Head injuries can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage, and the damage they cause is not only physical but emotional as well. A head injury can turn your whole life upside down, leaving you with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and loss of wages, depending on how long it takes for you to recover. Only an attorney with head injury claims experience can sift through the information and work up a case for you to get adequate compensation.
The Severity Level of a Head Injury
The severity of a head injury depends on several factors, including age at the time of the accident, preexisting mental or physical conditions (including genetic predispositions), whether or not the person followed safety procedures during the incident, the correct type of treatment provided, and a list of others. The average payout for one kind of head injury may vary significantly from another because the causes and circumstances surrounding each case are always unique.
For example, suppose an adult male in good health suffers a mild concussion at work when he accidentally walks into an object that is thrown up through the air (such as a football, baseball, basketball, and others). In that case, there may be between $3-$5 million in medical bills and lost wages over his lifetime.
However, suppose the same man suffered the same injury but was not permitted to take time off of work for proper recuperation or rehabilitation therapy during his recovery process. In that case, he may have only about $1.5 million in accrued losses due to negligence on behalf of his employer.
The average payout for head injuries in New York may vary significantly depending on the type of injury. In any case, involving head injuries, it is essential to hire a NY personal injury attorney who specializes in all types of severe brain injuries so they can determine whether or not you have a legitimate case. If negligence played a part in the incident, it is imperative to hire someone who knows what they are doing.
The Different Types of Head Injuries
Listed below are the different types of head injuries and why they are given a specific severity rating.
Concussion: A concussion is typically the least severe type of head injury, with most people recovering within seven to ten days. Concussions usually occur when someone violently shakes their head back and forth or experiences a sharp blow to the head. If you have ever fallen off your bike without wearing a helmet, gotten hit in the face during a fight, or even suffered whiplash in a car accident with no seat belt on, chances are you’ve had at least one concussion before.
Mild TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury): This type of brain injury occurs when an individual damages the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, or both. This can be either a closed head injury (when the skull and brain are not penetrated) or an open head injury (when the skull is breached and part of the brain is exposed). A mild TBI may cause temporary damage that clears within six to twelve weeks.
Moderate TBI: This type of head injury occurs after an individual sustains damage to multiple lobes of the brain at once. Some symptoms include headaches, nausea, memory loss, sleep disturbances, poor coordination, issues concentrating on things for long periods, and irritability. Moderate TBI symptoms often last much longer than those experienced with mild injuries due to larger-scale injuries sustained by severe blows to the head. Average TBI victims usually take much longer than usual to recuperate because there can be extensive damage to multiple brain areas at once, which means more rehabilitation therapy is required over an extended period.
Severe TBI: If someone sustains serious damage to their frontal lobe or temporal lobe (or both), they may be diagnosed with a severe head injury (also known as a closed head injury). This type of brain injury can lead to severe consequences, including coma and various kinds of paralysis, depending on the extent of the damage caused. Some people may suffer long-term disorders like mental retardation, loss of memory, perception problems, personality changes, and neurological defects (epilepsy) after experiencing severe TBI.
Post Concussion Syndrome: After sustaining even one concussion, many victims must deal with Post Concussion Syndrome in the months following the incident, in addition to any other health problems they may have sustained. Symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome include dizziness, seizure, loss of consciousness (even for hours), nausea/vomiting, headaches, sleep disturbances like insomnia or hypersomnia, mood swings that are sometimes accompanied by emotional outbursts and depression, anxiety attacks, or personality changes not present before the injury occurred. While some people only experience mild effects after suffering a concussion(s) in an accident they were involved in that did not cause any significant damage to their brain structure or abilities, others who suffer severe damage after a serious TBI become fully debilitated.
The Severity of Head Injuries & the Award Distribution
As you can see, all head injuries are not created equal. This means that depending on the severity of one’s injury(s) after an accident, they will be entitled to receive different payouts throughout the litigation. For instance, if someone has suffered a permanent loss in their mental capacity or ability after experiencing brain damage because of another party’s negligence (i.e., they were involved in a car accident where they weren’t wearing their seatbelt), they may receive more compensation than someone who experienced temporary complications resulting from hitting their head during an assault (i.e., getting punched in the face). Keep in mind that in NY, there are no caps on personal injury payouts in most cases when negligence can be proven.
Some of the most common head injuries that occur after accidents include mild/moderate TBI, concussions, post-concussion syndrome, intracranial hematomas (when blood collects between the skull and the surface of the brain), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and central nervous system damage (CNS).
None of these issues are pleasant to deal with if you’ve experienced them after an accident. It is challenging to experience some form of impairment in life due to another party’s negligence, but if you have to get medical treatment throughout your recovery process, unfortunately, there is no way around doctor visits, which means more money out of your pocket.
How Does an Attorney Work a Head Injury Case?
Suppose you’ve been involved in an accident where negligence was a factor, and head injuries have been a significant consequence. In that case, it is advised that you seek legal counsel from a NY personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will want to know various details about your incident(s) to gain a better understanding of how they can help with your case. You will also need to provide the medical documentation from all the doctors/hospitals you’ve visited throughout the time since the accident occurred.
