How Much Is a Head Injury Claim Worth?
It is difficult to determine how much a head injury claim is worth without looking at the circumstances of the case, like the severity of the injury, the effect it has on the victim’s life, and the resulting economic and non-economic hardships.
A personal injury lawyer could help identify the damages to gain a clearer picture of the compensation the injured party deserves to recover.
Possible Compensation in a Head Injury Case
Every head injury case differs, and the compensation someone could receive after sustaining a head injury varies based on several factors.
- The severity of the injury
- The type of accident that caused the injury
- How the head injury will affect their life
- If the head injury has caused a disability
- The financial and non-financial losses the injured party incurred
Calculating the value of damages is key to identifying the value of a head injury claim. Recoverable damages are the amount of money the person or entity who caused the injury must pay for injuring someone else. Damages may be recoverable through a claim if the two parties reach a settlement. If the parties don’t settle, the case may go to trial.
Past and Future Medical Expenses
Treating a head injury is expensive, especially if surgery is required. However, without rapid treatments, head injuries could worsen.
The injured party may need to undergo diagnostic tests to determine the location and severity of the injury.
These diagnostic tests could include:
- Computerized Tomography (CT) scans: Medical professionals use this test to take a series of X-rays to get a more detailed view of the brain. They can quickly determine if there is a brain hemorrhage, blood clots, fractures, swelling, or bruises on the brain.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Medical professionals can get a more detailed view of the brain by performing an MRI. MRIs use radio waves and magnets to create a picture of the brain. An MRI is often used once the condition is more stable or if the head injury symptoms don’t improve.
On top of diagnostic tests, people who sustain head injuries could require medications, such as anti-seizure drugs or pain medication. They may also need surgeries which could require them to stay in the hospital while recovering. In addition to long hospital stays, they could face long and intensive rehabilitative therapies, such as occupational or physical therapy. In severe cases, they may require speech and language therapy.
The victim can recover all of these expenses in a claim or lawsuit.
Lost Income and Reduced Earning Capacity
Regardless of the severity of the head injury, it could cause someone to miss work for some time. If the injured party misses enough work, they could lose income. However, through a head injury claim, the injured party could recover compensation for the income they lost while recovering.
If the head injury is severe and the injured party can no longer return to work, they may have grounds to recover reduced earning capacity. A personal injury attorney can work with economic experts to determine how much future income to fight for.
On top of future income, they could pursue compensation for lost work benefits. For example, many workplaces offer healthcare and retirement benefits. If the injured party lost these benefits because they no longer work, they could request a recovery of those costs in their claim.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering refer to the physical pain the head injury or required treatments caused. If the injured party experienced pain, discomfort, anguish, or inconvenience because of their head injury, they could recover compensation for pain and suffering damages.
It is difficult to quantify the value of pain and suffering damages because it is not associated with an actual monetary loss. A personal injury attorney can use economic damages and the victim’s testimony to determine how much compensation they can seek for these intangible losses.
Emotional distress damages compensate the injured party for the negative psychological effect their injury caused. Emotional distress could look different for every person.
Examples of negative emotional issues someone could experience after sustaining a head injury include:
- Sleep loss
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Similar to pain and suffering damages, emotional distress damages aren’t associated with a monetary value. Therefore, it is beneficial to seek out an attorney so they can help to calculate the value of emotional distress damages.
Wrongful Death Damages
Tragically, head injuries can be fatal. In those cases, surviving family members may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Usually, they can request compensation for loss of financial support or income, final medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and loss of services or consortium.
Levels of Severity of Head Injuries
The levels of severity of head injuries include mild, moderate, or severe head injuries. Even mild head injuries could require lengthy, expensive treatment for symptoms that can last for years.
You will need emergency medical care after a traumatic brain injury. If not, the injured party could sustain irreparable damage.
An Attorney Who Handles Head Injury Claims Can Help Recover Compensation
After sustaining a head injury because of the actions of someone else, the injured party can file a personal injury claim against them. To have a successful claim, it’s important to present solid evidence proving they caused the injury. Personal injury attorneys have the skills needed to prepare a strong case against the liable party.
An attorney can do the following to help the injured party recover the maximum amount of compensation:
- Speak to the opposing party and their representatives. Anything the injured party says to the insurance company could get used against them later. This is why it’s important to let an attorney speak on their behalf to ensure they don’t say anything that could hurt their case.
- Gather evidence. The injured party must collect and present evidence to prove their injury and the liable party. The attorney can take on this task on their behalf and compile documentation, such as medical records, witness statements, relevant videos and photos, and the incident report.
- Prove the other party’s negligence. Using the evidence mentioned above, an attorney can show that the other party owed the injured party a duty of care, breached it, and caused an accident and the victim’s head injury.
- Identify the damages the injured party suffered because of their head injury. By identifying damages and calculating their value, attorneys can know how much compensation to fight for during negotiations.
- Send a demand letter to the opposing party which states the amount of compensation they intend to recover on behalf of their client.
- Negotiate to reach a fair settlement. Personal injury attorneys typically have handled many head injury claims and know the tactics the insurance companies use to convince people to accept low offers. They can help the injured party avoid a low offer by fighting for the compensation they deserve.
- Represent the injured party in court if necessary. Through going to trial, they can advocate for their client to receive the compensation they seek to cover their monetary and non-monetary losses.
Attorneys also understand the statute of limitations for each state and can ensure their clients file the lawsuit before the time limit is up. For example, the statute of limitations in Arizona for a personal injury lawsuit is usually two years.
After two years, the injured party may lose their right to collect compensation from the other party. With that, it is important to contact an attorney’s office soon after the accident to ensure they have enough time to build a strong case.
Common Causes of Head Injuries
In a head injury case, it is essential to know what caused the injury to determine the liable party. There are many ways someone can sustain a head injury, although some are more common.
Common causes of head injuries include:
- Falls: When someone falls from a high structure, such as a ladder or roof, their head could sustain damage once they hit the ground. Even slips and falls can cause someone to sustain a severe head injury.
- Gunshot wounds: When a bullet goes through brain tissue, it can cause a severe head injury. Depending on where the bullet went through the head could significantly affect the level of severity of the injury. Further, many bullet wounds to the head result in death.
- Car accidents: Head injuries from car accidents can vary in severity depending on the force an object collided with the head.
- Assaults: When someone gets into a physical fight or gets assaulted by someone else, they could sustain a head injury. The brain is vulnerable to permanent damage in an assault. Ways victims could suffer a head injury in an assault may result from a punch, fall, or strangulation.
Regardless of how the head injury occurred, the victim should seek compensation for damages. In doing so, they can seek justice for dealing with the impacts of the head injury.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Provide Legal Guidance Through a Head Injury Claim
If you sustained a head injury because of the actions of someone else, you could receive compensation for your losses. For legal representation or more information about how much a head injury claim is worth, contact a law firm that takes such cases. These attorneys can provide a better estimate of how much compensation you could recover when they evaluate your case.
Many Phoenix personal injury law firms offer free consultations and operate on a contingency fee basis. That means they don’t ask for payment upfront, by the hour, or out of pocket. The law firm’s attorney only takes a fee if and when they recover compensation for you. This way, you don’t take any financial risk, and they can get started on your case right away.