A sudden blow or jolt to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). There are many possible causes of a brain injury, such as a car accident, violence, a fall, sports injury or work-related accident. If you experience a TBI, the normal functioning of your brain is disrupted, which may be temporary or permanent.
Depending on the severity of the injury, the effects of a TBI can last for a matter of days or weeks, or the injury may cause complete debilitation or death. If injuries from a TBI are severe, you may suffer paralysis, loss of cognitive abilities or other forms of permanent disability. If this happens, the cost of treatment can be very expensive and can lead to financial devastation that impacts every member of your family.
If your injury is the result of someone else’s negligence or deliberate decision to harm you, Texas law allows you to obtain compensation from the person or persons that were responsible for your injury.
Here are some of the many things to consider in order to determine a fair settlement:
Determining the Severity of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Determining fair compensation starts with evaluating the severity of a head injury and what impact it has on your life. After a head injury, symptoms of a TBI may appear immediately after the injury, or they may take several days or even longer to appear. If the TBI is mild to moderate, these symptoms may include:
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty communicating or understanding language
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
Symptoms of a more serious TBI include:
- Loss of consciousness for several hours
- Difficulty awakening from sleep
- Worsening or persistent headache
- Seizures or convulsions
- Profound confusion or disorientation
- Numbness or loss of muscle control
The Cost of a Traumatic Brain Injury
To determine a fair settlement amount, one of the most important things to look at is what the TBI has cost you or what you have lost because of your injury. Damages are usually divided into two categories:
A traumatic brain injury almost always causes major financial consequences. The cost of medical care is part of your financial losses. If your injury was severe, your medical costs may be ongoing for a very long time, possibly the rest of your life. Costs of projected future care should be considered before settling on a fixed settlement amount. Financial losses also include lost wages and lost earning capacity.
It can be more difficult to determine what else you have lost because of your injury, but there’s a good chance your losses go beyond money. This category includes things that are hard to put a financial price tag on, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of self-confidence or damaged relationships.
Impact of an Injury to Your Brain
Your brain is central to everything you do. A very severe TBI may leave you incapacitated and unable to work. It may affect your ability to communicate, remember or relate normally to other people. It can cause you to have to relearn activities you do on a daily basis such as walking, bathing or dressing yourself.
A less severe injury can still have a big impact on your life. You may suffer ongoing headaches or struggle with forgetfulness. You may have complications that you didn’t have before your accident, such as seizures, difficulty concentrating or an inability to control your emotions.
You may run across doctors who try to minimize your symptoms or imply that they are not related to the accident. Some signs of a brain injury can be subtle and may be overlooked by doctors, such as slowed thinking, emotional outbursts or loss of coordination.
If you or your family are convinced that your symptoms are the result of the accident, it’s important to be persistent and find a doctor who listens to what you are saying. A thorough evaluation of your brain function should be done, especially if you’re continuing to deal with symptoms that you didn’t have before the accident that have lasted weeks or months after it happened.
Average Settlement Amounts for a Traumatic Brain Injury
The amount of compensation that is possible to obtain for a traumatic brain injury varies widely from several thousand dollars to well over a million. The settlement that can be obtained for a mild brain injury wouldn’t be as large as those obtained for a major injury that caused loss of the ability to earn a good living or function independently. Each situation is different and there are many factors involved in coming up with settlement amounts.
Multimillion-dollar settlements are possible for those who suffer massive injuries. This is true since the cost of medical care will most likely continue to be astronomical long after the accident.
Treatment of a severe TBI may require extensive and lengthy hospitalization as well as time spent in a rehabilitation facility. If you’ve been severely injured, medical equipment may be required to allow you to be able to get around. This may include a wheelchair or orthopedic equipment and you may also need physical therapy or other types of therapy.
You may also be entitled to compensation for the impact your injury has had on your family. This includes both the financial losses and the emotional toll that a major injury may take on family members, especially children.
Mild Brain Injuries
Even if your brain injury was relatively mild, it’s important to not rush into accepting the first settlement offer that an insurance company makes. The job of an insurance representative is to settle for the smallest amount possible. Even though your symptoms may have subsided, it’s possible that you might still experience long-term effects.
Even in the case of a mild brain injury, it’s a good idea to talk to a personal injury lawyer. Professionals in this field can help you to determine whether what the insurance company is offering is a fair settlement or whether there are other factors to consider.
Getting Legal Advice
If you or someone you care about has experienced a head injury or TBI caused by the negligence or intentional malice of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. Because of the ongoing physical and cognitive problems that you may experience, it’s extremely important to be sure you are considering the total long-term impact that your injury may have on your financial security and your quality of life.
For expert advice in the field of personal injury law, contact Patterson Law Group by filling out the form on this page and a member of our team will contact you. We can answer any questions you may have about the type of compensation that you may be able to obtain.
When you hire us for your personal injury case, we will work with medical professionals to analyze your future medical needs in order to present this information in settlement negotiations or in court. While no amount of money can fully compensate you and your family for what you have lost, a fair settlement may help to ease the financial burdens that you are facing, and we will pursue all available options to obtain the compensation you deserve.