Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the most serious injuries people can sustain in accidents. Since the brain controls virtually every aspect of your body and mind and processes sensory information, any injury to the brain can mean considerable difficulties in your life.
TBIs may require extensive, extremely costly medical treatment and rehabilitation.
If you suffered a TBI in an accident that was not your fault, you may qualify to obtain compensation from those responsible. However, the complex process of calculating TBI settlements can confuse anyone.
Therefore, contact an experienced traumatic brain injury lawyer in your area to discuss your claim at no cost and learn about your options to pursue fair compensation.
Read on to learn more about how to calculate TBI settlements and how you can increase your chances of getting the favorable settlement you deserve for your traumatic brain injury claim.
What Factors Can Affect a TBI Claim Settlement?
Various factors can affect a TBI claim settlement—both positively and negatively:
- The severity of your injuries: The more serious your TBI, the more likely you will incur substantial treatment and exorbitant medical bills. This can increase your claim’s value significantly.
- How the TBI has impacted your quality of life: If the TBI caused permanent disabilities or severely reduced your ability to enjoy life and maintain employment, you may receive a higher settlement.
- Whether you share liability for your TBI: State laws differ in whether a claimant can receive compensation if they were partially at fault for their injuries. Nebraska, for instance, follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means you cannot recover damages if you were more than 50 percent at fault for causing your injuries. Also, the compensation you receive will decrease by your percentage of fault.
- Policy limits: The insurance policy will have liability limits. Nebraska requires all drivers in the state to maintain at least $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident liability and uninsured motorist coverage, as well as $25,000 property damage liability coverage. Although drivers may purchase additional coverage and higher liability limits, insurance companies typically offer no more than the policy limits.
- Pre-existing injuries: Pre-existing health conditions could reduce the value of your claim. Share that information with your attorney during your initial consultation. Although pre-existing conditions may not bar you from pursuing compensation, the insurance company will scrutinize them and may use them against you.
- Loss of income and earning capacity: If the TBI caused you to miss time from work, your attorney can seek compensation for the income and work-related benefits you lost. If you suffered a debilitating condition because of the TBI and cannot work or only work in a reduced capacity, your lawyer can pursue compensation for lost earning capacity. These can increase the value of your settlement.
- The extent of property damage: If you suffered a TBI in a car accident, your settlement should include the cost to repair or replace your vehicle. It should also include compensation for other personal property damaged in the accident. Take photos of the wreckage or damaged property and get repair/replacement cost estimates so your attorney can include them in your claim.
How Are Damages Calculated for a TBI Claim?
As mentioned, you can receive both economic and non-economic damages in a TBI settlement. Economic damages are relatively easy to determine because they usually have a documented dollar amount.
Your attorney can calculate your economic damages by adding up your medical bills and receipts for related expenses, and they can determine your lost income through your pay stubs and other related documents from your employer.
Non-economic damages don’t have a documented dollar amount. Instead, your lawyer may use either of the following methods to determine non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering:
- The Multiplier Method: The most common approach is adding the economic damages and multiplying that amount by a number.
- The Per Diem Method: This method involves assigning a daily rate for the pain a person suffers in the accident and multiplying that by the number of days they have had to live with the pain.
Each method has its pros and cons, and they are often subject to dispute and debate among the parties involved.
Nevertheless, an attorney will work diligently to accurately calculate the full compensation you need and fight hard to help ensure you get the financial recovery you deserve.
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Do Not Rush to Accept a TBI Settlement
TBIs are not only costly to treat, but they frequently lead to life-long complications and struggles. You may have to relearn certain tasks that were once second nature. You may suffer from depression, mood swings, and other emotional and psychological disorders.
Insurance companies often offer a lowball settlement, hoping the claimant will accept it and move on. However, you could face a long road to recovery fraught with expensive medical treatment, physical rehabilitation, psychological therapy, occupational therapy, and more. You do not want to accept a settlement too soon and miss out on important compensation you may need later.
TBIs are hard to diagnose, and it’s even harder to understand the full extent of your injury and the impact it will have on your life.
Work with an attorney who can provide access to medical experts and specialists who can fully assess your injury, attest to your TBI’s severity, provide proper medical attention, and offer a prognosis for your recovery.
Once you accept a settlement, you cannot re-negotiate it or pursue additional compensation for the TBI. If you later find out your TBI is worse than you initially thought, you cannot get the money to cover the additional care you will need from the at-fault party or their insurance company.
Only accept a TBI settlement after you consult an experienced TBI attorney near you.
Speak With an Experienced TBI Attorney About Your Claim
For more help understanding how to calculate TBI settlements and get specific advice regarding your situation, reach out to an experienced TBI in your area today.
The personal injury attorneys at Berry Law have decades of experience helping clients throughout Nebraska with their complex TBI claims. We can assess your claim, determine the compensation you need, and answer all of your questions about pursuing a full and fair settlement.
We are prepared to negotiate to get you the highest settlement possible, and we’re ready to fight for you in court if the insurance company refuses to negotiate a fair settlement or tries to undervalue your claim. Contact us today for your free consultation.