This page aims to help with understanding the many factors that go into head injury settlement calculations.
When someone is injured in any type of accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, they are often entitled to compensation for the damages associated with the injury. There are instances in which insurance companies and injury victims will settle outside of court, which ultimately allows victims to receive damages while not going through the convoluted trial process.
Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are particularly unique when it comes to the variation in settlement amounts, which is primarily due to the varying extent of head injuries and the overall unique circumstances that surround each case. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has conducted several TBI studies throughout recent years, and they’ve publicly stated that TBIs are a serious public health concern for the entirety of the United States.
If you or a loved one has unfortunately suffered from a head or brain injury, you should contact us for a free case review so we can go over the details of your accident and better understand what’s necessary for your specific situation.
How is a head injury settlement calculated?
The damages in any given head injury case are going to primarily depend upon the specific injuries that were suffered and the overall harm that resulted from the specific accident. There are situations in which victims and their legal team can look at similar injury cases to help better understand their entitled damages, but there will always be unique damages that are connected to the distinctive factors associated with each case.
That’s why the actual settlement calculation will always refer back to the specific case details. The following are some of the common special damages associated with head injuries:
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Funeral/burial expenses (wrongful death)
- Property damages
The following are some of the common general damages associated with head injuries, which can also be referred to as non-economic losses:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and shock
- Embarrassment and humiliation
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of companionship/society
- Loss of consortium (made by a family member or spouse of the victim)
- Emotional distress
When our team of attorneys comes across a head injury case, we’ll make sure to do all of the following in order fully calculate your settlement’s damages:
- Calculate special damages — This type of calculation is rather simple when it comes to damages like lost wages and medical expenses, but it gets more complicated when you have to factor in future wages and lost earning capacity. This is why it’s crucial to always keep several records of your accident and medical reports. This includes recording any type of medication that’s used to help your rehabilitation.
- Calculate general damages — General damages will typically amount to much more than special damages, especially with serious head injury cases. We always recommend that head injury victims keep a diary and take notes on how their pain and suffering is affecting their daily life. This type of constant data recording will help bolster the validity of these damages, which can many times be contested by insurance companies and defendants without concrete evidence.
- Add the damages together — The overall sum of your damages will be your claim’s value, but of course, these calculations are rather complicated and require professional assistance in order to be accurately determined.
- Adjusting settlement value to assist savings — There are many instances in which people must compromise the overall value of their settlement by considering the loss of expenses and risks of not going to trial. There are several factors that come into play when it comes to this type of settlement adjustment, including the example of how clearly at fault the defendant is for the causation of the accident.
- Recent jury verdict comparisons — One of the last things we’ll do as we calculate your head injury settlement is to conduct a thorough analysis of the settlements of other head injury cases throughout New York. Everyone else involved in a head injury case will do this same type of research, so it’s important that we are as prepared as possible when it comes to knowing the details of similar past settlements.
Other Factors That Impact Settlement Value
There are many factors that are important to consider when it comes to the overall value of your head/brain injury settlement, including the following:
- Liability — When a case can clearly distinguish who is liable for the accident’s occurrence, it will ultimately result in higher settlement values, as opposed to cases where liability can be disputed.
- Multiple tortfeasors — When there are multiple people who are liable for the causation of a victim’s injury, and each tortfeasor has different insurance representation, then there can be some issues in terms of determining how much each liable party should pay the victim.
- Plaintiff characteristics — This includes information like the plaintiff’s occupation, age, prior medical history and likeability, which can all have effects on the overall settlement value.
- Location of the case — This refers to the actual venue of the trial or settlement process because some jurisdictions will be more conservative than others when it comes to settlement values. Insurance adjusters will undoubtedly have this type of information in mind just in case a trial occurs.
- Defendant’s egregiousness — This refers to punitive damages that are utilized in order to punish a defendant for their dangerous conduct. The odds are that you’ll not be adding punitive damages to the overall value of your settlement, but you’ll maybe use the potential for punitive damages as a source of leverage so you can lessen the number of adjustments to the overall settlement value.
- Damages mitigation — It’s the plaintiff’s responsibility to mitigate or reduce their damages to their utmost ability if it’s at all possible. This means you’ll need to keep up with your injury rehabilitation, medical visits and much more.
It’s very difficult to fully understand what the exact average settlement of head injuries in New York is because they’re all so different and a lot of this information is kept classified, but it’s safe to say that you will receive a reasonable compensation if you do wish to settle your head injury case. The issue is that you may not fully be covered for all of your damages, which can be a serious dilemma that every accident victim must consider.
For the most part, defendants are going to want to settle personal injury cases in order to avoid going to trial and the subsequent fees and higher payouts associated with court judgments. What this means is that most settlements are actually much lower than what you could be entitled to if you go to court.
A lot of head and brain injuries can be supported by a victim’s auto and homeowner’s insurance policies, but everyone knows that these policies will only pay for a percentage of overall damages, and of course won’t cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Although settlements may seem reasonable at the bargaining table, there are many instances in which they’ll fail to pay victims for their full damages.6
But we’re of course not trying to insinuate that all settlements are always bad, and head injury victims must always consider the chances of a jury ruling against them or receiving even fewer damages when going to trial. In a nutshell, settlements will always help accident victims ensure that they are obtaining at least a fair amount of compensation, but you must always be somewhat concerned about settlement offers being too low.
Contact our Brain Injury Legal Specialists for a Free Case Review
Our team of personal injury attorneys has ample experience handling brain injury accidents, and we’ll always put you and your case in the very best position throughout the entire settlement process. We pride ourselves on not being afraid of going to trial, and the insurance corporations know us well enough to fear our expertise at the bargaining table.
If we think that you’re being offered a low settlement for your head injury, we’ll initiate a trial proceeding to ensure you and your loved ones receive the compensation that’s rightfully deserved.
Contact us today for a free case review so we can begin the process that we discussed throughout this page, and decipher the unique factors of your accident that must be exemplified in order to obtain your optimal results.