What's the Average Settlement for a Traumatic Brain Injury in Florida?

September 3, 2021
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The Brain Injury Association of America reports that at least 2.8 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. Suffering a brain injury after an accident can be detrimental to you and your family. Not only do medical bills pile up, but you may not live your life the same way you did before. While money cannot fix everything, it can relieve some financial strain.

Since every accident and injury is different, settlement amounts range from thousands to millions. The average settlement for a traumatic brain injury is subjective and impacted by many factors, such as fault and the severity of the injury.

The personal injury attorneys at Rue & Ziffra can evaluate your case to estimate its value. Contact Rue & Ziffra as soon after the accident as possible to maximize the value of your claim.

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury that affects how the brain works. These injuries are caused by a sudden bump, jolt, or penetration to the head or body and range from mild to moderate to severe.

According to the Brain Injury Association of America, the top three leading causes of TBIs are:

  • Falls (BIA source),
  • Being struck by or against something, and
  • Motor vehicle accidents.

At least 5.3 million Americans live with some sort of TBI-related disability.

What Types of Damages Are Available?

As part of a head injury settlement, there are two types of damages you may receive: special damages and general damages.

Special Damages

Special damages, otherwise known as economic damages, are those that you can easily quantify, such as out-of-pocket expenses. Calculating the average settlement for a traumatic brain injury would be relatively straightforward if all you had to do was add up the following types of special damages: 

  • Costs of current and future medical expenses,
  • Lost wages 
  • Loss of earning capacity,
  • Costs to repair or replace damaged property, and
  • Funeral and burial expenses, if the victim died from TBI.

To calculate lost earning capacity requires a vocational expert to testify as to how much the victim was projected to make. Often with TBI victims, they cannot return to work or at least cannot fulfill their previous job duties. 

The complicated part when it comes to calculating the average settlement for a head injury is quantifying the general damages. 

General Damages

These damages are non-economic in nature and are difficult to value. General damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium, society, and companionship

To calculate general damages, an attorney may speak with the victim’s family and friends to understand the victim’s emotional state before the accident. They may need to testify as to how the victim no longer engages in or enjoys the same activities.

What Factors Influence Traumatic Brain Injury Settlement Amounts?

The highest settlement amounts will be available when the cause of the accident is clear, the victim’s injuries are severe, and medical experts agree that the victim has a TBI and will not return to normal life. For most, however, TBI cases are not so straightforward. Thus, when calculating a head injury settlement, the factors discussed below are taken into consideration.

Severity of the Injury

Brain injury settlements are primarily based on the severity of the head injury. Someone with minor or mild brain injuries will receive a lower settlement amount than someone with life-altering injuries. For example, a victim who suffers a concussion and recovers within a month will be awarded less than a victim who must be on a ventilator for the rest of their life.

Fault and Liability

TBI cases increase substantially in value when the other party is obviously at fault. If the evidence is clear that the defendant caused the accident, the head injury settlement amount should be higher.

Characteristics of the Victim

The victim’s age, occupation, and prior medical history are characteristics that impact a head injury settlement. For example, a young child who suffers a TBI and can no longer walk will likely receive a higher settlement than an elderly person who loses the ability to walk.

Past Cases and Verdicts

Prior cases can persuade a defendant to settle for a higher amount rather than take a chance at trial. While past verdicts are not indicative of the actual settlement someone will receive, they serve as a piece of evidence the victim can use to maximize their settlement amount. 

Ability of Defendant to Pay

If the defendant has little or no insurance or has no assets to seize for payment, the value of the case will be much lower. 

Part of a TBI case is searching for evidence to increase the award amount. At Rue & Ziffra, we have the resources to collect the information we need to maximize your settlement amount. 

Why Choose Rue & Ziffra?

We are a Florida-based personal injury law firm that has been serving our local community for 40 years. The attorneys at Rue & Ziffra have a combined 182 years of legal experience, have handled over 28,000 cases, and have won more than $438,000,000 for our clients. 

Our traumatic brain injury lawyers will provide you with an honest opinion regarding the success of your case. If, after a thorough review, we do not think you have a viable claim, we will help you find other sources of compensation. Whether it be a long-term disability or Social Security Disability benefits, we have extensive experience with disability claims and applications. At Rue & Ziffra, we want you to focus on recovering while we handle the legal process. Our firm takes personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay us unless we win. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions.

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