Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes severe damage. It not only affects the patient’s physical well-being but causes changes in cognitive thinking, memory, and emotional and behavioral patterns. All these changes can drain the patient’s finances and affect earning capacity and standard of living. It is a well-known fact that TBI cases have huge settlement value. This compensation can give the patient a sense of financial security that helps pay for prescriptions and ongoing treatment. Seeking compensation is extremely important in cases where the TBI patient cannot return to work.
What damages are available in a TBI case?
In most TBI cases, the only way to recoup the expenses is by claiming the damage or loss that occurred in the injury. Here are a few types of damages in a TBI case:
- Economic or special damages: These TBI damages are intended to help the patient who has suffered a severe injury. It replaces financial losses and includes medical bills, future costs, ongoing treatment, assisted-living facilities, property damage, etc. Economic damage includes future damages like lost wages and earning losses due to disability due to traumatic brain injury. In fatal TBI cases, it includes funeral or burial costs.
- Non-economic damages: The reason to seek financial compensation isn’t always economic losses. Some types of TBI damages are non-economic. Such damages do not come with a clear picture and price tag. However, non-economic damages are nothing but serious. Non-economic damages are any losses that are real but less or non-tangible. For such losses, damages are awarded. Non-economic damages include loss of consortium, companionship, reputation, etc. It also includes emotional distress, pain, suffering, and mental anguish.
- Hedonic damages: It is a term used for the loss of enjoyment in life. Depression is a severe consequence of TBI, and many injured victims may not lead an everyday life again. This damage is difficult to win in court as personal happiness does not come with a price tag.
- Punitive damages: A court can award punitive damage if the negligent party’s behavior is reckless. Such damages serve not only as punishment but also set an excellent example to deter others from continuing similar exceptionally malicious, wrongful conduct or fraudulent acts.
How are damages determined in a TBI case?
Damages depend on the severity of the traumatic brain injury. Calculating tangible damages like economic losses are easy and are calculated per current wages, medical costs, prescription, etc. Accordingly, future damages are estimated with the help of a TBI lawyer, medical experts, and other professionals. An excellent attorney can help the TBI victim claim compensation for indirect economic losses.
Determination of economic damages is a relatively straightforward process. However, the real challenge is to evaluate non-economic damages. These less tangible losses are difficult to calculate, but an experienced TBI lawyer can offer proper advice.
What factors are taken into account when determining damages in a TBI case?
A plethora of factors govern the value of traumatic head injury damages. It includes:
- Number of defendants
- Plaintiff characteristics
- The location where the TBI case will be tried
- Defendant’s egregious conduct
- Mitigating damages
How do insurance companies determine the value of a TBI claim?
Insurance companies generally compensate for all the tangible damages. They may look out for their bottom line. Hence, working with an experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI) lawyer or law firm is crucial to ensure you receive fair compensation. Insurance companies calculate all the tangible losses, which easily add up with a calculator. The overall value of all the medical expenses is calculated, and you are paid for general/special damages. However, as the intangible damages are difficult to calculate and evaluate, an experienced TBI lawyer can help you get compensation for the injuries you sustain.
What should you do if you have been injured in a TBI accident?
Mild traumatic brain injuries usually do not need treatment other than over-the-counter pain relievers and rest. However, the person must be closely monitored. For moderate to severe TBI, after getting treatment and surgery if needed, hire a traumatic brain injury attorney to get financial compensation. For filing an insurance claim or lawsuit post-TBI accident, your first step after treatment should be to discuss your TBI case with a lawyer.
Getting a clear picture of both economic and non-economic damages with the help of a lawyer, you may receive fair compensation for your TBI case.