Concussion settlement amounts can be for as little as around $20,000 or as much as more than $500,000. The amount will mainly depend on the severity of the concussion. Those that cause traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) require far more compensation than those that have few complications. The type of claim can also impact the expected settlement amount.
Why do concussion settlement amounts vary so much?
Concussion settlement amounts have such a wide range because they are meant to compensate you for your losses, and concussions have a wide range of severities. Some concussions lead to serious brain injury. Many are relatively minor.
Therefore, most concussion settlements are for well under $100,000. A few, however, can lead to awards in the range of $500,000. The compensation amount reflects the severity of the injury. The settlement offer aims to estimate what a jury verdict would likely award you in compensation.
What are the symptoms of a concussion injury?
A concussion happens when your brain comes into contact with the inside of your skull. This can happen in a car crash or other traumatic event. The concussion can lead to the following symptoms immediately after the incident:
- loss of consciousness,
- ringing in the ears,
- blurred vision,
- slurred or unclear speech,
- foggy mental state, and
- an inability to remember what just happened.
Many of these serious injuries require immediate medical attention from a healthcare provider.
In the days and weeks that follow, these symptoms can evolve. They can turn into more serious medical conditions like:
- sleep disturbances,
- changes to your taste and smell,
- changes in mood,
- personality changes and irritability,
- sensitivity to light and sound,
- inability to concentrate,
- other cognitive impairments,
- short- and long-tern memory problems, and even
- brain damage.
These long-term effects are referred to as post-concussion syndrome. This can be debilitating. It can keep you from working. Even a mild traumatic brain injury can prevent you from enjoying your life. They may require extensive medical treatment.
Post-concussion syndrome can last for months. In some cases, you may feel the symptoms and the impairment of a concussion for years after the incident. Because of these long-term effects, the payout for post-concussion syndrome settlements is often much higher than for less severe car accident concussions.
When you suffer from these symptoms for a long period of time, you deserve a higher amount of compensation for your recovery. A personal injury lawyer from a reputable law firm can help you recover it. By establishing an attorney-client relationship with an accident lawyer, you can take charge of your personal injury settlement negotiations. If a fair offer is not made, your personal injury attorney can file a personal injury case on your behalf.
What types of compensation are there for these head injuries?
Victims who have suffered a concussion in an accident are entitled to the following types of compensation:
- medical expenses, including compensation for your reasonably anticipated future medical bills and other medical costs,
- lost wages,
- lost earning capacity, if your concussion will lead to wage loss in the future,
- pain and suffering,
- loss of consortium, for your loved ones’ suffering, and
- any property damage you suffered, like if got the concussion in a car accident.
Most of these losses are far more significant when the concussion was a severe one. Severe concussions that come with long-term symptoms and post-concussion syndrome will frequently leave victims out of work for months or years. If the symptoms cause memory loss or concentration problems, it can hurt your professional future and forever reduce your earning capacity.
You also may need medication, mental evaluations, and psychological treatment, which can be expensive. You are also likely to become frustrated and to suffer from the things you can no longer do.
Additionally, if the defendant acted especially poorly, you may be entitled to punitive damages.
You deserve compensation for all of these setbacks that stem from your concussion. Your settlement value should reflect the amount that it takes to recover.
Why does it matter what type of personal injury claim it is?
Certain types of personal injury claims can recover all of the types of compensation that you deserve. Others, like workers’ compensation, limit the types of compensation that you can recover. Additionally, some types of claims have damage caps that limit the amount you can recover.
Car accidents and other personal injury claims
Most types of personal injury lawsuits let victims recover all of the available types of compensation. These lawsuits can stem from:
- motor vehicle accidents,
- premises liability situations, like a slip and fall, and
- products liability cases.
If your concussion happened in one of these incidents, you can fight for full compensation for your injuries.
Unlike these other personal injury claims, workers’ compensation lawsuits can only recover:
- the costs of your medical care, and
- lost wages.
Compensation for your pain and suffering is not available. Neither are loss of consortium damages for your loved ones.
If your concussion happened on the job, you will likely be forced to file a workers’ compensation claim, rather than a personal injury one. This is to expedite the compensation process. It is also to insulate the employer from lawsuits for on-the-job injuries. It also avoids the awkward situation where current workers are suing their employers.
However, the result is that you will not recover all of the compensation that you might deserve. Your pain and suffering and your family’s hardships will go uncompensated. This will reduce the amount of the average settlement offer from the insurance company.
Claims with damage caps
Some types of personal injury claims have damage caps. These are statutory limitations on how much compensation you can recover. They vary state by state. Many states have damage caps on medical malpractice claims. However, some states also have damage caps that limit your non-economic damages in all claims, including auto accidents.
Your non-economic damages are those that are difficult to put in a dollar amount. They are for your:
- pain and suffering,
- emotional distress,
- mental anguish,
- loss of enjoyment of life, and
- loss of consortium.
If your accident happened in a state that has one of these damage caps, your settlement amount will be lower. Mississippi, for example, has a damage cap that limits your non-economic damages to $1 million in all personal injury claims except medical malpractice lawsuits.1 Even if you deserve more for your concussion, it will not be available.
Most states, including California, do not have damage caps for most personal injury claims.2 They do, however, often have damage caps for medical malpractice.
- Mississippi Code Annotated 11-1-60.
- Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc., 52 Cal.4th 541 (2011).