brain injury settlement

Navigating Brain Injury Settlement: Legal Guidance for Maximum Compensation

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 9 minutes

Navigating Brain Injury Settlement: Legal Guidance for Maximum Compensation

If you’ve experienced a brain injury due to an accident that was not your fault, then you may be considering a brain injury settlement or litigation to secure compensation. Brain injury losses can be significant, after all, and it’s important to cover your losses by suing the liable parties for compensation.

Understanding the process of negotiating a fair traumatic brain injury settlement is crucial for securing appropriate compensation.

The Brain Injury Association provides support and connects victims with specialized services, helping them navigate the complexities of brain injury cases.

That being said, most cases are resolved through settlement. But the general public may not know how to maximize compensation in their settlement negotiations, or what factors are even relevant. So today we’re going to run through some basics of brain injury settlements and disputes.

Read on to learn more!

How much money can you get from a brain injury?

Damages reflect the losses that you suffer as a result of the defendant’s negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct. Claimable losses may include:

  • Wage loss
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Medical expenses (i.e., medical bills)
  • Property loss
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • And more

Even mild traumatic brain injuries can result in significant medical expenses and loss of earning capacity.

Damages in a brain injury lawsuit can vary quite a bit, depending on the severity of the injury itself, as well as your personal circumstances as the injured plaintiff.

For example, suppose that you’re unemployed when you sustain a brain injury. You would have a minimal (if not zero) wage loss claim. If you have a job, however, and you’re forced to take a year off to recover from your brain injury before returning to work, then you can claim your entire yearly salary as part of your wage loss. That adds up!

As such, there is no one-size-fits-all prediction that will work for your case. You’ll have to calculate your damages with an experienced attorney who can investigate the evidence and build a well-supported claim for compensation.

Why do most traumatic brain injury disputes end in settlement?

Brain injury settlement is common — and in fact, most personal injury disputes lead to a settlement compromise (as opposed to a trial). Frankly speaking, most disputing parties would rather engage in a brain injury settlement than go through the hassle and challenge of trial litigation.

Traumatic brain injury settlements are crucial for covering medical bills, lifelong disability, and other financial strains resulting from the injury.

An insurance company plays a crucial role in negotiating settlements for traumatic brain injury cases. They consider factors such as long-term care and medical needs, ability to work, and fault and insurance coverage to ensure a fair settlement.


Simply put, trial litigation is:

  1. Uncertain
  2. Resource-intensive
  3. Mentally-draining
  4. Time-consuming
  5. Public

Consider a situation in which you are hit by a delivery truck and sustain a traumatic brain injury as a result. You’d potentially be entitled to sue the delivery truck company (as the employer of the driver) for damages.

The delivery truck company would prefer to avoid litigation, if possible, as they are likely to suffer brand and reputational damage if the dispute goes public and reaches the media. So instead of going through litigation — and it may even be the case that they have a strong defense argument — they’d possibly offer you a favorable settlement just to avoid the negative publicity.

How do settlement negotiations work?

Settlement negotiations are essentially an evaluation of you — the injured plaintiff — and your ability to secure your desired compensation should the case proceed to trial. In a traumatic brain injury case, it is crucial to have experienced legal representation to navigate these negotiations effectively. Thus, the settlement negotiation has to account for litigation uncertainty, damages evidence, your potential witness testimony, and how sympathetic you are as a plaintiff, among many other factors.

Let’s run through a quick example to show how a “fair settlement” amount might be calculated in a basic accident scenario.

Suppose that you sustained a brain injury in an accident where the defendant-driver was speeding while intoxicated and lost control, causing a collision with your vehicle. Your claimed damages are $300,000. During initial settlement negotiations, the defendant concedes liability, as the evidence of their liability is clear — thus, you’ll have a 100% chance of “winning” should the case go to trial.

What the defendant is arguing, however, is that your damages should only be $150,000. They don’t believe that your evidence is strong enough to support a $300,000 damage claim. Your attorney and the opposing counsel go back and forth, and it appears that they agree there’s a 50 percent likelihood that the court will award $150,000, and a 50 percent likelihood that they will award $300,000. Thus, a middle-ground number would be a fair compromise for both sides — a settlement amount of roughly $225,000.

