How Much Compensation Do You Get for a Brain Injury?

August 11, 2023 | Ed Bernstein
How Much Compensation Do You Get for a Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury is a life-altering event, often fraught with physical distress, emotional turmoil, and a barrage of complex legalities to navigate. If the injury resulted from someone else's negligence, the journey to seek justice and obtain compensation for a brain injury through the personal injury claims process can seem overwhelming.

The value of a claim varies according to the extent of the injury, any lasting disabilities, and the insurance coverage provided by relevant policies. The right brain injury lawyer can make all the difference in whether you get all of the money you deserve or if the insurance company underpays you for your losses.

The Types of Negligence That Lead to Traumatic Brain Injuries

Experience Lawyer for Brain Injury Cases near Las Vegas, NV area

Careless behavior can cause a traumatic brain injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the most common cause of brain injuries that lead to hospitalizations. Workplace falls can happen when there is inadequate supervision, lack of fall protection, improperly placed ladders or scaffolding, and other similar factors. Falls may occur due to a property owner or manager's negligence in regularly inspecting a home, business, or government building for potential hazards that could harm guests.

Another common way that negligence causes traumatic brain injuries is through motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Safety Council, about 5.4 million people in the United States seek medical consultation for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents each year. While a wide variety of injuries can occur during a traffic accident, traumatic brain injuries are among the most serious.

Assault is also a common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Commercial properties are legally responsible for protecting visitors from criminal acts by taking reasonable security measures. Property owners who fail to take necessary precautions and are aware that their guests may be at risk of harm while on their premises may be responsible for any harm caused to the victim.

Catastrophic Brain Injuries

As explained by the Brain Injury Association of America, the brain is a vital and complex organ. While the brain controls nearly all the body's voluntary and involuntary responses, it has a minimal ability to heal from injury, and many brain injuries lead to permanent effects. 

The legal arena tends to consider brain injuries as catastrophic injuries. Such severe injuries can often result in disabilities that may hinder the injured person's capacity to work and earn a living.

For catastrophic injury cases, the claimant typically receives higher compensation to cover the challenges they may face in the future because of their inability to work.

Brain injuries also commonly require continued medical treatment to handle the complications and health issues that accompany the injury. When someone experiences a brain injury, it can make it difficult for them to complete daily tasks without help. This may mean they need to move into a nursing home, receive home healthcare services, or require their family members to dedicate a lot of time to caring for them. 

It is important to note that not all brain injuries are catastrophic. When someone suffers a brain injury due to the negligence of another party, it is important to consider factors such as medical treatment, lost earnings, and other psychological and financial implications when determining compensation.

The Compensation Available Through a Brain Injury Claim

If you have suffered a brain injury, a personal injury claim can help you receive compensation for both the financial and psychological impact it has had on your life. Economic damages refer to the compensation sought for the claimant's monetary expenses.

Medical expenses are one type of economic damage. This includes hospitalization, surgery, prescription medication, physical therapy, rehabilitation, assistive devices such as wheelchairs, and even placement in a skilled nursing facility. A common request in a brain injury claim is reimbursement for lost income and earning capacity.

The harm caused by a traumatic brain injury goes far beyond the monetary consequences of the injury. Individuals who have had a brain injury often face challenges in all aspects of their lives.

This includes altered relationships with family and friends due to disabilities resulting from the injury, inability to engage in previously enjoyed activities, the hassle of frequent medical appointments, and chronic pain that many individuals experience after such an injury. 

An experienced brain injury lawyer will consider these issues when determining the non-economic damages to request through the claim.

How a Lawyer Can Help You Get the Compensation You Need After a Brain Injury

Recovering from a brain injury can be a difficult journey with various obstacles to overcome. It is important to remember that you don't have to go through it alone. A seasoned personal injury lawyer plays multiple crucial roles during this journey. Their experience and knowledge provide guidance to navigate the legal landscape, making the process less daunting.

