If you’re involved in an accident, injuries are a common thing to have to deal with. Sometimes, you’ll only suffer a few scrapes and bruises, and other times, your injuries are more severe. Along with broken bones, injuries to vital internal organs, including your brain, are possible. The consequences of a brain injury can be permanent and can negatively impact your quality of life.
Have you or a loved one experienced a traumatic brain injury due to an accident or as a result of someone else’s negligence? If so, it’s important to know the impact this can have on your life. You should also be aware of your legal rights.
Common Causes of Brain Injuries
Your brain controls and is responsible for how you move, speak, behave, think, and feel, and a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have devastating consequences on these basic functions. Some of the common causes of brain injuries include the following:
- A vehicle accident
- Slips and falls
- An explosion
- An assault on the head and neck region
- A gunshot wound to the head
You can experience a brain injury in almost any type of accident affecting your head—for example, an object falling and hitting you on the head. Think of a heavy box slipping off of a high shelf or an object falling off of a ladder.
What Are the Long and Short-Term Symptoms of Brain Injuries
Every TBI is different; some people may experience long-term symptoms that affect the rest of their lives. Others may only experience symptoms for a short time before being able to resume their normal lives.
This is why it’s vital to seek medical attention immediately after being involved in an accident that results in a jolt or blow to your head. You may have a brain injury that you’re not aware of, as symptoms can sometimes take a day or so to appear.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms after being involved in an accident, contact your physician or an emergency room immediately.
- Memory problems
- Hearing impairment
- Vision impairment
- Sleep impairment
- Difficulty catching their breath
- Lack of motor skills
- Lack of balance or coordination
- Slurred or impaired speech
- Lack of cognitive abilities or understanding
- Severe headaches
- Emotional or behavioral changes
- Inability to remain focused or pay attention
Waiting to see if these symptoms disappear can worsen the injury and lengthen your recovery period.
Getting Compensation For Your TBI in Nevada
If you’re involved in an accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury, Nevada law allows you to seek financial compensation. Where the accident occurred can affect how your case is settled.
For example, if the TBI occurs in the workplace your employer’s workers’ compensation is typically responsible for covering medical expenses and other related costs. Veterans will work with the VA to receive coverage for their medical care.
What can you seek compensation for after a TBI? While every personal injury case is different, you should be able to seek compensation for medical bills, loss of income, and the costs of future care. You may also be entitled to compensation for emotional pain and suffering, and some individuals are also awarded judgments compensating them for a loss of their quality of life.
Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries often have a long recovery period. You may be entitled to receive compensation for ongoing care that includes physical and occupational therapy. Your personal injury claim can also include coverage for home healthcare and 24-hour care.
Since every case is unique, your personal injury attorney will explain what type of compensation you’re qualified to receive.
Average Settlements for Traumatic Brain Injuries
The costs associated with medical care necessary after a TBI are expensive, and some patients can expect to receive medical bills in the millions of dollars. This is especially true when multiple surgeries are necessary or round-the-clock care at home.
Victims of traumatic brain injuries are often unable to return to work, and this can significantly impact their lifetime earnings. Losing your ability to speak, hear, or smell, can impact your quality of life. All of this is included in your case and often significantly increases your total judgment amount.
Under Nevada law, if you’re the victim of an accident resulting in a TBI you’re entitled to seek compensation for all of your complaints—however, there is a limit here, and you cannot ask for compensation to cover pre-existing medical conditions. For example, if you’re previously diagnosed with a medical condition, you cannot claim it in your traumatic brain injury lawsuit.
Understanding Non-Economic Damages
You can ask for compensation for non-economic damages under Nevada law. The law known as NRS 41A.015 states,
“Non-economic damages are those not related to your actual out-of-pocket costs. They include recovery for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other non-pecuniary damages.”
Your jury can award any dollar amount they feel is appropriate to support your recovery and continued quality of life. However, there’s an exception to this law. The exception applies to TBIs caused by medical malpractice. In this instance, your award amount is capped at $350,000 for non-economic losses.
You May Be Entitled to Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are separate from economic and non-economic settlements, and they’re designed to serve a few purposes. They are designed to punish someone for their negligence and help prevent others from making the same mistakes.
Like medical malpractice damages, punitive awards are also capped:
- You may be entitled to three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff if the amount of compensatory damages is $100,000.
- Three hundred thousand dollars if the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff is less than $100,000.
The cap doesn’t apply if your TBI is the result of a defective product, caused by the actions of an impaired motor vehicle driver, or by the disposal, spilling, or emission of toxic and hazardous chemicals, waste, or materials. In these instances, the judge, jury, or insurance provider can settle on any amount.
Don’t Settle Your TBI Case without Legal Representation
Regardless of whether your traumatic brain injury has caused feelings of confusion or overwhelm, it’s absolutely crucial not to rush into settling your case without the guidance of a personal injury attorney.
Having a legal expert by your side ensures that you have a dedicated advocate who will tirelessly work to secure the fair compensation you rightfully deserve.