When imagining what injuries you or a loved one might incur in an accident, you probably imagine broken legs and painful backs first. But one kind of injury that receives far less attention is traumatic brain injury, or TBI. TBI can occur when the head violently hits an object or surface (such as a dashboard) or when an object actually pieces the skull. Though a frequent cause, car accidents aren’t the only possible type of accident causing these injuries; bicycle head injuries can be just as severe.
Dealing With Traumatic Brain Injury
The effects of TBI can range from mild, nearly unnoticeable, to very severe. Because TBI disrupts brain function, the CDC states that it can be a significant cause of permanent disability. A severe TBI may affect cognitive function, motor function, sensation and emotion.
While no one ever hopes to need to pursue such a course of action, someone who has experienced a brain injury in an accident may be entitled to a brain injury settlement from a negligent auto manufacturer or driver. The proceeds of such a lawsuit can cover medical expenses, lost wages and other associated costs, including pain and suffering. As with all auto accident settlements, brain injury settlement amounts can vary widely. However, they’ll generally take into account several factors:
- Who was at fault in the accident: If the injured shared some fault for the accident, then the settlement will likely be lower.
- Whether the brain injury can be medically documented: Brain injuries can be difficult to prove, and unfortunately many victims are charged with being fakers and liars. Having scans that demonstrate physical damage can increase the value of a settlement.
- The impact of the brain injury on the injured person’s life: Generally, personal injury settlements take into account a person’s quality of life before and after an accident. If a TBI leaves a person unable to perform his or her trade because of lost motor function, for example, that is likely to increase a settlement.
- The costs of ongoing care: People with brain injuries sometimes require additional care for the rest of their lives. There are experts who specialize in estimating these kinds of costs, which can be included in a settlement.
Also keep in mind that not all accident and injury lawyers are experienced in brain injuries, so it’s wise to make sure the lawyer you’re working with has a good track record when it comes to this specific area of personal injury law.
Do you have any other insight into brain injury settlements? Share your expertise in the comments.