Since a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be anything from a mild concussion to a life-changing, catastrophic injury that leaves the victim permanently without function (comatose), we cannot give a meaningful average settlement amount, but we can explain the factors that can determine how much compensation a person might receive. As the Brain Injury Association of America says, “Just as no two people are exactly alike, no two brain injuries are exactly alike.”
How Your Medical Treatment Can Affect Your Settlement Amount
Depending on the severity of your head injury and any complications you might experience, these are some of the typical places you might need to go for treatment:
- Emergency room
- Intensive care unit
- Specialty Neurotrauma or Polytrauma unit
- Treatment plan for long-term care
- Hospital or skilled nursing facility for comprehensive TBI rehabilitation
- Residential transitional rehabilitation facility
- Home with family, utilizing outpatient/day treatment, home-based services, or community-based services
- Independent living
- Group home with supported living program
- Apartment with supported living program
- Nursing care facility
Treatment at any residential facility, or at home, can cost thousands or even millions over time.
The extent of treatment you need in both the acute and post-acute phases will be a significant factor in the amount of recovery you can expect to receive, for two reasons:
- The level of treatment needed indicates the severity of injury you suffered
- We will use the cost of all the treatments you have undergone and those you can reasonably expect to need in the future to calculate the number of your economic losses, for purposes of your damages award.
Economic Losses That Are Typically Part of a TBI Settlement
Your treatment costs include both your medical treatment and the expense of the help you may need with daily tasks. Other economic losses include your lost wages and the impact the traumatic brain injury will have on your ability to earn a living. We will work with vocational experts to determine the dollar value of the decreased earning potential portion of your claim.
Non-Economic Damages for a Traumatic Brain Injury
When you experience a TBI, you will endure other things that are difficult to measure in dollars, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. We will calculate the reasonable amount for your non-economic damages based in part on the number of your economic damages.
How a TBI Can Affect You Long-Term
According to the Mayo Clinic, most people need to go through rehabilitation after a significant TBI. The brain injury might cause you to have to learn how to walk or talk again. You might have a permanent cognitive impairment, such that you cannot perform your previous job. TBIs often cause extreme personality changes, such as depression and uncontrolled rage. You might suffer frequent, excruciating headaches.
The National Institutes of Health says that TBIs can leave you unable to:
- Make decisions
- Feel physical sensations in affected areas of your body
TBIs can also cause epilepsy, consigning your to a lifetime of seizures.
While some of the long-term issues can improve with medication or extensive therapy, others might be a part of your life from this point forward. Many people find life as they know it is never the same after a traumatic brain injury.