Concussion Car Accident Settlement Amount – A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is one of the most devastating injuries you can suffer. An injury can cause permanent disability, loss of function, or personality changes that are immediately obvious, but the consequences can also be subtle and invisible.
If you have suffered a brain injury in an accident, you may be facing an uncertain financial future and many questions. It’s important to be proactive in seeking brain injury compensation to protect your health and financial security, but how much is your injury worth?
Concussion Car Accident Settlement Amount
A San Diego brain injury claim can be worth a few thousand or several million, depending on the severity, the impact on your life, and dozens of other factors. Here’s what you need to know about head injury settlement amounts in California and what to expect.
Car Accident Concussion Settlement
There are two ways to recover brain injury compensation in California: settlement or judgment. In the case of personal injury, a settlement occurs when both parties reach an agreement to resolve the matter out of court. If no settlement can be reached, the case may go to court, where a jury will decide. If the jury sides with the plaintiff, it may enter a judgment that the defendant must pay.
While jury verdicts are public record, injury settlements settled out of court are private. This means that it is impossible to determine the average severe or mild traumatic brain injury.
In 2020, Jury Verdict Research found that the average personal injury verdict in California was $1.81 million, but the average award was $114,000. The difference is due to many very high value judgments that skew the average. The median is a better reflection of the typical personal injury verdict in California.
The median brain injury award in California was $1,595,000. That compares to a national verdict of $1,400,000 for a brain injury.
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That doesn’t tell the whole story. Jury verdicts are often higher than settlement amounts, but not always. During settlement negotiations, the defendant and his attorney must consider the chances that the jury will side with you and what they may award. In exchange for a potentially higher jury verdict, recovering damages can take much longer—even years—and the costs associated with going to trial will be higher.
Because the value of your case must take into account your current and long-term medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability, and other losses, head injury settlement amounts typically increase with the severity of the injury. Even settlements for mild traumatic brain injuries with concussions can exceed $1,000,000. Cases involving severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) can exceed $10,000,000 in circumstances where the injured party has extensive life-long care and medical needs.
As a general rule, when understanding the typical settlement value of a brain injury case, consider the following; each case is fact-based and depends on many different factors, including the mechanism of injury, type of injuries sustained, care received, future care needed (if any), damages unique to each case, “individual/plaintiff” composition , who brings suit, venue, etc.
Additionally, while concussion settlement amounts are generally lower than severe TBI damages, the severity of the injury alone does not determine the value of your case. Along with the severity of the injury, your total damages, circumstances and any long-term effects are considered.
California Car Accident Guide (2022)
Even a mild case of TBI can be worth millions, depending on the circumstances. Here is an example of the differences between two people who sustain a mild traumatic brain injury after a car accident.
Victim A suffers short-term headaches and memory loss and has to take a week off, but otherwise has no long-term symptoms. Their damages are mostly for medical expenses and lost wages.
Victim B suffers a similar injury but develops post-concussion syndrome (PCS), or symptoms that last much longer than usual. Victim B has the typical symptoms of PCS, such as sensitivity to noise and light, dizziness, migraines, memory problems and narcolepsy, which prevent him from returning to his workplace or maintaining paid employment. Victim B’s case would likely be worth much more.
Their post-concussion syndrome settlement value would represent prolonged medical care, lost earnings, reduced earning capacity, and reduced quality of life.
Average Post Concussion Syndrome Settlement Value
This shows why knowing the average car accident concussion settlement is not helpful in determining the value of your case.
The following brain injury verdicts and settlements reached by Berman & Riedel, LLP can help you understand the potential value of your case. Just remember that no two brain injury claims are the same. The value of your case will depend on a variety of factors unique to you and your circumstances.
As you can see, brain injury compensation in California varies widely. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate each case of traumatic brain injury independently. What determines the value of a brain injury claim? Here’s a more in-depth look at the factors that affect the traumatic brain injury or concussion settlement value you can expect.
Traumatic brain injury has been described as a disease process, not as a single event. This means that people who suffer a TBI can have lasting effects similar to a chronic illness, including long-term medical costs.
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Brain injury can result in significant medical costs. The estimated cost of caring for a person with a severe traumatic brain injury ranges from $600,000 to $1.875 million. The California-based Center for Neuro Skills estimates the lifetime cost of a mild brain injury at $85,000 and a moderate TBI at $900,000.
Medical care makes up a large portion of the average traumatic brain injury settlement, but it varies based on the severity of the brain injury, recovery and more. You are entitled to compensation for your current and future medical expenses, such as:
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, inpatient rehabilitation therapy alone can cost an average of $46,000 ($1,600 per day) for a traumatic brain injury. However, the Center for Neuro Skills found that intensive rehabilitation can reduce health care costs for TBI by $1.5 million.
TBI is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Among typical adults who sustain brain injuries, about 60% are unemployed two years after the injury. According to the CDC, 2% of the US population, or 5.3 million people, live with a disability due to a traumatic brain injury.
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When you suffer a TBI due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for lost wages and future lost earnings. If you have to take a significant amount of time off or if you are unable to return to work, this can represent a large portion of the value of your case.
The value of your lost wages may be easy to calculate, but determining the value of your lost earning capacity can be a challenge. This may require consideration of:
In addition to your lost wages, lost earning capacity, and medical expenses, head injury settlements include compensation for other financial losses you have suffered. Examples include:
Traumatic brain injury settlements not only compensate for economic losses such as earnings and medical expenses, but also for non-economic damages. How a brain injury affects daily life is a major factor in determining fair brain injury compensation.
Got A Concussion In A Car Accident?
Traumatic brain injury causes not only physical damage, but also mental, emotional and cognitive damage. You are entitled to claim compensation for these losses which have no financial value.
To recover compensation, your personal injury attorney will help you document and quantify these losses to show the full picture of how your injury will affect you.
Like economic damages, non-economic damages after a brain injury vary greatly from person to person. Generally, your economic losses are multiplied by a factor of 1.5 to 5, depending on the severity of your injury, to estimate your personal losses. This will be used as a starting point for negotiating a fair settlement for an assault, fall or concussion in a car accident.
An experienced San Diego brain injury attorney will fight for compensation not only for the invisible effects of a TBI, but also for the increased risks you face. A fair settlement considers brain injury to be more like a chronic illness than an acute injury with very real, long-term risks. After a brain injury, you are at increased risk of:
What Is The Average Settlement For Suffering From A Concussion?
How much is a brain injury case worth in California? Determining the value of your case requires more than just adding up your economic losses and putting a financial value on your personal losses. There are additional factors at play here.
At that time, your doctor does not believe that your condition will improve further with additional treatment. However, this does not mean that you have fully recovered or that your condition cannot improve. It is important to contact MMI before negotiating a settlement for even a mild traumatic brain injury to make sure you understand your prognosis, anticipated future medical expenses, and your ability to return to work.
Settling before you reach MMI can mean you’re leaving money on the table if your balance turns out to be worse