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How Are TBI Settlements Calculated?

How Are TBI Settlements Calculated?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most serious injuries people can sustain in accidents. The brain controls virtually all bodily functions, including your thoughts and emotions. Thus, any injury to the brain can result in major complications in your life, and TBIs are typically expensive to diagnose and treat.

If you suffered a TBI in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may receive compensation from those responsible.

In many instances, the at-fault party’s insurance company will cover your TBI through a settlement, but how are TBI settlements calculated?

Read on to learn how insurance companies and the courts calculate TBI damages and the factors that can affect your TBI settlement. For specific advice regarding your situation, contact an experienced TBI attorney in your area for a free consultation.

How Do People Sustain TBIs?

How Are TBI Settlements Calculated?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can result from many causes.

Here are some common ways in which people can sustain TBIs:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: Car, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents cause many TBIs. The force of impact, sudden deceleration, or contact with a hard surface can cause head injuries.
  • Falls: Falls are a leading cause of TBIs, particularly among the elderly and young children. Falls from heights, slip-and-fall accidents, and workplace falls can all result in head injuries.
  • Assaults and Violence: Intentional acts of violence, including physical assaults and incidents of domestic violence, can lead to head injuries and TBIs.
  • Sports Injuries: Contact sports, such as football, soccer, and boxing, can expose participants to the risk of head injuries. Even non-contact sports may cause TBIs.
  • Recreational Activities: Recreational activities such as biking, skateboarding, skiing, and other high-impact sports can result in head injuries.
  • Workplace Accidents: Certain occupations, particularly those in construction, manufacturing, and other high-risk industries, can expose workers to head injuries due to falls, falling objects, or machinery accidents.
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome: Violently shaken infants can sustain TBIs.
  • Penetrating Injuries: Objects penetrating the skull, such as gunshots, can cause severe TBIs.
  • Explosions: Explosions, whether from accidents, acts of terrorism, or military combat, can result in TBIs.
  • Medical Procedures: In some cases, medical procedures or accidents during surgery can lead to head injuries and TBIs.

The effects of a TBI may not always immediately appear, and symptoms can develop over time.

Preventing TBIs often involves wearing helmets during certain activities, using seat belts in vehicles, practicing fall prevention, and taking precautions in high-risk environments.

Still, even if you take precautions, you can suffer a TBI because of someone else’s negligence or intentional misconduct. Consult an experienced TBI attorney near you for advice regarding your rights and options to pursue compensation.

How Are Damages Calculated for a TBI Claim?

For economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs, your attorney can simply add up your receipts, bills, and estimates to derive a total dollar amount.

You need a lawyer to determine non-economic damages. The damages refer to pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, and other adverse effects your TBI has had (and will continue to have) on your life.

The two most common methods for calculating non-economic damages for a TBI include the per diem method and the multiplier method.

Here's how each method works:

  1. Per Diem Method: This method assigns a daily rate for the pain and suffering endured by the TBI victim. The daily rate is multiplied by the number of days the victim is expected to experience pain and suffering.
  2. Multiplier Method: This method assigns a multiplier to the total economic damages based on the severity of the TBI and the impact on the victim's life. The multiplier is typically a number, with more severe injuries warranting higher multipliers.

In some cases, attorneys and insurance adjusters may use a combined approach, applying both per diem and multiplier methods to different components of the damages. The unique circumstances of each TBI case will influence the choice of method and the values assigned.

Lawyers use these methods during negotiations. The strength of the evidence, the legal strategy employed, and the willingness of the parties to reach a fair agreement influence the actual settlement amount. An experienced personal injury attorney can navigate the complexities of TBI claims and accurately calculate the damages based on the specifics of the case.

Factors That Affect a TBI Settlement

Several factors can significantly affect the settlement amount in a TBI case:

