Accidents that involve head injuries can be traumatic and complicated, and if the accident was not your fault you may well be considering filing a personal injury case against the at-fault party. The available compensation from head injury cases can vary greatly, depending on the level of damage to the brain, the age of the victim, and more. Read on to learn more about how head injury cases are handled by personal injury suits.
Head Injuries are Complicated
A blow to the head can result in a minor contusion (bruise) up to more severe damage to the brain. Even a seemingly minor blow to the head can result in a serious injury, even in death. To further complicate matters, the end result of a head injury often takes time to become obvious. Medical conditions caused by head injuries can gradually become better, or take a sudden turn for the worse. Cognitive function, memory, learning, emotional issues and more can plague the victims of head injuries and impact every aspect of their lives, and of the lives of their family.
It's vital to carefully document your injury, from the time of the accident to the present. List all medical procedures, tests, therapies and medications. Don't neglect to notate the emotional effect of the head injury on yourself, such as problems sleeping, appetite changes, moodiness, sudden angry outbursts, depression and anxiety. Keep in mind that you are entitled to be compensated for the effect of the head injury on your family, referred to as loss of consortium or loss of companionship, as well.
The dollar amount of your medical expenses, together with other factors, called "multipliers" determine the amount that you may be initially offered to settle the case out of court. The information that you provide determines the severity of your damages and is used as the "pain and suffering" multiplier, which the at-fault insurance company uses for the offer. Other factors used in this determination include:
1. Fault: some accidents cannot be attributed to one party's fault, or liability. If you share some of the fault, you can expect that your settlement amount offer will be reduced. For example, if you were breaking a traffic law (such as speeding) when you were hit by a car running a red light, both drivers could share some of the fault of the accident. Fault is determined using a percentage, such as 25/75%.
2. Your personal characteristics: your age, how many children you have, your education level, your health prior to the head injury and more are taken into consideration.
3. Similar recent awards and settlements: you can expect the other side to use statistics from local cases to determine your settlement offer.
Remember, the initial amount offered by the insurance company is only the beginning of settlement negotiations. Make sure that you have a professional legal advocate on your side when it comes to getting a fair compensation offer. Talk to a personal injury attorney, like Monohan & Blankenship, as soon as possible after your accident.