Evaluating Damages IN a Brain Injury AccidentLast updated on: February 9, 2015
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Head and brain injuries can range in severity from mild to severe, including concussions as well as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Traumatic brain injuries may be life-changing and permanent, impacting you for the rest of your life with symptoms like memory loss, behavioral changes, cognitive impairments, or even incapacitation or death.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, you should call the experienced brain injury attorneys from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
HOW ARE DAMAGES ARE CALCULATED IN A BRAIN INJURY CASE?
Compensation in personal injury cases involving brain injuries may vary greatly, even to a larger extent than many other personal injury cases. Because of the often catastrophic and sometimes permanent nature of brain injuries, these cases can be very complex and complicated to settle. Indeed, proving damages is often the most complex aspect of a brain injury case, and it is typically critical that you hire an experienced brain injury attorney to help you pursue the maximum compensation that you may be entitled to.
An experienced brain injury lawyer may help you establish the key factors involved in evaluating these damages, such as:
One of the most important factors that may determine whether you may be entitled to any compensation at all from the other party is liable. In cases where the other party’s liability is clear and substantiated by significant evidence, the insurance company may be more likely to discuss a settlement. Meanwhile, in cases where evidence proving who was responsible for your brain injury is less clear, insurers may be less likely to immediately agree to any settlement offer. Instead, the insurance company will often use its team of lawyers to dispute their insured’s liability for the accident and potentially refuse any reasonable settlement offer. Insurers will look for any reason to dispute your claim to avoid paying any compensation, and if they believe you may not be able to prove at trial that their insured caused the accident or that the accident actually caused your injuries, the insurer may instead choose to force you to take the risks and expenses of a trial. Your attorney may conduct a thorough investigation to gather as much evidence as possible that may prove the other party’s fault in causing your accident and your brain injury.
Number of Potentially Liable Parties
Further, the more defendants who may be liable for your injuries, the more complex your case could become. In many cases, multiple defendants may be liable, such as a truck driver, the trucking company that owns the truck, the shipping company which employs the driver if separate from the trucking company, and any governmental entity which may be responsible for maintaining safe roadways. However, when each of these parties may be represented by a different insurance company, this factor could complicate the settlement process as each insurer may dispute how much compensation each party should be responsible for.
Where Your Case Will Be Tried
As with other lawsuits, personal injury lawsuits, such as a claim for brain injuries, may be more difficult to win in some venues compared to others. This factor may also be dependent on where the court is located, as some venues may be more conservative than other venues, which means that juries in that area may be likely to award less in damages to victims than a jury in a different community might have done. Insurance companies have often done extensive research into awards of compensation by juries in a given area to best prepare the insurer for the inevitable
The Victim’s Characteristics
The victim’s various characteristics and traits may also influence the value of any compensation the insurance company may be willing to agree to. For example, the victim’s age, prior medical history, likeability, and occupation may also impact the value of any potential settlement. For example, insurance companies may be willing to offer a higher settlement offer in some cases where a younger victim was injured and permanently disabled as compensation based on a loss of ability to work is generally based on the victim’s age and expected income. At the same time, insurance companies may be willing to settle a claim rather than pursuing the case to trial where the victim may be considered especially likable. The insurer’s attorneys may realize that a jury may find the victim likable while also pitying the victim because of individuals paying the form. Sympathy and likeability may be strong motivating factors influencing a jury’s decision in deciding whether to award any compensation to a victim.
Failure to Mitigate Damages
An accident victim generally has a duty to mitigate any damages if doing so is possible for the victim. This duty requires the victim to keep damages to a minimum, such as by seeking medical treatment as soon as possible after the accident. In some cases, waiting too long to seek medical treatment may make the victim’s injuries more difficult to treat, or allow the injury to worsen and cause additional injuries. Failing to take reasonable steps to mitigate or avoid damages when possible may allow an insurer to claim that your inaction or failure to mitigate was the actual cause of your injuries and damages rather than the negligence of the at-fault party who caused the accident. If there is a delay in seeking medical care, insurance companies will frequently claim such delay constitutes a failure to mitigate damages and that your injuries would have been less serious or costly if you had sought immediate treatment.
