Placing a value on case that involves a brain injury isn’t something that can be done in a matter of minutes. The truth is, these types of cases take time to assess and many factors need to be considered. For example, the severity of a brain injury is one factor that will play a large role in determining how much a victim should seek for the injury itself. Some other factors that must be accounted for when assessing what a brain injury claim is worth include:
- The losses a victim has incurred as a result of the injury.
- How the injury has impacted their life and their ability to enjoy it.
- Whether the injury has impacted their ability to work and earn an income.
- The impact the brain injury has had on their marriage or relationship.
Brain injury claims, like all other types of injury claims, should only be valued once all damages/losses have been accounted for. Because it can be difficult and confusing for a victim and/or their family to assess their damages and losses on their own, we do recommend that you hire a personal injury lawyer in Iowa who can help you determine the value of your case.
How Brain Injury Claims are Valued
In order for an attorney to determine what a brain injury claim is worth they must assess the following areas and place a value on each. Once that is done, you will then have a better idea as to how much you should request be paid in your lawsuit.
- The degree of the injury. The brain can suffer various types of injuries and each person’s injury is unique, says the Brain Injury Alliance. “The type of injury the brain receives may affect just one functional area of the brain, various areas, or all areas of the brain.” There are three levels of brain injuries—mild, moderate, and severe. Below we explain what each of these levels are.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (Glasgow Coma Scale score 13-15)
An accident victim may be diagnosed as having suffered a mild traumatic brain injury “when there is a change in the mental status at the time of injury,” For example, “the person is dazed, confused, or loses consciousness. The change in mental status indicates that the person’s brain functioning has been altered [which is referred to as a] concussion.” A concussion “can be caused by direct blows to the head, gunshot wounds, violent shaking of the head, or force from a whiplash type injury.”
While some concussions heal within a few days or weeks, others might experience symptoms for a few years.
Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (Glasgow Coma Scale score 9-12)
A person is said to have suffered a moderate traumatic brain injury when:
- They lose consciousness for a few minutes to a few hours.
- They feel confused for a few days or weeks.
A moderate brain injury might result in a person suffering physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral impairments that could last for months or result in permanent injury.
Severe Brain Injury
Severe brain injuries are usually sustained when “delicate brain tissue is crushed, ripped, or sheared.” The BIA says that head trauma of this nature often results “in an open head injury, one in which the skull has been crushed or seriously fractured.” A victim of a severe brain injury is usually required to spend a substantial amount of time in the hospital and undergo extensive rehabilitation.” Sadly, many individuals who suffer a serious brain injury never “return to their pre-injury status.” Some symptoms that are most often associated with a severe brain injury include:
- A “wide range of functional short- or long-term changes that affect thinking, sensation, language, or emotions.”
- A brain injury “can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age.”
- Damages Suffered. Aside from assessing the degree of your injury, you also need to take into account the damages you suffered. Once this is established, your lawyer can value what each damage is worth. You should keep in mind that some damages are more difficult to value than others. Some of the more common damages that are often awarded in personal injury cases, including those involving a traumatic brain injury, include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Medical bills (including lifetime medical care costs)
- The impact the accident has had on your life. Some of the things you might be entitled to recover compensation for include:
- Your inability to do certain things like work, play sports, attend school, etc.
- Your inability to continue pursuing the career you worked so hard for.
- Your lack of ability to take care of yourself (i.e. bathing, dressing, etc.)
Important: Although you may have estimated your damages to be worth $150,000 or even $500,000, that doesn’t always mean you will be paid this amount. You will need to win your case and in order to do this, you will need a knowledgeable Iowa personal injury attorney representing you.
What do I need to do to obtain an estimate for my brain injury case?
If you would like to confirm that you have a legitimate case and receive an estimate for what it might be worth, contact the Iowa personal injury lawyers at Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C.
You can reach Eells & Tronvold Law Offices, P.L.C. at:
1921 51st Street NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Phone: (319) 393-1020
Fax: (319) 393-4000