Receiving Compensation for a Head Injury
A person who suffers from a head injury will need to consider the settlement they will be willing to accept from the party liable for the injury.
Traumatic brain injuries can be minor or traumatic, they may be easily noticeable as open wounds or bumps, or can be completely inconspicuous. Head injuries may result in brain damage, memory loss, and cognitive problems, along with behavioural and emotional changes that may seriously affect the person’s quality of life. Agreeing to a voluntary settlement may be the best way to resolve the issue as it allows both parties to save the time and costs of going through a full-blown court case. However, it might not be easy to calculate the claim value, especially in the case of a serious head injury, as many different factors will come into play.
Types of Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits
There are two types of damages in personal injury lawsuits - special damages and general damages. Special damages, or economic losses, are damages paid to compensate for the losses. It is also called an "out-of-pocket" loss rule. These damages include the following:
- lost wages
- lost capacity to earn
- healthcare expenses
- funeral and burial costs in wrongful death cases
- property damage
General damages are losses where money can only be a rough substitute for the losses. These damages include:
- physical suffering
- shame and disgrace
- mental distress
- loss of consortium
- emotional pain
Calculation of Damages
The following can be used to calculate head injury settlements:
1. Calculate special damages. While it is not difficult to calculate lost wages and healthcare expenses, it is difficult to calculate the loss of the capacity to earn for future wages. It is essential to record all injuries, medical consultations, and medications taken for the injury.
2. Calculate general damages. General damages are normally 1.5 to 5 times the value of special damages. Record all pain experienced, including other complications that results from the head injury. These complications may include scarring, memory loss, fatigue, and dizziness.
3. Combine special damages and general damages. The total of special damages and general damages is the total value of the claim.
4. Make necessary adjustments to include savings. Adjust the total value of the settlement to account for the money you will save and risks you will avoid by not going through a full blown trial.
5. Make a comparison with recent jury verdicts. The calculation of the damages should be compared with settlements or awards given by a jury in recent head injury lawsuits.
Calculating the right settlement value of your head injury case can be a difficult thing to do. An experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer can help you at every step of the claim process and help you receive the right amount of compensation for all your losses. Call Zevan and Davidson Law Firm, LLC at (314) 588-7200 for a free consultation.
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