If you've suffered a head injury as a result of another person's negligence, you should consider discussing your case with a personal injury attorney. Compensation from head injuries varies greatly, depending on many factors. Read on to learn more about how damages are calculated when dealing with traumatic head injuries caused by an accident.
Head Injuries are Complicated
Your injury could range from mild, such as a mild concussion, to severe and permanent brain damage. Even with an injury that at first appears to be minor, the full impact of the injury may not be realized until much later after the accident. Cognitive issues, emotional problems, memory impairment and more can continue to surface for a time after an accident. Don't be impulsive and agree to a settlement too quickly; the results of the accident on your brain could take some time to surface so make sure that the compensation will cover what might be a long-term brain injury.
Calculations Used by Insurance Companies
The dollar amount of your medical bills is used to create a mathematical formula that sets the starting point for settlement negotiations. The severity of your injuries are assigned a number, which is then multiplied by the dollar amount of your medical expenses. You and your personal injury lawyer will have your own calculations, however, so don't be dismayed by an initial low offer by the other side.
Other factors that figure into the calculation and influence the settlement offer include:
- Fault, or liability. You may share at least a percentage of fault for the accident, which results in shared liability and a lower settlement offer. For example, the other side could allege that your speed when entering the intersection was excessive and prevented you from reacting quickly enough to the other party, who ran a red light and collided with you.
- Your personal characteristics, such as age and occupation, play a part, since a permanent injury could affect your ability to hold down a job for the remainder of your life.
- Insurance adjusters use statistics gathered from actual, local settlements and court cases to determine how cases similar to yours have been settled or litigated.
- If you failed to seek medical care after the accident, or waited too long to get care, the severity of your injuries could come into question.
- If you broke a traffic law at the time of your accident, such as not wearing a seat belt or not having a valid driver's license, it could influence your settlement amount.
It's important to understand that the above calculations and mitigating factors will produce a figure that is only a starting point for negotiations. Your personal injury attorney will use their negotiating skills to get you the most compensation possible for your injuries and allow you to recover and heal.