This blog entry was provided by Spencer Farris, a personal injury lawyer at The S.E. Farris Law Firm in St. Louis, Missouri.
If you have suffered a brain injury or are the family member of a brain injury victim, how much could you get from a jury? The answer to that question depends on the facts of the case, how much is needed to pay for medical bills and how much a jury is willing to award for pain and suffering and other related issues. Attorney Spencer Farris has dealt with personal injury cases of this caliber and wants readers to understand these types of claims.
How Did the Injury Occur?
Not all brain injuries are suffered in the same way. In some cases, a car accident victim is left with permanent brain damage in an accident that the victim had no role in causing. In other cases, a brain injury occurs during a complicated surgery that the patient knew was risky from the beginning. In the first example, the victim could win compensation worth millions of dollars. However, in the second example, the victim may get a token amount or win nothing from a jury.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides an online fact sheet for traumatic brain injuries in the U.S.
How Much is Needed?
In the event that a brain injury occurs through no fault of the victim, the negligent party will be on the hook for all medical expenses related to the injury. This could mean that the negligent party pays for time spent in the hospital, the cost of physical therapy and the cost for long-term care such as medication to control seizures or for a nurse that will tend to the needs of the patient in the home.
Will a Jury Award Damages for Pain and Suffering?
A jury may allow for damages to be awarded for pain and suffering or emotional distress suffered by the victim or the family of the victim. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, the victim could be awarded millions of dollars at trial. Additionally, the attorney for the negligent party may decide to settle for more than the cost of medical bills in an effort to avoid a trial in the first place.
Victims Should Hire a Lawyer Right Away
The first step that a victim or the victim’s family should take is to hire an attorney. This is because the insurance company or the lawyers for the negligent party are going to try to pressure the victim into a settlement that is less than what the victim could win at trial. Having an attorney by your side ensures that the rights of the victim are preserved and the party or parties responsible for the injury are forced to pay a fair amount. When hiring an attorney, it is important to hire someone who has a great track record getting the most from guilty parties. It may be possible to win a large settlement simply because the other side knows that your attorney means business and to fight the case is futile.
How much is a brain injury worth? It all depends on who your lawyer is, what happened to cause the injury and how much it will cost to treat the injury. If you get a good lawyer, it may be possible to get millions of dollars and ensure that you are financially secure for life.
For more resourceful reads on brain injury, readers can check out three case studies of cognitive rehabilitation for traumatic brain injuries.