Average Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injury Sufferers in Des Moines
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were, on average, 190 traumatic brain injury-related deaths in the United States in 2021. This figure did not include those who received primary care treatment or those who did not receive medical help. The same report highlighted that males were twice as likely to get hospitalized and three times as likely to die than females.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have catastrophic consequences for the victim. Even small bumps or minor concussions can lead to medical complications, adversely affecting the physical, mental, and financial well-being of the individual. The fact that victims have to face the repercussions of a TBI due to someone else's fault makes the entire ordeal even worse.
Fortunately, under personal injury law in Des Moines, Iowa, victims suffering from traumatic brain injuries can seek compensation for the damages arising from another person's negligence. It's important for them to discuss their case with experienced attorneys at Tom Fowler Law and learn more about their legal options. They can advise on personal injury deposition questions.
What Are the Different Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
There are two main types of traumatic brain injuries, and these include the following:
Closed Head Injury
Also referred to as a non-penetrating brain injury, closed head injuries occur when there is damage to the brain without a breach in the skull. This typically happens when a jolting force moves or shakes the brain violently, causing damage to the tissues and blood vessels.
Closed head injuries are common in motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, and sports activities.
Penetrating Brain Injury
Also referred to as an open head injury, a penetrating brain injury occurs when there is a breach in the skull that pierces the brain. It is the most severe type of TBI and is a significant cause of mortality among young individuals.
Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury in Des Moines, Iowa
According to the 2019 surveillance report published by the CDC, there were many different causes of traumatic brain injury in the United States. Some of the most common ones include the following:
Motor vehicle accidents (accounted for 17% of the total TBI deaths);
Slips and fall accidents (nearly half of the total TBI hospitalizations);
Firearm-related suicides; and
Violence (includes assault or gunshot wounds).
What Are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?
The symptoms of a TBI can vary according to the severity of the injury. However, the following are some of the most common signs that victims suffering from brain injuries should look out for:
Inability to concentrate
Convulsion or seizures
Light and sound sensitivity
Inability to speak properly
Unconsciousness, coma, and other similar disorders
If an individual experiences any of the symptoms mentioned above after an adverse event, they should immediately head to a hospital for a medical evaluation.
Even minor symptoms, if left untreated, can manifest as serious brain injury complications, which can permanently affect the victim's life or, even worse, lead to death.
What Are the Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury on the Injured Victim?
Depending on the severity of the TBI, a victim may experience discomfort or cognitive impairment that could adversely affect their daily routine.
In most cases involving a mild traumatic brain injury, the right medical treatment and adequate rest can help the injured recover over time.
However, those suffering from a serious brain injury may face permanent disabilities or experience long-term symptoms that may require lifelong therapy and medical treatments. This can not only put a financial strain on the victim but also lead to mental and social issues that could significantly lower their quality of life.
The following are some of the effects of a TBI that an injured victim may experience following their injuries:
Cognitive defects, such as memory loss, amnesia, coma, and confusion, among others
Motor deficits (spasticity, tremors, poor coordination, and weakness)
Sensory deficits that include loss of vision and inability to hear, smell, or touch, or heightened sensations
Communication and language problems
A TBI can turn a victim's life upside down. Fortunately, under Iowa law, injured parties can seek compensation for the damages incurred due to another person's negligence by pursuing a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
What Is the Average Settlement for Traumatic Brain Injury in Des Moines?
Since most personal injury cases settle outside of court, determining the average brain injury settlement value is challenging or almost impossible due to confidential settlements.
However, a traumatic brain injury is one of the most severe forms of injuries a victim can sustain, and the damages incurred can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. In some cases involving permanent disabilities, the victim may receive over a million in settlement.
It is important to note that not all traumatic brain injuries can fetch a high settlement. Those who suffer minor concussions may only be able to recover tens of thousands of dollars. Victims must reach out to experienced Des Moines personal injury law firms to help determine the value of their traumatic brain injury case.