Some services your lawyer can provide to help you pursue the compensation you need after suffering a brain injury include:

  • Identifying the responsible parties and their insurance resources: Your attorney will identify liable parties during their investigation. When they have established fault, they will identify the at-fault party’s insurance policies that can compensate your claim.
  • Collecting and preserving evidence: Ensuring comprehensive evidence is crucial in any personal injury case. Your lawyer will take responsibility for collecting and preserving all necessary evidence, including accident reports, medical records, and witness testimonies. This meticulous work lays the foundation for your case, accounting for every detail and overlooking nothing.
  • Valuing your claim: Your lawyer will consider several factors when establishing a value to your brain injury claim, including how much insurance is available to compensate the claim, the severity of your injury, the effects that permanent injuries are likely to have on your ability to earn an income, and in some cases, even the level of negligence of the at-fault party that led to the accident.
  • Representing you in court or settlement negotiations: Whether your case proceeds to court or concludes during negotiations, your lawyer is your advocate. They will argue your case passionately and professionally, shielding you from the aggressive tactics of opposing counsel or insurance companies.
  • Managing communication with insurance companies: Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging. Our lawyer will handle all necessary communications on your behalf, ensuring we protect your interests and that you receive the maximum benefit under the insurance policy.
  • Ensuring you receive appropriate medical care: While your lawyer will not give specific medical advice, they will advocate for your rights to receive proper medical care. They will monitor your treatment progress, ensure medical professionals meet your needs, and maintain these records, as they play a significant role in your case.

At each step, your attorney has your best interests at heart. They shoulder the burden of the legal process, allowing you to focus on your recovery. We cannot overstate the value of having a competent personal injury lawyer handle your case; their role goes beyond the courtroom, relieving many aspects of an otherwise stressful situation.

Regardless of Your Financial Status, You Can Afford the Services of an Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer

Most brain injury lawyers use a special billing method known as a contingent fee to provide services to clients who could not otherwise afford to hire an attorney. When you choose a brain injury lawyer to handle your case, you will not pay any money upfront or receive a bill for hourly services while your case is active. Instead, you can sign a contingent fee agreement that outlines the services your legal team will provide and designates a percentage of the compensation you receive as payment for your attorney.

After your case, your attorney will receive the proceeds of your settlement or court award. They will give that money to you, minus the contingent fee and the value of any medical liens for health care providers and insurers who provided your care and agreed to wait for payment. If you lose the case, you owe nothing to your legal team for the work they did on your case.

Pursuing Compensation After a Brain Injury

Once you have enlisted the services of a personal injury lawyer, the next focus is pursuing fair compensation for your brain injury. Your lawyer can identify potential areas for payment based on the circumstances of your injury. From medical bills to pain and suffering, the objective is to ensure you receive the highest possible settlement to support your recovery and ease the financial burdens such an injury can bring. 

Every state has a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

The clock usually starts ticking the day the injury occurred. Exceptions may apply, especially when victims are unaware of their brain injury. Your lawyer will make sure to file your lawsuit within this crucial window to preserve your right to seek compensation, as allowing the statute of limitations to expire on the claim will not only result in the loss of the right to use the court process in most cases but will also remove the insurance company's legal obligation to compensate the claim.

The insurance policies of you and the responsible party can have a major impact on your case. The compensation available varies according to policy limits and specific coverage details.

Your lawyer will review all relevant policies to maximize your claim. They generally establish the claim's value after the individual suffering the brain injury has reached maximum medical improvement. As explained by the insurer Pinnacol, this is the point at which the condition causing a disability stabilizes and continued medical treatment will not improve the condition. 

Medical experts play a vital role in personal injury cases, helping to establish the cause, extent, and long-term implications of your brain injury. Your lawyer will work closely with these professionals to bolster your case and demonstrate the magnitude of your suffering.

Once professionals help establish the claim's value, your attorney will file it with the at-fault party's insurance provider. The insurance provider will assign a claims adjuster to review the claim to determine if their insured person caused the injury, if the insured's policy covers the injury, and how much money it owes to the claimant.

The claims adjuster reviews the claim for the insurance company to protect its bottom line by resolving claims for the least amount of money possible. 

When the claims adjuster has completed their evaluation, they can either accept or deny the claim based on their findings or offer to settle for less than its established value. Settlements resolve most personal injury claims, including those involving brain injuries, because they typically are faster and less expensive than litigation. 

If the claims adjuster cannot make an offer that reasonably compensates the claimant for the injury, your attorney can file a lawsuit and prepare to present the case before a judge or jury.

If you or your loved one suffered a brain injury, contacting a personal injury law firm as soon as possible allows them to preserve evidence, negotiate a settlement, and pursue the maximum compensation for your claim.

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Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.