Suppose this is not going to be filed immediately. In some cases, your attorney may file your injury claim before going to mediation with another party if there is no hope of agreeing to this process. In that case, one must meet with their law firm’s insurance adjuster to determine how severe the injuries sustained are and what can be expected of them throughout their recovery.
Suppose you have not yet received a settlement offer or did not reach an agreement with the defendant/insurance company during mediation. In that case, your attorney will continue pushing for a better settlement throughout litigation by cooperating with the other party’s legal team as well as continuing medical treatment on your behalf. All this is done to ensure that you receive just compensation for all your losses.
The Average Payout for Head Injuries in NY
After much consideration and discussion about these case details, it has been determined that average payouts for head injury cases come out somewhere around $577,245, including compensation for damage done to the brain. This figure is only an estimate because everything is considered when determining the amount owed.
Suppose you or someone you know was involved in an accident where negligence played a considerable role, and the consequences were severe, including experiencing head injuries. In that case, it is advised that you seek legal guidance from a New York personal injury attorney who can file your claim with the insurance company to demand just compensation if the injury occurred in New York. It is essential to know that every state’s law is different. Suppose law firms don’t think they’ll be able to get what you rightfully deserve through mediation. In that case, your case will go to litigation during this process before receiving an offer (this happens if both parties agree that there isn’t enough evidence to prove their side of things). The defendants will then begin working with your lawyer’s team on continuing medical treatment for all issues caused by the accident, settling out of court, or going to trial.
Suppose you’re expecting an offer from the defendant. In that case, it’s essential that you follow your attorney’s advice on handling negotiations with them because they are trained professionals who have dealt with numerous settlement offers. Your lawyer will work hard to ensure that both parties are satisfied with this agreement before signing off on it for you/your family to recover without worrying about these issues anymore.
How Much Will My Personal Injury Claim Cost?
The price of hiring a NY personal injury attorney is not low, but it is worth every penny if they can get you something close to what you deserve for all your pain and suffering. If there’s no option for mediation through their insurance adjuster, then your case will go through litigation before receiving an offer. Throughout this process, their legal team will work hard to meet with the defendant’s team to ensure they are constantly informed of updates on the case while also ensuring that you’re receiving medical treatment for issues stemming from the accident. Most law firms have success rates in the high 90 percentile, so it is essential that you contact one today if you or a loved one has been involved in a severe accident(s).
The Time Frame of a Payout for a Head Injury Case
Regarding personal injuries, “open and shut cases” versus “extended periods” are often used. An open and shut case usually means that within a short period, maybe months or days, the person can recover financially from an accident that occurred, for example, at work. They receive what they need to recover physically and fully monetary. On the other hand, extended periods may refer to cases that take years before any closure is reached. These head injury cases can be tough on everyone involved, especially if there is no end in sight, as some cases go all the way up until death. The following paragraphs will cover more information about head injuries, the time frame of a personal injury case, and some helpful tips on what to do if you are suffering from an open head injury case.
There is Never a Set Time Limit
When it comes down to how long one has to wait for their personal injury suit to go through the legal process, there is no set time limit, especially with head injuries because they vary in severity and treatment. Some people may only need a short period before it’s financially okay for them, like six months or so (depending on the extent of the physical damage); however, others may never be okay again, monetarily or physically, because their injuries are too severe or severe, even debilitating. On the other hand, some head injury cases take years before the closure is reached; as mentioned earlier, some even go on until death. For some people, it’s too hard to stay present mentally in their case because they’re constantly thinking about how much longer it will be or worrying that they may never receive their money. This constant worry can lead to depression and sometimes even suicide attempts (the emotional damage from an open head injury is just as wrong as the physical).
The Primary Causes of Head Injuries
The leading causes of head injuries happen on the highways. Others involve motorcycle accidents, construction sites, slip and falls, stairs, playground equipment. The most common cause of head injuries is motorcycle accidents. Doctors consider head injuries an “injury of unknown origins” until they run different tests to rule out any secondary factors that may have caused the damage.
According to state records, countless different types of head injuries can occur due to many factors, though car accidents account for most head injuries seen by doctors. Statistics show that the amount awarded in court or as an out-of-court settlement varies greatly depending on each case’s severity and nature. A moderate or even mild concussion can often add up to a large payout in court, depending on other factors involved with the case.
The average is calculated by looking at all head injuries for which they were awarded more than $1,000,000 then seeing how many of the numbers there are. From there, they find the median (middle) amount they received, so half got more than this amount and half got less. They continue this same process with the numbers above $500,000 and $100,000 until they get to one or two cases when these thresholds do not exist because there was no settlement or where it was unknown if there was one or not.
Summing It Up
As we can see, every situation is different, and there is no way to tell how much a person can receive in an awarded case. Often, clients may not get fully what they deserve, and others may walk away with more, depending on the judge’s ruling.