Richmond Head Injury Lawyer: How Much Is a TBI Worth?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) happen when a jolt, blow or bump to the head causes damage to the brain. This condition can also result from penetrating injuries like gunshot wounds. TBIs are among the most common causes of death in the United States, with 64,000 recorded fatalities in 2020. Fortunately, you may be eligible for fair compensation with help from a Richmond head injury lawyer in some cases.

TBIs are catastrophic injuries that cost a lot of money to treat. As such, it’s good news that brain injury victims can get compensation if their condition results from someone else’s negligence. This is usually the case in motor vehicle accidents, assaults, slip and fall accidents, and construction accidents.

If you’re an accident victim with TBI-related injuries, it’s important to know your case worth before filing a legal claim. It ensures you get maximum compensation for your injuries.

So, how much should you expect from your Richmond brain injury claim? Below, we discuss some types of brain injuries and the elements of a brain injury claim.

What Are the Types of Brain Injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries typically fall into one of three categories, depending on their severity as determined by medical experts:

Mild TBI/Concussions 

Mild traumatic brain injuries, also called concussions, usually present non-life-threatening symptoms. However, the effects can be severe in some cases and require long-term recovery.

Concussion symptoms can appear immediately, while others might take hours or days to manifest. Most patients with a moderate TBI or concussion feel better within a few weeks, and symptoms typically dissipate over time.

Common symptoms of mild TBIs include loss of consciousness that lasts less than 30 minutes, headaches, dizziness, insomnia, nausea, etc.

Moderate Traumatic Brain Injuries

Moderate traumatic brain injuries can cause loss of consciousness that lasts longer than 30 minutes but improves before the expiration of 24 hours. This degree of TBI is also characterized by confusion which can last as long as a week.

Other common symptoms of moderate TBIs include weakness, dilation of pupils, insomnia, agitation, slurred speech, etc. People suffering from moderate traumatic brain injuries may also experience complications that can last several months.

Severe TBI

Severe brain injury typically presents similar symptoms to moderate TBI. For example, severe TBI patients may also experience slurred speech, pupil dilation, fatigue, insomnia, and agitation. However, severe TBI victims may experience loss of consciousness for a full day and expect to recover after several months.

Also, the effects of severe traumatic brain injury can be permanent and life-threatening. For example, some severe TBI patients may be in vegetative states or suffer brain death.

The CDC reports that life expectancy is nine years shorter even after recovering from a severe TBI and obtaining inpatient rehabilitation services. TBI raises the probability of passing away from various causes.

According to the above CDC report, severe TBI patients are more likely to die from seizures, infections, drug poisoning, etc., than those without it.

Traumatic brain injuries can also be classified as closed or penetrating. Closed head injuries damage the brain without breaking the skull. This is usually a result of whiplash-related injuries due to sudden forward and backward movements, violent head shaking, or blunt force trauma.

Meanwhile, penetrating brain injury (or open brain injury) happens when an object breaks the skull and penetrates the brain. This is usually the case in assault cases with sharp weapons or a gunshot wound.

Note that TBI cases differ from individual to individual. As such, two victims with the same level of traumatic brain injury may experience varying symptoms. Sometimes, you may suffer severe and long-lasting consequences even if you think your brain injury is minor. That’s why you must always seek urgent medical care from experienced medical professionals regardless of the degree of TBI you sustain.

What Is the Average Settlement for a Traumatic Brain Injury?

As we mentioned earlier, traumatic brain injuries place victims in dire financial situations. So, it’s likely that you’re worried about whether the monetary compensation you’ll receive will be large enough to cover all your costs. Knowing the average settlement sum for your case will help in your decision to pursue a traumatic brain injury claim.

Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut amount for personal injury lawsuits or claims as cases differ among victims. So, while some traumatic brain victims may have TBI cases worth thousands of dollars, others may receive millions in compensation.

It’s a good idea to speak with a Richmond head injury lawyer to assess your case and calculate how much damages you’re entitled to. That’s the only way to be sure about your case’s worth.

Common Factors That Can Affect Financial Compensation in Your Personal Injury Claim

These are the factors a Richmond head injury lawyer will typically consider when calculating the value of your personal injury case:

The Types of Damages You Receive 

Your case’s worth depends on the types of compensation you’re awarded. Compensation aims to bring you back to where you were just before the accident occurred. As such, the types of damages you’ll receive will depend on the losses you suffer.

For example, you’ll get financial benefits to cover your injury’s current and future medical treatment costs. You may also receive compensation for property damage if you lost or damaged your items in the accident. Your Richmond head injury lawyer will also ensure that you get damages for lost earnings for the period the TBI prevented you from earning a living. 

