Traumatic brain injuries can vary in their severity, as well as the amount that is awarded to victims in a brain injury lawsuit settlement. However, according to the Brain Injury Association of America, “most settlements for mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injuries start in the low six-figure range,” and more severe cases settle in the millions. With about 190 deaths per day attributed to traumatic brain injuries, according to the CDC, these cases are not taken lightly, and compensation is important for victims. In this article, we'll talk about when and why you need a brain injury lawyer, how much to expect in your lawsuit, and where to find the best traumatic brain injury lawyer.
Do I Need a Brain Injury Attorney?
Whenever you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident, you should immediately contact an attorney whose practice focuses on accident law and traumatic brain injuries. These types of cases can be highly complex and involve intricate medical and legal details. An attorney with experience in this field has experience and expertise in handling these types of cases and will ensure that you are protected and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. These attorneys will carry the ability to prove liability, work and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, provide expert witnesses, and allow you to have the peace of mind that your accident and subsequent injuries will be taken care of.
Traumatic Brain Injury Lawsuit Settlements: What To Expect
Understanding the expenses and procedures involved in a traumatic brain injury lawsuit is crucial before initiating the legal process. Most of these lawsuits end up in a settlement and rarely go to trial. However, if a case goes to trial, there are a lot of necessary documents like medical records that need to be brought in front of a jury, expert testimony, and more. In this section, we’ll cover what to expect when you file a lawsuit for your traumatic brain injury.
Before filing a lawsuit for traumatic brain injury compensation, be aware that there are a number of legal costs involved. Since most brain injury and personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, it is essential that you discuss with your lawyer how much of your damages they will be entitled to if your case is successful. The contingency fee percentages often range from 33% to 40% of the amount awarded in your settlement. This also relies on several variables, such as how long it takes for the case to be resolved and whether a trial is warranted. You won't be required to pay anything should your claim not be successful for some reason.
Benefits of a Contingency Agreement
Having to pay upfront retainer fees on top of medical expenses and other associated expenses can be stressful for those who need legal assistance due to traumatic brain injury. Those facing enormous medical debts and ongoing care bills can benefit greatly from working with an attorney who offers contingency fees. There is an added motivation for them to fight hard for you to collect the amount you deserve because the contingency arrangement is dependent on the lawyer winning the case. However, there is potential that an attorney will bill you at a higher rate than usual if your case is challenging and complex.
While the legal services given by the attorney are covered under a contingency fee agreement, other costs incurred throughout the case may be paid separately as out-of-pocket costs. Typically, attorneys will pay for things themselves and bill their clients for them according to a set schedule. Some common out-of-pocket expenses include:
Filing Fees: These are fees for filing legal documents with the courts.
Expert Witness Fees: These costs are associated with hiring medical experts, damages experts, and other professionals to back up your claims that your injuries were a result of the incident and didn’t happen prior to your accident.
Deposition Costs: These costs are related to deposing witnesses or medical experts during the discovery period of the lawsuit.
Administrative Costs: These costs can be incurred for things such as postage, document filing, and photocopying.
Medical Records: It could cost money to obtain medical reports, records, and other related information on the brain injury. These costs are for the administrative costs of obtaining and copying these documents.
Settlement Negotiation Costs and Trial Costs
Your lawyer and the defense team may incur extra costs during settlement negotiations in specific circumstances, such as mediation costs and costs associated with talking with the at-fault party. If the case proceeds to trial, you should budget extra money for court appearance costs, expert witness expenses, and other unrelated court costs.
Paying Your Attorney on Retainer
There will be a different set of benefits and drawbacks if you decide to pay your lawyer on a retainer rather than through a contingency agreement. You can hire a lawyer immediately and get priority service from them and their staff by paying the retainer cost upfront. When an attorney is on retainer, they frequently provide very thorough billing records so that you can monitor how the retainer money is being used.
Downside of Paying an Attorney on Retainer
The drawback of hiring a personal injury or brain injury lawyer on retainer is that their retainer fee might be a substantial upfront expense that may not be manageable while coping with the continuing medical bills resulting from your injury. Also, you may not be granted reimbursement for the portion of the retainer that was not spent if the case is resolved quickly. Ensure your agreement includes a provision for addressing unused retainer fees, even if your lawyer's policy already covers it.
Average Settlements for Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can range from mild to severe, and each type of brain injury carries its own set of damages and impact on its victims. If you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to negligence or an accident, you are entitled to seek compensation from the other party for any current or future damages. While some victims of traumatic brain injuries recover quickly, other victims will take years to recover, if at all. The average settlements from these cases can range from as low as a few thousand dollars to millions based on the severity and the judgment. This section will look at some average settlements for traumatic brain injuries.
Mild Brain Injuries
Consider the following scenario: You are sitting in traffic in your vehicle when another driver rear-ends you. As a result of the accident, you hit your head on your car window and get a case of whiplash. Your injuries aren’t too serious, but it’s enough for you to go to urgent care, where they diagnose you with a mild concussion, a contusion on your head, and a neck strain. You miss work for a week while recovering from the accident and decide to pursue an injury claim for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An attorney may not be needed for mild brain injuries, but they could help you negotiate with the other party’s insurance company. Typically, in these cases, the average settlement is between $20,000 to $80,000, but could be as little as a couple thousand dollars.
Serious Brain Injuries
Some traumatic brain injuries can have long-term effects or even leave a victim with a permanent disability. In these cases, victims can expect a higher amount of compensation in their settlement. Several factors can determine the settlement amount, such as the victim’s age and the severity of the injury. A fair settlement in these cases could depend on these factors and range from a few thousand dollars to a million or more. Brain injuries like concussions can be severe enough to leave long-lasting damage like Post-Concussion Syndrome, which can be debilitating for victims for an extended period of time, making things that were once enjoyable extremely difficult.
Disabling Brain Injuries
Serious brain injuries will usually leave victims permanently disabled and in need of ongoing medical care. There are certain cases where victims with these types of traumatic brain injuries will require special medical equipment as part of their care, as well as needing assistance for day-to-day life and potentially having to move out of their home and into a care facility. These types of brain injuries can see settlements in multi-million amounts due to the immense cost of daily care, ongoing medical attention and care, as well as damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress. There may also be additional pain and suffering damages for the loss of the victim’s personal independence and their future dreams and aspirations.
How To Find the Best Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been the victim of an accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury, you are more than entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. You do not have to worry about finding an attorney to represent you. Expertise.com provides a comprehensive online directory of traumatic brain injury lawyers who can assist you in your pursuit of a brain injury lawsuit or settlement. Through this comprehensive directory, you will be able to find a trustworthy local attorney who understands your situation and is committed to protecting your rights. Visit their website today to locate your traumatic brain injury lawyer.
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