Several factors determine what someone can expect when filing a brain injury claim. These include the type of brain injury, its severity, the circumstances surrounding the injury, and the strength of the evidence the claimant submits.
Some of these factors are beyond a claimant’s control. Others, however, such as the evidence one gathers and how one presents it, often depend on the skill and knowledge of the legal team assisting the claimant.
Those considering filing a brain injury claim can learn more about what to expect below.
Types of Brain Injuries and Their Effect on a Claim
Traumatic brain injuries can occur due to various events such as a car accident, slip and fall, abuse, or negligence on the part of a medical professional.
There are two types of head injuries: closed and open. The type of brain injury you suffer
can affect severity, damages, and how an attorney approaches your claim.
Open Head Injuries
• Penetrating: An object penetrates the skull and impacts the brain. This type of injury often has a more severe prognosis than a closed head injury and will likely have higher damages.
Closed Head Injuries
• Contusion: An impact to the skull causes bleeding within the brain. Contusions often heal on their own but can still cause long-term effects.
• Coup-contrecoup contusion: An impact causes a second impact between the brain and the skull, resulting in another contusion on the other side of the brain.
Because it affects both sides of the brain, this injury can have a marked limitation on functioning.
• Diffuse axonal injury: Violent shaking or other trauma to the skull causes tears within the brain tissue. A diffuse axonal injury can affect different parts of the brain and even cause the victim to go into a coma.
• Anoxic Brain Injury: The most serious type of oxygen deprivation to the brain. It results in the complete shutoff of your brain’s oxygen supply. Anoxia is often fatal, and even when it is not, it usually leads to permanent disability.
• Hypoxic brain injury: Characterized as partial oxygen deprivation, hypoxic brain injury can also be fatal or lead to disability, as it results in the loss of brain cells.
How to Calculate Damages from a Brain Injury Claim
Because so many variables determine the value of a brain injury claim, we ask juries to put a dollar figure on these claims and award money damages. That said, victims can expect to receive compensation for some or all the following:
Medical expenses include hospital stays, doctor visits, surgeries, medications, medical devices, and so on. How much a brain injury sufferer can recover will depend on the severity of the injury as well as the treatment required. A claimant who suffered a concussion that kept him in the hospital for two days will receive less than someone who suffered a severe head injury and requires round-the-clock care.
If a claimant must miss work to recover from his injury, or if he must take a lesser-paying job or retire completely, he is entitled to compensation for those losses. What a claimant can expect to recover depends on how long he is out of work as well as the salary he
made prior to the accident.
Brain injuries often result in a need for lifetime care. Claimants can expect payment for the total cost.
Life Enjoyment/Pain and Suffering
A brain injury can also cause substantial pain and suffering. Claimants can request compensation for this as well.
What Challenges Might a Claimant Face?
Brain injury claims can leave an insurance company paying out hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible; to do so, they will challenge a claim any way they can. This might involve:
Accusations of Fault
Virginia is a contributory negligence state, which bars injury victims from recovering compensation if they are even just one percent responsible for their injury. Insurance companies often use this to avoid a claim altogether. This can be especially problematic in brain injury cases as the injury might make it impossible for the claimant to remember the incident in question.
Tronfeld West & Durrett defends brain injury victims against these tactics and gathers the
necessary evidence to prove they deserve compensation.
Tronfeld West & Durrett: Richmond Brain Injury Lawyers
There can be a lot of money at stake in a brain injury claim. Thus, it is important to choose the right legal team. Brain injury claimants can trust their case to the team at Tronfeld West & Durrett. To schedule a free consultation, victims and their families can call our office today at 804-358-6741.