If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation with the help of a brain injury lawyer. Brain injuries can have life-changing consequences, affecting your ability to work, think clearly, and perform basic daily tasks. The amount of compensation you receive will depend on several factors, including:

  • The severity of the injury
  • The impact on your life
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident

What Is a Brain Injury?

A brain injury is any trauma or damage to the brain that disrupts its normal function. Brain injuries can include concussions, hematomas, and severe, life-threatening damage. Some common causes of brain injuries include:

Car Accidents

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. Even a seemingly minor fender bender can cause the brain to shift violently or impact the inside of the skull. More severe collisions greatly increase the risk of skull fractures, hemorrhaging, and significant brain trauma.

Occupants not properly restrained are also at heightened risk during a car accident. Reckless or negligent driving behaviors like speeding, running red lights, and driving under the influence make catastrophic brain injuries much more likely to occur.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents may seem minor on the surface but can easily cause traumatic brain injuries.

Falls from significant heights or onto hard surfaces pose serious risks of skull fractures and brain hemorrhages upon impact. Even falls from standing height onto level floors can cause the brain to coup and contrecoup against the inside of the skull in a back-and-forth motion, resulting in bruising, bleeding, and diffuse axonal injuries.

Slip and fall accidents are a major hazard, especially for young children and older adults.

Sports-related incidents are a common source of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. Contact sports like football, soccer, hockey, and boxing carry inherent risks of head impacts that can cause the brain to slosh around violently inside the skull.

Even non-contact sports like cycling, skateboarding, and cheerleading have a high incidence of falls or collisions that can result in traumatic brain injury.

Workplace Accidents in Labor-Intensive Industries

Workplace accidents in construction, manufacturing, and other labor-intensive industries frequently involve traumatic brain injury risks. If proper safety measures are not implemented, falls from heights, falling objects striking workers on the head, and other on-the-job hazards can easily cause skull fractures and catastrophic brain damage. Employers must provide appropriate head protection, training, and safe working conditions to minimize these preventable brain injuries.

Physical Assault

Physical assaults like being struck in the head or violently shaken can cause traumatic brain injuries, from concussions to bleeding in or around the brain. Shaken baby syndrome is an example of inflicted head trauma in infants, which can have devastating neurological consequences.

Assaults with blunt weapons or guns can fracture the skull and cause severe brain injuries as well. These violent acts are unacceptable, and the perpetrators may be liable for damages and criminal charges.

What Are the Signs of a Brain Injury?

Symptoms of brain injuries can vary widely depending on the location and extent of the damage.

Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood changes
  • Difficulty with speech or motor skills

In severe cases, brain injuries can lead to permanent disabilities, coma, or even death.

Types of Compensation for Brain Injuries

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:

Medical Expenses

Brain injuries often require extensive medical treatment, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and ongoing therapy. These medical expenses can quickly add up, leaving victims and their families with financial burdens.

Compensation for medical expenses can help cover the costs of past and future medical treatments related to brain injury.

Lost Income and Earning Capacity

Brain injuries can prevent you from returning to work or performing your job duties at the same level as before the injury. Compensation for lost income can cover the income you’ve lost due to time off work for treatment and recovery.

If the brain injury has resulted in a permanent disability that affects your ability to work, you may also be entitled to compensation for lost future earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

Brain injuries can cause significant physical and emotional pain and suffering. Compensation for pain and suffering can help provide some relief and acknowledge the trauma and difficulty you’ve endured due to the injury.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Brain injuries can significantly impact your ability to participate in activities and hobbies you once enjoyed. Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life can help offset the diminished quality of life resulting from the injury.

Permanent Disability or Disfigurement

In severe cases, brain injuries can result in permanent disabilities or disfigurement, which can affect your ability to live independently and perform daily tasks.

Compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement can help cover ongoing care costs, assistive devices, and other necessary accommodations.

Future Care Costs

Individuals with severe brain injuries may require ongoing medical care, therapy, and assistance with daily living activities for the rest of their lives. Compensation for future care costs can help ensure these necessary services are available and adequately funded.

Factors Affecting Compensation Amounts

The amount of compensation you may receive for a brain injury can vary significantly depending on several factors, including:

  • The severity of the injury: More severe brain injuries generally result in higher compensation awards. Injuries that cause permanent disabilities, cognitive impairments, or long-term medical needs will typically warrant greater compensation than those that heal completely.
  • Age and income level: Younger people with higher earning potential may be eligible for greater compensation for lost income and future earning capacity than older individuals or those with lower incomes.
  • Liability and fault: The degree of fault or negligence attributed to the responsible party can impact the compensation awarded. If the responsible party’s actions were particularly egregious or intentional, punitive damages may accompany compensatory damages.
  • Insurance coverage and policy limits: The available insurance coverage and policy limits of the responsible party can influence the amount of compensation that can be obtained, especially in cases where the damages exceed the policy limits.
  • State laws and statutes of limitations: Each state has laws and regulations governing personal injury claims, including caps on certain types of damages and statutes of limitations for filing claims. These factors can affect the compensation amount and the timeframe for filing a claim.

