Whether you suffer a head injury in a motor vehicle accident, a sporting accident, a slip and fall due to a defective product, or some other reason, you might wonder what your head injury claim is worth.
You're not alone. As severe as many head injuries are, victims and their families often wonder how much money they can recover from a legal claim.
While no one can predict the future, the best way to determine your head injury claim’s value is to meet with an experienced Feasterville personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can review all the facts in the case and the extent of your injuries to provide you with an estimate of how much you can receive if you decide to pursue your claim. They can also take many steps to maximize your claim’s value.
Personal Injury Accidents and Incidents That Can Cause Head Injuries
Sometimes, traumatic brain injuries occur because of the negligence of another individual or entity. If someone else is liable for the injury, the injured individual can file a personal injury claim with the assistance of a personal injury attorney.
Types of personal injury accidents associated with brain injuries include:
Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. For example, a shopper can slip on a wet surface in the store and fall, an employee can fall from a roof while working, and a renter can slip and fall in an apartment with broken stairs leading up to it. When a person falls, their head is at risk of hitting a hard surface.
Automobile accidents are another common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians often lack protective headgear to protect their brains.
Even with seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features, drivers and passengers in a car can either hit their head on something or have the force of the accident itself cause a brain injury.
Sadly, violence also causes many traumatic brain injuries. Infants can sustain traumatic brain injuries from shaken baby syndrome. The combination of an underdeveloped brain and the force of shaking can quickly lead to brain damage. Traumatic brain injuries can occur with other types of violence, such as domestic violence, child abuse, and gunshots.
Sports and recreational activities put people at a higher risk of traumatic brain injuries. Children are especially susceptible to head injuries in high-impact sports such as hockey, skateboarding, baseball, and football.
When consumers purchase or use a product on the market, they anticipate it will be safe. However, many products like toys, cars, car parts, and machinery can be defective and lead to a brain injury.
Complications of Head Injuries
Head injuries can cause several complications, some of them serious. Complications can occur shortly after the patient sustains the injury or months or years later.
Potential complications include:
- Fluid buildup in the brain (hydrocephalus)
- Damage to blood vessels
- Inability to remember things
- Difficulty learning
- Lack of reasoning
- Poor judgment or judgment that doesn't make sense
- Struggling with attention or concentration
- Functional decision-making problems
- Starting or finishing tasks
- Difficulty understanding speech or writing
- Trouble speaking or writing
- Inability to organize thoughts and ideas
- Struggling to follow or participate in conversations
- Difficulty with taking turns or selecting topics in conversations
- Trouble with changes in tone, pitch, or emphasis to imply emotions, attitudes, or indirect differences in meaning
- Struggles with comprehending nonverbal signals
- Trouble understanding cues from listeners
- Issues starting or stopping conversations
- Inability to use the muscles needed to form words
The Extreme Financial Burdens of a TBI
The staggering expenses associated with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may never end. Some individuals may need a lifetime of medical attention and rehabilitation, while others may find it impossible to return to work.
The direct medical costs of TBI and related expenses such as lost productivity exceed $60 billion annually in the United States.
For survivors of TBI, lifetime expenses can easily reach into the millions. Those needing rehabilitation can face much higher costs than those not requiring such services. Patients who tragically succumb to their TBI injuries may accumulate astronomical medical bills before their passing.
Additionally, providing employment support for TBI survivors seeking to re-enter the workforce can cost thousands in the first year alone.
Compensation for a Concussion
Suppose you and your treating doctor determine that you've experienced a concussion without loss of consciousness or lingering effects. In that case, you still deserve financial recovery. Don't let the insurance company convince you otherwise.
You should receive compensation for your economic losses, including medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs (such as transportation to medical appointments or necessary equipment), and lost income.
Additionally, you might recover compensation for pain and suffering.
However, if you reside in a no-fault insurance state and your head injury stems from a car accident, you must file a compensation claim with your insurance carrier through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
In the case of injured passengers, they must file a claim under the policy of the driver of the vehicle they were in. PIP settlements typically don't include compensation for pain and suffering.
Compensation for Moderate Head Injuries
Moderate head and traumatic brain injuries require longer recovery than mild ones. Their symptoms may persist for an extended period, and victims might have sustained additional injuries.
In no-fault insurance states, you have the option to seek compensation from the at-fault driver's car insurance if your injuries exceed the state's defined threshold. This typically occurs when costs surpass your PIP limits or due to the severity of your injuries.
In cases involving moderate head injuries, the other driver's insurance company may contest the injury claim's value. As such, seeking guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer for complex or severe injury claims is highly recommended.
Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations to injured parties and their families. Protect your rights by consulting an attorney promptly after a brain injury. Avoid an insurance adjuster pressuring you into a settlement without first seeking sound legal advice.
Compensation for a Traumatic Brain Injury
Head injuries resulting from auto accidents and other personal injury incidents, such as slip and falls, are a leading cause of fatalities and disabilities in adults. Survivors of incidents involving fractured skulls, brain bleeds, or secondary strokes often face life-altering brain damage.
Securing just compensation for a severe traumatic brain injury claim necessitates the experience and proficiency of a seasoned personal injury attorney.
Victims of traumatic brain injuries, along with their families, require the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney who can:
- Determine and establish a fair settlement amount
- Identify every potential source of compensation
- Establish liability on the part of the at-fault party
How to Maximize Your Head Injury Settlement
Successful head injury claims have proof of the at-fault party's liability and evidence establishing the scope and impact of the victim's injuries. The following can maximize your brain injury compensation.
Seek Prompt Medical Care
Many injured victims don't understand that the initial shock and distress following an incident can obscure potential head injury symptoms. Even if you don't feel an immediate need for emergency care, consult a licensed physician post-accident to rule out any hidden injuries. Promptly documenting and treating any injuries is paramount for both your overall well-being and the success of your injury claim.
In cases where there is a suspicion of a potential brain injury, follow up with your primary healthcare provider or a neurologist after receiving initial emergency care. Adhere to their advice and instructions. Deciding to forgo or delay medical attention following an injury incident can significantly undermine your personal injury claim.
Avoid Conversations with Insurance Adjusters
Insurance adjusters often aim to engage claimants shortly after an accident, attempting to do so before they can consult an attorney. This keeps the injured party in the dark about their claim's actual value and legal entitlements. It exploits unsuspecting victims, coercing them into settling for a fraction of what their claim is genuinely worth during this vulnerable period.
Additionally, they may request recorded statements, a practice that can potentially harm your claim if they manipulate your words or steer you with leading questions.
By seeking guidance from an attorney promptly after your accident and diagnosis, you shield yourself from the insurance company's ploys to either deny or devalue your head injury claim. This proactive step ensures that you're fully aware of your rights and the true worth of your claim.
Continue Compiling Evidence Until Your Claim Resolves
Securing comprehensive medical records is paramount in building a robust case for your head injury claim. These records should unequivocally establish the direct link between your head injury and the accident.
You, or your personal injury attorney, can formally request copies of your medical records and invoices from various sources, including the ambulance, hospital, and any specialists or therapists you consulted during your injury treatment and rehabilitation.
- Save receipts for any personal expenses related to medical care, such as medications and assistive devices.
- Maintain a meticulous record of your mileage and parking costs for journeys to medical appointments or therapy sessions.
- Should your head injuries be visibly apparent, make it a point to document your recovery process with photographs. Images capturing elements like black eyes, scalp stitches, or embedded glass serve as compelling visual evidence, especially if a trial becomes necessary.
- Obtain an official statement from your employer detailing the extent of your lost income and benefits and any utilized vacation or sick time.
This comprehensive evidence-collection process significantly strengthens your case and ensures you receive adequate compensation for your head injury.
Thoroughly Document Your Pain and Suffering
Maintain a comprehensive record of your experience to build a solid case for your head injury claim.
Write down your recollections of the car accident, the incident that led to your head injury, and the subsequent aftermath.
Either you or a caregiver should diligently document the daily challenges you face due to your head injury, which may include treatments, memory lapses, headaches, seizures, cognitive impairments, sleep disruptions, and emotional distress.
Additionally, don't overlook even the minutest details, such as missed social gatherings, family occasions, forfeited deposits for planned vacations, the necessity to withdraw from classes, and any other ways your head injury has impacted your intended activities and overall quality of life.
A meticulously kept daily journal can provide compelling evidence to substantiate your claim for compensation for the pain and suffering resulting from your head injury, so aim for thoroughness and precision in your entries.
Hire a Proficient Personal Injury Lawyer
While each of these steps holds its own importance in securing your rightful compensation, the most crucial step you can take is enlisting a skilled personal injury lawyer to oversee your claim. Attempting to navigate this on your own may lead to critical errors, missed deadlines, and, ultimately, a devalued claim.
It can also be physically and mentally exhausting to manage your own head injury claim while trying to heal and recover from your injuries. The services of a personal injury lawyer who has experience in head injury claims can be invaluable during this time.
Given that head injuries constitute one of the most severe forms of personal injury cases, they necessitate the focused legal skills of a seasoned personal injury attorney. Without such representation, you will probably not receive the full compensation you rightfully deserve.