Whether sustained in a fall or an auto accident, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can change the course of your life. The attorneys at our Kirkland, WA law firm know what hardships accident victims and their families may face in the future, which is why we fight diligently for them in court.
Those injured due to reckless or negligent actions can seek legal damages to address the difficulties associated with their TBI. We want to take this opportunity to consider the long-term effects of brain injuries on people and how legal damages can help in the road ahead.
The Lasting Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
A traumatic brain injury doesn’t just heal like a simple cut or bruise. The damage to the brain tissue can have lasting effects on a person’s overall well-being.
Damage to the brain can affect coordination and motor skills. Brain injuries can also affect speech, language comprehension, your five senses, memory, reasoning skills, and other aspects of cognition. Additionally, TBIs have been linked to mental health problems, including increased instances of depression, mood swings, and changes in personality.
How Legal Damages Can Help
Given all of these effects, it’s no wonder a person may seek a civil lawsuit to collect damages following a traumatic brain injury. Damages are a monetary award given by a negligent party to the injury/accident victim in a civil case. These damages are meant as compensation to address injury and/or loss of property.
Types of Legal Damages
There are two types of legal damages that may be sought in a TBI lawsuit:
- Compensatory Damages - Compensatory damages are intended to cover actual material losses sustained in an accident or injury.
- Punitive Damages - Punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent party for causing the accident or incident that resulted in harm. These are in excess of compensatory damages.
Examples of Compensatory Damages in a TBI Case
Some common examples of compensatory damages in a traumatic brain injury lawsuit include:
- Medical bills
- Physical rehabilitation costs
- Mental health counseling
- Long-term health care needs
- Damage to a vehicle or other property
- Lost income from the injury
- Loss of future earning potential
- Emotional pain and suffering
Calculating Compensatory Damages in TBI Lawsuits
Since compensatory damages are linked to actual financial losses, a lawyer need only add up all of the bills related to these losses. For loss of future earnings and any other long-term losses, an estimate may be made based on current wages, normal career progression over time, and the amount of money spent on current health services.
Examples of Punitive Damages in a TBI Case
Punitive damages will need to examine the egregiousness of the case. For example, say a person fell down the stairs at a hotel and suffered a brain contusion as a result. In this example, let’s also say that the stairwell was poorly lit, the steps were in a state of disrepair, and there was no bannister in place for support.
In this example, the punitive damages would punish the property owner for having such an unsafe situation that would make a serious accident likely.
Calculating Punitive Damages in TBI Lawsuits
The amount awarded in punitive damages can vary depending on the jury. That said, similar civil cases from the past can help determine the amount that may be awarded in punitive damages.
Contact Our Team of Personal Injury Lawyers
For more information about your legal options after sustaining a traumatic brain injury, we encourage you to contact our team of catastrophic injury attorneys. We at Quick Law Group, PLLC will help you and your loved ones through each step of the legal process.