What Are Typical Concussion Settlement Amounts in Colorado?
Brain Injury and Concussion Settlement Amounts in Colorado
Brain injuries are some of the gravest injury types. They often cause long-term or permanent and significant effects for the affected person.
In fact, some people who suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) may face a big uphill battle.
They might be unable to return to work, perform athletic or intellectual activities they once loved, perform basic functions, or even care for themselves.
When the negligence of another party causes a TBI, the affected victim can bring a personal injury claim. At the Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC, one of the questions that we hear most frequently is, “what are typical concussion settlement amounts?” Although certain factors play into this, such as the type of injury, gravity of the injury, and the financial and emotional effects on your life, no two brain injuries are alike.
It is impossible to determine the value of a brain injury case without a thorough investigation. Some concussion settlement amounts may be worth a few thousand dollars. Others may be worth at a few million dollars.
The following considers the different factors that affect a brain injury settlement, including the severity of the injury, economic and noneconomic damages suffered by the victim, sources of compensation, and how to prove fault.
Types of Brain Injuries and Brain Injury Severity
One of the most significant things that will affect a plaintiff’s settlement amount is the degree and severity of brain injury. There are multiple types of brain injuries. They include:
- Penetration injury,
- Diffuse axonal injury,
- Coup-contrecoup injury, and
- Contusion injury.
These types are further described by the level of severity. Severity is usually described using the Glasgow Coma Scale. The patient receives a score between three and 15. Three is the most severe and the 15 is the least severe. A person with a lower score may have much more significant long-term effects.
Remember that the brain is a very complex organ. The effect that a brain injury may have not only depend on type and severity, but also on the individual and the resources available to them as they heal. The injury could impact thinking, cognition, emotions, mood, behavior, vision, perception/sensation, and movement.
Types of Damages that You Can Recover
In a personal injury lawsuit, which includes brain injuries, there are different types of damages.
Accounting for these damages is how your settlement will be determined.
The type and severity of a brain injury will likely have a direct effect on the amount of economic losses that a person occurs, and therefore the amount that their claim is worth. Types of economic losses that are common in a brain injury case include:
When you are in the hospital, your stays costs money. In some cases, your stay could cost a lot of money. From the nurse who took care of you to the food you ate, these amounts are recoverable.
Often, when you have a concussion or brain injury, recover doesn’t end in the hospital. More often than not, you will need therapy to recover. For example, you may see a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, or all three and more.
Was your car damaged during the accident? With a lawsuit, you may be able to recover that loss as well.
In-Home Care Expenses
After a brain injury, you may struggle to do simple tasks that you used to accomplish all on your own. Cooking or bathing for yourself may not be possible, so you will need assistance in your home.
Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Ability
If you are having trouble doing basic things, then in all likeliness, you are unable to work. A lawsuit can recover your lost wages.
Life Style Change Expenses
Lifestyle changes are things that are necessary as a result of the accident. For example, this could be the need for a wheelchair or assisted living.
Sometimes, the noneconomic losses that a person suffers can feel even more significant that the economic expenses. Typically, a person with a more severe brain injury will suffer more significant noneconomic losses, such as:
Depression or Anxiety
Loss of Quality of Life
There are rules in Colorado capping noneconomic damages in a personal injury claim, but noneconomic damages are available. Our law firm can help you to understand what your claim may be worth.
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Sources of Compensation Available
Another thing that can very much affect the settlement amount for a traumatic brain injury case is the amount of compensation/source of compensation that is available to begin with.
While it is rare for both parties to not have insurance, it does happen. Even if the value of the claim is hundreds of thousands of dollars, there may be no source of funds available to pay this. The victim can file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver. However, it is unlikely that the driver will be able to pay this claim.
On the other hand, consider a party who suffers a TBI as a result of an anesthesia error during surgery. In this case, the victim likely has multiple sources of insurance available. This includes the liability insurance of the hospital, the anesthetist, and the surgeon. Therefore, this party may be able to recover their full settlement amount, even if their claim is worth over $1 million.
The sources of insurance/funding for claims have a huge effect on a settlement. This is one of the primary reasons that working with an experienced brain injury attorney in Colorado is so important. A good attorney will know how to uncover all potentially liable parties and sources of insurance to pay your claim.
Proving Fault, Damages, and Being a Strong Negotiator
Finally, outside of the actual damages that a brain injury victim suffers and the sources of compensation available to them, other things that can affect a settlement are the plaintiff’s ability to:
- Prove fault;
- Substantiate damages; and
- Negotiate for a fair settlement.
If you cannot prove the fault and negligence of the defendant, your claim will be futile. Further, even if you can prove fault, but cannot prove causation or the extent of your damages, you will not be able to recover your full settlement amount.
Ultimately, sometimes the ability to recover every penny your case is worth comes down to your negotiation skills. Insurance adjusters will often initially offer you less than you deserve. They hope that you will accept the settlement and move on. Knowing how to reject an offer, and offer a counter that is neither too high nor too low is an important skill.
Additional Factors When Calculating Your Settlement
Along with the above, there are several other factors to consider:
- Liability percentage. If you are partially at fault for the accident, you could potentially get compensated less.
- Mitigating damages. Damages could be reduced for your negligence, like failing to seek treatment sooner.
Working with an Attorney
Hiring a talented Colorado brain injury settlement lawyer is helpful in obtaining a settlement. We can help you learn more about the factors that influence a brain injury settlement. Our experienced law firm can help you with your case. Please contact the Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC to request a consultation today.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention