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Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) can radically impact a victim’s life. TBI can lead to a lifetime of cognitive, physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that affect a person’s ability to function “normally” in everyday life. Other possible effects of TBI include memory loss, difficulty with concentration, and loss of ability to work, not to mention a pile of medical bills and other related expenses.

Though some payouts can exceed $1 million, most traumatic brain injury claims from car accidents result in compensation awards of at least $100,000. This article discusses factors that may play a role in determining your settlement value, including your injury’s effects on your life, medical bills, lost income, and more.

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury or TBI occurs when a sudden external impact from an accident damages the brain. TBI is a broad term describing an array of injuries to the brain that are the most common causes of disability and death among adults. The damage due to a traumatic brain injury can be confined to one region of the brain (focal) or affect numerous brain areas (diffuse). Additionally, the severity of a TBI can range from a mild concussion to a severe injury with fatal consequences.

Traumatic brain injuries and associated deaths in the United States are more prevalent than one may think. Most result from car accidents, assaults, slip-and-falls, and firearms. TBIs can be classified into Closed and Open or Penetrating Injuries, depending on whether the impact fractures the cranium.

Closed Head Injuries (CHI)

Closed head injuries such as contusion, concussion, and intracranial hematoma happen when a non-penetrating injury to the brain occurs with no break through the skull. CHIs are caused by a rapid backward and forward shaking of the brain inside the skull, resulting in blood vessels and brain tissue tearing or bruising. Mild closed brain injuries are challenging to diagnose because symptoms can take hours, days, or even weeks to present.

Open/Penetrating Injuries

Penetrating injuries are traumatic to the brain when a foreign object pierces the skin and damages the underlying tissues, leading to an open wound. A common cause of open or penetrating brain injuries is bullet wounds.

Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Side effects can be subtle and even mistaken for fatigue or stress. Furthermore, signs of TBI trauma can vary subject to the injury and the force that caused it. If you have been in an accident, watch out for the following signs:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Persistent headaches
  • Disorientation
  • Speech impediment
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea
  • Clumsiness
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Forgetfulness, including amnesia in severe cases

These symptoms may appear instantly or gradually in days or weeks following an accident. If you have recently suffered a brain injury and are experiencing these signs, seek immediate medical attention. Victims of serious vehicle accidents suffer traumatic brain injuries that cost them thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost earning capacity.

The expenses become problematic, particularly for those who become disabled because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts. Note that the only way injured parties can recoup their medical, treatment, and rehabilitation costs are by pursuing compensation from the at-fault party. Other compensation forms may include lost wages, pain and suffering, future earning capacity, and property damage.

How Much Is a Traumatic Brain Injury Claim Worth?

When a TBI claim settles for $1 million, the victim’s injuries are catastrophic to the extent of being left with severe life-altering disabilities. Due to the severity and drastic impact of a TBI, such cases usually have a high settlement value that enables victims to pay for ongoing medical treatment. Several factors are considered when valuing the amount of compensation awarded in a traumatic brain injury claim. A large portion of any settlement is based on the following:

  • Medical bills and related expenses: such as emergency room visits, rehabilitation, extended hospital stays, and tests like MRIs and CT scans.
  • Loss of earning capacity: TBI patients may be forced to retire earlier than planned because of the injuries incurred. As such, a vocational expert will calculate the expected lifetime earnings the victim will lose owing to brain injury.
  • Compensation for lifecare: depending on the TBI severity, effects may never heal, which will call for medication, ongoing physical therapy, or assistance with daily activities. Insurers will assess the cost of such services and the need for a full-time carer.
  • Pain and suffering: TBIs can be devastating from a physiological and psychological perspective, leading to loss of quality of life. Although there’s no set amount, pain and suffering compensation and emotional damages may be included in a settlement.
  • Punitive damages: if the court determines a TBI trauma was brought about by another person’s wrongful conduct, accident victims may be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages aim to punish offenders and deter their reckless behavior in the future.

Because TBIs vary significantly in severity and subsequent payout, calculating an average settlement amount can be challenging. Though most jury verdicts, including compensation for brain injuries, begin in the low six-figure range, it’s not uncommon for cases to settle in millions of dollars. If you’ve suffered a TBI, you require an aggressive personal injury lawyer to help you fight for fair compensation at trial or negotiate with an insurance company.

Although most TBI victims settle out of court, it doesn’t mean you should accept the first offer an insurance company puts on the table. You may risk settling for a far lower payout than what you require to support your medical needs and even give up your right to pursue additional compensation later.

Speak With an Experienced California Personal Injury Lawyer at Kash Legal Today

The only way you can protect yourself and recover a fair settlement is to have an expert personal injury lawyer represent you. Our teams of accident lawyers at Kash Legal are here for you. We will consult with experts to investigate your claim, calculate your damages, and negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurer to demand compensation for your damages.

The great thing is you don’t have to pay us unless we win your case. So, call us at (888) 527-4128 or fill out our contact form to arrange a free consultation.

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