  • Severity of the Injury: The extent of the TBI, ranging from mild to severe, is a critical factor. Severe injuries often result in higher settlements due to increased medical expenses, long-term care needs, and greater impact on the individual's life.
  • Medical Expenses: The total cost of medical treatment, including emergency care, surgeries, rehabilitation, therapy, medications, assistive devices, and ongoing medical care, can determine the settlement amount.
  • Prognosis and Future Medical Needs: The anticipated long-term effects of the TBI, including the need for ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, and potential future surgeries, can influence the settlement calculation.
  • Lost Earning Capacity: You may recover compensation for lost wages during recovery and potential future earnings.
  • Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages, such as physical pain, emotional distress, and the overall impact on the individual's quality of life play a significant role in the settlement calculation.
  • Disability and Impairment: The extent of disability or impairment resulting from the TBI, and its impact on daily activities and independence, helps determine damages.
  • Loss of Consortium: Damages for the impact of the TBI on relationships with spouses or family members may affect your compensation.
  • Age and Pre-existing Conditions: The age of the injured party and any pre-existing health conditions can influence the settlement. Younger individuals may require longer-term care, and pre-existing conditions may complicate the assessment of damages.
  • Liability and Negligence: The degree of fault or negligence on the part of the responsible party can affect the settlement amount. Particularly egregious actions may merit punitive damages.
  • Expert Testimony: Testimony from medical professionals, vocational experts, and other specialists can provide valuable insights into the extent of the TBI and its long-term consequences, influencing the settlement calculation.
  • Insurance Policy Limits: The limits of the insurance policies involved, both yours and the at-fault party's, can cap the available compensation.
  • Legal Representation: The quality and experience of the legal representation can influence negotiations and, subsequently, the settlement amount.

Navigating a TBI settlement requires a thorough understanding of these factors and the ability to present a compelling case. An experienced personal injury attorney experienced in TBI cases can maximize the chances of a fair and comprehensive settlement.

Don’t Rush to Accept a Settlement

Traumatic Brain Injury

To try and save money, insurance companies often offer lowball settlements hoping that injured parties will accept the offer and move on. However, initial settlement offers are usually too low to cover all your injuries and losses.

Once you accept a settlement, you can’t go back and try to pursue additional compensation later.

Therefore, you shouldn’t rush to accept a settlement until you’ve taken the time to gather information, consult professionals, and consider the long-term implications of your TBI.

Some factors you need to consider with the help of a personal injury attorney include: 

  • Understanding the Full Extent of Injuries: TBI symptoms may not immediately manifest, and their severity can evolve over time. Allow for a thorough medical evaluation to understand the full extent of your injuries before considering a settlement.
  • Long-Term Medical Costs: TBI may require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and therapy. Rushing into a settlement without considering these future costs could result in inadequate compensation for your needs.
  • Impact on Quality of Life: TBIs can have a profound impact on your daily life, affecting your ability to work, enjoy activities, and maintain relationships. Taking time to assess the long-term consequences ensures that your settlement adequately addresses these non-economic damages.
  • Insurance Policy Limits: Rushing into a settlement without considering these limits may result in accepting an amount that falls below the available insurance coverage.
  • Emotional and Psychological Effects: TBIs can have emotional and psychological impacts. Taking the time to assess your mental well-being and how the injury has affected your life allows for a more comprehensive evaluation of damages.

Never rush but remain mindful of the statute of limitations. Every jurisdiction has a deadline within which you must file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim, including TBIs. Missing this deadline could jeopardize your ability to seek compensation through legal recourse.

How Can I Maximize My TBI Settlement?

Maximizing your TBI settlement involves careful consideration of the factors listed above and employing strategic steps throughout the legal process.

Some immediate steps you need to take after an accident include:

  • Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Receive prompt and thorough medical attention for your TBI. Document all symptoms, treatments, and diagnoses, as medical records play a crucial role in establishing the severity of your injuries.
  • Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to all prescribed medical treatments and attend follow-up appointments. Non-compliance with medical advice may indicate that your injuries are not as severe as claimed.
  • Document the Impact on Your Life: Keep a detailed record of how the TBI has affected your daily life, including work, relationships, and activities you can no longer participate in. This documentation provides evidence of non-economic damages.

Consult an Attorney

The most important step you can take to maximize your TBI settlement is to work with an experienced TBI attorney in your area. A lawyer will have access to medical and industry experts who can attest to the severity of your injury and its potential impact on your life.

A knowledgeable attorney can assess the unique aspects of your case, negotiate with the insurance company effectively, and pursue the maximum compensation available.

If the insurer refuses to offer a fair and full settlement for your TBI, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court.

Contact an Experienced Atlanta TBI Attorney Today

The experienced personal injury lawyer at the Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group are here to help you get the most from your TBI claim.

We have decades of combined experience handling TBI claims and other personal injury claims, and we have recovered more than $100 million in compensation for our clients since 2013.

Contact us today for a free consultation about your TBI and learn how we can help you maximize your TBI settlement.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today!

Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert - Owner & Attorney

Attorney Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert was seriously injured in a collision and experienced firsthand dealing with uncooperative insurance companies. She knows what it is like to feel overwhelmed and under-educated about your rights after a collision. That is why she has dedicated this firm to fighting for accident victims and their loved ones. The goal of The Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group – Gore LLC is to provide you with excellent legal advice, based on our experience in representing injured automobile drivers and passengers from all across the State of Georgia.

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