Although the average settlement for a mild traumatic brain injury is lower than what a victim would receive for diffuse axonal injuries, it's important to take all types of TBIs seriously and seek medical treatment. Even minor concussions can lead to serious complications if left untreated.
Injured victims can typically expect between $20,000 and $80,000 for a mild traumatic brain injury, while those suffering serious injuries can receive over $100,000. It's not uncommon for claimants with permanent disabilities to receive half a million dollars or more in compensation.
What Are the Factors That Affect the Value of Traumatic Brain Injury Settlements?
The settlement value of a traumatic brain injury case can vary from one victim to another, as it depends on many different factors. Some of these include the following:
The Severity of the Injuries
The severity of the injuries plays a major role in the value of traumatic brain injury settlements. TBIs that lead to permanent disabilities or long-term symptoms will often fetch more than those suffering from mild concussions.
However, it is important to note that even if the victim is suffering from a mild TBI, they may experience long-term symptoms that could affect their way of living. This could also impact the value of traumatic brain injury settlements.
Medical Expenses (Incurred and Projected)
When a victim suffers a TBI due to an accident, they may incur huge medical bills, depending on the severity of the injuries. This factor can significantly affect the value of traumatic brain injury settlements.
In cases involving long-term symptoms or permanent disabilities, the medical team may recommend life-long therapy, rehabilitation, and treatments, which could lead to future medical expenses, further impacting the value of traumatic brain injury settlements.
The Loss of Current and Future Income
After suffering a TBI, victims may need to take a few days, weeks, or even months off from work to seek medical treatment and rest to recover from the injuries.
In some severe cases, they may never be able to return to their job, which could permanently affect their financial status.
Those suffering from traumatic brain injuries due to another's negligence in Des Moines, Iowa, may be able to recover the loss of current income and expected future earnings by pursuing a personal injury claim or a lawsuit.
The Victim's Age
The age of brain injury victims also plays a significant role in the value of the settlements.
If the victim is a young individual who requires life-long medical treatments and assistance carrying out their daily routine due to their TBI, they may be able to recover a higher settlement than older adults.
Younger people have many more years to live, which can increase the medical expenses, lost wages, and the pain and suffering they incur, resulting in a higher settlement.
Pain and Suffering
Besides covering medical expenses and lost income, a traumatic brain injury settlement may also include compensation for the pain and suffering the victim incurs following their TBI.
Pain and suffering are non-economic damages that include physical pain, mental anguish, reduced quality of life, and emotional distress, among others.
Whether the victim suffers from a mild traumatic brain injury or a severe TBI, the state's personal injury laws determine how much they'll be able to recover from the negligent party.
Des Moines in Iowa follows the modified comparative negligence rule where the negligent parties are responsible for the damages incurred according to the degree of their fault.
Even if the victim is partially liable for their injuries, they can still recover the losses unless their negligence reaches 51%.
Here is an example to help brain injury victims understand how the modified comparative negligence rule works in Des Moines:
John drives his vehicle down an intersection on a green light and crashes into an SUV driven by Mark. He suffers serious injuries worth $250,000 and files a claim against Mark's insurance company to recover the damages.
An investigation into the incident reveals that John is partially liable (25%) for the accident as he was speeding.
In such a situation, under the modified comparative negligence rule, John may receive $187,500 for the damages incurred instead of the $250,000 as he was partially responsible. If he was 51% liable for his injuries, he may be unable to recover any losses.
Insurance Policy Limits
Another major factor that can affect the value of traumatic brain injury settlements victims receive following their injuries is the insurance policy limits.
When an individual suffers a TBI due to another's negligence, they have the right to pursue civil action against the negligent party's insurer to recover the damages. This means that the plaintiff cannot recover more than the maximum limit of the defendant's insurance policy.
If the defendant has a $250,000 limit on their insurance policy and the victim suffers damages worth $1 million, they may be unable to recover more than a quarter of a million dollars.
When a traumatic brain injury victim suffers injuries due to the gross negligence of another individual, they may also receive punitive damages.