Compensation for brain injuries is often complex and heavily dependent on the specific circumstances of each case. An experienced personal injury attorney can help evaluate your case, gather necessary evidence, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

The Claims Process

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to follow the proper claims process to protect your rights and pursue fair compensation.

Here are the typical steps involved:

Seeking Immediate Medical Attention

Your health and well-being should be the top priority after any accident resulting in a head injury. It’s advisable to seek prompt medical evaluation and treatment, even if symptoms initially appear mild.

Traumatic brain injuries can have delayed effects and symptoms can get much worse. Getting checked out immediately creates documentation of the injury and its likely cause. Follow all treatment plans prescribed by doctors.

Gathering Evidence

Collecting and preserving evidence related to the brain injury incident will be important for demonstrating liability later on.

Request copies of all medical records, diagnostic tests, hospitalization documentation, and treatment notes. Take photographs of any visible injuries. If the injury occurred due to an accident, get photographs of the scene, damage, unsafe conditions, etc.

Obtain contact information for any eyewitnesses. Save any documentation related to missed work; income lost, and ongoing care costs.

Determining Liability and Negligence

To recover compensation, you must establish that another party was negligent or at fault for causing the brain injury incident. This can be a distracted driver who ran a red light, a property owner who neglected to maintain safe premises, an employer who failed to provide proper safety gear, or another scenario involving careless actions. An investigation will aim to prove negligence based on the available evidence.

Calculating and Proving Damages

Close-up of a boy suffering from a fever and headache, with his eyes closed and hand on his head. He lies down with a cool gel on his forehead.

You must document and prove all damages you have suffered and are likely to suffer in the future relating to the brain injury.

Economic damages, like medical bills, lost income, and future care costs, often have simple calculations based on evidence. Non-economic damages like pain/suffering, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life are more subjective but no less important to pursue.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

The at-fault party’s insurance provider will likely be involved in reviewing the brain injury claim.

Insurance companies are motivated to minimize payouts. You’ll need an attorney to assert the full compensation you deserve based on facts and evidence.

Potential for Going to Trial

If settlement negotiations with the insurance company fail and both parties cannot agree on an amount, the brain injury claim may proceed to trial.

During the trial, both sides will present their evidence and arguments, resulting in the court issuing an official judgment on liability and determining the damages.

Frequently Asked Questions About Brain Injury Compensation

How long do I have to file a claim for a brain injury?

The time limit to file a claim for a brain injury, known as the statute of limitations, varies from state to state. In most states, you have one to three years from the date of the injury to file a claim. However, there are exceptions. It’s wise to consult a brain injury attorney as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss the deadline.

What kinds of brain injuries qualify for compensation?

Any type of TBI caused by someone else’s negligence may qualify for compensation. This includes concussions, contusions, coup-contrecoup injuries, diffuse axonal injuries, and more. Any degree of TBI can have lasting effects and may entitle you to damages.

How is the value of a brain injury claim calculated?

There is no set formula, as every case is unique. Consider factors such as medical costs, lost income, permanent disabilities, pain/suffering, and future care needs. An experienced brain injury lawyer can evaluate your case’s strengths and fight for maximum compensation.

Do I have to be injured in an accident to file a claim?

No, you can also file a claim if your brain injury resulted from medical malpractice, exposure to toxic substances, physical assault, or other circumstances involving negligence.

What damages are available in a brain injury case?

Common damages include medical bills, lost income, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, disability/disfigurement, rehabilitation costs, in-home care, and more. Your lawyer will identify all recoverable damages.

Can I seek compensation if my child suffered a brain injury?

Yes. Parents or legal guardians can file claims on behalf of children who sustain brain injuries due to negligence. Compensation may cover medical care, future losses, pain/suffering, and more.

How long does a brain injury lawsuit take?

The duration can vary significantly based on factors like case complexity, severity of injuries, negotiation progress, and court schedules. Some cases settle quickly, while others take years if they go to trial.

Do most brain injury cases go to trial?

Most brain injury claims conclude out of court through negotiations with insurance companies. However, if negotiations fail to reach a fair settlement, your lawyer should be ready to take your case to trial.

How much does a brain injury lawyer cost?

Most work on a contingency fee. They only get paid if you receive compensation as a percentage of your award or settlement. Initial consultations are free.

Contact a Brain Injury Lawyer

Steven A. Bagen
Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer, Steven A. Bagen, Esq.

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to seek legal representation.

A skilled personal injury attorney can guide you through seeking compensation. A lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.

Don’t let the financial burden of a brain injury overwhelm you. Contact a reputable brain injury lawyer today for a free consultation. Take the first step toward obtaining the justice and compensation you deserve.