Brain injuries can be some of the most difficult to diagnose and assess. First of all, in most brain injury cases, there is little to no physical proof that your brain was injured. Once the bump on your head goes away, you can’t really see brain damage. That being said, brain injuries can also be the most detrimental to your health. When your brain isn’t functioning properly, you can’t work efficiently, and it’s difficult to perform what used to be everyday tasks. What’s more, the medical fees and costs associated with brain injuries can be astronomical. That’s why many people who were injured in an accident seek settlement for any brain injuries sustained as a result.
If you suffered any kind of brain trauma or injury, you may be entitled to a settlement. But first, it helps to know a little bit about what qualifies you for a settlement, and how you go about the settlement process:
Extent of the brain injury:
Before you consider settlement, it’s necessary to understand just how severe your injury was. Once you know that, it will be easier to determine if a settlement is in your best interest. Most brain injury settlement claims are divided into two categories:
MTBI – Mild Traumatic Brain Injury – This category generally includes lesser brain injuries, the ones that are easily recovered from and will not affect your daily functions on a long term basis. Depending on your case, a settlement for this type of brain injury may be cost effective, but we advise that you talk to a trusted attorney before you make a final decision.
TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury – This is a more severe category of brain injury, that often can result in long term disability, psychological, and even physical damage. In a lot of situations, a TBI case will result in at least a $100,000 settlement, and can sometimes reach into the millions. If you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury, you should talk to an experienced attorney who has dealt with these types of cases in the past. An experienced lawyer will understand how best to get you the settlement you deserve, in order to cover all damages.
How settlements are determined:
Once you’re aware of the type of brain injury you have sustained, you’ll be better able to talk to an attorney to decide on what your proposed settlement will be. While the type of injury has the most impact on what you will ask for from the court, there are a number of other categories that affect that settlement as well:
Lost Wages and Income – If your injury prevented you from working, or completely affected your ability to remain in your same position, your lost wages, or loss of income should be factored into your settlement. Many victims of brain injuries are unable to return to work for a long period of time, due to the injury, or they are kept from returning to work at all. In these situations, the court will assess the amount of money, whether it be wages or income, that was lost.
Life Care or Disability costs – In situations where severe, irreversible brain trauma occurred, the victim may require additional care for the rest of their life. Whether this is just a disability, or if the victim will need full life care, these costs should be factored into the settlement. This includes any kind of additional care, such as transportation, nursing home care, rehabilitation, or home care costs.
Pain and suffering – In severe cases of injury, the victim is able to receive recovery for the pain and suffering experienced as a result of the accident or brain trauma. Since it is difficult to calculate and put a number on the pain that someone experienced during and following an accident, many states have their own ways to obtain a plausible number. To calculate this cost, it’s best that you talk to your trusted attorney to discern how pain and suffering is quantified in your state or region.
Punitive Damages – In rare cases, where someone was harmed by another person, resulting in the brain injury, punitive damages can be recovered. In the event that the at-fault party caused the injury with the intent to harm, or through a reckless action that endangered the life of the victim, punitive damages may be applied by the court. These damages are not, however, meant to award the victim for damages sustained, but rather to punish the at-fault party. The idea is that the additional monetary punishment will encourage the defendant to refrain from any future violent or negligent acts.
While there are many other costs and fees that are assessed for the settlement of a brain trauma or injury case, the above tend to have the greatest impact.
Brain injury settlements can be difficult to prove, so it’s important that you choose an attorney with a knowledge of your region, and of brain injury cases. If you have questions regarding your brain injury settlement, or need to talk to an attorney, give the Epstein law firm a call. With more than 20 years experience in the Chicago and surrounding Illinois areas, Jack Epstein is the right choice. For a free consultation, give our office a call at 773-522-7000 or make a request online.
This post is also available in: Spanish