Fortunately, compensation for traumatic brain injuries goes beyond financial losses to include noneconomic damages. As such, you can receive monetary compensation for psychological damages like pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, emotional distress, etc.

Your case’s value also depends significantly on whether you receive punitive damages in your brain injury lawsuit. Courts award punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, to punish the responsible parties for their reckless conduct. Punitive damages also aim to deter future negligence. In Richmond, you cannot receive more than $350,000 as punitive damages.

Injury Severity and Nature 

Your TBI case’s worth also depends on the severity of your condition, as your claim’s value rises with the seriousness of your symptoms. As such, a severe TBI case will likely be worth more than a mild TBI claim. This makes sense, as severe injuries cause greater pain and suffering than milder ones. 

Another reason severe injuries have a higher value than less serious ones is due to longer recovery periods. This also translates to more time away from work which significantly increases your compensation amount.

Pure Contributory Negligence Rule 

Many US states use the contributory negligence rule in determining liability in personal injury cases. This shared fault rule mandates that parties must bare responsibility for their accident based on their percentage of fault. So, for example, a party who is 40% responsible for an accident can only claim 60% of the total compensatory amount.

Unfortunately, Virginia uses the pure contributory negligence rule for traumatic brain injury claims. This means that even the slightest degree of fault will prevent you from claiming damages for your injury. So, it’s important to speak with your Richmond head injury lawyer to help prove that you were not at fault in any way for your accident.

Insurance Coverage 

Unless you decide to go by personal injury litigation, you’ll likely settle your TBI claim by dealing with the negligent party’s insurance company. In such a situation, the amount you’ll receive will depend on the at-fault party’s insurance coverage.

For example, the defendant driver’s auto liability insurance policy will determine your compensation sum in motor vehicle crashes. So, you cannot expect to receive more than $50,000 for your injuries if the insurance policy limit does not exceed that amount.

Your Conduct

Your actions after your injuries can severely affect your case’s worth. So, it’s important to avoid taking any action except when your Richmond head injury lawyer advises you to do so.

For example, never make the mistake of accepting blame for your injuries without consulting with legal experts. This can prove that you share some degree of fault in the accident. As such, you wouldn’t be entitled to damages. Again, never talk to the party responsible for your injuries or speak about your accident to other people without a go-ahead from your lawyer.

What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Damages in my Traumatic Brain Injury Case? 

One thing is clear: you cannot receive compensation for your injuries without evidence of negligence. This means that you must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care that they breached. You’ll also have to prove that the at-fault party’s negligence directly caused your traumatic brain injuries.

You must also provide medical evidence of your injury to prove damages. This includes your medical bills, a neurologist’s diagnosis, CT or MRI scans, etc. Other types of evidence you may need include:

  • Bank statements and tax returns
  • Testimonies of expert witnesses 
  • Police reports
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Photos and videos of the accident scene, etc

Do I Need to Hire a Richmond Head Injury Lawyer?

You do not need to hire an attorney to file a claim. However, there are times when it’s a good idea to consult with one, especially in Virginia, where any degree of fault can disqualify you from obtaining compensation. Here are some of the essential duties a Richmond head injury lawyer will undertake to ensure your claim’s success:

  • Speaking with insurance adjusters to negotiate maximum compensation on your behalf 
  • Investigating your case to gather critical evidence to prove your claims
  • Handling the paperwork, filings, and legal documentation 
  • Providing legal advice and moral support
  • Representing your interests in a TBI lawsuit, etc.

How to Choose the Right Richmond Head Injury Lawyer

It’s important to consider these factors when choosing your personal injury lawyer to ensure that you have good support for your case:

  • Years of experience in handling TBI cases
  • Track record of success 
  • Ease of communication 
  • Transparency 
  • Affordability – ask the attorney about their fee structure

Get in Touch With an Experienced Richmond Head Injury Lawyer

As a traumatic brain injury victim, the physical symptoms of your condition can be devastating and overwhelming. This is not to mention the post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological effects you may suffer from this catastrophic brain injury. Fortunately, you can significantly ease the financial burden of your injury by filing a personal injury claim against the negligent person.

At CAIL, our compassionate lawyers are ready to attend to your case. We have extensive experience handling injury claims and will act objectively. Our aggressive attorneys will also fight for justice on your behalf without demanding a financial commitment until you get your compensation.

Schedule a free consultation to speak with our Richmond TBI lawyers about your concerns. We’ll be happy to hear from you.

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