Whether the Other Party’s Actions Were Especially Egregious
Meanwhile, the calculation for a victim’s compensation for a brain injury may also increase if the at-fault’s party was particularly egregious in causing the accident and injury. Ordinary negligence may be enough to hold a party liable for causing an accident. However, if the misconduct was grossly negligent or reckless, or if it rises to the level of willful, intentional, or wanton misconduct, the victim may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages may be awarded in these cases to punish egregious conduct by the at-fault party as well as to discourage similar conduct by others in the future. While your brain injury lawyer may not include punitive damages within the calculation for the value of your claim, your attorney may use the potential for such punitive damages as leverage during the negotiation process with the insurance company. Indeed, insurers may have more incentive to agree to a reasonable settlement offer demanded by your lawyer as the potential for punitive damages may serve as leverage incentivizing the insurer to avoid a trial.
HOW MUCH COMPENSATION MAY I BE ENTITLED TO?
The overall extent of the compensation for your brain injury you may be able to seek may vary depending upon the severity of your brain injury, often ranging from mild to severe. If you have suffered a brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation for any economic damages you suffered as a result of your injuries, such as:
You may usually be entitled to compensation for any economic damages you may have suffered, and your lawyer may use documentation gathered during a thorough investigation to provide itemized costs for economic damages such as:
- Medical bills for any medical costs you incurred as a result of the accident such as hospital stays, diagnostic exams or scans, medication, or other treatment
- Lost income for any work that you missed from seeking medical treatment for your injuries or missed while you were recovering
- Reduced earning capacity if your brain injury prevents you from continuing to work at the same level or forces you to take a different, lower-paying job
Unfortunately, many non-economic damages are difficult to evaluate or quantify after a brain injury as these costs often do not have quantifiable costs or come with an itemized receipt. For example, it may be difficult to calculate the monetary value of personality changes, blurred vision, or a reduced attention span. An experienced attorney is often critical to calculating how your day-to-day life or wellbeing are affected by this harm. Your attorney may be able to help you seek compensation for such non-economic damages as:
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced or lower enjoyment of life
- Shock and mental anguish
- The loss of consortium, society, or companionship from an injured or deceased spouse or parent
- Emotional distress
Further, you may also be entitled to future damages in many cases because of the ongoing and often permanent effects of your brain injury. While mild brain injuries may generally only result in temporary damages that can be calculated by the time of trial or settlement, more serious head injuries will often continue to cause ongoing or permanent harm to their lives. An experienced brain injury lawyer may be able to help you calculate the cost of any future medical treatment that you may require to treat your injuries. Your lawyer may use a comprehensive life care plan created by a qualified life care planner to establish the cost of your future medical bills related to your brain injury.
CONSULT THE BRAIN INJURY ATTORNEYS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced brain injury lawyers have helped accident victims seek any compensation they may be entitled to as a result of suffering a brain injury. Our skilled team may help you calculate the damages you have suffered after your accident as well as evaluating any future damages you may incur, generally for the cost of future medical treatment.
Your lawyer from Zinda Law Group may help you seek compensation from the at-fault party who caused your accident, as well as the other party’s employer, and any other party who may be liable for your injuries. Your attorney may sue the truck driver, their employer, the local governmental entity, or others that may have been responsible for the accident. Your attorney may use your experience in these cases better prepare yourself for safety measures. Garbage truck accident attorneys may take advantage of the years of experience negotiating with insurance companies and seeking the maximum compensation victims may be entitled to after their accident.
Call (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation with one of our brain injury lawyers. You will not pay anything unless we can win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. Check out our blog for more helpful resources.
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