Other factors can influence this “fair settlement amount” — for example, you may be a particularly sympathetic plaintiff. Perhaps you have a large family to take care of and you’re the sole caregiver. Perhaps you have struggled and overcome quite a lot of challenges throughout your life. Perhaps you come across as sweet and friendly when you’re talking to a crowd. These factors can influence a court heavily, and increase the likelihood that they will award you higher damages.

How long do you have to sue for a brain injury lawsuit?

Every claim is associated with a statute of limitations period.  This statute of limitations acts as a strict deadline on the claim — failure to bring a lawsuit before the deadline can lead to negative consequences for your ability to be compensated.  Specifically, delaying past the deadline will result in the courts automatically dismissing your claim, as they will see it as having been abandoned or relinquished under the law.

The statute of limitations deadline varies based on the claim, and based on the jurisdiction in which your claim will be litigated in.  In California, for example, the statute of limitations period for a negligence-based personal injury claim (such as a brain injury claim) is two years from the date of injury.

That’s not much time if you account for all the post-accident hassle, the physical and mental recovery from the brain injury itself, and attempts to put your life back together (i.e., career-wise, interpersonally).

Given these issues, it’s important that you work with qualified personal injury attorneys who can help you navigate the legal process in a timely manner.  It’s their duty under the law to handle your claims in a timely manner, so you can rest easy knowing that you won’t have to concern yourself with procedural deadlines and other such problems.

Can a brain injury affect you years later?


In fact, it’s good practice to go to physicians for medical diagnostics in the years after an accident, even if you don’t have any symptoms at first — that’s because many symptoms don’t show until later on down the line. For example, a low-speed rear-end injury could exacerbate a neurodegenerative condition that you already had, thus causing long-term issues and dysfunctions that aren’t obvious for the first few years after the accident.

Brain injury victims may experience long-term effects such as loss of consciousness, altered mental state, and interference with brain function, which are common in traumatic brain injuries. Therefore, ongoing medical care is crucial to monitor and manage these potential complications.

Worth noting: if your brain injury symptoms don’t show until later, your statute of limitations deadline may be extended to account for the late “date of discovery.” This could help preserve your brain injury claims so that you can still sue, even if the original deadlines for your claim have already passed.

It doesn’t necessarily cost anything to get started with a personal injury lawyer

Most people erroneously believe that it costs a lot of money to get started with a personal injury lawyer — they think that they don’t have “enough money” to bring a lawsuit against a defendant for damages. This is a stunning misperception, however. The large majority of plaintiffs’-side injury attorneys not only offer free consultations, but they work on a contingency basis.

In other words, they don’t get paid until you do. And there are no upfront or out-of-pocket costs. That means that you can get started without any money investment — only if they secure compensation on your behalf does the fee kick in.

Specifically, contingency fee arrangements usually involve percentage fees that can range anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent (or more), depending on the phase of litigation the case is in when it is resolved.

The contingency fee dynamic is favorable for plaintiffs in a number of ways. Not only does it reduce the barrier to entry for litigating your claims, but it also incentivizes your attorney to work effectively and efficiently on your behalf to maximize your compensation. After all, the more you get paid, the more they get paid — so it’s a win-win for everyone.

If you’ve sustained a brain injury in an accident that was not your fault, then you could be entitled to sue for damages. Given that the stakes of traumatic brain injury cases tend to be high, it’s important that you explore your strategic options with an experienced attorney. That’s where we come in.

In cases of severe traumatic brain injury, it is crucial to seek legal help to ensure fair compensation for the significant medical bills and long-term consequences.

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with one of the qualified personal injury lawyers in our network. During this initial consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your case in more detail and learn about the next steps with your lawsuit. That being said, if you decide not to move forward with our network attorney, that’s okay too — there’s no obligation for you to continue. So what are you waiting for? Call us today and have your case evaluated by a skilled attorney.

We look forward to assisting you.

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can assist you no matter when your accident occurs.

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