According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 1.5 million Americans sustain traumatic brain injuries each year. At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, we know the physical, emotional, and financial struggles that victims and their families face after a TBI. Our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience handling these claims and help clients understand how future claims for brain injury are calculated.
What Is A Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injury usually happens due to a violent blow to the head or body. It can also occur when an object, such as a piece of glass, skull fragment, or bullet, penetrates brain tissue. TBI can range from mild to severe and might result in bleeding, bruising, and other brain tissue damage. Although some symptoms of TBI appear immediately following trauma, others may not be apparent until days, weeks, or even months later.
A person with a mild traumatic brain injury might recover in a few weeks and sustain no permanent injuries, while those with moderate to severe TBI can suffer life-changing, long-term effects, including:
- Headaches and migraines
- Dizziness and nausea
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Visual problems
- Ongoing cognitive problems
- Psychological conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD
- Aggression and other personality changes
- Trouble concentrating
- Depression and anxiety
- Aggression and other personality changes
- Degenerative brain diseases
- Higher likelihood of death
How Are Future Losses Calculated?
Many conditions caused by a traumatic brain injury require costly ongoing medical treatment and therapy. A TBI can significantly impact an injured victim’s health, family, social life, and the ability to make a living. Having an attorney who’s well-versed in accurately calculating future damages in brain injury claims is critical to ensuring an injured victim gets the long-term care and financial security they need.
Factors considered when valuing a brain injury claim include:
Tangible costs of your injury. Personal injury lawyers typically consult with medical professionals, therapists, and others who specialize in TBI to determine the cost of future medical bills, home care, medications, therapy, additional necessary treatment, loss of income, and loss of earning capacity.
Intangible costs of your injury. Putting a number on noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, emotional distress, is more challenging. A rule of thumb that’s often used is to multiply the total amount of economic damages by 1.5% to 5%, depending on the seriousness of your TBI, how it has affected your life, and the circumstances of your specific case.
When looking at the whole picture, an experienced brain injury attorney will also consider your age, occupation, medical history, and whether multiple parties may be liable for your injuries. Where your claim is litigated is also a factor that can affect the total amount of your award. For example, if you file a brain injury claim in New York City, you’d most likely receive a larger settlement or verdict compared to a small town in Pennsylvania. If the party who caused your brain injury acted in a particularly reckless or egregious manner, your lawyer might seek punitive damages as well.
What Are Mitigated Damages?
If you fail to seek medical care after an injury and your condition worsens, the length and cost of future treatment may be more significant. Insurance companies sometimes try to use this as a reason for offering a reduced settlement amount because you failed to mitigate the damages related to the accident and your injuries. That’s why it’s vital to go to the emergency room or see a doctor as soon as possible and follow up with recommended treatment after an accident. Contacting an attorney is also a must — your lawyer can handle all aspects of your case, help you understand how to put an accurate value on future claims for your brain injury, and help you recover the maximum award you need to move on with your life.
Contact A Brain Injury Lawyer
Our team at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured victims and their families. If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury, call us at 610-867-2900 to schedule a free consultation. With offices in Northampton, Lehigh, Berks and Monroe Counties, we represent all injured victims throughout all counties in Eastern PA .