These are awarded by the court to punish the defendant for their reckless actions and set an example for others to prevent them from carrying out similar acts.
The Attorney's Experience
Most traumatic brain injury victims who are without legal representation often recover lower settlements. However, the settlement value may also vary even among those claimants with personal injury attorneys on their side. This is because the attorney's experience plays a significant role in how much the victim can recover.
Whether it is a severe traumatic brain injury or a mild one, a skilled personal injury attorney with successful trial experience can help maximize the value of a TBI settlement by building a trial-ready case.
Most insurance companies want to avoid going to court as it is bad publicity for them, which is why they would rather settle the case and move on.
Should Victims Accept a Traumatic Brain Injury Settlement?
Since there is no average brain injury settlement value, it can be challenging for victims to determine how much they should receive from the negligent party's insurance company.
In most traumatic brain injury cases, insurance companies often lowball settlement offers that barely cover the medical expenses incurred by the victims. This is because insurers want to maximize their profits and keep their shareholders happy.
An insurance company will use every dirty tactic in its book to force the victim into accepting the first settlement offer it throws at them. However, it is important for the claimants to understand that the effects of a traumatic brain injury can take time to manifest, and if they settle quickly, they won't be able to cover their financial needs long-term.
A personal injury case involving a TBI can take a long time to settle. However, it's in the victim's best interests to wait and negotiate a higher settlement rather than accepting the first offer provided by the insurer.
How Can a Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney in Des Moines Help TBI Victims?
The traumatic brain injury attorneys at Tom Fowler Law in Des Moines can help the injured victims in many different ways, including the following:
Help to investigate the accident: The experienced legal team at Tom Fowler Law has the resources to carry out an investigation into the incident and gather the necessary evidence to build a strong trial-ready personal injury case. This can help maximize the traumatic brain injury settlement value.
Determining the damages incurred: In most traumatic brain injury cases, victims without legal representation often fail to determine the value of their claim or lawsuit. This results in them leaving monetary damages on the table. At Tom Fowler Law, the personal injury attorneys have the expertise and access to qualified professionals to help calculate the total compensatory damages (economic and non-economic) incurred, ensuring a maximum brain injury settlement.
Assessing the different insurance policies: A traumatic brain injury lawyer at Tom Fowler Law can determine the different insurance policies they can exploit. If the negligent party's insurance policy limits do not fully cover the damages incurred, the attorney can help explore other avenues to ensure a maximum settlement.
Negotiating on behalf of the victims: One of the major hurdles that brain injury victims face following their injuries is dealing with insurance companies. It can be hectic and even frustrating to stay on the phone with a claims adjuster every day, which is why many claimants accept the first settlement offer they receive. The personal injury attorneys at Tom Fowler understand the dirty tactics insurers use, and they can help bring them to the negotiation table and negotiate a better deal on behalf of the victim.
Go to trial: In some cases where there is a disagreement over the settlement amount, it is important for the victim to stick to their guns and take the matter to court. The personal injury attorneys at Tom Fowler Law are not afraid to go to trial if it means recovering a fair settlement for their clients.
Why Should Brain Injury Victims Choose Tom Fowler Law?
Tom Fowler is a US Marine Corps veteran who has now dedicated his life to helping out injured Iowans. His legal team consists of two registered nurses with expertise to help determine the extent of the damages incurred and the value of the brain injury settlements.
With more than 700 personal injury cases resolved and an average 5.0 rating, Tom Fowler Law has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and court verdicts for its clients.
The legal team at Tom Fowler Law can help injured victims by investigating their cases, gathering evidence, handling the paperwork, and negotiating with the insurers for a fair settlement on their behalf. They also have details on ankle injury settlement amounts.
TBI Victims Should Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Brain Injury Attorney
Whether it is a mild brain injury or a severe one, those suffering from a TBI in Des Moines, Iowa, should call to schedule a free case evaluation.
The legal team at Tom Fowler Law has over 40 years of combined experience, which is crucial in helping victims get the compensation they deserve!