain injury lawyer is a crucial first step.
At ER Injury Attorneys, we offer free personal injury consultations to help you understand the true value of your case and explain all your legal options. If your traumatic brain injury claim has been denied, you’re getting the run-around from the insurance adjuster assigned to your case, or you’ve received a settlement offer that seems rushed or unfair, contact us today for a complimentary, no obligation case review.
Located in Las Vegas, our legal team represents clients across southern Nevada, including Summerlin, Boulder City, Laughlin, Pahrump, and elsewhere in Clark and Nye counties. Call us 24/7 at 702-878-7878, connect with a LiveChat agent online, or fill out this contact form to request your free consultation.